Angel Was Shut Down Before Its Second Ever Episode

The first incarnation of Buffy spinoff series, Angel, was too dark for Warner Bros., according to its creators.

Angel is celebrating its 20th anniversary this year (yikes we’re old) and to celebrate, Entertainment Weekly has put together a reuinion issue looking back at the series and gathering together the core cast to chat about making the vampire detective show, and its legacy.

You can see much of the content over here – and if you’re an Angel fan it’s recommended – but in one part of the interview, co-creator David Greenwalt reveals that they had to shut down production on the Buffy spinoff series in its infancy, because they were getting a little too carried away with the idea of pursuing a grimmer vibe than the Slayer-heavy show that spawned it.

In fact, the script for the ever second episode gave WB execs a case of the ‘woah, woah, what?’s, and Greenwalt and partner in crime Joss Whedon had to put the show on hold and go back to the drawing board for a while.

“[WB execs] completely freaked out, and they were right because in our effort to go dark, we went a little too dark,” Greenwalt admitted to EW.

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further reading: Angel – The Buffy Spinoff’s 10 Funniest Moments

He then went on to describe one scene where Angel ‘watches a girl die and then proceeds to lick her blood up off the ground’ adding “If you’re gonna go that dark, you have to earn it. So, we shut down for a few weeks, revamped some things and we were off and running.”

Although this particular Angel story didn’t pass muster with The WB, the team stuck to their guns by going on to produce a much darker show than fans of David Boreanaz’s character were expecting at the time.

“We thought, ‘Let’s do a noir thing that’s about addiction and redemption, and we’ll put them in L.A.,'” Greenwalt said. “The stories will be darker and, more important [and Angel] will be darker.”

Greenwalt also thinks Angel would have gone on to live on past five seasons if Whedon hadn’t pushed WB CEO Jordan Levin to decide three months early if he was going to renew the series for a sixth season back in 2004, an opinion previously voiced by both Angel‘s executive producer David Fury and WB chairman Garth Ancier.

We hope you gently hummed the Angel theme tune along to these words. Have a good weekend!

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