Sarah Michelle Gellar Celebrates 'Buffy's' 20th Anniversary - NBC Chicago

Sarah Michelle Gellar Celebrates 'Buffy's' 20th Anniversary

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    'Buffy' cast members Emma Caulfield, Nicholas Brendon, Alyson Hannigan, James Marsters, Sarah Michelle Gellar and Michelle Trachtenberg at the UPN sessions of the Television Critics Association summer press tour at the Ritz Carlton Hotel in Pasadena, California.

    Sarah Michelle Gellar was 19 when she stepped into the role of Buffy -- a young, complex heroine destined for a career in vampire slaying. Two decades later, Gellar has starred in countless films and television sagas, but she still holds her time on “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” close to her heart.

    For the show’s 20th anniversary, Gellar posted an Instagram tribute thanking the cast, crew, and fans for “unwavering support [that] has kept this show going long past our seven years.”

    20 years ago today, I had the greatest privilege to bring Buffy to your tv screens for the first time. It was a long and challenging road to get there. First the movie, then a passed over pilot presentation, and eventually a mid season time slot on a little known network. That first season, we liked to think of ourselves as the little show that could. While we knew the potential, I don’t think any of us saw the lasting impact our show would have. As an actor, you wish for that one role where you can leave your mark and forever be remembered, with Buffy I got so much more. She’s a feminist challenge to gender hierarchy. Buffy may have been the Chosen One, but I was the lucky one. Thank you to Gail Berman for always believing there was a show in that movie. Thank you to Joss Whedon, for trusting me to give life to one of the greatest female characters ever created. Thank you to David, for always being my Angel. Thank you to James for understanding that while Buffy and Spike may have been love/hate, I have nothing but love for you. Alyson, as any woman knows, you are nothing without the love and support of great female friends, so thank you for being that. Michelle, you will always hold a key to my heart. Thank you to all the incredible actors for seven seasons of amazing performances. I would be remiss if I didn't mention the incredible crew that worked tirelessly (and also really tired) to bring this show to life. And lastly, but most importantly thank you to all of you, the fans. We made this show for you, and your unwavering support has kept this show going long past our seven years. You are everything. And always remember..."if the apocalypse comes, beep me" #buffyslays20

    A post shared by Sarah Michelle (@sarahmgellar) on

    The film-turned-TV show aired 144 episodes, first on the WB and then on UPN, between 1997 and 2003. Joss Whedon had written the script for the film version, but was disappointed by the end product in 1992. So he re-envisioned the plot for the small screen and cast Gellar as the star.

    “Thank you to Joss Whedon, for trusting me to give life to one of the greatest female characters ever created,” Gellar wrote in her post. 

    She called the vampire slayer “a feminist challenge to gender hierarchy” and wrote that while Buffy was the Chosen One, “I was the lucky one.”

    “As an actor, you wish for that one role where you can leave your mark and forever be remembered,” she added. “With Buffy I got so much more.”

    As fans celebrate 20 years of the show, whether on their TVs or through streaming online, Gellar advised her followers to “always remember… ‘if the apocalypse comes, beep me.’"