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Whedonesque - a community weblog about Joss Whedon
"I've got red in my ledger, I'd like to wipe it out."
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May 18 2007

'Faith' or 'Watcher' top IGN's list of Most Wanted Television Spin-offs. While they acknowledge that neither seem likely at this point, the crew at IGN declare that television without Joss Whedon is "just plain wrong".

Amen to that.

Television without Joss Whedon is "just plain wrong."
Oh, I love the Shield spin-off idea. Dutch is my favorite character and he and Claudette have great chemistry together. I'm going to miss those two when the show is over.
I hope the ideas Joss had for the Giles spin-off make the transition into comic form. There has not been nearly enough Gilesiness in the comics so far, and honestly I need it to survive.
Yeah I love The Shield idea as well, he is definitely my favorite character.
There's just so many possibilities of spin-offs in the Buffyverse. And aside from the Faith and Giles spin-off shows, I recall talk of a Slayer School one as well. And of course, there were the proposed Buffyverse DVD movies which never happened. But if the new Stargate and Babylon 5 DVD movies sell well, I hope 20th Century Fox take another look at the Buffyverse. One can only dream.
Of course Joss should be back on television. But can't you blame him for not wanting to be. He was seriously burned by Firefly, and the cancellation of Angel hurt him more than he expected.

It is amazing to me that not one of the spinoff's you listed happened, Simon. It is just incredible. As you said, maybe those DVD movies might inspire the money men. Its the only way isnt it.

As much as I am enjoying the Buffy comics, and am looking forward to Angel season six - I want Joss back on TV
Eliza Dushku and the Faith Spin off, I've been waiting with hope!
She did Tru Calling instead of Faith, now she's doing a tv show called Nurses, hope it does well for her, but boy did Joss create the best character she'll ever be known for I think. She's such a beautiful woman and she can do such good acting as Faith with the writers Joss's team had, it seems it's hard to let go of the past right now. Joss spoiled us, everything else that has followed for these slayerverse actors, haven't been as good.

And Fox and other networks, the dvd people, are they so silly not to fork the bill on a cult hit univerise. It's very sad.
Actually I wrote a whole page at Wikipedia devoted to the "Undeveloped Buffyverse productions". Here's some of the revelations by cast and crew of what might have been for Ripper and Faith:

RIPPER

Whedon said that the show would be in the tradition of "classic English ghost stories" and would explore the theme of loneliness. Whedon elaborated on some the themes he had planned for the series:

"The people who live there, it's all very isolated. [Giles] himself has been gone for many years. He was surrounded by a de facto family that he no longer has. And [he is] sort of picking up his life all alone, and then getting involved in the underbelly of other people's lives, and finding out all about them. Loneliness is what I think of. It may not be the theme so much as the emotional intent of the series, but that's what really attracts it to me the most"


FAITH THE VAMPIRE SLAYER

Tim Minear said:

"I had come up with a pitch. Eliza was gracious, kind and wonderful, but she felt like she wanted to do something new. There is no hard feelings there. But the show was basically going to be Faith meets Kung Fu. It would have been Faith, probably on a motorcycle, crossing the earth, trying to find her place in the world. I'm sure it would get an arc at some point, but the idea of her rooted somewhere seemed wrong to me. The idea of her constantly on the move seemed right to be. And she broke out of prison (on Angel) so there would have been some people after her."


COMICS

For the moment it's looking like these live-action TV spin-offs are not something that big television or Direct-to-DVD is seeking because of the costs involved in creating one, which is a shame. Bring on the entertainment revolution so that creators like Joss can make what they want!

For the moment I really like the idea of seeing some canon spin-offs from IDW and Dark Horse. Buffy Season 8 is great, but it consists of a 10 minute story once a month, I think there's room for a little more, especially since it seems there are many talented writers interested in writing under Jossvision. There are so many characters that deserve to get some more spotlight from IDW and Dark Horse and even have mini-series themselves: Illyria, Spike, Faith, and Giles in particular IMO.

Books and audio tapes are all that kept Doctor Who fanbase alive for years after it was cancelled in 1989, and look at Battlestar Galactica (live-action version finished in 1980, rebooted in 2003). The more stories there are to keep the Buffyverse franchise alive the better, who knows there might be a great new live-action Buffyverse series/movie down the line.
Fox didn't pick-up Eliza's pilot, Nurses. So, Eliza is available to do a Buffy spinoff and it does seem like she wants to do another tv show. Eliza has been doing some indie films, but nothing major recently. Doing something Buffy related (either a spinoff or a tv movie) might be a good career movie to get her in the spotlight again.
I'm hoping the new media, direct to internet productions like "Sanctuary", take off. It's possibly a way to bipass the clueless money-men and connect artists straight to their audiences.

Here's the problem with the current TV model: Big corporations have to make huge profits so that network executives and major stockholders can make barrels of cash. The audience can't afford that, so advertisers are the real customers. Advertisers want to sell to the widest possible market, so that means they want shows which appeal to the lowest common denominator. Buffy, Angel and Firefly had excellent demographics to sell big-ticket items like luxury cars, but not the raw numbers to sell hamburgers to Joe "I-like-to-watch-girls-mud-wrestle" Smoe.

