Word that Buffy the Vampire Slayer may get a stake in the heart at the end of the season could turn out to be good news for sister series Angel. Joss Whedon — the creator/exec producer of both shows — tells TV Guide Online that if Buffy ends its seven-year run in the spring, it's "very possible" some of the show's MVPs could make a permanent jump to Angel.

"I think it would be cool," says Whedon. "It's sort of exciting, because you have this universe and all these people and all of their juxtapositions. It's interesting — to me anyway. But until I know what's happening with Buffyand Angel — I don't know who will go where."

The mere fact that Whedon's even looking ahead to a fifth season of Angel is rather remarkable in and of itself, considering how bloody bad the spinoff's prospects looked just a few months ago. In May, the WB announced that it was banishing the critically acclaimed yet low-rated show to Sundays — historically the network's worst-performing night of the week. Just days later, the series' beloved co-creator and exec producer David Greenwalt defected to ABC to work on the midseason drama Miracles. And to make matters even worse, Greenwalt's replacement — writer-producer David Simkinshimself stepped down in August.

But a funny thing happened when all the dust settled: Angel is more than holding its own in the Nielsens, and creatively, it's stronger than ever. Even Whedon — who, following the behind-the-scenes exodus promoted Tim Minear and Jeff Bell to exec producer ranks (alongside him) — marvels at the turnaround. "I thought if there was one show of mine that's going to be in trouble [this year], it is Angel," he says. "But it's really kicking it out."