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Put a stake in it: Gellar leaving 'Buffy'

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HOLLYWOOD, California (Variety) -- Sarah Michelle Gellar's done with "Buffy the Vampire Slayer."

The actress has confirmed to producer Joss Whedon something most industry insiders have assumed for months -- namely, that this season will be her last with the UPN series, according to people connected to the show.

Her departure also likely means "Buffy," at least in its current incarnation, will wrap in May, something that's also not much of a shocker, given the show's apocalyptic storylines this season.

Still to be decided: whether the producers and UPN will proceed with a new "Buffy" spinoff, or whether the franchise will simply end. WB Entertainment president Jordan Levin said Tuesday he's hopeful but not certain that "Angel," a "Buffy" spinoff launched in 1999, will be back next fall.

Copyright 2003 Reuters. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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