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October 25, 2014

Dollhouse to skip November sweeps

by Brad Trechak, posted Oct 22nd 2009 8:33AM
DollhouseIn a portent of things to come, Dollhouse is being shoved aside by Fox during November sweeps. The popular rumor is that November will see a repeat of House shown on Friday nights. The upside is that December will have Dollhouse go double-long as two episodes will be shown back-to-back on Friday nights.

At least Fox is living up to its promise to show all 13 episodes of the second season. Granted, Dollhouse has not been Whedon's best effort, but Fox hasn't exactly been kind to the show what with relegating it to Friday nights.

This is just an example of how outdated the current ratings system is. I'm sure if DVRs or Internet downloads were taken into account, Dollhouse's ratings would be much better than they are on paper. Sadly, we live in an unfair world (with an unfair Nielsen Ratings system) so it's likely we're looking at the last season of the show.

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Phoenix

Oh, when you're talking about all the various ways that Fox has screwed "Dollhouse" over, let's not just stop with scheduling it on the Friday-night Death Slot. Let's also remember the wretched lead-in shows, or the fact that there was so little promotion of the show done that most people weren't even aware that the show existed until after the first episode aired, or scrapping the original (and much better!) pilot, or demanding the "five pilots" rule so that a large amount of original viewers quickly lost interest, or not airing the actual finale of season one....the list just grows more with every passing day.

Honestly, I'm going to stop watching Fox when/if "Dollhouse" gets cancelled. And it isn't a fanboy "oh, I hate fox just because of Dollhouse" thing. It's that I hate them for treating all of my shows like crap! Just a list of shows that I liked that they screwed over and cancelled--"Wonderfalls," "Tru Calling," "Firefly," and then there was the screwy scheduling they did to my childhood favorite, "X-Men (The Animated Series)" and now even my other favorite show "Bones," whose night they keep switching and then pairing it with strange lead-ins so that it leaks viewers...I mean, seriously, Fox has committed more crimes against television shows than anyone else.

Fox needs to accept that their Friday nights will never, ever beat CBS; in fact, no one will. They get all of the stay-at-home-on-Friday crowds for family-friendly shows (mostly) like "Ghost Whisperer" and then "Medium," and then for those kids that come back home after 10, they have "Numbers," which still does fairly respectable ratings season after season. No, "Dollhouse" doesn't have great ratings. But a 50% increase in ratings counting DVR's alone for the first episode of season two just can't be ignored.

What Fox needs to understand is that they have an opportunity with "Dollhouse." Once you count all the DVR-viewing, and then count Hulu, iTunes, and Amazon, and then even all the people who watch it (illegally) on sites like Megavideo or peer-to-peer networks, "Dollhouse" actually has a fairly respectable (and judging by the internet blogosphere) and massively loyal audience. Critics have been praising "Dollhouse" more and more this season even as they fell in love with the second half of the first season, and the DVD for the first season sold more than 64,000 copies in the first week alone (not counting all the people who got the special edition just for going to Comic-Con).

If they just marketed the show a little better, they could keep "Dollhouse" as a Friday night staple that's guaranteed through various ways to attract enough of an audience to make them money, and then profit off of all the different geek things that go along with a cult TV show: DVD sales, toy sales, poster sales, go the route of "Buffy" and "Angel" and make "Dollhouse" a comic book and then profit off that too, put out a soundtrack album and profit off of that too...the list really does go on and on.

My personal feelings on the matter of "Terminator" was that it was mildly interesting -- I'm not a huge Terminator franchise fan -- but it was a good pairing with "Dollhouse" and all the points that I've just made about "Dollhouse" can be applied right up there with "T:SCC;" Fox should have just kept them both.

October 24 2009 at 9:26 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Nathaniel

I'm okay with Dollhouse skipping sweeps, but doubling up? NOT a good idea. I hate the thought of what may be our last few episodes of the show ever being just thrown together and disappearing into the ether even more quickly. I'd much, much rather they be spread out, one a week.

Also, on the TSCC vs. Dollhouse thing... I was actually on the TSCC side of that debate last spring, but come on people, stop dropping comments about it! That was forever ago.

