Buffy the Vampire Slayer is an American television series created by Joss Whedon under his production tag, Mutant Enemy Productions with later co-executive producers being Jane Espenson, David Fury, David Greenwalt, Doug Petrie, Marti Noxon, and David Solomon.
Let’s see some interesting facts about it!
1. The series premiered on March 10, 1997, on The WB and concluded on May 20, 2003, on UPN.
2. The series narrative follows Buffy Summers (played by Sarah Michelle Gellar), the latest in a line of young women known as “Vampire Slayers”, or simply “Slayers”. In the story, Slayers are “called” (chosen by fate) to battle against vampires, demons, and other forces of darkness.
3. Like previous Slayers, Buffy is aided by a Watcher, who guides, teaches, and trains her. Unlike her predecessors, Buffy surrounds herself with a circle of loyal friends who become known as the “Scooby Gang”.
4. The series received critical and popular acclaim, frequently being listed as one of the greatest TV shows of all time, and usually reached between four and six million viewers on original airings.
5. Although such ratings are lower than successful shows on the “big four” networks (ABC, CBS, NBC, and Fox), they were a success for the relatively new and smaller WB Television Network.
6. Buffy’s success has led to hundreds of tie-in products, including novels, comics, and video games.
7. The series has received attention in fandom (including fan films), parody, and academia, and has influenced the direction of other television series.
8. Sarah Michelle Gellar was up for the lead in Sabrina, the Teenage Witch before accepting the role of Buffy.
9. Although she almost wasn’t even Buffy. She was originally up for the role of Cordelia, while the actress who played Cordelia, Charisma Carpenter, auditioned for Buffy. Producers made them swap roles.
10. Carpenter was reluctant to take the role of Cordelia as she had already played a bitchy character in Aaron Spelling’s Malibu Shores. Her agent told her she couldn’t be typecast because no one knew who she was, so she admitted defeat and signed up.
11. Carpenter was 27 years old when the show first aired, making her one of the oldest actors ever to play a teenager.
12. Selma Blair and Katie Holmes were also up for the role of Buffy.
13. Ryan Reynolds almost played nerdy sidekick Xander – but ended up turning it down.
14. Nathan Fillion auditioned for Angel in 1996. He later would play evil priest, Caleb, in season seven, and become one of Whedon’s go-to collaborators.
15. Joss Whedon revealed that he chose the iconic theme song after Alyson Hannigan made him listen to the song (by Nerf Herder).
16. Spike could’ve been a Southern vamp! James Marsters originally auditioned with a Texas twang, but producers decided to make the platinum blonde vamp a Brit, with Anthony Stewart Head (Giles) coaching Marsters. Originally set to be killed off in five episodes by Angel, Spike ended up becoming the male lead.
17. Marsters had to bleach his hair every eight days for almost six years to maintain Spike’s iconic hairstyle.
18. David Boreanaz was discovered by the casting director’s friend. They were struggling to cast the part of Angel until a friend spotted Boreanaz walking his dog and got him to audition because he fit the bill so much.
19. Boreanaz used to pull his pants down between scenes to test if his co-stars could keep a straight face and stay in character.
20. He also used to fool around with Gellar, his on-screen love interest. In a 2002 interview, Gellar revealed: “[We] were the worst. We would do horrible things to each other. Like eat tuna fish and pickle before we kissed. If he had to unbutton my shirt or trousers I would pin them or sew them together to make it as hard as I could. Once I even dropped ice cream on him.”
21. Boreanaz was reportedly offered the role of Batman in Christopher Nolan’s reboot as a result of his portrayal of Angel, as well as a role in the Resident Evil series – but allegedly turned both down.
22. Nicholas Brendon, who played Xander, grew up with a stuttering problem and got into acting to help overcome it.
23. A spinoff centering on Faith (Eliza Dushku) was in the works, but it ultimately fell through. “I had come up with a pitch. Eliza was gracious, kind and wonderful, but she felt like she wanted to do something new,” executive producer Tim Minear said. “There is no hard feelings there. But the show was basically going to be Faith meets Kung Fu.”
24. A few storylines Whedon wish he had explored more? “There are a couple of things I would’ve liked to have seen a little more of; either Vampire or Hyena Xander, because Nick pulls that off really well,” he said in an interview with The New York Times. “And I wish we had been able to service Dawn’s character a little bit more in her third season.
25. Gellar revealed she’s Team Angel when it comes to Angel vs. Spike.
26. The cast hated filming all of the scenes in the library because it would always mean a lengthy speech for Head.
27. There was a reason for the vampires’ scary faces – Whedon said: “I didn’t think I really wanted to put a show on the air about a high-school girl who was stabbing normal-looking people in the heart. I thought somehow that might send the wrong message, but when they are clearly monsters, it takes it to a level of fantasy that is safer.”
28. Eliza Dushku (Faith) grew up a Mormon and therefore refused to ever do any nude scenes in the show.
29. The rest of the cast only found out Buffy the Vampire Slayer was ending when Gellar announced it in the media.
30. Sarah Michelle and Alyson are the only two Buffy stars who appeared in every episode of the show (144 in total). Nicholas Brendon missed one episode.