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David Greenwalt - Zap2it.com

By Kate O’Hare

Thursday 27 March 2003, by Webmaster

On the one hand, "Angel," which he co-created with Joss Whedon ("Buffy the Vampire Slayer") for The WB, is awaiting word of whether it will get picked up for a fifth season, after not having been named among six scripted shows already given the green light for fall. Although he’s no longer working full-time on "Angel," Greenwalt keeps a weather eye on the drama and consults on scripts and story.

On the other hand, the show he is working on full-time, ABC’s freshman midseason drama "Miracles," is struggling to find a place on the schedule and hoping for a chance at a second season.

After having been moved around The WB’s schedule, "Angel" is currently airing Wednesdays at 9 p.m. ET. While it has a loyal following, there is an opinion at the network that it may not be able to increase its audience. According to Greenwalt, he and fellow producers Whedon, Tim Minear and Jeffrey Bell have an idea on what to do about that.

"Most recently," he says, "Joss and Jeff and Tim and I went to both [producing studio] Fox and The WB to explain the exciting next year for ’Angel.’ We’re going to revamp the whole show."

David Boreanaz stars in "Angel" as a vampire with a soul, who has been battling evil in Los Angeles after leaving the Sunnydale setting of "Buffy the Vampire Slayer," currently airing on UPN. With "Buffy" coming to an end after seven seasons this May, Greenwalt sees even more possibilities. For one, he plans to move beyond the vintage hotel that currently houses Angel and his crew.

"I’m not sure we’re going to blow up the hotel," he says, "but the notion is of them going to a place that is more like an advertising agency, lots of glass and light. It’s going to be great — visitors from the ’Buffy’-verse, including a possible regular from the ’Buffy’-verse."

"I think these ideas are so strong that it could run two years. It would be a whole new show. We’d put the characters in a new situation, both financially and physically. It’s all about us saying, ’OK, you’ve been on the Greenpeace ship saying, " Hey, Shell Oil is bad." What happens if you actually have to go work for Shell Oil? What happens if you had to be on the inside, grow up, get a real job?’ I’m really excited about it."

"I give ’Angel’ a better than 50/50 chance of coming back next year. I think it has a pretty good shot."

"Miracles," which launched right after the Super Bowl and airs Mondays at 10 p.m. ET, stars Skeet Ulrich as Paul Callan, a former Roman Catholic seminarian investigating possibly miraculous occurrences. The show ran for a couple of weeks after its premiere, but got pulled for various reasons — including, on March 24, a special episode of "The Practice" — and is just hoping to come back on the schedule and stay there for a while.

"It seems like the next step to me," Greenwalt says. "It’s much more in the real world. There are no guys in rubber suits. There’s a supernatural quality, and it’s asking the big, spiritual questions. It allows you to do the big metaphor, but it’s a more contained universe, and I thought, frankly, a more accessible universe."

"I also liked that it was extremely respectful of all people’s beliefs. It felt to me that ’Miracles’ had no axe to grind. I do think we found our footing and started making great episodes. Of the 12 we made, I stand firmly by 11, and a little shakily by one."

Of the episodes yet to air, Greenwalt is particularly proud of one. "I’m dying for you to see ’Saint Debbie,’ this show that [executive producer] Richard Hatem wrote. In this little town in California, a waitress gets her throat cut in a holdup, and it just heals. This woman is apparently a saint."

"Paul goes to the Presbyterian minister, and the minister says, ’Look, for us, if the choir’s on-key, it’s a miracle. That’s as far as we go. We need people who do this stuff.’ It’s such a great episode. That’s what the show should be. It should be saying, ’Is this real? Did this really happen or what?’ At the same time, Paul’s having a crisis of faith."

"For us, in a series, you can say, ’Ah, nothing supernatural happened this week ... but I had an experience. I got my faith back, but not the way I thought I would.’ That’s when you go to a deeper level. It’s not just, ’Oooh, is it the Devil?’"