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Joss Whedon Killed The WB

When the money-losing WB and UPN networks announced that they were pulling the plug to form a single new broadcast network, many television veterans traced the roots of the decision back five years, when a fight over the fate of “Buffy The Vampire Slayer” drove what would prove to be a fatal stake through the WB’s heart.

The show, produced by 20th Century Fox Television, was a runaway hit with teenage girls. But in early 2001, the WB balked when Fox executives demanded $44 million to license a single season. That fall, the show shifted to UPN, and with it went the WB’s identity as the go-to destination for young viewers.

Now, as CBS Corp. and Time Warner Inc. develop the CW, their new jointly owned network, what killed the WB and UPN is a hot topic in the offices of TV executives all over town. In the end, many agree, the WB’s loss of “Buffy” — which breathed new life into the struggling UPN — set in motion a pitched battle for the coveted youth market that would eventually doom both networks…

Published in people I know researchmaterial


  1. James Waslo James Waslo

    Joss Whedon had every right to kill the WB. And UPN. And he should find a way to kill Fox.

  2. J. J.

    Gee, sympathy for the WB? Not only did they pass on GF, at one point Ronald D. Moore was developing a fantasy series based on Dragonriders of Pern for them. Would have been fun to watch Anne McCaffrey try to run their railroad for them, but if all you’ve got going for you is one show, forget it.

  3. If UPN and WB spent all that time chasing after the youth market, they were doomed from the start. The youth market is playing with its Playstations and Xboxes, exposing its flesh and brain-filth on Myspace, fiddling with its cell phones and downloading all the media it needs off the World Wide Intarwub.

    You want the youth market? Make something stupid-funny that’ll play on an iPod.

  4. Joss Whedon is brilliant he created two of the best shows ever to be playn and that was
    “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” and “Angel”. He should creat “Faith” now that would be another hit.

  5. Andy Andy

    Joss Whedon is brilliant. He created two of the most popular bad shows on TV, made buckets of money, AND killed the WB.

  6. megra megra

    If anyone was single-handedly responsible for the demise of WB, it was Jordan Levine its former
    CEO. He was responsible for losing BTVS and then he cancelled Angel, only for WB to decide later
    they’d really like to have kept it. Of course, the one WB blamed was Joss Whedon for insisting
    that his actors and crew be treated with respect and get told whether or not they had jobs the
    next season so they could plan ahead.

    I’m not trying to suggest that Joss Whedon is devoid of responsibility for the outcomes of his
    shows. He would be the first to admit, I think, that he has an ego and I suspect he can be
    difficult to deal with if you get on the wrong side of him. But he was producing the goods for
    WB so why did Levine handle him and the situation so badly?

    I don’t know if Levine jumped or was pushed but, of course, he left WB more than 18 months ago
    having done the damage.

  7. L Hale L Hale

    The WB had a decision to make and they made the wrong one (of several). Who knows?! If UPN hadn’t bought the rights to Buffy the Vampire Slayer, we may not have a Veronica Mars today. We can be thankful at least for that, and those two extra years of Buffy. Just think if it hadn’t been picked up?!

    Also, I’m still bitter about the early demise of Angel. At least they went out on a high note.

  8. kathy kathy

    If the new combined CW network is SMART they should try to win back some of the Whedon fans by asking Joss to do a new series for their network…or better yet, do the much rumored Spike movie. Then perhaps a whole series of Buffy/Angelverse movies. I think this would go a long way towards bringing a lot of Buffy and Angel fans back.

  9. coma coma

    i’d be laughing for this title and post, if i could stop smiling for “nerds breeds autism”.

  10. Dan Forinton Dan Forinton

    I preferred John Rogers’ explanation:

    “That’s right people. The WB didn’t pick up Global Frequency, so I killed it. With my mind.”

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