'Buffy' Creator Leaves Television Blaming Reality TV


Buffy Summers and her boyfriend Angel survived many a murderous enemy in their TV days.

But their tube papa, Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel series creator Josh Whedon, is ending is tube career partly because of a more obnoxious demon: the continuing glut of reality shows popping up on TV’s airwaves.

Whedon, who has also written big-screen projects like Toy Story and Alien: Resurrection, asked 20th Century Fox TV to let him end his multiyear deal to develop projects for the studio, Variety reports, and Whedon cites unscripted tube fare as one of his reasons.

“I have a bitter taste in my mouth with where TV has gone in the past five years,” he told Variety, labeling the reality TV craze “loathsome.”

Whedon, who ends his deal with Fox with more than a year left on his contract, also admits he’s booking some personal time for the upcoming birth of his second child, and that, for now, he’s simply run out of ideas for new shows.

“I spent a lot of time trying to think what my next series would be,” Whedon said. “I couldn’t think of anything. When that happens, it generally means something is just not working. I didn’t feel like I could come up with anything that the networks would want.”

Fox honcho Dana Walden, who agreed to let Whedon prematurely end his deal, said, “Hopefully, sooner rather than later, he’ll have an inspired TV idea that he can’t help himself from doing. We’re just glad that when he decides to do TV again, it will be with us.”

The scribe, who will continue to operate his Mutant Enemy TV production company sans staff, is choosing to focus on his movie career instead. Whedon has brushed off rumors that he will replace Bryan Singer as director of the upcoming X-Men 3, but Serenity, his big-screen adaptation of his own short-lived, 2002-03 Fox sci-fi drama Firefly, is in post-production and set for a spring 2005 release.

The news of his TV departure probably does mean a big dose of disappointment for fans of the Buffy universe, however. An animated Buffy series is still in development for next year, but several Buffy and Angel made-for-TV movie projects, which were rumored to focus on the supporting cast members instead of the leads, will most likely languish in fan fiction fantasies while Whedon banishes himself from TV land.

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Credit: Kimberly Potts/Yahoo/E Online

Murtz Jaffer is the world's foremost reality television expert and was the host of Reality Obsessed which aired on the TVTropolis and Global Reality Channels in Canada. He has professional writing experience at the Toronto Sun, National Post, TV Guide Canada, TOROMagazine.com and was a former producer at Entertainment Tonight Canada. He was also the editor at Weekendtrips.com.