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Roswell High was originally developed by 20th Century Fox Television and Regency Television for the Fox Network, though it eventually landed on The WB (retitled simply to Roswell) thanks to the latter network's offer to extend a full 22-episode upfront commitment. The pilot episode was filmed in 12 days with a budget of $2,000,000. "The Morning After," the second episode of the series, was the first episode with the full title sequence utilizing the theme song, "Here With Me" by Dido.
Liz Parker, Maria DeLuca, and Alex Whitman are high school students and best friends residing in the small town of Roswell, New Mexico, site of the famed Roswell incident. The Roswell incident is a continual point of ironic reference in the series, a theme which contrasts the town's sometimes cynical and commercial exploitation of the now ancient 1947 Roswell incident with the "real" Roswell event unfolding before the young protagonists' eyes. Liz's parents, for instance, own the Crashdown Café, which serves alien-themed dishes, and it is here many of the scenes of the season are set. While Liz is waitressing there, a disagreement between two customers results in Liz being fatally shot, setting the scene for the entire series. Fellow student Max Evans rushes to her side and heals the wound by placing his hand over it, bringing her back to life. He left a silver hand print on her stomach. This act arouses suspicions which follow the protagonists throughout the series.