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October 13 2008

20th Century Fox address Dollhouse rumours. "There's no one we have more faith in than Joss Whedon".

Episode three sounds like a killer.

Woo! The first two episodes are quite good!
Being stuck in that limbo with a lot of well-intentioned executives is very difficult for a creator like Joss.

Hahaha. That does sound like some kind of Wofram & Hart-sponsored hell.
"There's no one we have more faith in than Joss Whedon".

Really? What about JESUS???

Or did he just mean television-wise.
I'm glad they shot another pilot, to be honest. I gave the script for (now) 1x02 "Echo" an 8 out of 10, 'cos I thought it was 'quite good', but I had to sit down and re-read a bunch of it as I didn't understand what was happening. I recently sat with somebody and they were, like, "What's going on?" - at exactly the same point I had that question. So, sometimes execs aren't wrong. Of course, sometimes too many execs leads to sometime Neil Gaiman once described in an interview... It involved scent marking.

There’s a very complicated mythology that Joss is trying to crack in a way that’s satisfying to a broad audience but will also satisfy his core fan base who will watch anything that Joss does.

You know, I won't watch anything Joss does.

[ edited by gossi on 2008-10-13 08:22 ]
Really? What about JESUS???

Or what about SATAN!?? If you're really talking about TV executive's faith? Is there something else? Where does he get his props?

eta: That's a little angry. But I suspect that I'm more or less on the same page as Polter-Cow, not to be presumptuous, but I think we may just be marveling at the false faith.

[ edited by dreamlogic on 2008-10-13 08:42 ]

[ edited by dreamlogic on 2008-10-13 08:43 ]
Did Joss write the third one too? In one way, I hope so, because when he hits his groove, awesomeness ensues. On the other hand, even for Joss, three scripts in a row is punishing. So, if one of the other writers has hit it out of the park, I wouldn't mind, In fact, I think I'd like it even more. It would mean there's back-up, that Joss's already started creating a core of writers to bring his vision to life and to take some of the pressure off him.

[ edited by shambleau on 2008-10-13 08:43 ]
With [Mr. Whedon’s WB series] “Angel,” we shut that down at the very beginning of the process. There was a creative retooling. We went back up after a little over a month and the show just found the place where the stories were the most interesting and the characters just popped.

I thought they shut down production (on Angel) because their second episode was too dark for WB (and judging from the script, far superior to what they actually ended up producing).

I'm sure it's a different case here, of course. They appear to have been very supportive, almost to the point where Joss has no excuse to fail (which has got to be tremendous pressure on the man)

[ edited by Dym on 2008-10-13 09:40 ]
"I thought they shut down production (on Angel) because their second episode was too dark for WB" = "There was a creative retooling."

"The show just found the place where the stories were the most interesting and the characters just popped." = For The WB
Where can we read the episode scripts, gossi?
See? Nothing to worry about.

Except perhaps why they insist on tapping poor ol' zeitgeist...
This is great to hear...it's tricky not to get stressed out when you hear about production shut-downs, rewrites, reshoots, etc, on a project you are this excited about.

I am going to remain hopefully optimistic.

ETA: @missb what do you mean about tapping zeitgeist?

[ edited by ProgGrrl on 2008-10-13 13:13 ]
Ha ProgGrrl-I was just laughing about this line from the article-

The bar just keeps being raised because there’s no urgency to put the show on the air, so at no point do you just let go of it and say, “You know what, now it’s time for this country to decide whether this is something that’s going to tap into the Zeitgeist and become culturally phenomenal or successful in general, or not.”


Mainly because it was, weirdly, capitalized!
"Really? What about JESUS???"

Jesus never wrote for television.
He probably could though, he had some strong material.
I wonder what Fox would have done if the third episode hadn't been so amazing.
Fox have poor taste
They declare Joss Whedon's new show is awesome
Joss Whedon's new show is awesome

If all above are true, then clearly something is false, ergo this world is a hoax.

Ergo, there is no such thing as Dollhouse.


PANIC. PANIC!


Why is nobody panicking?

Whedon Alert can't be bothered to move.
@missb: D'OH! :D
Foxes eat chickens.
But for evolution Joss could've been a chicken.
But for evolution Fox have eaten Joss !

Whedon Alert Level - 'Roy G Biv' !!
Before this gets too far off track, remember folks, this is interview is with 20th Century Fox TV - the production company.

The "Evil Fox Ratbastards" (tm pending) are Fox Broadcasting Company (aka the network). However, remember, the EFR's are no longer with the network.

Cleans rose colored glasses, and goes back to whistling
It really doesn't surprise me that 20th Century Fox has a lot of faith in Joss - they always have had. They were the Production company on all of his tv shows - it was the network that killed Firefly.
Of course, "there's no one we have more faith in" could also translate to "we have no faith in anyone ever".

:D

[ edited by Craig Oxbrow on 2008-10-13 17:24 ]
@Harridan
You can read the script here: http://www.geocities.com/invisiblegreen/corrupt/corrupt.html
In the comics world, many creators got fed up with the big publishers keeping all the royalties (the real money!) for the artists' creation. So in the early 90s, some of these talented people got together and made a company of their own. Now the artist was calling the shots! It worked pretty well and Image comics is still going strong.

Steven Spielberg, Jeffrey Katzenberg, and David Geffen did something similar a few years later forming Dreamworks SKG. Again, the creative people were in charge.

Can this sort of thing happen for television??? It seems something like a Joss Whedon/J.J. Abrams/Amy Sherman-Palladino (WAP for short) company could follow in the same fashion.

