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March 24 2008

Will Fox give Dollhouse a chance? TV Guide's Matt Roush gives his answer.

Is that an official shot from the show?
I would be 99.9% certain it's from Tru Calling (judging by the photographer).
That's not a shot from the show. Also, I completely agree with Matt Roush here.
"If anyone can do it, Joss can."

'Nuff said.
Equal parts worried and confident here. On one side, does anybody needs to be reminded of FOX's m.o. with new non-established shows ? Plus, high-concept almost never clicks with larger audiences. On the other side, Joss was serene about the network's new regime, and Dollhouse could really be next season's Heroes, also because not many pilots are being produced, with the strike and all, so, so far, Dollhouse and The Fringe are the projects most getting attention. FOX should capitalize on that, they must be aware that like with all Joss properties, success comes long-term, but in heaps.
I have to think Fox is going to give this a chance, if only because history has made it clear that disgruntled Joss fans are nothing pretty.
I somehow doubt they're scared of us, gruntled or otherwise.

My understanding was that they didn't give 'Firefly' much of a chance either (pre-empting it, showing them out of order etc.) and there's a consensus that the show was on somebody's shit-list and was deliberately killed.

Re: 'Dollhouse', obviously we'll have to wait and see. I'd speculate that the seven episode commitment may mean they'll give it at least that long to find its feet without much interference (and also indicates a certain level of trust in Joss and keenness to work with him). The proof is in the pudding though, as always, we'll only really find out when we hold them over a volcano it premieres to 4.2 million ;).

(pretty sure that shot's from 'Tru Calling', that looks like a lab coats she's wearing)
The articles I've read so far talk about the concept being built over the Whedon-Dushku lunch. And we've seen the list of main characters. Has anyone mentioned the (finished) pilot script before now?

Roush: "If the show is as good as the buzz is over the pilot script..."
Did I read somewhere that Tim Minear was involved? Everything that man touches dies which is a shame since he's been involved in some of the most intriguing television shows in recent memory (Wonderfalls, Drive) Hopefully this can break his Death Touch, or at least Joss can offset the balance. Joss seems confidant that Fox will treat Dollhouse better than Serenity. If they do, and they give it a decent timeslot (Don't be a moron and put it opposite a juggernaut, Fox) then there's no reason for it to fail. Joss has some of the most rabid fanbase out there, myself included.
(My first post here. Hi!)

I have some hope for the show. I must say I am very curious to see how many people will tune in purely because of "Created by Joss Whedon." If that were all I knew about the show that would be enough to make me watch.

I'm hoping Fox's expectations are more akin to "cult hit" rather than "breakout hit," because I think it's more like to achieve the latter. I'll be pleased with them as long as they give it a chance and lend it their support, even if it doesn't have an enormous debut.
It's Simon for the win as far as the photo goes.

I too doubt that Fox are concerned about how pretty the fans are. I'm guessing that 'fox' as an overall entity feel confident they've done a good job of hedging their bets. Whatever happens, in terms of ratings or number of episodes aired, they can be confident of recouping a lot of money from the sale of 7 episodes on DVD.

This could mean they'll push the show or be extra lazy. Fingers crossed for the former - but I'm trying not to speculate to avoid some kind of jinx effect.
I don't know, I kinda don't want to hope that Fox are going to get this one right, but since hope is more fun than the other thing, I'm going with that.

There is one possibility that no one seems to be stating. That Dollhouse is genuinely not a very good show.

Yes I heard it, and yes I laughed. I know it's going to be awesome!
"Didn't she shoot you one time?"
"Everyone's makin' a fuss!"

That's sort of what this reminds me of -- dealing with Patience. But, you gotta do the job. Would I feel better if this was on NBC and getting paired with "Heroes" or something? Uh, yeah. But I don't think that FOX is certain to just throw it away. They've got a built-in fanbase, they've got positive buzz, they have a recognizable star, and, most importantly, the show sounds good, it makes sense without a detailed explanation. That more than anything hurt "Firefly" -- it took a big leap to "get" the setting and the story.
(My first post too after lurking here for years -- greetings, friends!)

Fox has done OK by "Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles" so far, including lots of promotion and letting them work the pre-sold premise step by step, so I have high hopes for a "Dollhouse" fair trial next fall.
Hi, first time poster.

While I really hope and pray that dollhouse is a success and stays on the air for many years - my gut tells me not to get my hopes up. Fool me once, shame on FOX. Fool me twice....or even three or four times...shame on me.

