Buffy the Vampire Slayer is an American cult television series that initially aired from March 10, 1997 until May 20, 2003. It was created by writer-director Joss Whedon under his production tag, Mutant Enemy. The series narrative follows Buffy Anne Summers (played by Sarah Michelle Gellar), the latest in a line of young women chosen by fate to battle against vampires, demons, and the forces of darkness. Like previous slayers, Buffy is aided by a Watcher, who guides and trains her. Unlike her predecessors, Buffy surrounds herself with a circle of loyal friends who become known as the "Scooby Gang."