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'Buffy'/'Angel' Connection Lives On
by Richard Huff

His shows air on different networks, but writer-producer Joss Whedon isn't ruling out a crossover next season between UPN's "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" and the WB's "Angel."

The two series, once schedule mates on WB, were separated this season after "Buffy" was snapped up by UPN following a nasty public negotiation over renewal fees. Because of the attention the dispute generated, it was thought there would never again be a connection between the shows.

"It's not something we're pursuing this year, but it's something we might get into next year if things have cooled down between the two networks," Whedon said.

Besides the dispute, Whedon said it was important that each show stand alone.

"I don't need to have any more crossovers," he said. "Next year we might look at seeing if we can do one."

"Buffy" launched on WB in 1997; the spinoff "Angel" started two years later.

"Buffy's" move to UPN, while risky, has so far turned out fine for Whedon and the network.

"We had some factors working in our favor," Whedon said. "UPN really came out swinging. They really promised and delivered a great deal of support. They put passion in it. Our fan base is not huge, but it is hugely loyal. I knew they would follow us."

As for the show, Whedon said he and the writing team have never been more excited about the narrative.

"We always try, sometimes we fall short, but by and large, we're happy with this season," he said. "It's just the way the story has been going. We just got into a groove."

For viewers new to the show and devoted fans, Fox Home Entertainment has just released the first season of "Buffy" on DVD. The collection, according to Whedon, has been out in England for a while.

The three-disk set was not, however, a chance for Whedon to go back in and tinker with the original episodes. There is an interview with Whedon and other features, but no major changes to any of the shows, he said.

"I am not a big fan of the director's cut," Whedon said. "There's a lot of self-indulgence there. Directors throw in everything they've got.

"In television, you are forced to bring it down to 43 minutes and change. You end up cutting the fat. [In production] we may lose one or two scenes, and it always flows better without them."

The Usual
The Usual

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