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July 15 2004

The WB wants an Angel movie. 20th Century Fox blamed for forcing them into making an early decision over Angel's future. Which you could take as meaning the show might still be with us.

There's a little bit more explanation at TV Guide's Biz section.

And Capt Video's coverage of the press tour in the Detroit Free Press mentions:

"Though nothing's imminent, WB has offered "Angel" creator Joss Whedon and star David Boreanaz a chance to do "Angel" movies in the future . ."

Change of link: Originally I linked to the TV Guide coverage of the press tour but since you now have to register to view that I've changed the link to the Sci Fi Wire report.

Hmmmm, guessing Ancer didn't do his homework either - cause it was Joss that asked Levin about them returning for another season - not so much FOX - and how come it was so easy for them to renew over half their line-up before they announced Angel getting the axe. Nice one Ancier - shift the blame - they asked to early, yeah that's it they forced us to axe them cause they asked a question, then to bring up the TV movies again - that's just throwing salt on an open wound. Oh please, if you believe anything that man says, I got a bridge to sell ya.
Eh. It would've been worst if we had to go through another end of season 4 when the season finale had already aired and we STILL didn't know if the show was returning or not.

I'm glad Joss got to end the show on his terms, instead of WB's.

[ edited by eddy on 2004-07-15 10:34 ]
AAAAAAAAAAAAGGGHHHH!!! I don't believe this for a second, just the bloody WB trying to make out that someone else is responsible for the end of Angel.
Is it me, or did the head of the WB, Garth Ancier, just admit that cancelling Angel was a mistake?

Cause if he did…holy crap!!!!
I'd imagine it was less "cancelling Angel was a mistake", more "it would have been easier to give it another season than deal with all these damn fans". And if they are admitting it was a mistake, do something to prove it, actually try and make a movie, try to talk David back, ask Joss for a spinoff.

Either that or, as it's been seeming to me for a while, the decision to cancel Angel was mostly Levin's descision, and not all at the WB agreed with it.
Well remarks like "I wish we had a show like Buffy" and now this pathetic attempt to shift the blame and fandom's anger to Fox certainly show they didn't much like the overwhelming negative response they got. (Not just from fans all over the world but also pretty much every TV journalist and talkshow out there.)

And though the words "it was a mistake" will never pass anyone's lips there, (you'd probably sooner hear Dubya admit he was wrong) I think they might regret it on several levels. Especially given how many of their new shows have either bombed or never even aired over the last few years.

As for the TV movies, it wasn't until James Marsters said Joss had spoken to him about doing 4 that I started believing the possibility. Don't hold your breath on David's involvement though, he hasn't done anything but profusely refuse even the notion from the moment it was brought up. But then if they get made, and they really focus on a different character every time, then that's okay. Angel was the lead in his own show for 5 years, I can enjoy other characters in the spotlight.

I say let's have a Spike one, a Giles one (maybe this is how 'Ripper' will finally happen?), a Willow one (without Kennedy please. Sorry Iyari) and a Faith one (without Wood). Guest starring whoever is willing and/or fitting from the Buffyverse.
Ancier hints that Angel might still be with us today, had producer 20th Century Fox given the network until May to make a final decision. "We [were forced] to make the decision early based on their request."

Oh, that's a low blow. I don't believe it one bit, either.
This "Fox/WB passing the blame" thing will never go away as far as i can see. We will never know the real internal politics as far as why we aren't going to be seeing Angel on our screens this next year, only the PR spinning nonsense that we have heard countless times already.

Personally i believe that part of the blame lies with both the WB and Fox and that both of them could and should have done more to ensure the show's continuation.

