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June 15 2004

The WB's CEO Levin poised to resign. The man who sent the Angel cast to the unemployment line, may soon be joining them. Maybe there is justice after all, just a little too late for some. (Update) Variety confirms resignation.

Hallelujah! I just wish this would have happened 6 months ago.

Now all we need is for the new CEO to be a fan of Whedon's work who will beg Joss to come back with a spin off, and we'll be all set!
Hah! That's pretty good.

So now I have to wonder, if this happened 6 months ago, would we have another season of Angel?

I hope we get to find out the reasons for his 'resignation'. I assume it was not voluntary due to his very short tenure in the position.
There's another possibility. Who does the CEO report to? The board of directors, right? Looks to me the CEO position at the WB is more of a figurehead position, and either there's no one individual controlling anything (which would explain a lot) or the board of directors tells the CEO what to do and Levin got tired of being an elaborate puppet boy. The WB has behaved for years as if it were run by committee, i.e.: a multi-headed beast.
By definition the CEO of any company is answerable to the board, who in turn are answerable to the shareholders, either individuals or a parent company. But the board generaly set 'policy' and the CEO actually makes the decisions day to day. So the board might say "We need to reach more younger viewers" and the CEO will decide what shows to make/can to achieve that.
But there is so much politics flying around that there are some CEOs who tell the board what to do and other campanies where the CEO is a spineless puppet/fall guy for the PTB behind the scenes.

With the fact that this has happened 'suddenly' and after all the publicity around Ats, and the high ratings for the final episodes, together with the cancelation of the replacement vamp show..... I'd say he was pushed.
Well according to the Variety newsflash what I got in my email:

"LEVIN ANKLES FROG
Exec to set up prod'n pod at Warner TV
In a summer stunner, Jordan Levin has ankled his gig as CEO of the WB.

After being asked to take a reduced role at the Frog, reporting to WB chairman Garth Ancier, Levin instead decided to leave. Ancier will now serve as the sole head of the network and is expected to name a president of entertainment."

And I've now read the full article which states that he was told at the weekend he was being demoted back to entertainment president, which is the position he held before he became CEO.
Oh dear, it's so very very wrong of me to take any pleasure in the misfortune of another I am a bad naughty wicked Angel fan . Ok off to dance Numfars dance of " yah boo sucks to you Mr Levin" ( but as always dignity will be my watchword)
Man, did I call this or what. You mess with Joss, you get fired.
Anyone else notice it was almost exactly 4 monthes after Angel's cancelation was announced and on a Friday (that was a partial holiday for some dur to the death of Regan). Oh the co-winky dinks.
i, too, am a horrible person for deriving satisfaction at this news. ;)
Will be interesting to see if this leads to any future deals between ME and the WB.

If this departure has had anything to do with Levin's decision regarding Angel and the subsequent less than positive media coverage and fan reaction, not to mention the excellent ratings for the final episode, it seems likely that the WB may be more open to giving a home to a future slayer show in a year or so perhaps.

Joss will surely be happier dealing with them again now that he doesn't have to work with Levin, somebody he has very little time for.
Death is your gift... and not in the noble good way. ;)
I think this indeed has to do with ATS, what else could it be? The ratings were up. They were critically acclaimed and were one of the top shows on the network with the 18-40's crowd. Meanwhile, almost all the renewed shows fell in the ratings. IMO, he's the network sacrifice.
My heart actually cried out with glee when I read this. Talk about karmic justice. Move over, Numfar, here comes another dancer!
They got some really bad publicity over the Angel cancellation, not to mention that Jeff Foxworthy show. But overall the WB's ratings were down on the year and that's very probably the main reason why he went. I mean TV Guide Online commenting on the resignation says it was "one of WB's worst years ever".
I now suspend the 'rational and thoughtful' portions of my brain and say "MUAHHHHHH HAHAHAHA HA AHAHAHAHAHA hee heeeehee heee...oh...ha....hmm."
I love it. We should form a giant Numfar chorus line!
Well add me to the list of naughty Angel fans who feel a tiny bit of pleasure from reading that, I will also join the Numfar chorus line :D
Ok another bit of news from Broadcasting & Cable Magazine;
"Levin Jumps from The WB
By Paige Albiniak -- Broadcasting & Cable, 6/14/2004 3:28:00 PM

Jordan Levin, CEO of The WB Television Network, has left the network. Garth Ancier, who was chairman, now takes over sole control.
Ancier will bring in a president of entertainment to run prime time and Kids WB! programming. Bruce Rosenblum. executive VP, Warner Bros. Television Group, will continue to have day-to-day operational responsibility for the network, according to the company.
Levin will have a multiyear production deal at WB parent Warner Bros. He was promoted to co-CEO last fall and became CEO when Jamie Kellner retired last May. That would likely leave more than two years left on his contract.
Warner Bros. Entertainment Chairman/CEO Barry Meyer had recently asked Ancier to be sole number one, asking Levin to return to his former post as president of entertainment, but Levin declined.
The WB is coming off a tough year, down by double-digits in some key demos.


