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'Buffy' Producer Talks Death and Doherty

by Kate O'Hare

LOS ANGELES (Zap2it.com) - Marti Noxon, the recently promoted co-executive producer of "Buffy the Vampire Slayer," really enjoyed going to New York in May, when UPN presented their new acquisition to advertisers as part of its new fall lineup. Not only did it mean being the news of the day, it also meant a present from Saks Fifth Avenue.

"Joss and his wife, they're so funny, and they're so sweet," she says, speaking of her boss, series creator Joss Whedon, and his wife Kai. "Kai was out shopping for herself, and she saw something she thought would look better on me. She bought me, like, this top. She thought, 'I think that would look good on Marti.' It's partly because she saw me that day, and I was on her mind, so she bought me clothes."

Whedon was much in evidence at the presentation by UPN -- which forked over big bucks and won the show away from The WB -- and also made an under-the-radar appearance at the FOX upfront later the same day (THe FOX network being part of 20th Century Fox, the studio arm of which produces "Buffy" ).

"He's somewhat ubiquitous at those things," says Noxon. "Being the however-many-million-dollar-boy at Fox, they have an investment in having him interested in what they're doing."

How did Noxon enjoy the fuss UPN made over acquiring "Buffy" ? "Wasn't that trippy? It was like going to an awards show or something. It's like, 'We're so fabulous. We're giving ourselves high praise.'"

Noxon is currently back at the show's Santa Monica studios, working on next season. She reports that four scripts are in the can, with a couple more stories in progress. She also says that Whedon is laboring on episode six, the long-awaited all-singing, all-dancing "Buffy."

"Almost all the cast sings," she says. "Michelle [Trachtenberg] is more of a dancer, so she wanted to dance. Joss himself is writing the music. Like a real musical, it's all going to be tailored to the show."

He's so multitalented. "I tell you," says Noxon, "I leave here, and I can't make dinner."

After the musical, what's next? "There's still an all-puppet 'Buffy,'" says Noxon. "I want to do 'Thunderbuffy.' I'm dying to do an episode where you just turn it on, and for no explained reason, they're all just puppets."

"I really want to do a 'Thunderbuffy,' but that's probably in our really broke period, more broke than we even are now. And if it's not broke, don't fix it. Sorry, I don't know where that came from."

As fans know, Buffy died in the season finale, "The Gift," also the show's 100th episode. However, on "Buffy," death is not necessarily an impediment to future appearances.

"Obviously, Buffy is dead," says Noxon, "but the question is, for how long, and how are things going to work out? In the 'Buffy' universe, death can be a complication, but you can overcome it if you try hard enough."

What has been the reaction? "Many, many people really flipped out. We've had to deal with a little damage control, with people thinking the show is over, or that it was all a big trick. It was all over the Internet that it was a big trick."

"They thought that Joss had manipulated the whole thing with UPN just to fool people, and we were like, 'UPN would really be going along for quite a big joke. Why would they want to do that?' But that was a rumor, that we were totally trying to convince people we were going to stay on the air."

"My current favorite rumor is that Shannen Doherty is going to be the new Slayer."

Is there truth in that tale? "Shannen and Sarah are friends," says Noxon, "and they may have talked about, 'Oh, gosh, wouldn't it be great if Shannen came and did a guest thing,' or something. Then it somehow got blown into ... that might be wonderful, but she's definitely not a series regular."

"You know, any kind of energy about celebrities is probably a good thing for them."


The Usual
The Usual

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