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August 24 2004

Sky One admits that loss of Buffy was damaging, brings in ' UK version'. The British substitute is called 'Hex' and "is certainly the most ambitious drama that Sky One has ever commissioned" according to Sky's managing director. More on 'Hex' here and here.

Given Sky One's domestic output track record I'll not hold my breath on this one. But a British version of Buffy does sound intriguing.

Now I'm having all these images of a "Bizarro Buffy" starring British Scoobies and an American librarian.
The "Hex" title makes me think this might be a poor-man's Charmed rather than BtVS:UK. I'm trying to reserve judgement but Sky don't have the best track record with 'original' dramas.
Well i'll give it a look but i'm not a fan of British drama by any means so i'm not hopeful that i've found a new series to get into.

Is it just me or would Sky One not be more sensible in offering to partly fund an actual Buffy spinoff with this money as was suggested for getting an Angel season 6 to happen?

Surely that would be a better gamble than trying to emulate the success of a Whedon show with the kind of money they have to play with alone.
Several things spring to mind about this.

1) It's a testament to Joss that Sky are doing this. Imitiation is the sincerest form of flattery and all that.
2) It's an indictator to 20th Century Fox, that the foreign market is still craving Buffyverse products and will bring in their own identikit shows if necessary.*
3) It shows that Buffyverse shows will bring in the ratings if they are on a satellite/cable channel.

*Though it must be pointed out that Sky One and 20 Century Fox are part of News Corporation
If it's anything like Ultraviolet, it will be good. Or something like Spooks. Spooks with monsters. Or maybe that would be X-files. I don't know Ch 4's track record, because we can't receive it here in Holland. Grr.
Caroline, somebody else who actually remembers the one British drama i have actually really enjoyed. Ultraviolet was a brilliant example of what the UK television creators can bring to the scifi/fantasy genre table when they try.

So why has nearly everything else they have attempted looked so damn cheap and shoddy? :)
Why do this when there's a British Buffy spinoff waiting to be made, or have the BBC signed up for Ripper and just haven't got around to making it yet.
Couple of extra points after having read the entire article.

Firstly if Sky One are only just realising the damage the loss of Buffy has done them then i think they will really be suffering once a season without any kind of slayerverse show is upon them. This Hex had better be good, that's all i'm going to say about that.

And secondly, this drop in ratings from The Simpsons they are so surprised about. Just how many times do they think they can repeat the same episodes before the apathy to them begins to effect even the new episodes? How many times in recent years have Sky One advertised filling the evening schedule with repeat after repeat of The Simpsons as being "a special treat for Sky One viewers"? It's not a treat, it's tired and lazy programming!

I love The Simpsons but some evenings, especially over the summer, there can be four episodes on in a row and it's on twice at the very least EVERY night! How much Simpsons do they think anyone wants?

All in all this is a prime example of how Sky One have been losing the plot because of the decline in decent US drama (the core of what many people watch the channel for) and filling the schedule with any old dross they still have the rights to show.

Sorry if that is a lttle of topic but it relates to the general decline of the channel in my mind.
If it wasn't for Buffy, Angel and Stargate I would never watch Sky One. Its own shows are awful and an insult to the intelligence of the viewer. 'How Gay Are You' and that one about men trying to win a date with a woman but not knowing she was actually a transexual spring to mind.
I haven't got Sky but this does sound intriguing. Mind you, has anyone seen "Fluffy, the English Vampire Slayer"? If not, Google it -- it's a labour of love.
A very nice lurker sent me a link which has a bit more info on Hex so I've added it to the subject line. The premise of it does sound very Buffy.

And Andy if you're reading this, I emailed you to thank you but I got a message back saying your email account is over quota.
Just read the new link Simon has added.

Let's just say that my hopes for a new show to watch have declined about 50% with just that brief article. If all they are going to do is rehash Buffy in a British setting then i have to agree with Ghost Spike.

Why didn't anyone at Sky think about doing Ripper as a joint project with Fox and perhaps a US network. Spreading the cost like that would surely make it a more attractive proposition.

They could even include a new slayer character for Giles to train personally thereby bringing in the eyecandy factor for the male viewers.