Hmmm - think it may help Joss's chances of getting the animated Buffy on the air if Levin is gone????

As I have mention in the past the WB reported a 10% revenue loss for last year, which negated the 8% increase in TW cable assets so over all TW had to report a 2% loss for the year. So you knew someone's head was going to roll.

[ edited by RavenU on 2004-06-14 23:22 ]
I couldn't help but think of Monty Python and the Holy Grail:

"Those responsible for sacking the people who have just been sacked
have been sacked."
Can't help but feel gleeful about this. He deserves the humiliation!
Businesses always try to issue negative news on a Friday afternoon, because the general public pays less attention to news over the weekend. Trust me, I've been doing this for years!

And: he had to have been pushed, for reasons discussed at length above (horrible performance, short time as CEO, etc., the bad publicity about Angel and Dark Shadows and Foxworthy).

As to future deals with any netlet and ME, I'm dead set against them. I'm far more amenable to even Fox (with some pre-set guarantees about rolling out any new show). A colleague of mine (she used to be a news producer for a network and also local in DC) said she thinks one reason Buffy never made it big (I mean, really big) is that it was on the WB. People just don't take it seriously.

And even less so, now.
I don't usually use the word delicious...but I've got a wager this must sting a bit, hey?

;)
Great news, maybe time for Save Angel campaign to do a few more rounds:D
OOoohhhh now, just as we predicted. I'm afraid I too can not be a big person here and be mature about it. No sir, this calls for a 'HA-HAAA!' from the Simpson's Nelson.

HA-HAAA! (Pointing finger)

I know he wasn't alone in the decision, but still. Comeuppance time. Heheh oh come on baby tell me what's the word.....hehehe. The word is GONE fer Mr Levin.....haha.....I'm off now to do a dance of joy.
Mmmm... I can almost taste the schadenfreude around here...

I would be more gleeful if the damage to Angel wasn't already done. Why OH WHY couldn't this have happened six months ago?!?

And prufrock: BWAHAHAHAHHA!!
What was the bad publicity about Foxworthy?
Well, you know... Joss said ANGEL was all about redemption.

...
...
...So hows about the WB getting off it's lard-ass and REDEEMING itself by starting ANGEL up again???!


------

[:-) Yeah, I know, too late; and Levin's bosses were almost
certainly in sympathy with any decision to cut costs
and put cheap (in many senses of the word) stuff on the
WB schedule.

It doesn't matter whether it Holland Masters or Jordan
Levin at the helm; it's the Wolf, Ram and Hart behind the scenes.]

[ edited by bookrats on 2004-06-15 00:01 ]
what goes around comes around and you deserve it you snivelling worm, funny thing is now this guys out of a job maybe the save Angel food drive could help him out? heh heh heh
Chris in Virginia, not so long ago i was right there with you about ME not going back to the WB for any future projects, slayerverse or otherwise.

However it occurs to me that Buffy and Angel, as brilliant as we know they are, have found their audience and it is unlikely to grow all that much regardless of whether or not a future show was to go to one of the big four networks.

Say, for example, Spike the Series was to be aired on Fox next year, i seriously doubt the audience would grow large enough to get us a second season, even if they guaranteed a full 22 episode commitment for the first. After eight years Buffy as a show has a cult reputation, however ill deserved, which most potential new viewers will be hard pressed to get passed. Due to this they most likely won't give any slayer related show a chance.

Personally i would rather see the new show back on the WB and maintain its current stable audience for five seasons than see it fail as a small fish in a big pond.
Personally i would rather see the new show back on the WB and maintain its current stable audience for five seasons than see it fail as a small fish in a big pond.

Exactly. These shows won't survive on the major networks, unfortunately. Even Tru Calling, which is more of a mainstream type show, was having it's problems and there were doubts if it would even be renewed.(And I still have my doubts if we'll get a full season 2!) No way could any spin-off or continuation of the Angelverse make it except on the smaller networks. Hell, it didn't even get what it deserved ON the small networks, no reason to think the bigger ones would give it a second glance. Besides, any kind of Spike type spin-off would be a hard sell, even to the WB or UPN.
Okay, so I am naughty for indulging in a bit of schadenfreude, but I am so glad all of those stabby pictures I drew of Levin in red crayon, then wrapped in twine nine times and threw in a river near his house have really paid off.

