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    A Buffy-less "Buffy"? Have Faith

    Sunnydale's gotta have Faith.

    After all, someone needs to stand guard over the Hellmouth if the city's original slayer, Buffy Summers, decides to call it a day.

    A possible Buffy the Vampire Slayer spinoff with the runner-up slayer was the gist of a recent Sci-Fi Wire interview with Christopher Buchanan, president of Mutant Enemy, which produces Buffy and Angel, published on Friday.

    While nothing's been signed in blood, the production prez confirmed the company was in talks with former regular Eliza Dushku to reprise her role as rogue slayer Faith in the untitled spinoff, saying, "I believe that's something that's being bounced around, along with other things, too."

    Meanwhile, E! Online's TV maven Kristin confirmed this week that Dushku, who left the series to pursue a movie career (The New Guy anyone?), is currently shooting crossover guests spots for Angel and Buffy this season. Faith will appear in Hell-Ay opposite Angelus on the WB March 5, 12 and 19. She then makes the trek over to Sunnydale for a rumored five-episode run, though the UPN wouldn't spill the details.

    However, a Web rumor that had Dushku signed to a two-year contract may be premature according to Buchanan. "Certainly, because she's around doing Buffy and Angel, I know there've been discussions," said the Mutant Enemy pres, adding, "We're kind of sitting on our hands until UPN and Fox figure out what they want to do."

    In fact, announcing the potential Dushku deal may be premature according to a source close to production, who said, "I don't know why Chris Buchanan would be talking about Eliza and a spinoff...it's something that was actually never viable. Maybe they're hoping that by saying it that will make it true?"

    Chosen One Sarah Michelle Gellar, who's put in seven seasons of blood, sweat and more bloodshedding, is not expected to return after her contract expires at the end of this season. She'll reportedly concentrate on her movie career (Scooby-Doo anyone?). Original reports had creator Joss Whedon handing the stake over to Buffy's little sis, Dawn (Michelle Trachtenberg).

    More recently, E! Online's Kristin reported news of a Faith-based spinoff after a visit to the set of Angel. When asked about her plans next year Dushku said, "Each year, I say I'm going to go to school next year. And it's inevitable that I'll end up getting my education. But I love working--I'm a worker bee at heart. I love coming here. It's such a stimulus."

    Dushku joined Buffy and friends in the third season. Together, the double-the-trouble slayers staked their way through Sunnydale's finest bloodsuckers until Faith accidentally killed the town's mortal deputy-mayor and joined the dark side. Faith would later repent but never rejoin the series.

    The third season also marked Buffy's bloody graduation from high school and the spawning of spinoff series Angel, now in its fourth season on the WB. Buffy moved to the UPN after its fifth season in 2001.

    Fans of the unrequited lovers separated by destiny and networks will get a chance to see some more crossover action this season as Alyson Hannigan returns to the WB March 19 for a special Angel episode. The move has fueled a rumor that rival netlets UPN and the WB are finally ready to bury their stakes and allow Buffy's undead dreamboy Angel to make an appearance on what could be the series' final episode in May.

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