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  • Was Buffy Canceled?

    I was having a mini-argument with some people over at YouTube because they were saying stuff like, "God, I hate this season! So glad it was canceled." I said it wasn't canceled, and they are positive they are. I thought it ended by Joss and Sarah's decision, not by networks ending it. It was canceled once, I know that much. But was it canceled by UPN, or just ended by Joss?

  • #2
    I think perhaps they were confused between AtS and BtVS. I know Angel was cancelled by Warners; it took Joss by surprise, i remember him commenting about it.
    But I'm quite sure Buffy ended as a descision made by the shows creators not a network cancellation. There had been pressure earlier on in the show, but they had been given time to end 'gracefully'.
    At least that's how I've seen it...

    x
    "Blue in the face with a choking regret."

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    • #3
      Not canceled. Never heard such a thing. And frankly, judging by the whole story arc of season seven, it worked as an ending. From the beginning, if you as me. The potentials and the army building and the re-emergence of the First....it seemed as though they were attempting to create an epic end for the series. Whether it was truly epic in the end is for the viewer to decide, as there are many conflicting arguments on the matter. Still, I don't recall ever hearing or reading about the show being canceled. It was ended. There's a difference.

      In any case, I doubt UPN would have canceled the show just then. As a fledgling network they didn't have much to rely on in their scheduling and BtVS was as close as they had to a landmark show. America's Next Top Model and what else? UPN wouldn't have wanted to lose that show if they had a choice, imo.
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      • #4
        Buffy was not cancelled. The show ended by the decision of the cast and crew and not by UPN. The WB attempted to cancel Buffy after Season 5, but it was instantly picked up by UPN.

        Buffy had a two year contract with UPN after Season 5 which took the show through to Season 7, and with no intentions to axe show UPN would of probably offered the show another 2 year contract taking us through to Season 9.

        To answer your question, no, Buffy was not cancelled, the crew decided to stop. Angel however was.

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        • #5
          Strictly speaking, the WB didn't try to cancel the show, either; they just wouldn't meet the higher per-episode asking price to renew it. I seriously think a lot of the "canceled" stuff is wishful thinking on the part of a few die-hard haters of the later seasons; if they can convince themselves that the ratings dropped enough to get it canceled, they can be all smug like, "See? I told you it sucked." Of course, the rest is lots of people just not knowing the difference between "canceled" and "ended". Yeah, the show's off the air either way, but that's the only thing they have in common.
          "Occasionally, I'm callous and strange..." - Willow Rosenberg, "Buffy the Vampire Slayer"

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Rowan Hawthorn View Post
            Strictly speaking, the WB didn't try to cancel the show, either; they just wouldn't meet the higher per-episode asking price to renew it.* I seriously think a lot of the "canceled" stuff is wishful thinking on the part of a few die-hard haters of the later seasons; if they can convince themselves that the ratings dropped enough to get it canceled, they can be all smug like, "See?* I told you it sucked."* Of course, the rest is lots of people just not knowing the difference between "canceled" and "ended".* Yeah, the show's off the air either way, but that's the only thing they have in common.
            No, the WB did try to cancel Buffy. In fact strictly speaking, they did cancel Buffy. Joss talks about it in numerous interviews and commentaries. He always states that at the 100th episode celebration he was so furious that he had to walk out because WB were celebrating the 100th episode but taking the show off air. Joss often called UPN his "night in shining armour" for saving the show, because it was cancelled.

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            • #7
              Season seven's ratings were quite low. I think Btvs' ratings from memory, dropped from season 5 onwards and I think the strongest season they ever had was season three. The season three final pulled in a whopping 6 million which is huge for Btvs! The final didn't get as many ratings as it should have I believe, although in Australia it actually won its time slot so I'm only referencing the US ratings here. But the show wasn't cancelled, it was Joss' decision to cancel the show because he said he was exhausted.

              Ats was cancelled I believe, and was nearly cancelled in season 4 if they didn't reinvent themselves, hence the move to Wolfram and Hart, more stand-alone type episodes and 'Home' basically being a pilot for a new series. From memory, season five of Ats was doing very well and the ratings were actually going up, well done WB

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              • #8
                <shrug> I don't blame Joss for feeling that way, either, but the fact remains that the contract was expiring, the price went up, the WB decided not to meet the price and UPN did. It's not like anybody came in in the middle of the season - or even the middle of the contract - and yanked it the way Fox did "Firefly".
                "Occasionally, I'm callous and strange..." - Willow Rosenberg, "Buffy the Vampire Slayer"

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                • #9
                  Here's what I got from the book Bite Me!: An Unofficial Guide to Buffy the Vampire Slayer, written by Nikki Stafford that I bought a few years ago.

                  Note: Sorry for the typos, if there are any; I'm typing it as I'm reading it from the book.