Obviously, I know nothing of the entertainment industry but it seems like fairly logical thinking. Maybe its different with networks and production companies. Anyone reading this know a reason something like this couldn't happen? (the idea, not the specific participants)
The thing with that alexreager is eventually the creative people become just the people in charge. A lot of people came to look at Image's original mission statement as carrying a lot of irony.
Syllogisms are often clumsy tools, as demostrated here, and their utility is at best...fuck me if I know. Aristotle!
I'm so excited for the third episode of Dollhouse. I read the synopsis (kind of wished I didn't), and my mouth just dropped.
I found it very interesting to hear that writing for Joss's fan base as well as the general public makes the development process more challenging.
Either they somehow think they know what all of us will like in advance; or they are balancing smart, creative writing with the typical TV drek that they think sells commercial ads.
I'm betting on the second one.
I suspect they do know (roughly) what we'll like in advance because we all of us on here never shut up about it. And it seems reasonable to suppose that Joss, after 12½ seasons of TV, may have some sort of handle on the kinds of things his fans enjoy (I bet it's fairly close to the kinds of things he himself enjoys in TV, IIRC he's even said as much more or less).

Here's the thing - if you want 'Dollhouse' to get canned after 7 episodes, then pray they write it purely to appeal to his core fan-base. If you want it to become successful and carry on for 7 seasons on a large network like Fox (where Buffy's best numbers on the WB would probably have got it cancelled inside a month) then it's going to need to appeal to more people than just us, that's the reality of the situation.
Maybe I'm just naive, but I saw no reason why Firefly would not appeal to a larger audience, content wise. (I think the one thing that might have made it easier was if River, Simon and maybe even Book were introduced later in the season, it might have been easier to keep track of a smaller cast without being an obsessive fan.)

What sort of things have to be included for a genre show to be a sucess with the general public? I really doubt that drek is a requirement... what makes fandom wants at odds with what an average person is going to kick back and enjoy?
Density is the main thing I think (and it also seems to be part of the issue Joss had with his first choice for the pilot episode). Most TV viewers are more casual in their viewing habits than we are I think, so the show has to work for the people that won't necessarily see every episode and of those they do won't necessarily sit in rapt attention as they watch (they might be playing online poker or doing the ironing or whatever).

But we want density so the balancing act comes in with including a lot of detail and "small" moments that add up to something bigger but without making seeing those small moments essential to follow what's going on, it has to reward attention without requiring it. Tough challenge I reckon.

(and yeah, maybe given a decent chance 'Firefly' would've been a big hit, sadly we'll never know. Personally I think River was near the heart of the show, without her there from the start it would've been a very different series - basically a fairly straightforward heist show set in space - and I don't know how well she and Simon would have fit after that dynamic was ingrained)
I think the market is more prepared for Joss to do his thing now though. Joss is, not to be overly quaint, writing in a post-Joss market. Shows like Lost, Battlestar, and Heroes are proving to be massive hits and those are the most serialized shows that have ever been televised. When Buffy originally started, episodic was the word. Everything, even genre work, had to go back to normal at the end of the episode. God forbid anyone die, they were almost never going to be mentioned again, unless the episode had been planned to dedicate a subplot to their memory. Now, Joss's brand of mixing the serial with the episodic is almost a refreshing step back to a simpler time. I think with the advent of DVDs, lots of people just "wait for the trade" to use comic book terminology, making long-form storytelling easier to follow.
addendum: Even HIMYM is more of a serialized comedy. The slap bet, the inside jokes you can only get after watching the show more than a few episodes, the legen....dary season finale, and the long-form arc of the entire series.

I would love those guys, Joss, James Gunn, the Spaced guys, Apatow, and Kevin Smith to form a company, personally. Just a joint production venture where they all share actors, which they're basically doing already. But imagine a Joss script directed by Edgar Wright or James Gunn, or vice versa? Smith's new movie with Seth Rogen is making me really wanna see what all of these guys would do truly collaborating and trading casts.
missb, I had the same thought about the tapping of Zeitgeist, unless its consensual...heavy on the sensual, less on the con.

Saje, that's a colorful alert level. Rainbowish. Hey, wait, are you saying in the sub-subtext that Whedon Alert Levels are gay? Insensitive! Single color alerts only, please.

dreamlogic, syllogisms...perhaps more fitting for James Gunn's PG porn project, you know...because they're silly...um...well, the sentence was ended aptly, maybe? ...No? Right.

RhaegarTargetion, wait, that's me... Regarding Joss, he has a good, long tail; economically speaking, of course. Dollhouse in today's modern, internet, niche market will find sales for a long time to come. The suits know this and even if Dollhouse's numbers were lower than expected I firmly believe, given Joss' climate, it'd still be a go.
...I'm a parrot without a single idea of my own regarding this subject; simply aping what I'm reading and believing in Chris Anderson's "The Long Tail". Quirky animals. I'll not be pigeon holed. ...Damn.

PuppetDoug, I love serial and being milked along a storyline. Or just being milked...syllogism! ...oh...no.

X-Files was a great serial base with episodic seasoning. Delicious! Might be the missing link between pre-Joss and Joss.

On another note, like that lonely one in the 5th after all the other notes drop out (loser notes, really, couldn't hack it on the big stage. I cry no tears for them), I don't want to see a giant collaboration and trading of casts. I want my awesome spread out all over the place... syllogism! No! ...ahem, not all pent up because I don't think it necessarily concentrates. Awesome spreads and creates more awesome.

Here's to the spreading of awesome! ...Syllogism!

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