‘Angel’ returns

From The Post-Gazette:

Contrary to statements by WB executives in May, “Angel” executive producer Joss Whedon says, actress Charisma Carpenter may appear on the drama series again. Though she’s no longer a series regular, Whedon said, he wants Carpenter to return to give closure to her character’s story. Carpenter’s Cordelia ended the season in May in a coma.

“That’s what we want, but it’s dependent on her schedule,” Whedon said Sunday at a WB party. “We know what we want to do; it’s just a question of when to do it.”

“Angel,” which has decent WB-sized ratings in original episodes but doesn’t perform well in reruns, won a late renewal reprieve in May. The end of “Buffy the Vampire Slayer,” from which “Angel” was spun off, helped “Angel’s” case.

“With the departure of ‘Buffy,’ we thought we had a great opportunity to grow the show,” said WB Entertainment president Jordan Levin. To that end, executives asked Whedon to write more self-contained stories.

“Last season was basically a 22-hour episode,” Whedon acknowledged. “We started the show saying we’ll be stand-alone, and then, I don’t want to say we failed so much as decided that wasn’t what we were really interested in. Now that we have an almost unwieldy cast, we can do stand-alone episodes but still have character resonance in them.”

James Marsters, who played the vampire Spike on “Buffy,” will join “Angel” in the first episode, but Whedon wouldn’t explain how the character, killed in the “Buffy” finale, will be resurrected, except to say the amulet he held during his demise will play a role in Spike’s revival.

“The second episode deals with what the hell he’s doing there,” Whedon said. “In the old version of the show, we might have stretched that out for a lot of episodes. In the new version of the show, by the end of that [episode] you’ll know why he’s there and, more importantly, what part he plays in the ensemble.”

Now that Team Angel will be working for its former nemesis, the evil law firm Wolfram & Hart, it will vacate its hotel base and move into “swank new apartments.”

“The [hotel] lobby was beautiful, but eventually it was a giant room with all of our people standing around talking, and our writers would just want to kill themselves trying to find a new way to do that,” Whedon said of the pending set changes.

A new character, who “might just be a little bit sexy,” will join the show as a go-between at Wolfram & Hart. Characters from “Buffy” and “Angel” episodes past, including conniving Lilah, may return, but the only one confirmed so far is the ditzy vampire Harmony.