And I certainly hope that photo is not from the show because I am not loving her hair.
I'd like to see FOX really sell out to promote this show, though. In July and August of 2006, I could go to a Regal Cinemas and during their pre-movie featurette thing, I could see this 5 or 6 minute promo for "Heroes" that gave it this cinematic scope and make it more exciting than the movie I was there to see was. And then it gave a release date. I want to see FOX commit to trying to sell this like NBC sold "Heroes", or like FOX themselves sell "24". I want to see extended clips and teasers for "Dollhouse" at the movies this summer.
When I say "scared," I don't mean they find us "mighty" so much as they don't want to hear us whine. I mean, there had to be a moment where they said, "if it doesn't work out those crazy people will be out in full force, being, um, crazy. And then there will be more publicity over how we cancel things too soon. And people will blog. And it will be a thing. Again."

I'm not saying they respect us. I'm just saying we're a huge pain in their collective heinies.

You know, no other network annoys me more than Fox. Beyond the whole Firefly thing, I'm not over the Wonderfalls thing. I watch FF all the time, and force friends to watch it. I've lent out Wonderfalls, but it's really too painful for me to watch. Of course, the fact that I dream every once in a while about more Buffy episodes tells you that I don't let go well even after seven seasons, so don't go by me.

However, I'm strangely optimistic on this one.

[ edited by Chelleatrix on 2008-03-24 15:33 ]
I must say I am very curious to see how many people will tune in purely because of "Created by Joss Whedon."

Judging from Serenity's box office, not that many...
I'm still annoyed about "Drive" -- that show was totally fun.
I'm optimistic that this will last a bit longer. Hopefully, they'll get the casting right. . .

I won't give a show a chance just because of who created it. If the premise sounds good to me, I'll watch it.

I didn't see Serenity in theaters because I was under the impression one had to have seen the series first. I'm sure I'm not the only one.
"Jericho" is cancelled -- the official Lennie James Should Be Boyd lobby forms here :)
Frak.

Joins the line.
The articles I've read so far talk about the concept being built over the Whedon-Dushku lunch. And we've seen the list of main characters. Has anyone mentioned the (finished) pilot script before now?

Roush: "If the show is as good as the buzz is over the pilot script..."


This is the first I've seen. *warm fuzzy*
Honestly, that's the only bit of fancasting I really have any hopes for -- reading those casting sides, I can totally see Lennie James reading it. The guy reminds me of Hawkins, but more philosophical.

But, I second your 'frak', crazygolfa, and respect the stoicism with which you move forward. Nuts, indeed.
Fool me once, shame on FOX. Fool me twice....or even three or four times...shame on me.


Its more networks in general, the folks in charge at Fox now are not the same folks that were at Fox before. These folks actually like good shows - one or more of them kept FNL on the air over at NBC, if I recall correctly.
I think when the pilot script is being mentioned they might mean the casting sides... I don't know if it's been confirmed whether those scenes will be in the 'pilot' or not.
Its more networks in general, the folks in charge at Fox now are not the same folks that were at Fox before. These folks actually like good shows - one or more of them kept FNL on the air over at NBC, if I recall correctly.

Kevin Reilly is the dude you're thinking of. He developed at ton of quality shows for NBC and was patient with them. Plus, he used to run FX and developed an all-time great show in The Shield. So, that's a great sign for Dollhouse. Friday Night Lights was getting 6,000,000 viewers on Wednesday nights back in its first season and he still renewed it. But, it obviously had huge critical acclaim and it won a Peabody Award. Seems like the low end that Dollhouse would have to meet for anything more than one season, given Fox's history, would be 8,000,000+ viewers and a big 18-49 audience. At this point, that's a cult hit on a network.

I was skeptical about whether Joss-style shows could succeed on a network. But, Pushing Daisies did well enough to get a second season. They actually advertised that show pretty well, though. So, hopefully Fox can follow suit. Their promo department has been awful, though. The House promos are and were laughably bad, but people still watch.

Though, actually, no one watched House through the first six or seven episodes. American Idol is the best tool Fox has had to launch shows, but they continue to air House after it. That show has an established audience. They should use American Idol as a launching pad for their new shows. If you deliver 40,000,000 people (or whatever it pulls) to a new show and it fails, chances are, it wouldn't succeed anywhere. But, if it retains even half that audience, then you tell people to follow it to Mondays or Thursdays or wherever you want to air it... Seems logical.

[ edited by The Sandy Llama on 2008-03-24 17:34 ]
Yep, that's the dude, thanks TSL - I had forgotten he was over at FX for The Shield, which is indeed one of the all time great shows (and created by former Angel writer Shawn Ryan).
Fox certainly has earned it's reputation for taking the piss with anything remotely genre but I'd have to agree that things are changing. The fact that Sarah Connor hasn't already been cancelled tells me that they realise that most of the other networks have one or two successful genre series and that maybe Fox needs to find it's own little corner of the sci-fi/fantasy market. Dollhouse has as much chance of being that "corner" as any other show.

