There are few TV series in the history of the medium that have been as original as "Buffy, the Vampire Slayer."
Conceived by master writer Joss Whedon, "Buffy" had a small but devoted core of fans while it ran on The WB and later UPN from 1997-2003.
Despite its relatively brief time off the air, Warner Bros. announced its planning a "Buffy" movie -- not based on the TV series and with no involvement from Whedon.
There's not even involvement of any of Whedon't superb writing staff -- no Jane Espenson, Marti Noxon, David Fury, David Greenwalt, etc. Instead, a novice writer named Whit Anderson, who has no writing credits and only a few credits as an actress, has gotten the assignment. How? Who knows?
The new "Buffy" movie -- not to be confused with the schlocky 1992 Kristy Swanson "Buffy" movie -- won't include any of the TV characters. It reportedly is a reboot, but not set during Buffy's high school years. A new Buffy will be cast.
Personally, I'd love to see a "Buffy" movie -- one that is directed by Whedon and starring the TV cast, based on the events of the series. The supporting characters on "Buffy" -- Willow, Giles, Spike, etc. -- were so good that they proved the perfect complements to Buffy.
Here's the issue -- Whedon owns the rights to the characters he created for the TV series. Buffy, however, is owned by Fran and Kaz Kuzui, for whom Whedon wrote the script for the 1992 movie. Whedon's original script was much closer in tone to the TV series, but Fran Kuzui, who directed it, made it much more schlocky.
When Whedon and Fox studios were going to make the TV series, the Kuzuis leased the rights to the character back to them, but still retained ownership, which is why you always saw the Kuzuis listed as producers on the TV show even though they had nothing to do with it.
Warner Bros., which already makes "Twilight," is still hoping to tap into the vampire craze and the teen market, so it would seem that a new "Buffy" might do that. However, putting out a mediocre product will not only not attract new fans, but will alienate the die-hard "Buffy" fans who supported the series and its spinoff, "Angel."
Now, I know there are remakes out there that have been good. "Battlestar Galactica" leaps to mind, and the current "Hawaii Five-0" is doing well. But those were based on relatively mediocre series that aired three decades earlier. "Buffy" has only been off the air for seven years, and has been listed as one of the Top 50 best series of all time by "TV Guide" and Top 100 series of all time by "Time" magazine.
It's really impossible to contemplate a "Buffy" movie without Whedon, who reportedly is unhappy with the announcement. Given the potential negative impact on the franchise, he probably should be.
TUESDAY'S BEST BETS: "NCIS" (CBS, 8 p.m.) wraps up last week's cliffhanger with Ziva's father kidnapped by terrorists. It's followed by "NCIS: LA" and "The Good Wife."
Will Bristol Palin be the new winner of "Dancing With The Stars?" Probably. You can see for yourself in the two-hour finale (ABC, 9 p.m.) after a new "No Ordinary Family."
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NBC has "The Biggest Loser," followed by "Parenthood."
On cable, "Stargate Universe" (SyFy, 9 p.m.) is new.
So is "Sons of Anarchy" (FX, 10 p.m.) which has SAMCRO wrapping up its business in Ireland only to face a major problem back in Charming.