It's a shame that it is probably too goddamned late for the WB to call ME and say, "Uh ... guys? Yeah, about that show we cancelled ... we're kind of running short of name recognition next year ... we were wondering if you were doing anything tonight?"

Here's hoping that the second crayon picture, featuring the boils and blinding torment, pays off.
Even though I don't get Angel through THe WB, can't feel a little bit satisfied by the "resignation".
Maybe his friends, who like Smallville will help him out. Just kidding, nothing against Smallville, I even watch, specially in my comic book geek mode, but that's it. It's nto a Mutant Enemy Show, nothing I'm in love with.
Not only Jordan played a great part in the demise of ATS, but he also talked loads about the new Dark Shadows and the new Lost in Space, which at the end ended up as nothing.
The bad press and fbad fan reaction from the first, joined by the fact that the network did invest some money on what at the time seemed tlike the new big shows for 2004-2005 season, losing it to oblivion after nothing coming out from the investment,only helped hi dig the hole in my opinion.
And now , unlike ANgel, he'll just Fade Away....
As well as Garth Ancier the TVTome the TVGuide.com article mentions David Janollari as "the frontrunner to be named WB's entertainment president".

A couple of quick web searches reveal;

Garth Ancier: Was reportedly responsible for casting SMG as buffy

David Janollari: was executive producer on a show called eve,.

There couldn't be a connection to a certain representative of the senior partners could there ?

He was as also a producer on Six Feet Under, which must give us some hope for better TV.
Is it wrong to be gleeful over this news?
And I'm still not watching TheWB again. I haven't looked at that channel since May 19th and I won't ever again (unless a ME series is picked up by them).
Hmmm, a demotion is a slap in the face. Obviously, Levin didn't deliver the goods. Question now is, would Ancier consider a Whedon project on the WB again? Hopefully...
Oh my goodness, this is the best news I've heard in weeks! I answered the phone at work the instant I read the headline and ended up saying "Yes!" and clapping my hands instead of saying hello. Whoops.

*does Numfar's dance of joy*
My plan bears fruit. Exxxxxcellent.
Bye bye, Levin. Hope we'll never hear of you again.
Well, he's not totally out of a job. (putting on my devil's horns to say "drat!" He should have been put out on his behind like the Angel cast and crew were.) So, my conscience salved, I'm joining with every Angel fan in saying YEAAAHHH! Happy, happy, happy.
My take: watch for housecleaning at The WB, as Ancier looks to firm up his position and establish himself as "The Boss" -- which means saying good-bye to Levin's pet projects, and shaking up those associated with him. In transitions like this, particularly in the entertainment industry, new administrations want to create a clear division from the past; Ancier will likely introduce some new "bold" initiatives which won't be whatever Levin had in mind. (Or at least he'll claim they weren't.)

Mysteriously, The WB's head of corporate communications called in sick today.

This clearly has been brewing behind the scenes for a while -- since Barry Meyer wouldn't have shaken up his executive team after the Up-fronts unless he sensed that all was not well for the coming WB season. He must have been very unhappy with the selection of new series, and how many advertisers committed to them. For those who didn't realize, the addition and schedule shuffling of The Blue Screen and the Foxworthy project were last minute, when they realized that none of their pilots were really that great. Levin wanted Dark Shadows to replace ANGEL-- but it, in a word, sucked. The WB ended up without a strong show to promote for the season. I wouldn't be surprised if Meyer hadn't been putting the pressure on for a while, and it finally got to him. Plus, the ANGEL cancellation turned into a serious publicity debacle, as the press went ugly on them, and it couldn't have helped when the Chicago Tribune ran a story which started "The evil weasels at the WB canceled "Angel," and the show's final episode aired May 19. If there was a hell dimension handy, we'd toss the meanies that run the WB network into it."... so, yes, the fans had an effect.
*imagines Levine trapped in a hell dimension with dancing, singing frogs on his lawn, a tv that plays nothing but the new reality program Survivor: Pylea, and daily stakings courtesy of the Senior Partners played by us here at Whedonesque*

Well, he deserves it!
I've got mixed feelings on this one. While I'm certainly pissed that Levin and co cancelled Angel, and it might be his fault that the WB isn't doing too well this year, every time I want to get pissed at Levin or Gail Berman at FOX for cancelling Wonderfalls, a little voice speaks up that reminds me that Gail Berman was the one (IIRC) who came up with the idea of turning BtVS into a TV show in the first place, and that neither Buffy nor Angel would have gotten on the air at all (I think - not sure how long Levin's been there or responsible for the programming) without Levin. Even Joss has said that Levin's been quite supportive over the years. So yeah, mixed feelings.