October 24 2009 at 1:17 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Ðan

this show should have went the way of the do-do bird before Terminatior : the Sarah Connor Chronicles did so I don't care about dollhouse

October 22 2009 at 4:23 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Tim

For the 10/2 episode, DOLLHOUSE rose from a .9 to a 1.2 when you added in DVR viewing.

It seems extremely difficult for some members of the Early Adapter Club to realize that they a re a minority when it comes to the prevalence of new technology.

The vast majority of TV viewers do not have, nor do they use a DVR.

DOLLHOUSE has been far from successful from the get go.

It is NOT Whedon's best work. It wasn't even his idea. It was developed by Dushku, who has proven she may be out of her element when it comes to structuring a compelling TV show.

I have seen every episode of this show. I have been pulling for it to succeed, but ultimately it's just not getting there.

No blaming FOX for canceling it before its time. This isn't ARRESTED DEVELOPMENT, it's just DOLLHOUSE.

A quirky, sub-par sci-fi show that got 13 episodes more than it should have.

Enjoy your double runs in December. Buy your DVD boxed set. And let it gather dust along with your copies of M.A.N.T.I.S.

October 22 2009 at 2:36 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Tim's comment
ben

DOLLHOUSE actually was Joss's idea. http://io9.com/5374621/the-mind+transplant-script-whedon-wrote-before-dollhouse

Dushku had a development deal with Fox and she asked Joss to help develop a show with/for her.

October 23 2009 at 9:42 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
ac

Whendon should just pitch it to the Sci-fi or FX channels. There the ratings would only be considered mediocre and would live on to Epitaph 1 (which I still have not seen. blurg!).

October 22 2009 at 1:14 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
bruce

Dollhouse sucks. Bring back Terminator TSCC. At least we got a full 2d season of that show.

October 22 2009 at 12:00 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Jake

DVRs should only count in this instance because they demonstrate that lots of people WANT to watch the show, they just aren't going to sit at home and watch ANYTHING on Friday night. Dollhouse deserves (*) the shot at a weeknight slot, because the +7 DVR numbers demonstrate that it has a strong following that would be more likely to sit in front of the tube live-style if it were on any other night but Saturday.

* Caveat: I felt more strongly about this last week. Last week's episode (Belle Chose) was just plain dumb. This show has become really hit-or-miss and I'm not sure it deserves another 9 eps to "get its footing."

October 22 2009 at 10:59 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
O Bloody Hell

P.S. There are, IIRC, several links to news entries either directly or in the forums on the TVRage Dollhouse page.

http://www.tvrage.com/Dollhouse

October 22 2009 at 10:23 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
O Bloody Hell

> there's a good chance of no second season

DOH. "third season". :o/

October 22 2009 at 10:20 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
O Bloody Hell

> This is just an example of how outdated the current ratings system is. I'm sure if DVRs or Internet downloads were taken into account, Dollhouse's ratings would be much better than they are on paper. Sadly, we live in an unfair world (with an unfair Nielsen Ratings system) so it's likely we're looking at the last season of the show.

Ummmm, THEY ARE.

DVRs, in fact, are one of the reasons Fox HAS committed to the whole season of the show being shown, since the DVR numbers show the show does do phenomenally well on DVR.

Perhaps you need to investigate more before you comment?

The nets DO take into account DVR usage within a certain time frame, and they DO pay attention to a rabid fan base -- Fox execs have acked that the recognition of the rabid fans is one reason why they allowed the show a second season, and it's also one reason (along with the DVR numbers being unusually good) that they've committed to at least showing the whole order of 13 eps.

The numbers are still less than spectacular (And, in fact, one reason it hasn't been canceled is that it's on Friday night, by the way... so it's both a blessing and a curse), unfortunately, such that, yeah, there's a good chance of no second season if people don't start showing more interest. And I can't blame Fox for this one. I'd gladly impale them for Drive and Wonderfalls, and certainly for Firefly but not for their treatment of Dollhouse.

They are a business. And I do agree with another commenter that this show probably should have been done on FX first, then maybe moved to Fox after it got a decent following.

Considering FX's history of good shows (it's probably the best of the non-premium cable nets, though AMC is working on challenging that), it would fit in quite well there. Intelligent, well written dramas seem to do ok on FX, and that describes Dollhouse to a "T".

October 22 2009 at 10:18 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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