Besides that, what was the last major hit for Fox? House? I'd say they need to be looking in all directions for something to call their own new hit show. 24 and American Idol won't be around forever.
All indications are that Fox is firmly behind Joss on this show. Until there is any indication whatsoever that this isn't 100% true, I choose to believe that they will do everything possible to make it a success. Kinda like Serenity, Fox's job is to get people there for the premiere. it's Joss' job to keep them coming back.

Fox proved without a shadow of a doubt that they can promote a genre show and bring in huge numbers for a premiere with Terminator. If they do the same with Dollhouse, no Joss Whedon fan has anything to complain about.
I'm hoping Fox will have learnt from Firefly and will really want Dollhouse to be a success. I think that they might have realised there can still be a lot of money to be made from a show even if it doesn't get huge ratings, and that DVDs can be very profitable. Joss Whedon shows seem to take some time to find an audience so Dollhouse might be the same. Although I'm really hoping that enough people will have been converted to Joss' work on DVD that there will be a lot more people tuning into Dollhouse than they did for Firefly.

I don't think it's impossible for Dollhouse to capture an audience. Shows like Lost and Heroes managed it, although I think Heroes did have an advantage in that the plot wasn't too complicated and it was quite similar to X-Men which most people would be familiar with. But I don't think there's any doubt that Lost managed to create a huge buzz and get a lot of attention despite a very unusual and complicated plot. I think that the advertising and media coverage it recieved contributed hugely to its early success, so it would be nice to see Dollhouse get the same treatment. It certainly has the potential to become a big success like Lost did, but also be killed off like Firefly.
at least we can expect 6340 people "to tune in just because joss is involved"...
I'm choosing to be optimistic, too. :)

On the power of the fanbase... I hope that, in addition to Fox thinking "Hm, we could make heaps of money selling these 7 episodes," they'll also consider "we could make heaps x 7 on the box sets of its long and illustrious run!"
at least we can expect 6340 people "to tune in just because joss is involved"...

At least 6345 according to current count - plus my friend Susan who's not a member, so 6346. But some of those are overseas - do Fox shows open at the same time in those markets?
Hello all! Long lurk, first post!

I was curious whether anyone thought it would be a good idea to put Dollhouse and T:TSCC on the same night? From what I've seen mentioned, Terminator's Cameron may play on some of the themes that Dollhouse is built on. That would be a recipe for disaster. Am I the only one that thinks this is a dangerous possibility? Don't get me wrong, I love both Summer & Joss, but if they're competing for the same ideas, Fox might decide to kill back-burner one in order to keep the other. Thoughts on this?
I seriously doubt that Fox cares about the "ideas". All they care about is the ratings. If both get between 8-9 million viewers, no one will care what they are about. I just don't want either of them anywhere near Friday night.
There's tons of fans who have told me "meh it's not Buffy or Firefly I'm not interested."

Which makes me sad.

If the FANS can't give it a chance - why would Fox?

[ edited by BrownCoat_Tabz on 2008-03-24 19:33 ]
Part of me doesn't want to give it a chance because I've been hurt before, but then I realize that it's and Eliza Dushku and Joss Whedon collaboration, and then I want to watch.
There's tons of fans who have told me "meh it's not Buffy or Firefly I'm not interested."

Probably the same group who so "yeah okay, but what about a Serenity sequel?" every time a new Joss project is announced.
You are absolutely right Browncoat_Tabz, there are plenty of Firefly fans who are not at all interested. It reminds me of the Buffy fans who were mad at Joss for doing Firefly. Now it is the Firefly fans who resent Dollhouse. Pretty petty and self defeating.
I don't understand why we ("fans" in the very general)want continuations of things that have already concluded. Except for the comics (which I love), do you really want Joss to keep beating the horse until it's dead? I'd much rather see what else he's capable of... like Dollhouse.

Don't get me wrong, I love my Buffy, my Firefly, and my Angel... but those are stories I know like old friends, and, instead of going on new adventures... we usually sit around talking about the good 'ol times. The comics have proven to be a good venue for that. Take a look at Season 8 and compare the old to new faces. The old wins, doesn't it? In Angel:ATF, although we have new monsters and new problems, we, more or less, have the same old gang to face these problems. Even Betta George is an old face from Lynch's previous work. And Serenity: Better Days happens before Serenity (the movie) which, in my mind, makes it past events that we haven't heard of... similar to stories your good 'ol friends tell regarding you that you forgot for some reason (repression, drunkenness, mistaken identity, etc...).

