Think of the trend as "once more, with feeling." This TV season Buffy the Vampire Slayer alums are proving there's more to life than slaying vamps. Here, their old boss, creator Joss Whedon, weighs in on his old gang's brand-new gigs.
Past life: Bookworm-turned-Sapphic witch Willow Rosenberg. "[Buffy] led me to find my husband [actor Alexis Denisof, who played Wesley Wyndam-Pryce], and Joss Whedon is one of our best friends," Hannigan says. "But I'm happy to move on to the next chapter."
Post-Buffy: The decidedly hetero — and hysterical — Lily on CBS' How I Met Your Mother.
Joss says: "She's as breezy and funny as anybody I know. She's got this light sweetness about her that means she works beautifully in [a sitcom]."
Past life: Angel, the hottest vampire in the underworld, who stole Buffy's heart before scoring his equally sharp spin-off.
Post-Buffy: Seeley Booth, the hottest FBI agent in the world, on Fox's Bones. "He walks to his own beat," Boreanaz says. "Sometimes he gets slapped in the face, but he always ends up on top."
Joss says: "He would do subtle things, comedic things [on Buffy]. It's been gratifying to hear people say, ‘Oh, he's really charming and he's got this different kind of chemistry and it's not just Angel at the FBI.'"
Past life: Cordelia Chase, the cheerleader who sidekicked it with Angel after he moved to L.A.
Post-Buffy: As seductive stepmom Kendall Casablancas on UPN's Veronica Mars, she's sexy and hilarious. "When I got the script about sleeping [with high-schooler Logan], I was like, ‘This is juicy!'" Carpenter says. (Whedon himself shows up in the Nov. 9 episode as a rental-car manager.)
Joss says: "She's a stunner and can hit it out of the park."
Past life: Everyman Xander Harris, the quick-witted Chandler of the bunch.
Post-Buffy: Trading demon-hunting and Slayers for skirt-chasing and skillets as chef Seth on Fox's Kitchen Confidential. "The food is the most dangerous aspect of it," Brendon jokes.
Joss says: "It's a good place for him to be the funny guy. But I think part of what makes Nick great as the funny guy is that there's an edge to him. There's a lot of leading man in Nick."
Past life: Bad-boy vamp Spike, who went from offing to boffing Slayers during an affair with Buffy.
Post-Buffy: Going soulless again as Professor Fine, aka Brainiac, on WB's Smallville. "He is not concerned with a human version of morality," Marsters says. "He's Clark Kent's worst nightmare."
Joss says: "Much of his intensity comes from his relentless thinking, and for him to tap into that is very cool.… All of my alumni are taking over the world!"