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Whedonesque - a community weblog about Joss Whedon
"One of these days you're going to wake up in a coma."
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July 22 2004

Why Angel was canceled and Dark Shadows was not picked up. Does the WB want more control over the shows it airs. Article talks about last weeks press tour of the new line-up including the offer still on the table to Whedon about Angel and how the producer of DS sees things differently about why his show was not on the fall line-up.

"But he also said if Angel hadn't demanded an early pickup and waited until late spring -- coincidentally, when the network decided not to go ahead with Dark Shadows -- the call might have been different. Ancier and John Wells, the ER/West Wing executive producer who made the Dark Shadows pilot, have different takes on what happened."

It does make one wonder had they picked up Angel for another season what new set of demands would they have been asking of Joss and company.

Perhaps wearing K-mart clothing and having Amy push the blue light specials. (For those not aware K-mart is a discount retail chain in the US. The 'blue light special' is it's deep discounted sales). I mention this because the WB now has a deal with them that the stars of many of the WB programs now appear in TV ads for the chain selling clothing. The connection is the chance to win a part on any WB show at K-mart. So far I have seen ads with cast members (kind of dancing around) from the new drama 'The Mountain' and 'Reba' in these ads - I think I would of had to gag if Angel had remained on the WB and I saw ads of James, David, Andy, Amy, J August, or Alexis in them, they are pretty pathetic.

Damn the WB. how dare they now say "if they didnt ask early if they were getting renewed they might still be around". Why cant they be honest and say we wanted to go in a new direction.(although a direction that will lead to a lot lower ratings in my opinon) I for one am keeping with my pledge to not watch the WB until either they do make these alleged "slayerverse" movies or they give Spike a series which ever comes first.
If Fox "demanded" an early commitment and the WB couldn't give it then it would have been Fox who cancelled the show.

I know they treat many viewers as having the brains of a slice of toast but now they expect to put out crap like this in serious interviews and expect us to slap our foreheads and say "Oh! So it was Foxs fault! NOW I see!"
So let me get this straight: They'll cancel an established, audience-growing, critically-praised Joss Whedon show in favor of an unproven and twice-failed one, just because they have to make an early decision? That's really brilliant. And what happened to that talk of being able to have two vampire shows on the schedule? The WB really needs to start telling the truth.
But he also said if Angel hadn't demanded an early pickup and waited until late spring -- coincidentally, when the network decided not to go ahead with Dark Shadows -- the call might have been different.

Change "if Angel hadn't demanded an early pickup" to "if Joss hadn't requested a head's up in February, only a few weeks from spring". Then change "the call might have been different" to "the call would probably have gone the same as it has the past four years -- leaving the show's cast, crew and fans all wondering up until the last second if Angel would be back." Now, that actually begins to make some sense.

In pretty much any situation, it's better knowing than wondering, and better earlier than later. Joss didn't do anything wrong, and it's evil if the WB is trying to spin the blame for Angel's cancellation back onto him.

The thing is, if the WB had a firmer grasp on its audience and wasn't so chicken-shit about standing by shows that are truly distinctive and cool, they'd be in better shape today. Their problems aren't because of Fox, or Joss, or anyone but themselves. And twisting what went down to make themselves look better isn't going to fix anything. Karmically speaking, I wouldn't want to be in their shoes.

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