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February 29 2008

Former WB entertainment president speaks about losing Buffy. "I fought against it. For me, letting Buffy go meant diluting our brand. Once UPN could attach itself to that show, which was everything The WB stood for, it was over."

I'm going to have to get that book.
I loved the frog! This sounds like an excellent read.
I fully supported the "Kill the Frog" campaign after the cancellation of Angel and was glad to see the network fall. I had high hopes for the CW, which went away immediately after the cancellation of Veronica Mars and Gilmore Girls, which were replaced with the likes of The Next Pussy Cat Doll, Girlicious and Crowned...
You know, the decision by the WB to let "Buffy" go reminds me an awful lot of the kind of business decisions I see regularly in this town: "Hey, here's a wildly successful restaurant - let's buy it and change it from the ground up!" Six months later: "This new restaurant is not doing well at all. We're hemorrhaging money and have to close down. Oops. Wonder what happened...?"

Makes me wonder where these people get their ideas for business models.
Sigh... Garth Ancier (metioned in the article), is now the prez at BBCAmerica, where he is sucking the life and identity out of yet another network.
Fox wanted something like $500,000 more per episode for Season Six, or $11 million across the whole of the season. Buffy had been hugely important to establishing WB, but the viewing figures were dropping. It was never going to pick up a new audience at this stage. Although, in retrospect, it was probably a mistake to let it go, I think it was an understandable decision in many ways.
It was very upsetting for me when Buffy and the WB parted ways. Several of my formative years were spent watching the WB New Tuesdays, it was such a ritual. The few tense days when the future of the show seemed up in the air were upsetting. But I don't think UPN really got Buffy and I don't think it fit on the network at all. I was also upset to have it leave Angel behind, even though I wasn't watching much Angel then. To me it really was the beginning of the end for the show. Although it had two years on UPN, not a short time by any means, it hit its high notes on the WB. There were other WB shows I adored-- first season Dawson's Creek, early Roswell, Popular! But then it seems fitting that the network died-- as it stands now it's a total reminder of my adolescence, a snapshot of a moment in time when it was completely awesome to be 15 at eight o'clock on a Tuesday night. TV watching was different then-- none of this streaming internet video, no complete episode downloads from torrents or network websites, no OnDemand, no TIVO! If you weren't on that couch at exactly 8, and no your VCR could not be trusted with Buffy, then you missed it! Buffy night was a positive event in my house.

I actually get nostalgic sometimes and watch old WB commercials. I still get chills the way I did when I was waiting ever so impatiently for the new episode. It was a good network.
It wasn't so much letting it go that mystifies me, it's the overall replacement plan. Kind of like buying a nice, established, comfortable steakhouse with great food and replacing it with a harsh, uncomfortable glittery-fad faux hunting lodge with expensive truck-stop-quality food that then folds in less than a year. (Yeah, that's what happened to my favorite steak place. Me, bitter? Damn betcha...)
I'm at the point in Season Finale where Fox/WB are beginning to spar over Buffy :(
I can udnerstand being part of a company whsoe aprent corporation doesn't support you; Ia ssume it's not that different from being part of an outside contractor witha client that doesn't support you.
Znachki, I'm genuinely curious why you dislike Ancier. Have you read "Series Finale."? By Daniels' account he had nothing to do with Buffy leaving WB and I don't believe it was his call on Angel being cancelled either (that was Levin as I recall). His resume, when it comes to helping build both FOX and WB up with their initial hits is actually very impressive.

For what it's worth, Ancier was the one who hosted a big farewell party for the WB, attended by the likes of Charisma Carpenter and Julie Benz.

The book by the way is a very interesting read.
MySerenity, it wasn't so much the canceling of Gilmore Girls and Veronica Mars that killed the CW for me, it was the fact that they wouldn't give Amy Sherman-Palladino the very reasonable things she was asking for, prompting her to leave the show, and that they fucked with Veronica to make it more accessible. Of course, there's the whole thing where Rob Thomas was a totally willing accomplice, which is crushing on a different level.

The final seasons of both of those brilliant shows absolutely sucked. Though both had fantastic finales. Go figure.
I don't want to hear anything bad about the CW. It has my beloved Supernatural and I hope it continues for many more seasons.
Heh, I remember one website that was up (it might still be up somewhere, can't recall its name) that had a lot of people commenting and posting post-Angel cancellation that they are not going to was the WB any more. A lot of people! I stopped reading ten minutes in because I was nowhere near the middle, but it sure made me smile.

I’ve stopped watching the WB (CW or whatever they’ll call themselves next) and I know many get their particular fixes without subjecting themselves to the guilt of supporting those held responsible for killing their favorite show/s.
I'll have to pick up this read as well. As for the network switch, the WB blew it and UPN took the cake. Plain and simple.
In the whole network switch deal, it's 20th Century Fox I blame more than the actual networks to be honest. Whether or not they were making money from the upfront 'per episode' payment from The WB, the fact is they made a fortune on the show from all of the other stuff that came with it like DVD sales, merchandising, international sales etc. As a business I can understand them wanting to make as much money as possible and the cost of making the show obviously increased as the years passed and contracts have salary increases built in etc... but just as I think The WB should have perhaps had more respect for the things BtVS brought to the network, I think Fox should have had a bit more respect for the network that gave the show a chance to begin with.

There's never been any doubt that The WB wanted to keep the show. They just weren't prepared to pay the increase that Fox wanted. I know it's the way things go after a fifth season generally, but still. It's a shame they couldn't have met somewhere in the middle. I did have issues with some of the comments that came from various people at The WB when it became clear they wouldn't be keeping the show, but that's another issue.

The impression I've gotten from interviews with a few people from the show, and Emma Caulfield in particular from what I can remember... is that Fox also didn't do a lot to endear themselves to the cast in the final couple of years of the show.

I do forgive them for producing the show in the first place though of course... and this is all my own random opinion.

[ edited by Impossible on 2008-03-01 00:53 ]
I never got the WB when I lived in southern Oregon (1997-2001).

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