Regardless of that i'm quietly confident that these movies will see the light of day in some form eventually although i'm with EdDantes in that David won't be a part of them. The four various character movies are much more likely and, as far as i'm concerned, preferable.
TV executives really are one of the lowest lifeforms on earth.
And today we watch in awe as the words flimsy excuse ....
Totally freakin' lame isn't it. Pass the buck guys. How about just admitting you made a terrible mistake and DO something to fix it? I'm sending cards to the WB. Hit this new Exec., and Ancier with fan mail for the movies and maybe a spinoff.And bombard FOX too. Let them know we still want something. Send cards to Matt Roush at TV Guide. He loves Angel and Spike. He thought the WB was crazy to end the show. He'd keep pushing for movies or a new show. While this wound is still fresh and smarting is the tme to keep hitting them.I want more from the world of Angel and a Spike spinoff would do just fine with me. I mean look at what these idiots are proposing for the Fall season.....are they insane?
I will really be surprised if the WB lasts another year at this rate.
The can make some small amends with me if they come through with more Angel or Buffy programming though. Give us more.....you won't regret it.
Good Xander line Passion. Totally fits.
You know, I don't remember UPN lying to Buffy fans this way. Does Ancier really think he can avoid bad press by saying that?
The suits should stop putting so much spin on it ‘cause eventually they’re gonna get dizzy and someone’s gonna throw up.
I don’t mind their stupidity so much as them thinking the fans aren’t bright enough to catch on. First Angel cost too much. Then the whole Dark Shadows thing. Then it was too old, they needed to make room for fresh blood. Then, strangely, Angel was the only established drama not to return while they kept shows that were even older. Then it didn’t repeat well. Blah, blah, blah. Goodie for them if they thought they had some super duper programming waiting in the wings… hmmm, seems like they don’t. Premature cancellation by a bunch of jerk offs.
I think I’m the one who’s gonna throw up.
I'm wondering whether by 20th Century Fox, the WB actually mean Joss Whedon.
I'm wondering whether by 20th Century Fox, the WB actually mean Joss Whedon.

I just had an argument over the phone with EdDantes about this very thing. I think they ARE referring to Joss, even though Joss isn't technically employed by FOX. I say that maybe since they're thinking about getting Joss to do some tv-movies with them(and they are wanting a Buffy-like show....) maybe they're trying to put the onus on FOX, not knowing that Joss' dinner with Levin is by now legend in the 'verse.

Ed thinks that the WB wouldn't want to piss off FOX by implying something that didn't happen, so maybe FOX had put their own pressure on the WB. I think he's full of malarky, but I often do.... : )-
"I'm wondering whether by 20th Century Fox, the WB actually mean Joss Whedon. "

Yeah RS and me just had a talk about that.e thing. It's possible but that would be a whole extra level of stupid and pathetic wouldn't it? It's not like Joss is a 'FOX employee'! Aren't Fox execs going "Huh?" at the moment?

But yeah it's true that if they said "It's Joss' fault!" people would get even angrier at them, so I guess this could be their 'spin' on Joss asking them not to screw his crew and actors by canceling at the last moment.

Extra pathetic since I'm still thoroughly convinced they only gave Angel a fifth season because several of their new shows had tanked (BoP, Tarzan, etc) and that they never intended to go for a 6th.

[ edited by EdDantes on 2004-07-15 20:31 ]
"I think he's full of malarky, but I often do.... : )- "

Fortunately I have my loving wife to support me when the malarky gets too much......ahem........;-)
Well did Joss did ask Levin far earlier than usual about whether Angel would be renewed.
"Well did Joss did ask Levin far earlier than usual about whether Angel would be renewed."

Which is no reason to cancel the show. The ratings were pretty consistent till the end. There have been no major changes since then that would suddenly have made them change their minds, so they shouldn't pretend that there were. They wanted cheap reality shows, Angel was not a good repeater and they wanted a new family oriented image for the WB. None of those reasons has anything to do with being asked earlier or later. And really I don't see how Joss *is* suddenly Fox in their world, but maybe someone else on the board knows more about the technicalites of that.
Oh of course it's not a reason to cancel the show but if the WB wants to cast blame elsewhere unfortunately Joss (via 20th Century Fox) is a safe and easy target.

Unfortunately these days, it seems that no one in the corporate world of US television wants to take responsibility for their actions and say "quite clearly we got it wrong".
Yeah, after the fan heat dies down a little, it's always nice to blame the show makers/owners for the show getting cancelled. Please, are they really thinking they can salvage their image in the minds of Angel fans? The WB ultimately cancelled the show. Just because they didn't have enough faith in Angel/had too much faith in their new shows doesn't mean that Joss asking for a courtesy after 8 years of working with them was 'why' it got cancelled. They make it sound like, "Ah, if ONLY they hadn't been so hasty....Angel would have another season." I think what they mean is, "We had no idea cancelling Angel would have this much backlash and we really don't want to lose 4 million viewers!!"
You know, I don't remember UPN lying to Buffy fans this way. Does Ancier really think he can avoid bad press by saying that?