Of course, if this had happened a little closer to the end of Angel, I probably would have been just as gleeful as the rest of you ;).
I don't think anyone should feel guilty for being happy about this. Levin did a rotten job. The lineup for next season has nothing in it that's new and exciting and they got rid of a show that had a loyal following and increased numbers and was it's second highest rated show. That is not good business. I still feel that the treatment of Whedon and his show was because of bad blood and you don't base business on that. Now that it came back and bit Levin in the ass, well he deserved it and I don't feel bad about feeling good about that. The media went nuts when Angel was cancelled and the fans reacted in large numbers. Levin probably could've saved his job if he had backed down on his decision to cancel Angel but he never would have done that. Good riddance to him.

Now, I do think that it makes the most sense if there is ever a new Buffyverse show that it should end up on the WB or UPN or some other cable station because of the already established audience but if this had happened under Levin I would've been very nervous and wary about it's future. Under new leadership, there is a good chance that whoever is in charge now realizes what a gem then had in Joss Whedon and what class his shows brought to their network.
If he had just made this decision a few months ago, we'd still have Angel. Isn't it shitty how somethings work out? Well, at least now he'll know the feeling of "where is my next paycheck coming from?", like some of Angel's cast and crew. Maybe Joss can take his place....kidding.
Also lets not forget that Tribune broadcasting company also called for Angel's return and they own 22% of the WB stock. I'm guessing they may have put some pressure on from the boardroom to demote Levin. A CEO may ignore stockholders but the Chairman of the Board won't, so my guess would be a little pressure from the Tribune people might have helped put an end to Levin position. With the 10% loss from the WB and then canceling a show that is profitable for the local affilates owned by Tribune - not all were WB stations. I think this move was going to happen but with Angel's cancellation it may have escalated it. To bad it was a little to late.
I was fine with hating the job Levin was doing up until a few days ago when I was going through some of the VIP posts at the Bronze Beta and came up with this post of Joss' from May 20th...

And on the subject of Jordan Levin, I do want to say this much: I'm not down with his decision and I never will be, but I've worked with Jordan since the start of Buffy and he has always been a supporter and a decent guy. His job is a soul-sucking nightmare. And he's not prom king tonight, no sir, but he's part of why we got to have ten years total of shows on that network -- shows that wouldn't have lasted for... well imagine if they were on Fox. So factor that in. Later on.

I dunno...change is good, maybe The WB will improve a bit now...maybe the climate over at The WB is more habitable for a Buffyverse or at least Mutant Enemy-made series in the future...But I'm not jumping for joy over this news. The guy's still gonna find work and succeed or fail on his own merits, it doesn't change the fact that Angel was canceled prematurely and it doesn't bring it back.
Na Na Na Na.....Na Na Na Na....Hey Hey Hey Goodbye.

AND GOOD RIDDANCE!
Curious, no quotes from Joss. Hmmmmm. Curious I tell you.
It would be nice if the new guy makes good with the talked about Angel tele-movies. I still think with the right offer DB would do them and Lord knows the WB could use some good PR. Outside of Gilmore Girls, the only thing the WB has in the pipeline that interests me is Global Frequency and that won't be on until mid-season.
No tears for Mr. Levin here.
No tears from me, either. Ah, Schadenfreude ... I'm soaking in it. I love the smell of cosmic retribution in the morning. ;)

Levin was a supporter of BtVS, true, and Joss is a real gentleman for so courteously expressing his concern for Levin's bruising at the hands of outraged fans, but seriously, what else should JL have expected when he set those wheels in motion? Didn't it occur to him that Angel's cancellation could become a juggernaut that just might run him over?

He didn't just cancel a show -- he crapped on the critically acclaimed remaining vestige of one of his network's finest and most ground-breaking series, and by extension its world-wide fanbase who have remained steadfastly loyal to his network despite enduring the internal turmoil, slashed budgets, night-hopping schedules, poor promotion, and WB-mandated reboot (more than once!) that their meddling caused Angel from the very beginning.

Do I feel sorry for him? Um, let me think: He's still got a job, or the prospect of one, with the remainder of his contract still to be fulfilled. So, no. Unlike the 237 very talented, hard-working people that made Angel possible, and who were all unceremoniously pink-slipped on February 13th, I think JL got off pretty easy.

[edit: Not sure how I feel about a spin-off on the WB. Doubtful that they could handle it properly, at this point. And there'd have to be a lot of Joss butt-kissing, I think, for it to even be considered. A lot. What are the odds anyone already there, or coming on board, is going to want to pucker up? HBO seems a better option because I think they'd respect ME's approach and vision. Ooh, and there could be cussin'!]

