Dollhouse renewed

It’s official: as of today’s Fox Network “upfront,” revealing next year’s schedule, Joss Whedon’s Dollhouse retains its Friday night timeslot. All major network upfronts (Fox, ABC, NBC, CBS, the CW) will be revealed by Thursday, so expect quick reports on tentative renewals like this one to be followed by a complete summary, with an without genre shows, later this week.

16 replies on “Dollhouse renewed”

    • It sounds like Whedon won his renewal by promising a reduced budget. Sarah Connor Chronicles was replaced with two 30 minutes shows, so it wouldn’t surprise me if cost was a major concern. The U.S. economy has caused a reduction in ad spending, which is still a network’s primary means of revenue. I’ve also noticed that the “Dollhouse” announcement didn’t hit until after the Final Order Cutoff date for retailers to order the DVD and Blu-Ray copies that are scheduled for July 28. It wouldn’t surprise me if Dollhouse home video orders are considerably higher than Dollhouse TV ratings, much as Firefly’s were. That could be the end of the market that made a difference.

  1. The big surprise of the month *g*

    But apparently they liked what Whedon pitched for season 2 – which apparently is a change of direction (again) – though knowing him it’ll be more of the same :)

    And the time reduction to 42 minutes is going to be a cost cutting move right there.

      • Right now, it’s got more than 42 story minutes, as part of an experiment to reduce the odds of leaving during (or fast forwarding through) commercials during broadcast. Fox sold fewer commercial spots at a higher price, as they felt it would be more likely for people to sit and watch. It sounds like this experiment will not continue next year, bringing things back to the regular 42 minutes of story. (I guess I’m not the only one who still fast forwarded the ads.)

        • an experiment to reduce the odds of leaving during (or fast forwarding through) commercials. Fox sold fewer commercial spots at a higher price

          Ah, fox shenanigans. You think it’s to mess with tivo? Like how Lost sometimes ends 2 minutes later than it should?

          • My TiVo has been good with picking up the extra minutes here and there since most networks actually schedule them that way now and it shows up right in the guide data. That said, Americal Idol running over made me miss the tail end of Fringe a couple times until I reset my season pass to pad a little extra.

            Actually this FOX strategy has really people with DVR 30 second skip buttons. They generally announced that a should would return in 60 or 90 seconds, making it that much easier for them to pop right through the ads.

            I’m still waiting for some advertising company to just fill the top 1/3 of the screen with a static image/text for the duration of their ad. That way people who are fast forwarding on their DVR will still likely see/read the ad.

  2. I also read that there is a lot of in-house preferential treatment going on.

    * Dollhouse is produced by 20th Century Fox TV, which is owned by NewsCorp
    * The Fox Broadcast Network is also owned by NewsCorp
    * Dollhouse also did well on Hulu, in which NewsCorp is a large partner
    * NewsCorp is also predicting high DVD sales for Dollhouse
    * As others mentioned, Joss pitched a lower-cost Season 2 plan

    Meanwhile, Terminator was produced by WB and had “cost concerns”.

    So while Neilson ratings weren’t stellar, for once they are looking at the big picture instead of the TV numbers alone.

    • I know the Bureau has been very forigiving with the show but I, like many others, thought the premise of the Sarah Connor Chronicles was pretty stupid. Not only did they retcon the hell out of the original Terminator premise but the show was oozing a teen soap vibe that didn’t sit well with me.

      So basically, good riddance.

      Take my comment with a grain of salt – I only gave it 2 episodes. So if they managed to tie everything into the canon with time travel tom foolery then disregard that statement :)

      • I can see why you’d think that way after only seeing a couple episodes. The show was most definitely not without fault. Overall, however, it was a decent genre show.

        Much like the current Star Trek incarnation, thanks to the concept of time travel you can have your cake and eat it too when it comes to retconning whatever you want. The TV show runs in a different timeline from the movies, and there were even multiple timelines in the TV show. Two (or more) of the people sent back from the future were from different futures where things were better or worse, depending on the actions of Sarah, John, et al.

        I liked Terminator but it did have a chance to grow a little with a second season, and it had what felt to me like a good ending point for a season and series.

        Give then choice, I would have also picked Dollhouse to continue. Not just because it’s Joss (though that is a factor) but because I’m more eager to see where the show will go if given some time to grow. It’s already exceeded my expectations. When I first heard of the premise I thought it was rather “out there” and I was quite skeptical, but Joss has managed to weave things into an interesting story.

        And now, after the season finale and subsequent renewal, it appears he’ll have his chance to shape and form the show even further in the coming year.

        It is also noteworthy that Fox put Dollhouse on its fall schedule, and did not hold it back for the Spring. That, too, makes it appear that they are more confident in its future (or at least making a leap of faith when it comes to Joss…)

        • I approached Terminator with great skepticism, but I found it improved as the season progressed.

          I really haven’t enjoyed Dollhouse, but I admit I haven’t watched it much.

  3. Oh, thank god. I was _so_ torked at Joss after the season finale’s opener. I thought to myself ‘dammit, Joss, why couldn’t it have been this good with the pilot. This episode’s opening is better than the whole first episode!”

    • Blame Fox. :-)

      I heard they made him reshoot the pilot. As a consequence, they made one extra episode that didn’t (and likely won’t) air because Fox considered the unaired pilot one of the episodes that they ordered.

      I’m guessing it will turn up on the DVDs, if not online somewhere.

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