Sarah Michelle Gellar's personal life is going swimmingly--her daughter Charlotte was born last month--but her career has been seemingly trapped in professional purgatory for nearly a decade now.
SMG was supposed to break out of those doldrums in 2010 with the premiere of a sophisticated new family comedy on HBO, but that prospect is now looking dim.
The pilot for the series in question, The Wonderful Maladys, about a family of eccentric geniuses not unlike the Royal Tenenbaums or J.D. Salinger's Glass family, was filmed in May, and there was every hope that after SMG wrapped her maternity leave this fall, production would begin on Buffy's return to series television.
So why did Gellar fans around the world hear the sound of brakes screeching earlier today? Here's what we know:
Whedonesque.com (a online clearinghouse for any and all news even marginally related to Joss Whedon's projects) reported this afternoon that a Gellar fan by the name of temponaut had gone out to do some Internet-based shoe-leather reporting about the fate of the series, and returned bearing bad news.
When temponaut asked Gellar's Maladys costar Nate Corddry via Facebook about the status of Wonderful, Corddry said, "Didn't get picked up...boo," and the pilot director Alan Taylor reportedly messaged temponaut the same bad tidings: "Sadly...the rumors are true. WM will not be going to series." (Corddry, Deadwood babe Molly Parker and SMG were set to play the series' titular wonderful Malady siblings.)
However, when contacted by E! News for confirmation that The Wonderful Maladys would not be going to series, an HBO rep said, "[We're] not able to confirm that one."
A rep for Maladys creator Charles Randolph did not respond to a request for comment on Friday afternoon.
So...mystery. Can the people on the Interwebs be trusted? Is HBO just letting Maladys down gently, hanging onto their option until the last possible minute? If that's the case, perhaps both HBO and creator Randolph should consider just ripping off the Band-Aid--being done with it hurts less in the long run, we swear.
That said, is HBO aware that dumping SMG's return to TV before it even airs is, well, crazysauce? Don't they know she practically started the 21st-century vampire-romance frenzy that is now sustaining their network in the form of True Blood? Not to mention that Maladys is one of those rare pilots with ultragood buzz that everyone believes is destined for public acclaim and big ratings. Why squander such potential?
This story is developing, so check back for updates.
Do you want to see Sarah Michelle Gellar in an HBO show? And what's your take on the industry obfuscation about the fate of The Wonderful Maladys?