Joss on KROQ’s Kevin and Bean morning show, April 2nd

This is a transcript of Joss on a radio show. The transcript was provided by fans TxVoodoo and anige.

Bean: …it is unbelievable! But we’d like —

Joss: I told them to target you guys specifically.

Kevin: Like we have any say over it! Right! We’d like to say, Joss, it’s obvious that your fans still want it, why are you quitting?

Joss: Um, I’m not quitting, I’m being fired.

Kevin: Oh, oh, that’s right, I forgot.

Bean: Oh, way to walk away from it and break everyone’s heart, Joss, nice work!

Joss: Yeah, yeah.

Kevin: Tell us all about, uh, about “Angel.” We really — Bean is not exaggerating, we have been inundated with people who are dying to save this show from all over the world.

Joss: You know, um, unfortunately, none of them seem to work for networks. It’s odd.

Kevin: Yeah, unfortunately.

Joss: Um, you know, I — I was shocked as hell when we got cancelled.

Kevin: You were.

Joss: Um, I thought, uh, the show — I know the show was doing better than it’s done before, I know people were receiving it well, we thought we were hitting our stride hugely, it’s been a great year, we’ve been having so much fun, and it sort of came out of the blue.

Kevin: So, so, ratings-wise, there were no big red flags going off, you were fine.

Joss: No, no, none.

Kevin: Huh.

Joss: But, uh, you know, the WB I think is just looking to shake up its image, and do some stuff that’s new, and we’ve been on for five years, and so we didn’t just quite make the cut with them.

Kevin: Wow.

Joss: And it’s that simple, it’s, it’s, it’s dollars and cents.

Kevin: What can you —

Joss: Well, not cents so much as dollars.

Kevin: Dollars, right. Yeah, exactly, they’re willing to give you the benefit of the doubt on the pennies, but not so much on the dollars. Uh, before we, uh, before we talk about what is likely to happen, what can y — tell folks what the saving — how savingangel.org got started, if you know, and some of the things that they’ve been doing in support of how much they love your show.

Joss: Well, I do know — I don’t know how exactly they got started — I do know that one of the things they did, uh, uh, besides, uh, hiring a truck with a billboard to drive around LA and taking out ads in “The Hollywood Reporter” and “Variety”, which is not cheap —

Kevin: Right.

Joss: — they did organize a rally that happened, uh, on Wednesday, outside the actual WB, um, uh, to make a — a big ruckus in front of the actual executives.

Kevin: That’s gotta really make you feel good —

Joss: Gotta tell you, it does.

Kevin: — about a product that you’ve worked so hard on.

Joss: It does. Because, uh, I was really heartbroken when they, when they cancelled the show. We still have something to air, which, uh, we’re working on now. We’re about to start shooting the — the very last episode.

Kevin: Right.

Joss: It’s been really sort of sad, over in the offices, and knowing that there are so many people who are sharing that with us? Is pretty cool.

Kevin: You know, uh, w — as you know, we’ve been putting in the request for the last couple of weeks to have you on because we really did want to talk about this, and raise awareness of it, and we were always told by your people, “Hey, he’s furiously typing this final episode of ‘Angel'”, in your mind, did you write it as the last episode of “Angel”, or did you leave some room open for it to come back?

Joss: Well, I always do both. When I come to the end of a season, and this started from the very beginning of “Buffy”, um, I always write it to give complete closure and really cap everything I tried to say about the series, but leave enough stuff open that, should there be another season, um, there’s plenty to do.

Kevin: Just because it’s always up in the air, no matter —

Joss: Yeah.

Kevin: — no matter what you’re doing?

Joss: Yeah, the reaper always loometh.

Kevin: That sounds like it ought to be the name of the episode, by the way. Doesn’t that sound like an “Angel” title?

Joss: No, the name of the episode is, “Not Fade Away.”

Kevin: “Not Fade Away.”

Lisa: Oh. Well, that’s good too.

Kevin: Interesting.

Bean: Nice.

