It’s not like Buffy the Vampire fans haven’t had their fix since the show left the air back in 2013. Dark Horse has done some amazing work with their “Buffy seasons” comic book series – but in the back of their minds, fans are always left wondering just how “in canon” a comic book series can be. Look at The X-Files “seasons” at IDW, where Joe Harris was able to maintain the strength of the show while defining it in new directions as the TV series continued in print form- until Fox and Chris Carter decided to bring the show back.
Now what does that have to do with Buffy the Vampire Slayer? The question of reviving the series was brought up to Fox Chairman and CEO Gary Newman at the INTV Conference in Jerusalem, and Newman wants “Scoobies” to know that the idea isn’t a new one for the network: “I think if you look in our library, Buffy is probably the most ripe show we have for bringing back. Acknowledging that he “wouldn’t get out of the building alive” if he left with the question without as clear an answer as possible, Newman stressed that the “Mr. Pointy’s” in show creator Joss Whedon‘s court:
“It’s something we talk about frequently, and Joss Whedon is really one of the greatest creators we ever worked with. When Joss decides it’s time, we’ll do it. And until Joss decides it’s time, it won’t happen.”
From 1997-2003, Buffy the Vampire Slayer aired seven seasons over two networks: five on the WB and two on UPN; celebrating its 20th anniversary in 2017. Whedon’s beloved and influential series starred Sarah Michelle Gellar, David Boreanz, Alyson Hannigan, Charisma Carpenter, Anthony Stewart Head, Seth Green and James Marsters.
Fox is no stranger to reviving series, with The X-Files, 24 and Prison Break on the broadcast side; and The Greatest American Hero for ABC on the development side. Still, Newman cautions that revivals shouldn’t be seen as nostalgic money-grabs but actually have a creative purpose for existing – and a fanbase that wants it to return:
“Most times when we brought things back, it started with the creator coming into us and saying I’ve got another story I want to tell. It seems to me that if there isn’t a real sense of nostalgia, a passionate fan base demonstrating they still want it then I don’t really buy bringing these shows back.”
Using the example of ABC’s The Greatest American Hero casting a young Indian-American woman (New Girl‘s Hannah Simone) in the lead role, Newman continued: “If you do it cynically, if you don’t have a great creative reason to do it, I don’t think it’s going to work.”