'Buffy' Creator Mulls Spinoff
By Josef Adalian
"Buffy the Vampire Slayer" creator Joss Whedon has officially acknowledging the end of his critically acclaimed UPN series -- and is already mulling plans for a spinoff.
With star Sarah Michelle Gellar this week confirming her exit, Whedon Wednesday told Daily Variety the 20th Century Fox TV-produced show wouldn't go without her or him.
"We're shuffling off to Buffalo," Whedon said. "Sarah's decision was wrapped up in mine. We weren't interested in doing it without the other."
In May, the series will wrap its seven-season run (which began in 1997 on the WB) with an hourlong finale episode penned and directed by Whedon titled "Chosen." Emmy-nominated Whedon and exec producer Marti Noxon have just begun hammering out details of the final three scripts.
While he wouldn't discuss specifics of the finale, "We're not going to end it by saying, 'There can be no "Buffy" no more,"' Whedon said. "But it definitely has a message of emotional and thematic closure that's as important as anything we've said."
UPN execs have indicated their interest in a spinoff of "Buffy," and Whedon said he's willing. The timetable is up in the air, however.
While UPN would no doubt prefer a new series as early as this fall, "I think ideally the best thing to do would be to wait and not rush anything," Whedon said. "There are paradigms that I've posited that could start next year... (but) whatever came next, it would have to have at its center an idea as worthy as ('Buffy' and spinoff 'Angel') were. And somebody who's pretty."
NO RIGHTS TO SPINOFF
Though UPN doesn't have the rights to a "Buffy" follow-up, Whedon said the network "came through for us at a time nobody would."
UPN gave a two-year order to "Buffy" after 20th and the WB couldn't reach agreement on a new license fee deal.
Whedon said he hoped the legacy of "Buffy," which snagged nine Emmy nominations and two wins, would be a series that was "part of the move toward genuinely strong female characters that weren't cardboard cutouts. The idea was to venerate people who weren't taken seriously and make a real strong feminist statement."
The WB hasn't yet decided whether it will bring back "Angel" for a fifth season, but Whedon said he's upbeat.
"I don't know where we stand... but I'm putting my money on this not being the last season," he said. "I love this... show, and I won't let myself think this is an end." For now, "Angel" fans can look forward to a guest appearance by "Buffy" star Alyson Hannigan.