PASADENA, Calif. — This doesn't exactly come as a big surprise, but the big story that was told last season about how one of the original characters on the WB drama "Angel" was written out of the show was a bit of an exaggeration.
OK, it was pretty much baloney.
You may recall that when "Angel" premiered it had three lead characters — Angel (played by David Boreanaz), Cordelia (Charisma Carpenter) and Doyle (Glenn Quinn).
And you may also recall that about a third of the way through the season, Quinn was written out and Doyle was killed.
The story at the time was that it had all been part of a master plan by creator/executive producer Joss Whedon, the man behind both "Angel" and "Buffy the Vampire Slayer."
Whedon said he'd always wanted to surprise the audience by taking a character who appeared to be in the show for the long haul and suddenly offing him. And that Quinn's departure had nothing to do with the actor himself.
At least half of that appears to have been true.
"Let's put it this way — in theory, it's been brought up before in the (writers') room," said David Fury, the supervising producer on "Buffy" who has also written episodes of "Angel."
"Joss has bandied about, 'I love the idea of putting a character in the main credits as one of the stars of the show and then kill him right off the bat.' He has talked about that.
"But in the case of Doyle, he didn't want to kill off Doyle. It just became a situation. The work situation became difficult."
Which is what the rumors were at the time.
Without discussing the various reports in detail, it was somewhat telling when, after Quinn's departure, Carpenter said she wasn't really worried about being written out of the show as long as she showed up for work on time and did her job.
(And the fact that Warner Bros. was already marketing posters and magnets and other paraphernalia that included Quinn's picture was just one of the many clues that Doyle's departure wasn't as anticipated as Whedon might have suggested.)
"It was a character we loved and we loved writing for," Fury said. "And (the show) was coming together well. But there were just too many headaches. It's hard enough to make a television show without the headaches."