Buffy the Vampire Slayer
is an Emmy Award-winning and Golden Globe-nominated American cult television series that aired from March 10, 1997 until May 20, 2003. The series was created in 1997 by writer-director Joss Whedon under his production tag, Mutant Enemy Productions with later co-executive producers being Jane Espenson, David Fury, and Marti Noxon. The series narrative follows Buffy Summers (played by Sarah Michelle Gellar), the latest in a line of young women known as Slayers. Slayers are chosen by fate to battle against vampires, demons, and other forces of darkness. Like previous Slayers, Buffy is aided by a Watcher, who guides and trains her. Unlike her predecessors, Buffy surrounds herself with a circle of loyal friends who become known as the "Scooby Gang".
The series usually reached between four and six million viewers on original airings. Although such ratings are lower than successful shows on the "big four" networks (ABC, NBC, CBS and Fox), they were a success for the relatively new and smaller WB Television Network. Reviews for the show were positive, and it was ranked #41 on the list of TV Guide's 50 Greatest TV Shows of All Time as well as #2 on Empire's 50 Greatest TV Shows of All Time. Buffy was also voted #3 in TV Guide
's Top 25 Cult TV Shows of All Time and included in TIME
Magazine's 100 Best TV Shows of All Time. It was nominated for Emmy and Golden Globe awards. The WB network ceased operation on September 17, 2006 after airing an "homage" to its "most memorable series", including the pilot episodes of Buffy
and its spin-off Angel
s success has led to hundreds of tie-in products, including novels, comics, and video games. The series has received attention in fandom (including fan films), parody, and academia, and has influenced the direction of other television series.
In 2007 actress Sarah Michelle Gellar who starred as Buffy Summers, said in a interview "For eight years I had the pleasure of portraying a character that was the very definition of a powerful woman. In my opinion, one of the greatest examples in history of entertainment."[citation needed