I know it's been a while since we've had new stories, new faces, but it saddens me that more people aren't looking forward to this change. Not the people on Whedonesque. I'm merely responding to BrownCoat_Tabz comment.
I need to learn how to type faster. Three comments sneak in before I'm able to make my long-winded point.

BTW, what's ETA mean?
BTW, what's ETA mean?

Normally in this context it means "Edited To Add". In the outside world, "Estimated Time of Arrival". ;)
There's a Dollhouse pilot script now. They start shooting in a few weeks so the gears are well in motion.
Now it is the Firefly fans who resent Dollhouse.


Have to say, haven't seen much of that in the places I lurk.

There's tons of fans who have told me "meh it's not Buffy or Firefly I'm not interested."


That maybe but I wouldn't regard them as Joss fans per se. Just Buffy fans. Or Firefly fans. The people who follow Joss wherever he goes have always been in the minority.
I come in peace from the land of Lurkville just to say that my fingers will be crossed until they stick that way, because I'm not sure if my heart could take another cancellation.

But I've got good feelings in my tummy that if Joss is giving Fox a second chance, then he must be confident that something has changed. And therefore I am confident. Sorta.

Is it too early to send Save Our Show postcards and dollhouse miniatures?
No, that would just be pro-active. :)

If you want, we could boycott all other "possibles" for Fox's line-up, sent tiny dolls with Eliza's face glued to them, and order a plane to fly above the studios announcing our love for Joss. Just so, you know, they get the message that we mean business.
I think nothing would give FOX less confidence in a show than seeing Save Our Show postcards before it's even started shooting.

I know many people who wouldn't watch Firefly 'cos it didn't have vampires in it. People are stupid.
we could boycott

Yeah because starting out antagonistically will go over like gangbusters. ;)
It is always weird to me that a fan of Joss' other work wouldn't immediately embrace his new work, assuming it would have the same excitement, humor, depth of character, and metaphor goodness. However I do know a lot of Buffy fans who are primarily into the fantasy/magic/vampire genre and aren't willing to give Firefly a chance. Just has a I know a lot of Firefly/Serenity fans who are primarily interested in Sci-fi genre and can't imagine that they would like anything about Buffy and/or Angel. Personally I cannot bear Military/covert operations type show (like 24, and Alias) but I assume that Dollhouse will not be stuck in that category. I assume that Joss always has something interesting to say.
It's not a great sign of the times when a thread about a new show goes into a "save our show" discussion before it's actually in production.

How about we sit back and see how the pilot goes before we press the panic button? I'll admit that sometimes that is leaving things a little too late *cough*Drive*cough* but I think this time we might be looking at a very different situation. For whatever reason I have confidence that Dollhouse will run a good long time.
Hmmm... my sarcasm didn't come out in the comments like I wanted it to. Sorry about that. It's my first day.
The people who follow Joss wherever he goes have always been in the minority.


And in the awesome ;) As a sidenote, Fox the channel isn't necessarily going to make the money off of DVDs, while 20th Century Fox Productions likely will. Just a reminder that production studio and airing channel don't get the same cut of different parts of the pie so the decisions may not fall where we think they will.
Did I read somewhere that Tim Minear was involved? Everything that man touches dies which is a shame since he's been involved in some of the most intriguing television shows in recent memory (Wonderfalls, Drive) Hopefully this can break his Death Touch, or at least Joss can offset the balance.


Tim Minear's own site indicates he will indeed be working on Dollhouse. I certainly enjoy his work but, like you, I fear The Minear Effect.
Wow, that's a horrible association. He definately should avoid making that his tag-line: Making good quality, cancelled products. But, he definately gives great quality. I love his take on Are You Now or Have You Ever Been?
I think the thing most people miss is that nearly all TV shows 'fail'. (To find an audience). A network like FOX sets up - I don't know, 20 pilots each year. Most of those don't get past the first episode. Of those, at least 3 in 4 of them fail in the first year. Always have done. So far this season 24 series have been cancelled/finished, and that's excluding shows which never made it past pilot. With pilots, it's easy triple that.

It's not a Tim flaw or a Joss flaw. They deliver quality TV, and sadly we live in a world where people don't always place quality high on their list of things to digest.
. However I do know a lot of Buffy fans who are primarily into the fantasy/magic/vampire genre and aren't willing to give Firefly a chance. Just has a I know a lot of Firefly/Serenity fans who are primarily interested in Sci-fi genre and can't imagine that they would like anything about Buffy and/or Angel.


