PGA honors TV guru with special award

Joss Whedon, the sci-fi and fantasy producer-writer-director-creator of such TV shows as “Buffy the Vampire Slayer,” “Angel,” “Firefly” and “Dollhouse,” and writer or co-writer of such film scripts as “Toy Story” and “Alien Resurrection,” follows in the footsteps of George Lucas and James Cameron in receiving the Vanguard Award — as well as those of his grandfather and father, who were both successful writers on shows such as “The Donna Reed Show” and “Leave It to Beaver.”

Whedon landed his first writing job on “Roseanne,” then co-produced and wrote for “Parenthood.” But it was with his campy, clever “Buffy” series — which he’d originally scripted as a film — that Whedon tapped into the zeitgeist. The show, which ran for 145 episodes between 1999 and 2003, became a cult phenomenon and gave birth to his “Angel” spinoff, which ran for five seasons on the WB.

The multifaceted Whedon continues to write for Marvel and Dark Horse Comics. He earned an Oscar screenplay nom for “Toy Story,” made his feature directorial debut with 2005’s “Serenity,” based on his “Firefly” series, and has a new feature, “The Cabin in the Woods,” due for release later this year.

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