The TV biz won’t have Sarah Michelle Geller or Joss Whedon to kick around any more.
Geller’s movie THE GRUDGE was a surprise hit this weekend, pulling in $40 million. Anyone who can open a movie that big is officially a movie star. I doubt she’ll be considering any TV series offers now.
And BUFFY creator Joss Whedon, who is currently making a movie version of his short-lived Fox series FIREFLY, announced today that he is getting out of the TV series business.
“Twentieth Century Fox TV has approved Whedon’s request to halt his overall deal at the studio, effectively shuttering his Mutant Enemy production shingle. Besides wanting to focus on his feature career, Whedon said he decided to take a break from TV because, quite simply, he had run out of series ideas.
“I spent a lot of time trying to think what my next series would be,” Whedon said. “I couldn’t think of anything. When that happens, it generally means something is just not working. I didn’t feel like I could come up with anything that the networks would want.”
It’s not surprising that his decision to get out of the TV biz comes while he’s in the midst of writing/directing the movie version of FIREFLY, his only other TV series that wasn’t a BUFFY spin-off. It must be bringing back some unpleasant memories of his dealing with the Fox network. It was a troubled project from the start. The original pilot was scrapped, effectively changing the creative direction of the series…and the series never quite recovered, not that it was given much of a chance. Fox canceled the series after only a handful of episodes. I imagine that experience, as well as the WB’s surprising cancellation of ANGEL, undoubtably had an impact on his decision to stop toiling in TV for a while. That, and the current state of television…
“I have a bitter taste in my mouth with where TV has gone in the past five years,” said Whedon, who called TV’s reality trend “loathsome.”