CHICAGO (thefutoncritic.com) - A fifth season of "Angel" will take flight as the WB has ordered 22 episodes for next season. The news comes on the eve of the Frog's upfront presentation to the advertising community tomorrow morning.
"Angel" will remain at 9:00/8:00c on Wednesdays where it will be joined by a relocated "Smallville" at 8:00/7:00c. The WB held off an earlier pickup as the network wanted to see how all of its drama pilots would pan out, not to mention that a new licensing deal had to be negotiated. The new deal with distributor 20th Century Fox (financial details of which were not revealed) includes an option for a sixth season of the series.
Former "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" regular James Marsters is also set to reprise his role as Spike on the drama next season while Charisma Carpenter, who plays Cordelia, is not expected to return as a series regular. On the producing side, Jeffrey Bell and Tim Minear will be the executive producers/showrunners next season.