Sarah Michelle Gellar says “Buffy” fans are smart and will love “Ringer”

We know you’ve missed Sarah Michelle Gellar. We have, too. But her long-awaited return to television is officially happening, thanks to CBS and the CW. Her drama pilot, Ringer, which was developed for CBS, wound up on its sibling network, the CW, home to vampires and soon witches thanks to Kevin Williamson’s The Secret Circle, which like Ringer, will come into your living rooms in the fall.

So what took so long for our favorite former slayer to make her triumphant return? Two things: a family-friendly environment and a great script that allowed her to stretch as an actress.

The actress, who hit the press line at last week’s CW upfront presentation in New York, told E! that she didn’t know if she’d be able to return to work after dedicating the past two and a half years to being a full-time mom to her daughter with husband Freddie Prinze Jr., Charlotte Grace Prinze. In the end, it was Ringer’s family-friendly cast and creative team that made the decision to return to TV an easy one.

Meanwhile, the script for Ringer — which sees Gellar play twin sisters equally on the run — was something that the actress said she’d want to watch, the actress told Zap2It.

“This was the first show that I read and I thought, ‘OK, I would watch this,” said Gellar, who, in addition to playing twins Bridget Cafferty and Siobhan Marx, also executive produces the mystery drama.

Beyond telling EW that she wanted to select a project for her TV return that honors fans of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, as we reported in Afternoon Delight, the actress said she wanted to give something back to the fans that have been so loyal, and Ringer is just that.

“It’s smart. Buffy fans are smart. They want to be challenged; they want to be able to think. They want evocative. This delivers it. Yet, at the same time, it’s not trying to be Buffy. Because nothing’s going to be Buffy. “

Early buzz and trailers already seem to be winning over critics; New York Magazine’s Vulture deemed Ringer one of its nine most exciting new shows of the upcoming fall season.

Gellar came thisclose in 2008 to returning to the small screen — with HBO’s The Wonderful Maladys, a drama in which she’d have played one of three sisters struggling to deal with the loss of the parents in a role that was written with her in mind. But the pilot, in which she played a drug addict was not picked up to series.

Ringer, meanwhile, picks up on that sibling love and Gellar told TVLine that the writers are considering ways in which to tell the story from each sister’s perspective.

“We’re discussing doing some of it from one twin’s perspective, some from the other,” she noted. “You’re going to see flashbacks that explain how they got to where they are. I want to make sure that the story for both of these girls comes to life.”

As for the series’ jump from CBS to the CW, Gellar told Zap2It that she’s looking forward to being on a network that takes chances.

“They really push the envelope more than another broadcast network would,” she said. “The more I thought about it, I thought, ‘God, this is a better place for us.’ Except for all the young impossibly good-looking people.”

What do you think? Are you sold on Ringer? Does the story appeal to you or would you watch Sarah Michelle Gellar in a show about underwater basket weaving if it meant she’d be on TV every week?