This is a corporate executive.

His primary goal: to make himself look good.

His main tools: hype; making excuses; casting blame elsewhere; and a fanatical devotion to the Pope.

[ edited by bookrats on 2004-07-15 21:50 ]
You know, I don't remember UPN lying to Buffy fans this way.

I remember. They were pretty evil, save one dude, who then was laid off.
My take is that Ancier is trying to distance himself from Jordan Levin, who took a lot of heat over the cancellation, by making it out to be a problem between him and Twentieth. Ancier can't come out and say "I would have done things differently than Levin" but he can say "The mistake that was made between us and Twentieth was that we didn't wait until May."
I cannot see how just 'asking' about renewal would pressure the WB to cancel the show. What would have been wrong with saying "We don't know yet, we'll get back to you."
Fox, or Joss, would not have put any pressure on them unless they had an alternative, say another network interested or something.
I don't care whose fault the WB says it was. The result is the same. Levin was their hatchet man, and whether Ancier wants to distance himself from what happened or not, they both screwed us. Now it turns out they've screwed themselves. They HAD over four million loyal viewers from a broad cross-section of the demographic spectrum watching Angel. They HAD a show with phenomenal buzz. They HAD the critics raving. They HAD a decent working relationship with one of the smartest writers on the map.

All the things they're so desperate for now, they threw away. Meanwhile the fandom is out here, still furious and desperate because TV is going to suck so hard this fall without a Joss show that it beggars the imagination.

TV movies are a sop to get us to shut up. I got news -- I'm not anywhere near ready to stop complaining. Angel got killed because these people are idiots. Who knows if there's intelligent life at that network? I'm almost past caring. Color me incredulous at the idea of them being able to woo Joss back.

Personally, I'm too angry to feel anything more than a mild satisfaction from these articles. That they know they screwed up seems to have dawned on them. What they don't know is that fixing the damage is going to require effort and vision I don't believe they're actually capable of mustering.
I cannot see how just 'asking' about renewal would pressure the WB to cancel the show. What would have been wrong with saying "We don't know yet, we'll get back to you."
Fox, or Joss, would not have put any pressure on them unless they had an alternative, say another network interested or something.


Well, Joss asked Levin point blank to give him more notice than usual so that if it weren't being renewed, he could write a decent ending and give his cast/crew notice. According to Joss, he didn't actually think they would cancel Angel. But he wanted to be prepared for that possibility. He and Jordan Levin had worked 'together' for a long time, so he was asking for a favor, more or less.
Now if Levin had really been on the fence about Angel's renewal, I have no doubt he would have said, "We really want to see what the ratings do the rest of the season. I'm sorry, I just can't give you an answer right now." Maybe Joss would have realized then that Angel was once again 'on the bubble' and could have rallied the troops(us). But in my mind, Levin already knew he wanted to bring in fresh blood and since, as many have said, Angel doesn't repeat well(like a bad dish, I guess), and they had another vampire show coming up, it didn't seem like a hard decision for him. I think if they really needed more time, they would have asked for it. Joss asked for a decision, and he got it. I don't think Joss could really pressure them if they were truly unsure of where to go with it. It's my opinion that Levin had his decision made before Joss even approached him, but that could just be my sour grapes.
Ok - I have to bring up a few points I wish someone would have pointed out to Ancier ...

1) Angel was not nearly as promoted as other WB dramas and yet was up in ratings by 10% over season 4 numbers and of it's 'aging' dramas it was the only one to see an increase in ratings where all other drama lost viewers and most in double digit losses ie Gilmore Girls down by 15% in the overall season.

2) When Angel finally recieved some promotion (ie the end of Angel) the ratings actually showed an increase - huh imagine what the numbers would have been had they actually promoted it for the whole season.