Honestly, if it wasn't for Joss, I don't know whether I would have watched FIREFLY. If you only look at the concept, "Firefly" doesn't have anything that sounds appealing to me, but since I loved Joss I needed to at least give it a chance. Then I watched it and although I didn't like it instantly, I enjoyed the characters enough so that I didn't sell my DVD right away and then I liked it. People judge way to early about things of which they don't have any idea what it is like.

I for example have friends who don't like "Buffy" and "Angel", but I forced them to watch "Serenity" with me and then they read "from the creator of BUFFY" on the DVD cover and didn't give it a chance anymore, so that I had to take the DVD out and replace it with something else, because they said "it's so boring". So I hope FOX won't even promote it with "from the creator of BUFFY".
Hmmm... my sarcasm didn't come out in the comments like I wanted it to. Sorry about that. It's my first day.


No worries korkster. It's March; it's spring training for everyone.
And the sarcasm is still a-blooming on the vines ;) You know, of the sarcasm trees. And such.
There's a Dollhouse pilot script now.
Thanks gossi.

The problem is that Whedon shows take the first 6 or so episodes to build the foundation for the series. The really great episodes are only great because of being set up by earlier episodes. Unfortunately, there are a lot of people looking for the instant gratification.

(With all this talk about Dollhouse, I'm getting this mental picture of a technician humming "Comfortably Numb" while mind-wiping the Dolls.)
There are trees of sarcasm??! And here I spent my week-end planting little seeds of... sarcasites? Too young to take on the full responsibility of sarcasm, but will have the luxury of the language and the effectiveness to that which will one day be the mighty "-asm".

Master.
Asm.
Personally, I'll be on the feel-good, it'll-be-okay team. Maybe that's basically the same as painting a nice big bullseye on my nutsack (and there's really no need to thank me for that lovely imagery), but I'm not going to start worrying about the fate of a show half a year before it's even started broadcasting.

It's going to be fine, damnit, and I'll keep saying so until I'm proven wrong. Or run out of Prozac.

Oh, by the way, hi. I'm new.
Hi, Winther. I like your attitude. :)
I'm also in the Winther club.

Also, I just checked - it looks like Dollhouse is due to be shown in the upfronts (May 15th). So that should be the first glimpse we get of filmed stuffage. I suspect they'll also talk about airdate then.

[ edited by gossi on 2008-03-24 23:39 ]
Oh I wonder if Fox will promote it at Comic Con this Summer in San Diego? That will certainly make me kick myself for not going this year! I also agree w/Winther: I confidently expect Dollhouse to be made of awesome, and this time the television viewers across the country will recognize that that is true. Then people all over the country will decide they need to take another look at all of Joss' work, and Firefly will be rediscovered with millions of people clamoring for sequels!
(okay, I guess I need to cut back on the meds)
With regards to the article... you know how it said that Tru Calling & Firefly both got "extended" chances? A year and a half for Tru, 11(?) episodes for Firefly... this gives us at LEAST a TWO years of Dollhouse! Yay!

That's plenty of time to identify with the characters, flesh them out a bit, and for fans to really sink their teeth into the show. I know I'll never stop wondering what happened at the end of Tru... it had definately reached its stride when they were cancelled. *grumbles
I find t.v. nostalgia, even if it isn't related to "Little House on the Prairie," a little bit hilarious. We are living in a little bit of a golden age, where artists are making art on television, as opposed to... Golden Age of Television Television.

Small gripe. But gentle t.v. wakes up my inner Harlan Ellison. Appealing package? I care not, when I can have "BSG" and "The Wire" and "Dollhouse."

Boy, I'm good at the whole unprovoked ad hominem attack thing. Yay internets.
aimstomisbehave is me. Not literally, but with the Harlan Ellison channeling.
Do you think "BSG" & "The Wire" & "Dollhouse" will be good for kids, though? I grew up with the REAL Saturday morning cartoons and the TGIF lineup on ABC... I don't think I was prepared for the "X-Files" until high school. For the kids, I grow nostalgic because I don't think there's a quality existing for them now-a-days.
Korkster, Disney, Nickelodean and ABC Family do a fine job in that department. There is more quality content for the young 'uns than ever before.
If Fox fails to cooperate with us on this and cancels Dollhouse for yet another reality TV crap-o-rama, I may have to finally follow through on my often-made threat of mailing them a live shark. Or maybe a grizzly bear. But I hope it doesn't come to that (glares menacingly in Fox's direction).
And if fox kills it Joss will make a movie where he kills all the characters.

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