WB stakes ‘Buffy,’ ‘Angel’ again

From The Hollywood Reporter:

By Cynthia Littleton

The WB network has sunk its teeth a little deeper into “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” and “Angel,” giving both 20th Century Fox TV series 22-episode orders for the 2000-01 season.

Both shows were a cinch to be renewed — they rank as the WB’s third- and fourth-highest rated shows this season — but the WB gave the official word to 20th early in part to jump-start production for the new season.

Joss Whedon, creator of “Buffy” and co-creator with David Greenwalt of the spinoff “Angel,” will dive into writing new  “Angel” scripts in June, with plans to shift the focus to “Buffy” later in the summer.

“Buffy,” starring Sarah Michelle Gellar, blossomed as a signature show for the WB early on after its March 1997 premiere.  “Angel,” the spinoff focusing on Buffy’s one-time vampire flame, has been the WB’s highest-rated new series this season.

As was the case with Gellar and “Buffy,” “Angel” has made a star out of its lead vampire, actor David Boreanaz. Whedon said there will be a few more regular supporting characters added to  “Angel” by next season.

“We’re looking to build up the ensemble a little more, but you’ll see fewer stories that are peripheral to Angel,” Whedon said.  “We initially saw ‘Angel’ as being more of a guardian for other characters, but we found the audience was much more emotionally invested in Angel, so we’ll be staying closer to home and exploring his character.”