Thanks to Mel for this :)
The full article can be found here.
But with ”The Sopranos” whacking mainstays (Vincent Pastore’s Big Pussy) and repeat visitors (remember constipated capo Gigi Cestone?) with equal impunity, TV producers seem to be feeling especially bloody minded. Series regulars on the WB’s ”Roswell” (Colin Hanks), NBC’s ”Third Watch” (Bobby Cannavale), and ABC’s ”Once and Again” (David Clennon) all bit the dust this year. Jeez, ”Buffy the Vampire Slayer” even killed Buffy’s mom (Kristine Sutherland). What’s the method to this madness? ”Kristine was a great presence, and a part of the show that would be missed,” explains ”Buffy” creator Joss Whedon. ”At the same time, it wouldn’t really affect the structure of the show.” There’s a pattern emerging from all this character assassination. Victims tend to be second fiddles and recurring players teetering on the brink of regularity — familiar enough to register an emotional payoff, but not so essential as to create logistical problems.