View Full Version : Would BtVS be successful if it wasn’t a great series?

27-03-18, 10:26 PM
Joss Whedon: “and it needs to be said that Buffy would have been successful even if it hadn’t been good. Because it just makes sense, the premise works.” http://www.ablogcuratedby.com/rodarte/buffy-the-vampire-slayer-joss-whedon-and-katie-lucas/

- TV Guide —which used to be HUGE and read by over 40MM people in the United States—raved about BtVS before it aired. Other outlets did as much.

- There was concern among the cast and viewers that BtVS wouldn’t be renewed for a second Season.

- Buffy/Angel—including the on-screen chemistry between Sarah Michelle Gellar and David Boreanaz and their being good friends—is a huge reason there was a BtVS S2. Second to that is the WB decided to use BtVS to garner prestige for the entire network to raise advertising rates across the entire network.

- Spike, and Spike/Drusilla became popular the day “School Hard” (B 2.03) aired. Spike was on the cover of TV Guide before almost anyone even knew the name of the actor who plays Spike. James Marsters’s name became known and he became a sex symbol the day “Something Blue” (B 4.09) aired.

- BtVS S2 is obviously an excellent Season of TV. It’s so great that AtS was greenlit during the filming of BtVS S2.

- BtVS S3 masterfully deals with the fallout of BtVS S2 regarding Buffy/Angel and Angel’s relationships with the non-Buffy Scoobies.

- BtVS S3 has Faith and all the greatness that came from that. Eliza Dushku becomes famous and becomes a sex symbol.

- After BtVS S3 there was very little risk of cancellation. BtVS S4 wasn’t overall great, but it had Spike and some great episodes.

- Many considers BtVS S5 the best Season of BtVS.

- Fox Entertainment was able to demand a HUGE premium for BtVS S6—relative to BtVS’s ratings and therefore advertising dollars—and it got it.

- From what I remember, SMG’s wanting to quit the series is the only reason there wasn’t a BtVS S8. Faith the Vampire Slayer was going to be a thing if Eliza Duskhu accepted, so there probably would be a BtVS S9 and BtVS S10 as well if SMG didn’t quit.

- From BtVS S1 through BtVS S5, BtVS had relative excellent male demographics. I remember at times it was Number 1 in its timeslot—or simply airing day—among men 18-34. BtVS S6 gave it stronger female demographics.

* The Vampire Diaries never had near the quality of post-BtVS S1. Yet even that was a good series and well written and acted in TVD S1 and TVD S2 and wouldn’t have been successful if it wasn’t a good series.

BtVS was on a small network when being on a small network severely limited what viewership could be. BtVS wasn’t even the biggest ratings-getter for the WB and it was a relatively expensive series. I remember in terms of direct advertising dollars that BtVS S6 was the only profitable Season of BtVS. The quality of BtVS is what resulted in it being so relatively valuable for a small network (The WB and then UPN).

27-03-18, 11:34 PM
It's really difficult to answer that question because there are a lot of shows that are successful (or appear to be) that I just don't understand. I've watched the first two seasons of Teen Wolf and thought it was abysmal, yet it had a massive fan base and seems to be beloved by many. I never saw Vampire Diaries because it just seemed derivative and predictable. I watched a lot of Charmed, which was incredibly popular, but it was terrible television, just popcorn for the brain. So I would guess that BtVS would have been popular because there are people who will watch a show about the supernatural no matter how bad it is.

Talking of Supernatural, it's not a great show but its fans adore it. iZombie is very average, but it's now in it's fourth season (though I love Ravi) Personally I think the best of these type of shows is The 100, which I think has enough edge to keep it interesting. Basically, there are a lot of terrible shows that get good audiences :D

28-03-18, 11:16 AM
I'm one of those who's staggered that Supernatural has gone on for soooooooo damn long. I find the writing to be dire and the leads incredibly dull, but I seem to be in a minority.

28-03-18, 12:21 PM
I'm one of those who's staggered that Supernatural has gone on for soooooooo damn long. I find the writing to be dire and the leads incredibly dull, but I seem to be in a minority.

I'm with you there. There's no depth to the show, and the same things happen over and over again. I think people love it because it's comfortable and predictable. This season Dean will die/go to hell, next season Sam will do the same. There's also an angel and a devil. All 4 leads are good fun and charming and good looking, and that keeps teen girls watching I guess. Ok, I admit, I watched it for as long as I did because of Jensen Ackles, who's pretty adorable :D But can you image these actors carrying on into their 50's and 60's playing the same roles, the same stories over and over again.