The CW sent fans mildly cooing with Thursday’s preview of Star-Crossed, the sci-fi drama-romance set to debut midseason starring Aimee Teegarden and Matt Lanter as the forbidden teenage paramours. Creator Meredith Averill, co-exec producer and co-showrunner Adele Lim and stars Teegarden, Lanter, and Grey Damon appeared for a brief panel following a screening of the pilot, which sets up the Romeo & Juliet-with-aliens series. Human Emery (Teegarden) and extraterrestrial Roman (Lanter) first meet as 6-year-olds the day an alien race known as the Atrians crash land on Earth. Ten years later the surviving “invaders” have been quarantined and segregated, a group of their heartthrob teen offspring integrated into the local high school as part of an experiment in cultural integration.

It’s the network’s bread and butter high school soap setting with a dash of the supernatural a la Twilight/Vampire Diaries – complete with torrid hallway glances, mean girls, jocks, and teen talk. The pilot covers the duration of the first day of school as both Roman and Emery wade into their new high school waters. She has her own secret that’s kept her in hospital for the past four years. A party in the woods brings them together again and the pair commit social suicide, leaving their respective cliques behind for a moment alone. Sprinkled throughout are futuristic tech and science fiction touches – alien blood glows neon blue and might even cure cancer – but the romance element is at the forefront, as with the CW’s other hit shows. Too bad actor Damon’s Grayson, Emery’s human love interest and the intended third spoke in the show’s love triangle, barely register in the pilot episode. “The triangle’s an important part of the show,” said Averill, “and Roman and Grayson rep two very different but equally attractive choices.” She promised more sci-fi alien world-building as the series advances. “We’ll learn more about the aliens [like] why they crashed. They claim their planet was dying and had to find a new home. Was there a fuel cell malfunction or was it sabotaged?” she teased, promising more alien back story told in flashback.