Yet if we can remove the advertisers and the big corporations from the picture, maybe we can come up with a slimmer model which would keep artists, actors and their intelligent audiences happy. Think smaller corporations made up of the people who care about their work. Such companies could generate revenue through a pay-per-view kinda thing. The internet, direct to DVDs, or even cable networks might provide the venue.

Joss will only return to TV if it's on his terms, and it's going to require a fundamental shift in the way TV works in order to get Joss-quality back on the tube. As good as his stuff is, it's just not going to appeal to the lowest common denominator.

[ edited by quantumac on 2007-05-18 17:41 ]
Damn, i thought Nurses was going forward. FTVS, let's do this! :D
I think t would be difficult, these days the networks seem to expect a ratings success straight away, Lost, Desperate Housewives, Heroes, were suddenly the biggest things on tv in their freshman season.How many new shows survive past 6 or 12 episodes these days compared to the late nineties?
I'd love to see any spinoff from the Buffyverse...Faith, Giles, Spike, Illyria, Willow, even Dawn as main characters. A return of Xena and Gabrielle, the characters of Forever Knight, Dark Angel, even Cleopatra 2525 had some promise.
We want a show! We want a show!
(repeat ad nauseum)
I can understand Eliza wanting to do something new rather than commit to Faith. If the show had done well it will still have been in the shadow of BtVS and if it failed she would have got the blame.
Maybe now that a few years have passed she might change her mind. ST:TNG was many years after TOS, don't say we have to wait THAT long for a new show!

Incredible to remember that Eliza was only ever in about twenty episodes of Buffy over five years, she, and Faith, had such a big impact on the show.

A Ripper show would also be great, though as I've said before the BBC did "Strange" with Richard Coyle which I would imagine is as close to Ripper as you can get before lawyers are involved.
I remember the sci-fi channel ordering 2 or 3 seasons of the show First Wave, based on Francis Ford Coppola's reputation. How cool was that, that the show didn't need to worry about being canceled. If Joss can get some form of a contract where his show gets at least one or two seasons without getting canceled half way through, that's a nice start.

Because one season of a Faith show is worth 10 seasons of alot of other rubbish on tv. Joss's team of writers is one gang I trust to get the job done, Joss's writing never ever seems to disappoint does it.
I agree with all of this, but I would like to point out that Joss is more than just a "decent" film director. He's pretty fucking great.
If I were Joss, I'd need a "no-canceling-my-show-and-get-your-armani-suit-outta-my-pink-backpack's-sight" kinda contract. If I didn't get it, I wouldn't return to TV.

It's incredibly painful to build your dream show and have it torn down. I'm sure the process goes something like this - "Hey Jossy, hate to tell you, but it's not working for the advertisers. You're show's great. We love it. Problem is there's plenty more dumb shmucks out there than educated folk, and dumb is cheaper. Know what I'm sayin? No hard feelings, okay? Say, let's do lunch sometime. Gotta run. Me and the twins are playin three rounds on the Big Island, so I gotta catch a plane in fifteen. Ciao, Babe."
The trouble with all our fantasies is that Joss doesn't make cheap shows - he needs special effects, stunts, night shoots - and let's not forget an outstanding writing team and some pretty brilliant actors. None of that compares to the cost of the procedurals and hospital soaps which get mainstream ratings. The money men have to be involved because of the cost of the shows - and they are the very people who put the spanner in the works time after time...
I was really holding out hope for a "Tales of the Slayers" series, an anthology following various new Slayers around the world with guest appearances from the original cast members.

Either that or a spin-off centering around Willow.
"Buffy, Angel and Firefly had excellent demographics to sell big-ticket items like luxury cars, but not the raw numbers to sell hamburgers to Joe "I-like-to-watch-girls-mud-wrestle" Smoe." -quantumac

Well just for the record I don't like this Joe Smoe or his smelly hamburgers. :) Yes television without Joss is wrong, I understand all of the possible reasons offered as to why we aren't experiencing a new series from Joss - but that doesn't make me any less sad over its absence. So, anyone think its possible to see a dramatic shift in the way networks do business? I think I'll skip waiting for opinions and just go straight to the bottle...
TV without Joss Whedon sucks greatly.
I think that it would great to have a spin-off centering around Willow...

The Buffy/Angel spin-off of choice has always been Spike for me, largely due to the fact he has been my favourite character since, unsurprisingly, School Hard first aired here in the UK. Clearly the chances of that ever happening are pretty much zero now but that would be my pick, closely followed by Illyria, Faith and Ripper/Watcher.

That said, I'd watch any Buffyverse show. Joss makes it, I'll watch it. Very simple.
I would love a Faith spin-off or that Watcher BBC series.I wouldn't say no to the Buffy Animated Series either.

You could do a whole book on the various aborted Buffyverse projects.

[ edited by Buffyfantic on 2007-05-19 17:16 ]
The BBC have said that they are willing to do the Watcher series again, but only if Joss agrees to make it a spin-off from Casualty.

Holby Watcher debuts next year on BBC3. ;)

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