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July 23 2003

UPN on why there was no Buffy spinoff. "Joss wanted to take some time off, [and] we didn't come up with something that was exciting enough for everybody to move forward."

Seems there's various differing accounts on why the spinoff never happened.

Poor UPN -- someday they'll have a hit of their very own.
I guess now would be a bad time to remind them they were offered Firefly?
I couldn't find it, just a blow by blow with Will and Jada Smith. Where's the article?
I'm afraid what I quoted was all there was on Buffy in that article, it comes in at 9.26 am. Thought I'd put it up cause we've heard from Joss, Tim and Eliza etc about the spinoff but not as I understand from UPN.
Willowy, as Simon said it's just a blurb. I only saw one reference to Buffy in the article, which I copypaste here:

9:26 am Ostroff explains that a Buffy spinoff never materialized because, in the end, "Joss [Whedon] wanted to take some time off, [and] we didn't come up with something that was exciting enough for everybody to move forward." In other words, Eliza Dushku followed her Tru Calling and went to Fox.

What follows is my own blowhard attempt at shedding light on this whole debacle. It's mostly speculation based on what we do know. Please everyone feel free to chime in and correct me where I'm wrong. Michael Ausiello's insinuation is what I find in question. So far as I know, no one's gone on record saying that Dushku literally snubbed UPN in favor of Fox, but circumstantial evidence leads us to believe that UPN would only go with Dushku and not any of the other principals in a Mutant Enemy spinoff, but neither ME nor UPN were willing to do whatever it took to get her on board. Why this is, is unclear. Why UPN/ME didn't go with other principals, or why those principals said no if they were asked, is also unclear. Both being film veterans, neither Dushku nor Hannigan has completely held a film or tv series alone. To me they'd be an equal risk, and it's possible Hannigan was approached with the idea of "Willow the Series" but turned it down. It's equally possible she was never asked. The same is true for every other major player on "BtVS" from Anthony Stewart Head to Emma... well come to think of it probably not Caulfield.

Head has some stipulations if he takes a lead role in the future, predominantly the filming has to take place on the other side of the pond so he can be with his real family in the UK. Head has been commuting from England to California for the past several years, which is why Giles became a "recurring" character since season four. Networks prefer filming closer to home, or some place cheaper, like Canada. Brendon? Well, though I think he'd a been ideal, apparently UPN has no interest in him being the principal in a spinoff. Or anything. Admittedly he's put on some pounds, and networks fear investing in any actor who doesn't look good in a speedo.

The people behind Fox's Tru Calling gave Dushku a better package deal than UPN and ME could offer her. Exactly what the packages were has not been made public. That, coupled with Duskhu's ambivalent attitude towards the idea of reprising the role of a murderous felon on the lamb.. Well she just felt Tru Calling was a better gig, bottom line. We may never know the details but that's ultimately what it boiled down to. She was given a chance to climb back into Faith's shoes, and though she played the role like a trouper for the series end, Eliza just didn't have her heart set in spending the next half a decade doing a cross between The Fugitive and Fright Night. Or so we're left to speculate. Joss Whedon has also voiced in interviews that came out last year that trying to captain Firefly, Buffy AND Angel simultaneously spread him too thin and he did want a bit of a break from that. However, he said that when Firefly wasn't down for the count yet. He knew back then that Buffy was on the way out, and was looking forward to just helming two tv series instead of three. Now it's JUST Angel, so it's a safe guess to say Whedon would have been keen for another spinoff had a network taken the bite. None did.

I think Ripper, Willow, or Xander the series would have been just as much fun as Faith The Series. However, whether it was the talent or the network that bowed out, it just wasn't meant to be in each case. Heck, I woulda tuned in to see 'Wood, Son of a Slayer' cuz DB Woodside impressed the heck outta me, but I would probably have been in the minority. Other Slayer fans may not have seen him as the rightful heir apparent. Ultimately it came down to "Faith or Bust" and I guess we went bust. I *still* say all you really need is Nicholas Brendon, Michelle Trachtenberg, Danny Strong and Elizabeth Anne Allen in an ensemble action comedy where suspension of disbelief is stretched and reality has a heart condition. Special guest appearances by whomever else would be willing to stop by, but if you made an action comedy with those four as the prinipals, heck I could write a whole season worth of material for them in my sleep. The Buffy series really needed to just get outta Sunnydale. Now that they can't go back, a spinoff would be fantastic. Ideally though, a tv series filmed on location in England - joint effort BBC and US network (PBS?) supported - Head, Hannigan, and Marsters. It'd be a cross between The Original Avengers, Doctor Who, and Dark Shadows, focusing more on ghosts and magic and a little less on vampires. Call it RIPPER the Series. Screw this "two hour tv movie" crap.

Yeah I know. If dreams were horses...
Yowza. Massive thoughtage there.

Aside from Nick Brendon, I don't think anyone who's not accounted for won't be better served by the end of Buffy. Marsters knows he's too old and probably typecast by this point to get success outside the ME world, and he's got himself what will undoubtedly be a prominent role on Angel. SMG and Alyson will be moderate movie stars, and Emma Caulfield thinks she will be. Eliza Dushku and Michelle Trachtenberg are really the only members of the cast who are as young as 7 years of Buffy have led us to believe, and they'll probably do fine bouncing around TV and movies for many years to come.

My personal outlook is that a spin-off would be a waste of time at this point. I don't think any of the other characters are seriously strong enough to be the centerpiece of a show at this point. DVDs it is.

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