3) Asking during Feb sweeps if they were going to be renewed was not early when you concider that they had already renewed the Gilmore Girls and 7th Heaven back in early Dec 2003 (after ratings losses for both shows of upwards of 20% for GG and 10% for 7H) and knowing that contract negosiations were going on and pilot season just starting. With the bubble status they had had in rescent years did not want to be left scrambling for employment if they were not going to be renewed. Thus giving everyone a chance to plan what they were going to do - take a vacation or look for work. Did they have to return an answer - no - the fact that they did so so quickly speaks to the fact that the powers of the WB had planned this to be Angel's last season - the mere fact that they were ask early simply gave them the excuse they needed to drop the axe. After the half season renewal surprise, would it be so hard to think that they might want to know something a little more up front this time. Instead of finding out like the did with the rest of the season renewal notice that had caught a lot of them off guard back in November. I mean they were filming like episode 10-11 when they found out that the contract for season 5 had only been guarenteed 12 episodes with an option.
I'm so sick of the excuse that Angel doesn't repeat well. THEY NEVER EVEN TRIED! Sure, they repeated a few episodes over the holiday break, but they never consistantly repeated the episodes like they did Smallville, Everwood, and One Tree Hill.

If they had set an extra day to repeat the previously aired episode, every single week, it would have caught the attention of new viewers who were either channel surfing or watching the show right before it.

I know I am a viewer who has gotten attached to a show in the middle of its run (most of my favorite shows I caught onto very late) and watched reruns to catch up. Buffy was actually one of those shows, and Angel is no different. You have to catch the wave sometime, and if it's not at the very beginning, it's always takes a while to get into the storyline. But if you like the storytelling, you will make that commitment.

A lot of people do like the story arc style of certain TV shows but are just unaware of what's out there. I talk to people all the time that are LOTR fans, Alias fans, Harry Potter fans, etc, who love good writing and long story arcs but had no idea what Buffy and Angel was like. These are people that are only now getting into the series'.

If you don't promote a show and air it as if you want to attract more viewers, you aren't going to get more viewers. And yet Angel 's viewers WERE increasing in numbers during the final season. How can this be? Oh, I know, a wizard did it.

The idea that Angel is a show that doesn't do well in repeats does not makes sense when there is a cable network that airs repeats 6 times a week! The WB is lying. They looked at Angel and decided they didn't want to invest in airing repeats because it would get in the way of their precious OTH and 7th Heaven and Charmed. Excuse me while I regurgitate everything I've ever eaten in my life.

[ edited by electricspacegirl on 2004-07-16 04:33 ]
This just sounds like a classic case of (C)over (Y)our (A)ss, while trying to pass the buck. Nice double play if nobody calls you on it. Sounds a lot like what is coming out of the White House these days.....but I digress. Angel as we knew & loved it is over. To read these kind of "could have or should have" beens does nothing but invite frustration. All we can really do now as fans is keep the pressure up and keep working towards a movie, a series of tele-movies or a mini-series. All we have to do is look at Farscape and see that vocal & committed fans can still make a diference
"Angel was not nearly as promoted as other WB dramas and yet was up in ratings by 10% over season 4 numbers and of it's 'aging' dramas it was the only one to see an increase in ratings where all other drama lost viewers and most in double digit losses ie Gilmore Girls down by 15% in the overall season."

's What I've been sayin'.....I swear they never intended to go for S6. They just needed filler for their 'new' shows. Most of which would have been rehashing of old shows in a new coat, and most of which never even happened.

"When Angel finally recieved some promotion (ie the end of Angel) the ratings actually showed an increase - huh imagine what the numbers would have been had they actually promoted it for the whole season."

Yeah, and didn't they often cut these terrible trailers when they did promote? Remember the promo for "Unleashed"? "Tonight, Angel will love again!!" just because Nina was introduced. Didn't see much lovin' nor did I expect it. But hey why actually WATCH the ep before writing a promo for it.

"Asking during Feb sweeps if they were going to be renewed was not early when you concider that they had already renewed the Gilmore Girls and 7th Heaven back in early Dec 2003 "

Yeah good point too. I was amazed at how early some shows (Charmed too I believe?) were already okayed for a next season.