This current idea has second rate imitation flop written all over it. I give it about as long as Strange lasted.
Why don't ask Joss Wheadon to do RIPPER for them!!!
BBC have put it on their waiting list, Sky One would go for it!!
I have never watched a home grown Sky One show as they have always appeared extremely lame. The only reason I have ever watched Sky One is cause of the high calibre of their US imports (which started to suffer once E4 appeared and started to poach them) However I am a big fan of Spooks and was a big fan of Ultravilot so every know and then we can make decent drama in this country - yay us :)
Would like to echo all the pro-Ripper comments though. Come on BBC, don't focus all your attention on Dr. Who, Ripper would surely be an excellent partner.
I wouldn't be surprised if this shows up on Saturday evenings early next year, Sky have got to realise that repeats of The Simpsons or World's Hardest Transvestites and the Text Messages They Wish They'd Never Sent, are hardly going to stand a chance against new Doctor Who. They might think a show similar to Buffy will get people to watch Sky instead, but I'm pretty sure this won't be a good show, sounds like Buffy meets Charmed meets Harry Potter. And as has already been said, there are very few (can't think of one actually) good Sky One produced shows.

I don't think we'll hear anyhing more of Ripper until after Doctor Who I'd imagine they might want to see how that's received and then maybe consider Ripper as a companion to a second season of Doctor Who.

[ edited by Ghost Spike on 2004-08-24 16:07 ]
Mara, " a poor-man's Charmed" is too dire to contemplate!

"Why don't ask Joss Wheadon to do RIPPER for them!!!
BBC have put it on their waiting list, Sky One would go for it!! " - SeanValen

Oh, if only it were that simple.

Whedon may have 'other fish to fry' - he still has to deal with post-production of Serenity, and there is some buzz about him directing the new 'Superman' movie. Even if the Superman thing ends up not happening, I suspect that Whedon may end up getting more into movies, especially if 'Serenity' is a box office success.

That having been said, perhaps Mutant Enemy will find writers and a showrunner (lead writer) they feel confortable with to go forward with 'Ripper'. My guess that it will end up being developed for cable TV, not broadcast. Up until very recently, only broadcast channels (in the US) developed TV shows. Now that is beginning to change, and broadcast TV is on the ropes.

In the USA, the really interesting shows lately seem to be on basic cable (USA channel - Nip/Tuck, The Shield, SciFi Channel - Stargate) and premium cable (HBO & Showtime - Sopranos, Deadwood, Dead Like Me). Broadcast channels are losing viewership to cable and internet. Broadcast has to get all of it's money from advertising and selling to non-US markets, but is has to contend with strong government restrictions on (sexual/obscene) content. Basic cable get money from both advertising and subscription costs from the cable companies and has less government restriction on content since it is _not_ broadcast. Premium cable gets most of it's money subscriptions plus selling it's products to non-US markets and by selling DVDs of it's shows, and has no imposed government resrictions on content. Broadcast can't compete with cable because it's not an even playing field - the only way to make money is to cut costs. This means unscripted 'reality' shows. They are just cheaper to make. If you want to make a quality TV series, it's going to have to be on cable/subscription TV.

Both Fox and WB have rights to the 'Buffyverse' since they helped develop and show the original BtVS and Angel shows. Fox has started developing shows just for it's FX channel in the US (Nip/Tuck and The Shield). Since Fox and SkyOne are both part of the News Corporation, it would not be beyond the realm of possibility to create 'Ripper' to run on both FX and SkyOne.

Y'know, SeanValen, you are right - they should just ask. Let's hope they do....

Just my two cents (two pence?).

[ edited by Caroline on 2004-08-24 17:28 ]
"go forward with 'Ripper'. My guess that it will end up being developed for cable TV, not broadcast"

I think Joss has said quite a few times that he wants Ripper to be a British produced show, which is a shame, as we'd probably get it much quicker if they took this route.
Whedon may have 'other fish to fry' - he still has to deal with post-production of Serenity, and there is some buzz about him directing the new 'Superman' movie. Even if the Superman thing ends up not happening, I suspect that Whedon may end up getting more into movies, especially if 'Serenity' is a box office success.

I think you've gotten slightly confused there ranchofiasco. Bryan Singer is set to direct the new Superman movie, leaving X-Men 3 available and that's what Joss is being strongly touted for by the internet community
Yeah Paul Rocks, I did a big "huh?" there too. You got it right.
I'm way over-focused, but help me here: I knew that smoke blowing thing worked with bees, but it works with studio execs too? Huh.
I found some more stuff about 'Hex' and added the link to the subject line.

"Hex is the UK version of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and one girl`s exploration of her own supernatural and sexual awakening.

It tells the story of Magnum Hall, a progressive British boarding school where 17-year-old student Cassie comes of age."

Ok - My Bad about the Superman comment.

But I could have sworn I read some gossip somewhere about Whedon being talked about as a replacement for a director that had dropped out of a big movie currently in pre-production. What was I think of? Help!

