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Buffy Ready to Give Up Her Stake?

07/16/2002 AT 01:00 PM EDT

Could UPN's hit show "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" go on without star Sarah Michelle Gellar? Both the series creator and UPN's president say yes, reports New York's Daily News. Gellar, 25, who has appeared on the show since its 1997 debut on the WB, is reportedly growing tired of the series grind, and her contract expires at the end of the upcoming season. But UPN Entertainment president Dawn Ostroff says some "Buffy" cast members' contracts extend beyond the show's next season, and though it's difficult to envision the popular series without Gellar, the show could go on. "Obviously, we would love to have Sarah back," Ostroff told the Daily News. "That is the by far, the best situation for us. But short of that, we are just starting to explore what that means." Series creator Joss Whedon said he believes that the show could survive without Gellar. "I have the strongest ensemble cast I could ever hope to work with, and a premise that resonates beyond the character itself, so I believe that it could." In the meantime, Buffy's little sister, Dawn (Michelle Trachtenberg), will feature more prominently on the show.

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