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UPN Talks BUFFY

Network is glad to have series on schedule.

By Frank Kurtz     July 18, 2001


Sarah Michelle Gellar as BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER
© 2001 20th Century Fox

The UPN TV Network is understandably glad about acquiring BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER, but is Sarah Michelle Gellar happy they did?


While addressing the press at the TCA in Los Angeles, UPN prez, Dean Valentine addressed the BUFFY star, saying, "From our point, I think she'll be happy to tell you the same thing, which is they've been great. We've had wonderful conversations. She's thrilled to be a part of UPN... We're thrilled to have her. I think it's a wonderful relationship so far."


Valentine was also asked to address the WB's contention that the BUFFY deal was attached to the dealing of the NewsCorp (mother corporation of 20th Century Fox) owned TV affiliates. Valentine addressed that point, saying, "Re-upping the affiliates is not part of the deal. They actually began -- I guess it was a story the WB started. The BUFFY negotiations started well before the affiliate renegotiation. Where the affiliate renegotiation played in is that the BUFFY deal was a two-year deal. And the affiliation agreement ran out about a year from now. And so it is impossible for us to make a two-year deal for BUFFY without knowing that the stations would be there to broadcast it. It was completely too large a commitment to make. It wasn't a quid pro quo. And they weren't really related until the very, very end of the process. We didn't take BUFFY because we wanted the extension of the affiliation. They didn't put BUFFY on us because they wanted the extension either. So that's really -- that's sort of how it happened."


One point that the WB definitely differs from regarding BUFFY is the possibility of crossovers with ANGEL. Valentine says, "We are totally okay with it. If it's something that Joss wants to do, we certainly have no problem with it. We think whatever is right for the show and for the audience, above all, which has come to look at these shows, in some way, as joined. We don't want the audience to feel cheated or that the competitiveness between the WB or UPN is standing in the way of their right to their show. It's clearly going to depend on the WB, not on us. We won't stand in the way of it."

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