                  Spoiler:

                  But Buffy didn't make the papers in 2001 because of its great writing; the media jumped onto the big story that the WB wasn't going to renew the show in the fall. The network was offering 20th century fox, who owned the show, $1.6 million an episode for the following season, but Fox was asking $2 million. WB CEO Jamie Kellner became deffensive in the media, stating that without the WB, Buffy would never have become so popular: "Nobody wanted the show; it didn't perform [at first] but we stuck with it." He added, "It's not a show like ER that stands above the pack." His flippant comments infuriated Whedon, who felt his show was not getting the kudos it deserved; after all, it was because of Buffy that the WB was suddenly attracting teenagers with other programs such as Charmed and Dawson's Creek. Only 7th Heaven was performing better than Buffy in the ratings, and Joss said so in interviews. "For [the WB] to be scrambling to explain why it's not cost-efficient -- it's their second-highest rated show," he said. "They need to step up and acknowledge that financially."

                  Other networks realizes that Buffy was hot property, and ABC and UPN entered discussions. Kellner made an extra effort to keep the show, even offering to give Fox every cent the show made. "We will take all the revenue we can generate with Buffy and we'll give it to you in a giant wheelbarrow," Kellner said. "And if that's not enough, then take it to somebody else. You've demonstrated you're not the kind of partner we should be doing business with"

                  (Weredog: Then it mentions Gellar's reaction to it....)

                  In the end, it was UPN who picked up the show for a guaranteed two seasons at $2.3 million an episode, and agreed that if the WB canceled Angel, they would also pick up that show for two seasons. Whedon and the cast were ecstatic -- they finally felt appreciated after the WB had shown them so little respect in the media. "It's always been great at the WB," said Whedon. "But at the highest levels, they made a corporate decision that I found unfathomable. They decided not only to not step up financially, but to sort of diss the show in the press, and to me that was unforgivable. It really hurt. But the people I dealt with, the promotional people and the creative execs, they were great. I have no beef with them. But yeah, it's nice to see a network come up and say, 'We think you're an extraordinary asset and we're going to prove that by writing this large check.'"
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                  • #10
                    the wb canceled both btvs and ats at season 5. upn just saved btvs for 2 more seasons.

                    the wb gave btvs and ats the same length.

                    sounds like upn didn't keep their promise about ats, though.
                    Last edited by NileQT87; 16-07-08, 07:33 AM.

                    "If there is no great glorious end to all this, if nothing we do matters, then all that matters is what we do."
                    "Nothing in the world is the way it ought to be. It's harsh and cruel. But that's why there's us. Champions."

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by NileQT87 View Post
                      sounds like upn didn't keep their promise about ats, though.
                      I think UPN was only going to pick up Angel if they had canceled it with Buffy in 2001. But since the show was cancelled in 2004(?), a year after Buffy, UPN probably didn't want it because they would've been known as The WB's leftovers. (Didn't UPN also pick up The WB's Roswell with Buffy?)
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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Rowan Hawthorn View Post
                        <shrug> I don't blame Joss for feeling that way, either, but the fact remains that the contract was expiring, the price went up, the WB decided not to meet the price and UPN did. It's not like anybody came in in the middle of the season - or even the middle of the contract - and yanked it the way Fox did "Firefly".
                        IIIRC Firefly got yanked evev after being retooled from its initial form after it failed to do as well as the show it replaced, Dark Angel (the irony).

                        Both the UPN and WB paid dearly for extending Joss's properties. The head of the WB Network at the time was later fired after AtS S5 in large part because he opted to renew that show as well as Charmed instead of axing both in favor of more reality tv which is a bigger money maker for the network. UPN's biggest draw I believe from that time until recently was WWE's Smackdown.
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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Charles View Post
                          IIIRC Firefly got yanked evev after being retooled from its initial form after it failed to do as well as the show it replaced, Dark Angel (the irony).

                          Both the UPN and WB paid dearly for extending Joss's properties. The head of the WB Network at the time was later fired after AtS S5 in large part because he opted to renew that show as well as Charmed instead of axing both in favor of more reality tv which is a bigger money maker for the network.
                          Yeah, well, as with "Dark Angel", no one ever went broke underestimating the taste of the viewing public...
                          "Occasionally, I'm callous and strange..." - Willow Rosenberg, "Buffy the Vampire Slayer"

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by NileQT87 View Post
                            the wb canceled both btvs and ats at season 5. upn just saved btvs for 2 more seasons.

                            the wb gave btvs and ats the same length.

                            sounds like upn didn't keep their promise about ats, though.
                            A financial dispute over per episode cost is not the same thing as getting canceled though - With buffy, it wasn't just the WB that was involved, fox productions was asking for more money per episode (a jump of what was it, 1.6 to 2 mil I think? Or maybe it was 1.4 in season five and the WB's offer for season six was 1.6...I can't remember). Since the WB was offering 1.6, obviously they weren't choosing to cancel the show, it wasn't like they didn't want it on their lineup, they just wanted to pay less for it.

