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Wednesday, 16 January, 2002, 13:09 GMT
Buffy fans slay Sky One
Buffy is into its sixth series
Buffy is into its sixth series
Buffy the Vampire Slayers fans are getting their fangs into Sky One after cuts were made to the new series' opening episode.

More than 200 people have signed a petition asking the channel not to axe scenes from the sixth series, which started last Thursday.

The programme, starring Sarah Michelle Gellar, is shown before the watershed at 2000GMT, and is repeated on Saturdays at 1700.

The new series of the fantasy show, which is also shown on BBC Two, is said to be darker and more gruesome in tone.


We've seen the series and in some scenes we thought, how are they going to show that?

SFX magazine editor Dave Golder
A Sky One spokeswoman said more cuts might be made in future.

She said: "Some trims were made in the series opener but we kept it to a minimum and made sure the scenes flowed.

"Buffy is a key show right in the middle of the Sky One schedule and we want the majority of fans to see it."

Gory

Dave Golder, editor of science fiction magazine, SFX, said the series will cause broadcasters problems.

He told BBC News Online: "I don't think Sky really know what they have bought into with this series of Buffy. It is the goriest season yet.

"We've seen the series and in some scenes we thought, how are they going to show that?"

In the fans' petition to Sky One, they are asking the channel to show the series as the programme's creator Joss Whedon intended.

They write: "The scenes and lines being cut are crucial to the characters development and overall story arc of the season.

"We understand that the show has to cut for certain material to adhere to Independent Television Commission guidelines, although there is going to be a lot of material in season six that the ITC will not permit at these times."

BBC Two show the series at 1800 along with a late night edition.

Defection

The cult series switched networks in the US for this series.

The programme has spent the last five years on the Warner Brothers network, The WB, but moved to UPN, a rival youth-orientated network.
Friends breaks audience record on E4
Friends breaks audience record on E4

The New York Times reported that UPN paid Fox TV, which makes the programme, about $2.3m (1.6m) per episode, compared to the $1.8m (1.2m) offered by the WB to keep the show.

The defection is thought to be the first time in modern TV history that a hit series has jumped networks solely on financial grounds.

In the UK Buffy has started with encouraging audience figures, according to unofficial research data.

The two-hour season opener on Sky One grabbed 800,000 viewers, but was beaten by E4's new series of Friends.

More than 1.1 million watched the first showing of the new series, a record audience for E4.

See also:

07 Nov 01 | Education
Buffy slays academics
28 Feb 01 | Entertainment
Buffy episode 'too explicit'
04 Aug 00 | Entertainment
Buffy draws children to witchcraft
16 Apr 01 | TV and Radio
Top TV writers back union
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