If Gellar exits, what will become of ''Buffy''? EW asks UPN the biting question
Sarah Michelle Gellar, Michelle Trachtenberg, ...
Credit: Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Richard Cartwright

Sarah Michelle Gellar may be ready to pull up stakes, but that hasn’t stopped UPN from imagining life without ”Buffy the Vampire Slayer.” Says UPN entertainment president Dawn Ostroff: ”The franchise is important to us, so obviously we’re going to do everything we can to keep the show.” The net has already begun talks with Buffy exec producers Joss Whedon and Marti Noxon about the show’s future if Gellar decides to walk in May — a direction that could require a major overhaul of the plot and title. ”A show with no Sarah is a spin-off,” says Noxon, who believes fans should brace themselves for life without Gellar. ”We can’t call it ‘Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Her Friends and Family’ or ‘Buffy’s Vampire Ex-Boyfriend.”’ Don’t expect ”Dawn the Slayerette,” either. While the drama has highlighted Dawn (Michelle Trachtenberg) and her Scoobyish pals at Sunnydale High, Noxon’s not that interested in making a vampire ”90210.”

”This season feels really strong — we feel like we’re hitting all cylinders. But I have mixed feelings about going on,” admits Noxon. ”I want to do work I feel proud of before the idea of killing vampires is like sticking a hot poker in my eye.” As is typical for most ”Buffy” plotlines, tension is sure to mount, because a decision on an eighth season and Gellar’s participation isn’t expected until late winter. Predicts Noxon, ”No matter what happens, ‘Buffy’ will look different if it comes back — on camera and behind the scenes.”

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