Kevin: You know, it used to be in the old days, 99.9% of the time, when a show was cancelled, that was it, there was no fighting, there was no talking, it was outta here. Nowadays, it seems like there are more and more examples of shows that are cancelled by one network, and then they get picked up by somebody else, maybe they go to cable, uh —

Bean: Uh-huh.

Kevin: Obviously, the story — the case of the — yeah, one of our favorite shows, “The Family Guy” that was cancelled —

Joss: Right.

Kevin: — and then now it’s being brought back because of the DVD sales. What are the various options available to you, and what do you think is gonna happen, Joss?

Joss: Well, I’m not sure what’s gonna happen. There’s been some talk about the idea of doing, um, TV movies or miniseries, um, uh, on a limited basis —

Kevin: Uh-huh.

Joss: Um, we haven’t really, sort of, explored that yet, we’re just trying to get this season through the ground. But, um, uh, you know, in the case of “Buffy”, it did go to another network, in the case of “Firefly”, um, you know, I’ve managed to turn it into a film, um —

Kevin: I love that about you, Joss. Here is what happens: “Firefly” comes on the air, and it just, for s — for whatever reasons, I think it was on a bad night, wasn’t it, uh —

Lisa: Yeah.

Bean: It was Friday nights, I remember.

Kevin: Friday nights, it just —

Joss: Possibly a bad network!

Kevin: — it didn’t catch on. And, uh, but Joss says, “You know what? I’m gonna make it into a movie anyway, ’cause I like it, and it’s got some stuff that people haven’t seen yet.” So I love that about you.

Joss: Oh, thanks. It wasn’t easy, but, uh, it should be fun.

Bean: All right.

Kevin: So you could take “Angel” to another network, right?

Joss: You know, um, it’s a little bit different. “Buffy” was such a cultural phenomenon, that it — and, and the war about it was — got such press, that that was kind of a no-brainer for UPN. “Angel” is in a different situation. We have always flown a little bit more under the radar. Um, and, uh, I think we — it’s gonna be very difficult. I don’t see it happening. I don’t see another network happening for us.

Kevin: Hmm.

Bean: Wow.

Kevin: Note to UPN: you’d be lucky to have it.

Bean: Yeah, no kidding.

Kevin: Uh, you know the —

Joss: I didn’t say that!

Kevin: — the, uh —

Joss: I went near it, but I didn’t say it!

Kevin: The critics, that I, uh, that I read a lot in “Entertainment Weekly” or in “USA Today” — they’ve been extremely supportive of “Angel”. It’s not just the fans, I mean, you get a lot of g — a lot of good critical press on the show too.

Joss: You know, I — I didn’t expect it to happen after “Buffy”. I expected the big backlash to start, but, uh, “Angel” kind of has its own vibe, and, and critics have responded to it too. I mean, everything about it is working just great, and these episodes that we have coming up, I’m as proud of as anything we’ve done on it. Everything is just perfect except for the fact that we’re dead.

Kevin: All right, so, let me see if I can recap, then. Critics, check. Ratings, check. Um, success, check. But it’s dead.

Joss: Yeah.

Kevin: This is odd. Um, what —

Lisa: I don’t know what need to do nowadays to keep a show on!

Kevin: Did they — did they give you a reason?

Joss: There were reasons. They had to do with repeatability, and, and, and in terms of, uh, ad revenues and the repeats, and, and again about, you know, “Well, we have to bring in new shows, we have to have more reality shows” — yes, reality shows are in fact killing the landscape of television —

Kevin: Oh, no.

Joss: — which I didn’t think they’d do —

Kevin: Wow.

Joss: — and, um, you know, just, uh, just no place for — for an — an old codger like Angel. He’s like, two hundred and fifty, and that’s not their demographic.

Kevin: You know, uh, we’re talking to Joss Whedon here for just this morning about his show “Angel” that is gonna be leaving us, I guess, in May, will be the last episode, right?

Joss: Uh, that’s right.

