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OOPS! EMMYS KILL OFF 'BUFFY' by Don Kaplan of New York Post

BUFFY who?

The Academy of Television Arts and Sciences, the group that hands out the Emmys, forgot to add "Buffy, the Vampire Slayer" to the list of the potential contenders on this year's nomination ballots in the drama writing category for last season's "Buffy" musical episode, "Once more with Feeling," reports TV Guide Online.

The episode, which played like a Broadway musical, was written by "Buffy" creator Joss Whedon who has long waged an uphill battle for Emmy recognition.

An ATAS spokesman says it was "human error" that left Whedon's sweeps episode off the nomination ballot and that the problem had been resolved.

"We sent out a notification to the voters, which allowed them to caste their vote [for 'Once More with Feeling'] almost immediately," he said. "It was basically a supplement to the ballot. The situation was rectified ASAP and there were no repercussions from it."

The glitch will not impact "Buffy" in other categories; it's still listed under best drama and star Sarah Michelle Gellar is on the list for best actress. But Emmy experts say that postcard's instructions were so complicated many voters likely filed it in the garbage.

"It entailed such an extraordinary effort that it was unlikely the voters would do it even if they loved the episode," Emmy guru Tom O'Neil told the Web site. "So it definitely curses its chances."

Fans of the show have been continually bummed by the Emmys.

"Buffy," one of the most recognizable shows on UPN (and the signature show of the WB Network before it changed channels last year) has been critically praised for it's deft handling of tough issues facing teenagers.

It's also been nominated for at least several technical production Emmys and won twice in 1998 for best makeup and best dramatic underscore.

Yet, aside for a nomination for best writing in the 2000 awards, the show has never been able to score a nomination, much less a win, in a drama category.

Loosely based on the 1992 movie, the show follows the adventures of Buffy Summers a young "slayer" gifted with supernatural strength and agility who guards her town against the forces of evil.

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