[ edited by Wiseblood on 2004-06-15 09:58 ]
I'm still going to make with the spinoff and movie cards to Garth Ancier. Maybe HE will get the message.
@wiseblood...boy, I hope "cosmic retribution" smells like napalm! LOL...

BTW, good comparison, he still HAS a job if he wants it, the cast and crew do not.
I think its time for another mobile bilboard campaign. This time we make it out to say "We'll follow Levin to Pizza Hut...or McDonalds".

Maybe we can also start another postcard campaign politely reminding him that maybe he should listen to the fans (or at least think logically) next time.
Yeah, I definitely think a "Ha ha, told you so" campaign is in order! hehe
You've GOT to effing sh*tting me! Sayanora Levin, you idiot! *goes back to read posts excitedly*
Whadda you know, my voodoo dolly really DOES work!

“Do I feel sorry for him? Um, let me think: He's still got a job, or the prospect of one, with the remainder of his contract still to be fulfilled. So, no. Unlike the 237 very talented, hard-working people that made Angel possible, and who were all unceremoniously pink-slipped on February 13th, I think JL got off pretty easy.”

An excellent point. The news is more bitter than sweet because no matter what, it doesn’t bring Angel back. However, it doesn’t stop me from having the most wicked grin. :-P
I'm a big "The Princess Bride" fan too Prufrock. Fezzik rules!
Oh I am so glad I stopped by--made my day! Ha f'ing ha! And 'resignation' my ass, sounds like a firing to me.

Levin said, his voice cracking at times. "You don't get often an opportunity to see how much you have impacted people." Guess he hasn't been paying much attention lately.

And no, we shouldn't feel sorry for him, I'm sure he's very set financially and has loads of job prospects. I'm sure he'll soon be making obscene amounts of money for making idiotic, incompetent decisions somewhere in no time.
I've had a pretty annoying and unpleasant 24 hours, but Levin being sacked continues to bring a bright, beaming smile to my face. Though I'm especially basking in the glow that all of my fellow Whedonesquers are giving off over the news. This truly does call for some sort of holiday or kick line or something, does it not?

I think Levin deserves to be locked in an invisible box and blown away by an imaginary wind and... and... forced to wear a binding unitard.
::spits:: We will not speak of him again.
So do we put JL on the maggot pile or the lice pile?
It seems that David Janollari has taken over Levin's spot. According to a zap2it article, "Prior to setting up his own shingle, Janollari was an executive at Warner Bros. TV, working under current CBS Chairman Les Moonves. He aided in the production of "The Drew Carey Show," "Living Single" and "Suddenly Susan" and helped bring "Friends" creators Marta Kauffman and David Crane to WBTV. Before coming to Warner Bros., Janollari was the head of comedy development at FOX Broadcasting. "

So do we stop petitioning and campaigning for Levin to get his job back now? Now that all seems lost? ;)
Some of these remarks are just mean. I understand your position, but this is just one guy. No matter which show he picked to axe, someone was going to get pissed off. The CEO ultimately answers to the board of directors and the shareholders; he has to represent their interests, not his own. These personal remarks are childish and way out of line. This is, after all, a business, and has to be run as such.

[ edited by Dave! on 2004-06-16 22:35 ]
Levin is blissfully unaware of this discussion and a very powerful guy so to act as though we're throwing rocks at the smallest kid at the playground is a wee bit over the top.

Furthermore, what people are primarily angry about is the way the whole thing was handled, not simply the fact that it happened. If you need background there's plenty on this site from February 14 on. The whole thing was pretty despicable.

We're venting, we're allowed.
I just happened to come across this site while randomly searching for info about Jordan's resignation from the WB. I've known Jordan his entire life - I'm his 1st cousin from Chicago, IL. Our lives have followed very different paths & I'm as far removed from Hollywood and TV production as anyone can be. But seeing what has been written here...I can hardly believe it! I find nearly every comment about him utterly repugnant, small minded, and shameful. Apparenly none of you know Jordan that well. Jordan Levin is a decent, tremendously talented, creative guy who is dedicated to his wife and kids, loyal to his friends and colleagues, and who, through hard work & determination, was a key player in creating the WB and bringing many great shows (and many, many jobs) to life. Yes, the cancellation of Angel & other shows must have been painful to many of you. My advise to those of you who apparently bear a grudge about Jordan: MOVE ON! Get on with your lives! Onward and upward! There are really bad guys in the world. Be angry at them. But Jordan doesn't deserve this bullsh*t.

Earl Levin

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