With the recent guest appearance of Amber Benson on Private Practice, the total number of Buffyverse supporting players to appear on a Shonda Rhimes show has been pushed to 6 (that I can think of).
Between Grey’s Anatomy and it’s spinoff Private Practice, Shonda fans have been treated to the best of the supporting casts of Buffy the Vampire Slayer and it’s spinoff Angel, including Amy Acker, Alexis Denisof, Seth Green, Emma Caulfield and D.B. Woodside.
The connection is most likely due to the influence of Marti Noxon, a former writer and executive producer on both Whedon shows who now lives in Shondaland (in addition to working on a million other shows at once, not the least of which is Mad Men, which stars multiple Fireflyalum).
Here’s how they fared on my ever-so-scientific ranking system:
1. Seth Green (lovable Oz was funny and charming as usual as a guy who could die at any minute who then sprayed blood all over an annoying Lexi in a 2 part Grey’s episode last season)
2. D.B. Woodside (as Bailey’s high school crush on Grey’s Anatomy, Principal Wood was perfect casting)
3. Amy Acker (nobody else could inspire pathos towards a morally questionable mother on Private Practice the way the woman behind Fred/Illyria did)
4. Amber Benson (the PP writers gave Benson an emotional role with none of the subtlety that the Buffy writers gave Tara, but she did the best she could with what she had)
5. Emma Caulfield (though she gave life to one of the Buffyverse’s most dynamic characters, Anya, her role on PP was far from memorable)
6. Alexis Denisof (with the worst role of the lot, my favourite actor on this list somehow manages to come in last. His thankless role as an un-BigLove-like polygamist on PP would have made my beloved Wesley cringe)
Post in the comments section which Whedon actor you’d like to see next in Shondaland. I’m thinking Nicholas Brendon.