Kevin: May, right. And, uh, you do bring up a good point that we hadn’t touched on, and that is… And this happens a lot, when you’re dealing with entertainment, whether you’re talking about music or TV or movies, is that you — it touches you, because it’s art, but on the other side of it, there are bean keepers, and, and, and they have to make a profit, and there are a lot of shows that end up going away, you know, because it just costs too much money to make. It’s not profitable anymore. It’s not that the show is — isn’t good, it’s just that they can’t justify it in the bottom line anymore, and —

Joss: Although —

Kevin: — sometimes it sounds like that’s what you get up against.

Joss: We did take a huge budget cut this year, actually cost less this year than it did last year.

Kevin: And you said, “Uh, okay, well, we would rather not, but we can make it work?”

Joss: We made it work.

Kevin: Wow.

Joss: For a season. Wasn’t easy.

Kevin: Okay —

Joss: We spent a lot of time in that lobby.

Kevin: Okay, here’s the — here’s the real question, then, Joss. Is there anything anyone can do to help you at this point, or is it just in the hands of — of the suits?

Joss: You know, I think all the noise that’s been made by the fans, um, does help. Because, um, you know, we — we’re talking about different venues for not just “Angel”, but the Buffy — Buffyverse in general.

Kevin: Right.

Joss: You know. Spinoffs, or, if — TV movies, or whatever it is, uh, the more interest that’s shown, um, whether or not the show itself as it is now gets to come back, um, that registers — that registers with people, you know.

Kevin: Now, Bean and I are not, uh, uh, the people who can bring it back, unfortunately —

Joss: What?

Kevin: — if we were, we would —

Lisa: Right.

Joss: Oh —

Kevin: So — so, Joss who —

Joss: Oh, I’ve misdirected my fans.

Kevin: Who should they — who should they write to?

Joss: Um, you know, I believe, uh, Fox Studios, who produces it, um, and, uh, you know, they should just keep writing to everybody. The more, you know — the WB, the other networks — the more the awareness of it is out there, um, the more, you know, it has a chance at — at finding some kind of life.

Kevin: Oh, I see.

Joss: Even though I honestly don’t think it’s gonna come back in its present incarnation as the “Angel” series, um, you know, I think there’s a lot more to say about the Buffyverse in general.

Bean: So people could even write to, say, ABC, and say “Hey, by the way, they’re taking ‘Angel’ off, I sure would watch ABC if you were to pick it up.”

Joss: If people have the time —

Kevin: Wow.

Joss: — they could write to everybody.

Bean: Except for — except for Kevin and Bean.

Joss: No, mostly Kevin and Bean.

Kevin: Oh, no. There’s gonna be —

Joss: Listen to the sound of my voice. Kevin and Bean are the power behind the WB.

Kevin: We just have no control! But we have — but we have no control!

Joss: They are the power.

Kevin: Oh, Joss.

Joss: Joe Levin, he puts on a cowl, he lights a candle, and he prays to them.

Bean: Joss, it’s gotta be so crazy for you to wake up in a world where “Yes, Dear” is on the air every week and you’re having trouble keeping “Angel” going.

Joss: Um, you know, uh, you know, uh, y– did you know who’s president?

Bean: Yeah.

Joss: World’s crazy, you know.

Kevin: Yeah, the world is definitely crazy. Well, uh, we’re very grateful that you, uh — that you managed to get on the air and talk to us about this. This has — this is something that we have been talking about, uh, without you, the past couple of weeks because we’re certainly aware of the groundswell, and I — man, I hate to see a show that people love — not — I mean, there are so few shows that you can get passionate about, if you find something great, there’s gotta be a way to make it work so the fans can be happy I —

Joss: Yes.

Kevin: I really believe that. And I — And I think you’re giving some good advice, to just to keep — keep making noise! You know, the old squeaky wheel, like they say.

Joss: Yup.

Kevin: All right.

Joss: ‘Cause, uh, we’ll — we’ll figure out something. It’s — our stories aren’t told yet —

Bean: There you go.

Joss: — not quite yet.

Bean: There’s so much more to be told.

Lisa: Yes.

Joss: Yup.

Kevin: Joss Whedon, thanks a lot.

Joss: Thank you, guys.

Kevin: Bye now.

Bean: Bye.

Joss: Bye bye.