Buffy the Animated Series
Buffy the Animated Series is a proposed animated spin-off of Buffy the Vampire Slayer which ultimately went undeveloped. The series would have taken place during Buffy's sophomore year in high school, when season two of the main series was set. It would have also retroactively included Dawn in Buffy's exploits as a side effect of her creation in season five.
Initially, the series was produced for 20th Century Fox in 2001 by series creator Joss Whedon and noted comic book writer Jeph Loeb, making use of most of the cast as voice actors. The series was greenlit by FOX for broadcast on its FOX Kids morning cartoon block as early as February 2002, but the series was scrapped when the block was replaced with an anime focused syndicated block run by Funimation. Whedon shopped the series to other networks, but there was no interest in the series.
Two years after the first version of the series fell apart, Whedon and the cast made another attempt at selling an animated Buffy series. Anthony Stewart Head, Alyson Hannigan, Nicholas Brendon and Giselle Loren, voice of Buffy in the Buffy video games, all contributed voices to a 4-minute pilot presentation involving Buffy staking a vampire and nearly being eaten by a dragon. Gellar turned down the reprisal, saying that she was too busy, hadn't seen a script and was afraid of jumping the shark. Animator Eric Wight worked as art director for the promo. The presentation was once again shopped to a variety of networks, but no interest was shown in it.
In an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Whedon spoke candidly about the failed series: "We just couldn't find a home for (it). We had a great animation director, great visuals, six or seven hilarious scripts from our own staff -- and nobody wanted it. I was completely baffled. I felt like I was sitting there with bags of money and nobody would take them from me. It was a question of people either not wanting it or not being able to put up the money because it was not a cheap show. One thing I was very hard-line about was, I didn't want people to see it if it looked like crap. I wanted it to be on a level with Animaniacs or Batman: The Animated Series. And that's a little pricier. But I just don't think it's worth doing unless it's beautiful to look at as well as fun."
Executive Producer Jeph Loeb would also later state that the problem for networks was the fact that it was too "adult" for kids' programming, but not adult enough for primetime. There was also some movement towards producing the series for direct-to-DVD releases which did not pan out, according to writer David Fury.
The production was officially declared dead by Whedon in 2005. Since then, bits of the show's production have leaked out through the former crew, including pieces of scripts, character designs and even the pilot presentation itself.
In January 2009, an issue of the Buffy season eight comic series, was written by Loeb with art by Wight, utilizing the style of the second iteration of the animated series. The story, posited as a dream sequence, expanded the four-minute pilot presentation into a full story.
- "A Day in the Life" (by Jeph Loeb and Joss Whedon)
- "Teeny" (by Jane Espenson)
- "Lunch is Revolting!" (by Jane Espenson)
- "The Back Room" (by Jane Espenson)
- Completed episode script (by Steven S. DeKnight)
- Completed episode script (by Drew Greenberg)
- Completed episode script (by Doug Petrie)
- Unstarted episode script (story set aside for Rebecca Rand Kirshner)
- Unstarted episode script
- At a Glance: Additional information about the series