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/ Source: The Associated Press

Sarah Michelle Gellar won’t appear in the series finale of “Angel,” the spinoff of “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” in which she played the title role.

Joss Whedon, the show’s executive producer, told TV Guide for its online edition that he didn’t invite Gellar to appear in the final episode because he didn’t want it to “revolve around a guest star.”

“I want to end the show with the people who’ve been in the trenches together, the characters who have lived — and occasionally died — together, the regulars,” Whedon said.

He said he invited Gellar to appear in the second-to-last episode, but she wasn’t available because she was in Tokyo working on the horror film “The Grudge” when the show was being shot.

Whedon’s partner, Jeffrey Bell, said show executives eventually learned that Gellar was available for the final episode despite being booked at the time of the penultimate one. But by that time, the second-to-last episode had already been written and shot, and getting her into the last episode “didn’t make any sense” with the plot that had been written so far.

“By the time it became a possibility, the ship had sort of sailed,” Bell said.