WB bans ‘Buffy’ adieu

Inside Move

Now that “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” is headed to UPN, the WB isn’t wasting any time distancing itself from the series. Among the Frog’s more interesting moves in recent days:

  • The WB had previously planned to run a tribute ad in “Buffy” 100th episode section skedded to run in another publication next week. In the wake of the show’s defection, and creator Joss Whedon’s harsh comments about the WB’s top management, the ad has now been pulled. UPN has stepped in with its own congratulatory ad.

  • Stock photos of “Buffy” thesps have been pulled from the show’s official, WB-sponsored website. Frog insiders didn’t want to give UPN easy access to pics with which it could promote the show’s upcoming move. “We’re only exercising our contractual right to exclusively promote the show,” a Frog croaksman said.

  • A promo spot following Tuesday’s “Buffy” episode warned viewers that there were only three segs left before “The WB series finale” of “Buffy.” That’s technically true, but there’s no doubt WB execs wouldn’t mind if viewers thought the skein was ending altogether.

None of the WB’s moves are particularly harsh or out of line with how other nets have behaved in the past when shows have switched webs. For example, when the WB acquired “Sabrina, the Teenage Witch” from ABC last May, the Frog couldn’t mention the “Sabrina” title on-air until mid-September. And when the WB snagged “The Pjs” from Fox, latter net used most of the summer to double-run the ani skein, thus lessening the value of those repeats to the WB.