[ edited by Simon on 2004-08-24 18:50 ]
ranchofiasco just a small thing. At Whedonesque we don't sign our posts, our user name at the bottom of the post does that for us. That's why Caroline and myself have edited your posts in case you are wondering.

And in regards to what you were thinking of, I can't think of any other big name directors that have dropped out of movies recently.
(Tiny voice) I liked Strange....

I'll get me coat.

And as for a Sky One produced show rivailing/copying Buffy, that smacks of a committe running the show and trying to appeal to everyone by making a formula identikit show. That's how Charmed happened. Buffy was created and run by the vision of one man who was prepared to confuse/piss off/alienate a big chunk of audience to produce a show with original and challenging writing.

I hate to judge a show on the three lines we've read so far but I predict cardboard characters, predictable storylines and black and white plots.
"I hate to judge a show on the three lines we've read so far but I predict cardboard characters, predictable storylines and black and white plots. "

I've now got bad flashbacks of watching Crime Traveller. *shudders*
Ranchofiasco, you were on the right lines but kinda back to front.

Bryan Singer was the director who has dropped out of X-Men 3 (or been fired depending on who you ask) because he has chosen to direct the new Superman movie. Joss has now been linked as his replacement on X-Men 3 although that is pure speculation right now.
I remember Crime Traveller.

For truly awfulness there was a show about ten years ago based on an 'elite' squadron of RAF Tornado pilots (as opposed to all those run of the mill Tornado squadrons) that was absolute crap. Considering all the potential (the RAF gave them access and facilities like never before, including plenty of ariel shots) they blew it big time with the worst writing imaginable. Each character had 'Stereotype' written all over him, including the bad tempered crazy one who the air force would never had let get anywhere near a jet in a million years and a woman Tornado pilot who the rest of the pilots had never heard of before! Where did she train? The RAF only have a couple of hundred pilots, it's a pretty exclusive club, yet this woman has somehow been comissioned, trained for several years, served somewhere and then been seconded to this 'elite' squadron without any other pilot ever having met, heard about, read about, served with, trained with or attended a mess dinner with her.

The point being, and yes, there is a point, is that it was created as an answer to several successful shows around at the time, like Londons Burning and Auf Wiedersehen, Pet, so they tried to copy the formula of a disperate group of people working and living together and came up with a load of crap.

TV executives, I know it's hard work but TRY to have an original thought! Just once!
I can't recall this being reported before but when I was looking at SKYTEXT yesterday I saw that Sky have bought Wonderfalls though they haven't scheduled it for transmission yet
Oh thanks for that garda39, I was wondering who was going to pick it up. I figured Living TV or Sci-Fi UK over Sky One but at least some one here has bought it.
Well as much as i did want to have a chance to see the few episodes of Wonderfalls that were made this really does prove to me how desperate Sky One are becoming with regards to filling their schedules.

What makes you think that somebody at Sky One is kicking themselves for letting Alias go last year?
What puzzles me about SKY dropping Alias is Sky dropped Buffy after Bewitched,Bothered and Bewildered citing the same reasons and only started it again after a fan campaign.It then went on to become one of SKY's mainstays

I wondered if anyone in SKY remembered that lesson

Incidently I wonder how they will treat Deadwood if it doesn't get the audience they are hoping for

[ edited by garda39 on 2004-08-25 00:29 ]
"I wondered if anyone in SKY remembered that lesson"

Clearly not, seeing as how they repeated it.

Not that i think Alias will go on to equal Buffy's kind of success but it was still a great show that they dumped way too quickly and considering their current state it was a big mistake.

Alias could well have been a highlight of their weeknight schedule next year had they been a little more forward thinking.
(Tiny voice) I liked Strange....
I'll get me coat.

I actually didn't mind strange, and not just cause of Sam Janus :)

I've now got bad flashbacks of watching Crime Traveller. *shudders*

Ack, ditto Simon, can't remember what the hell convinced me to watch every epiosde but for some reason I did :/

I can't recall this being reported before but when I was looking at SKYTEXT yesterday I saw that Sky have bought Wonderfalls though they haven't scheduled it for transmission yet

Woohoo, most excellent news. I'd almost given up hope on someone buying the rights and showing this great show over here.
Came across this info on Hex

..Hex, which BSkyB chief
executive James Murdoch has described as a "sapphic" British take on hit series Buffy the Vampire Slayer.

[ edited by garda39 on 2004-08-25 20:43 ]
If we're on the subject of bad Buffy wannabe shows...

(Anyone of a nervous disposition, young children, people who've just eaten, look away now)

Vampire High....

"[...]an American librarian."

Uhm, well that would be like a german clown, or italian minister of finance, or ...

I'm so sorry, but I just couldn't let that slip.

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