"I'm so sick of the excuse that Angel doesn't repeat well. THEY NEVER EVEN TRIED! Sure, they repeated a few episodes over the holiday break, but they never consistantly repeated the episodes like they did Smallville, Everwood, and One Tree Hill."

Yeah I always say that too. TNT is rerunning Angel the way real reruns are run. ON A DAILY BASIS. That's how they're rerunning Buffy too. The WB's 'reruns' were just once a week-fillers when they didn't show a new one. No show 'repeats' well then! Ah it was lame excuses. They didn't get it, they didn't want it. They had all these new ideas for shows and they wanted rid of it. Had 'Tarzan' been a hit, we wouldn't even have seen a S5 of Angel.
Nola, I'm not even thinking about the "possible" tv-Angel movies. I just don't believe it. Maybe I'm wrong but I'll admit that if it actually happens. However, if there is a fan movement to pressure the network to make good on their offer for Tele-movies, I'll be right behind it. I will support anything that Joss is working on.

I just think it's more plausible that the next Buffyverse project will be a spin-off and this time I hope it's on a cable network that will welcome Joss with open arms and treat him right. Is that too much to ask for? I just think that Joss starting yet another series on yet another broadcast network is too much of a risk. I honestly have no idea what he is planning to do though after Firefly, but the waiting is killing me!

[ edited by electricspacegirl on 2004-07-16 07:04 ]
All we can really do now as fans is keep the pressure up and keep working towards a movie, a series of tele-movies or a mini-series. All we have to do is look at Farscape and see that vocal & committed fans can still make a diference

True. Anyone feel like writing Ancier and Janollari? (Setting my extreme skepticism aside for a moment in favor of community-minded fuzzy-wuzziness) if they're considering movies, then positive fan feedback couldn't hurt:

Warner Brothers Network
Attn: Garth Ancier, Chairman and CEO
4000 Warner Blvd., Building 34R
Burbank, CA 91522

Replace GA On the Attn: line with David Janollari, President -- Entertainment.
What a freaking joke. This is basically hey we screwed up but its not all our fault type of response. What did he expect FOX to do? Wait to the end of every season to find out?

What a joke. They screwed up and screwed the fans. If I was JW and company I would say screw the WB, hello TNT.
"I just think it's more plausible that the next Buffyverse project will be a spin-off and this time I hope it's on a cable network that will welcome Joss with open arms and treat him right. Is that too much to ask for?"

I think the odds of that happening are faaar smaller even than the tv movies. Especially the 'treat him right' bit.....
HBO? please?

I would take anything, I suppose. I'm just bitter right now and I don't believe anything the WB says anymore. They have to prove it before I believe any of these statements about Angel TV movies.
How hard is it to just say "We're not sure, just wait until May."

I pray Joss is just human enough to not trust WB. And when they do come calling with an offer tell them just where to get off.
I don't want to be accused of being a heretic, and I want to see more adventures of Angel, Buffy, Spike and the gang as much as anyone else but if Joss returns to TV soon, I'd like it to be something different and removed from the Buffy-verse. When everything is said and done there are what, 255 hours of programming done with Buffy & Angel? It may not be as much as we'd all like but when everything is said and done, it is a substantial body of work that has a beginning, a middle & a end. Joss showed everyone with Firefly he could create something different & something complete, if he moves to HBO, well, I don't know about anyone else but I want to see him do something new. Something that pushes him in a creative way. Plus if he moves to HBO maybe he can finally get some Emmy love.
I'd be all for something altogether new from Joss. When Firefly was announced i was really happy that we would have chance to see what Joss could do with non-supernatural subject matter.

That said, when Firefly was announced we still had Buffy and Angel on our screens so i didn't need to choose between the two stories. Now we don't have that variety i have to say given the choice i'd rather see a new slayer show first. Firefly, even if it had survived as a tv series, would always have been my second choice after Buffy and Angel, largely due to my personal tastes leaning more towards the supernatural than the sci-fi.

I really look forward to a time when Joss tries to strike gold for the third time but let's have a new slayerverse series first huh! I need my vampire fix! ;)

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