                            Whereas with Angel, they canceled the show, as in, didn't want it on their network anymore. Nothing to do with cost per ep or such...it did have to do with when Joss went to ask for a renewal though, if I remember correctly...he asked early because he wanted to plan the season 6 arc, and they turned him down early.
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                            • #15
                              actually, same story with ats. ats was actually going UP in its ratings (and was even outperforming buffy at times). the network was throwing a tizzy about the cost of producing the show--and ats cost less per episode than btvs did (and, imo, ats looked like the bigger show).

                              most of the reason that ats was canceled was because of reality programming being cheaper to produce with bigger ratings. it wasn't about ratings (only show on the wb that season that went up in the ratings), but because the show was expensive (same reason as btvs) and it was when the wb wanted to jump on the cheaper reality t.v. bandwagon. the networks also disliked the show not being accessible enough to new viewers--too dark and too serial, which is why season 5 had the demanded harmony episode, a lighter feel and more standalones.

                              and btw, spike had nothing to do with the wb's season 5 renewal. spike wasn't even supposed to stay on the show when he came on, but stayed when i think james marsters' movie project he was supposed to leave for fell through (am i right?).

                              the biggest whine the wb had had about season 4 was how expensive it was. the wb cut season 5's budget and made it brighter and less serial. at the end of season 5, the show was still too expensive, despite the improved ratings, and reality t.v. was cheaper with ratings NONE of the scripted shows on the channel could beat.

                              it wasn't about not wanting the show on their network (again, ats' ratings were the wb's only improved ratings for that entire season). it was financial and biggest ratings for the buck. the head honcho also was looking to replace the expensive show with more expensive actors with a remake of dark shadows that never got picked up.

                              Outrage for the cancellation focused on Jordan Levin, the WB's Head of Entertainment. It is firmly believed that Angel was canceled to make room for a primetime remake of Dark Shadows, which has its own vampire, Barnabas Collins. However the pilot was rejected by the WB Television Network.
                              ats ratings (in millions):
                              1st - 4.8
                              2nd - 4.1
                              3rd - 4.4
                              4th - 3.7
                              5th - 4.0
                              Last edited by NileQT87; 16-07-08, 03:19 PM.

                              "If there is no great glorious end to all this, if nothing we do matters, then all that matters is what we do."
                              "Nothing in the world is the way it ought to be. It's harsh and cruel. But that's why there's us. Champions."

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                              • #16
                                Originally posted by Rowan Hawthorn View Post
                                Yeah, well, as with "Dark Angel", no one ever went broke underestimating the taste of the viewing public...
                                The network's job is to cater to the viewer's taste regardless of what said taste is as long as it's not in violation of the FCC guidelines and such.

                                I personally thought Dark Angel picked up where S3 of BtVS left off in terms of writing a compelling and entertaining story of Female empowerment.

                                And from what I remember of the story around AtS, Joss went to Levin and forced his hand. As Levin wanted to renew the series but couldn't, Joss wanted a yes or no answer, got told 'no' and proceeded to throw hissyfit #984898933 and blame everyone but himself for the cancellation. Had he waited, Angel probably would have been renewed. As things were, 'Charmed' I believe was the series that ended up being renewed for one more year.
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                                • #17
                                  Originally posted by Charles View Post
                                  The network's job is to cater to the viewer's taste regardless of what said taste is as long as it's not in violation of the FCC guidelines and such.
                                  Yeah yeah yeah, we know, money talks. Regardless of which, my statement stands.

                                  Originally posted by Charles View Post
                                  I personally thought Dark Angel picked up where S3 of BtVS left off in terms of writing a compelling and entertaining story of Female empowerment.
                                  I'm afraid I found it neither compelling nor entertaining - It could have been, but it just never made it - nor about female empowerment specifically; pretty much the entire series could have been written with Max & Logan's gender roles reversed, without altering the story in any meaningful way.

                                  Originally posted by Charles View Post
                                  And from what I remember of the story around AtS, Joss went to Levin and forced his hand. As Levin wanted to renew the series but couldn't, Joss wanted a yes or no answer, got told 'no' and proceeded to throw hissyfit #984898933 and blame everyone but himself for the cancellation. Had he waited, Angel probably would have been renewed.
                                  Or not. The delay in renewing may have been because Levin "couldn't" renew it (and, if he couldn't, then it's just as likely he still couldn't have later down the road if Joss had waited,) or it may have simply been a delaying tactic to try and avoid tipping their hand before it was convenient for the network. The only ones who know for sure are the ones who were there; the rest of us just put the blame wherever our biases lead us. Me, I've been biased against the way networks make their decisions since sometime in the early 60s.
                                  "Occasionally, I'm callous and strange..." - Willow Rosenberg, "Buffy the Vampire Slayer"

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                                  • #18
                                    I think it was Joss?s decision, he definitively envisioned the seventh season as the final and Joss said they ended on a happy note. That the final scene with Buffy smiling at the prospect of a future was the mission statement for the series since the beginning.

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