This site will work and look better in a browser that supports web standards, but it is accessible to any browser or Internet device.

Whedonesque - a community weblog about Joss Whedon
"Destroying everything in sight in their relentless, pointless desire to exist."
11971 members | you are not logged in | 18 January 2021


November 06 2008

Dollhouse premiering on Friday, February 13. So says the FoxBroadcasting account on Twitter, but offers no other details. Edit: The Hollywood Reporter says Terminator will be joining it.

Stupid Friday the 13th schedule. :(
"Joss Whedon's Dollhouse launches Friday, February 13th."

Umm...A Friday premiere? What happened to Fox not killing this show? I'm quite upset right now.
Confirmed here.

It's "Firefly" all over again! Friday the 13th. WTF?
Well, that's......scary. I am hoping it isn't "Firefly" all over agin, or they'd air the pilot last. This time, that episode will go first, but will Fox stick with this long enough to get some ratings traction? Let's hope so.
Aintít it Cool News is saying that T:TSCC will be joining Dollhouse on Fridays.

Whedon alert level: the cover of Rush's Moving Pictures album
I have such an awful feeling about this. I was nervous about it before in the way that one might be worried about their child performing in a competition or something like that, but now I just feel awful. Friday signals death for any show, no matter how popular. What the hell is wrong with this network?
Are we splotchy magenta with a narrow bifurcated red streak overlapping a greenish-orangey color? Or what?

I remain calm, with a 80% slight chance of rain.
Wasn't it supposed to be paired with American Idol or 24 or one of those shows, where Fringe is now, and that's why we weren't supposed to panic that it was "only" a mid-season replacement?
Aintít it Cool News is saying that T:TSCC will be joining Dollhouse on Fridays.

More accurately (and I'm going to do this because I hate it when AICN gets credited when it isn't their work), AICN says that Hollywood Reporter is reporting this.
Wasn't this the date Angel was cancelled?
Yeah, I should have credited them instead of AICN. theonetruebix

I was slightly freaking when I read it.

[ edited by EvilElecBlanket on 2008-11-07 01:16 ]
Yes, Jackal, and Feb. 13 happens also to be my birthday.

A very unhappy one at that several years ago.

Really not thrilled with this news.

What the hell is going on??
You know, I've been doing my best to not get pessimistic about the show, before it premieres. I've been trying to have faith in FOX. I've been patiently telling myself that accounts of there being behind-the-scenes creative turmoil have been taken out of proportion.

But seriously, there's a limit to how calm I can be about this show.
I have to say I selfishly like that it's paired up with T:TSSC (makes programming my VCR much easier) but with Terminator having its own problems, it scares me a bit. Couldn't they have moved Bones to Friday and had a Terminator/Dollhouse block on Thursday? Bones' audience will follow them anywhere. :(
Black Friday? The anniversary of when Angel's cancellation was announced? Pfft. Oh well, I guess I'll be back from my field exercise by then so that's one benefit of the timing.

Why wouldn't they go for a Super Bowl premiere or something?
I removed this post.

[ edited by gossi on 2008-11-07 03:54 ]
I just found out the other half of the Dollhouse news. I'm guessing TSCC will be on at 8, followed by Dollhouse at 9. If they are hoping to get people to watch Fox on Fridays instead of the Sci-Fi Channel, it's an interesting idea. Someone suggested Thursday would have been better for both shows, but that's too competitive thanks to CSI, Ugly Betty, Supernatural and NBC' mostly comedy lineup (since Kath and Kim is part of it). Let's hope for the best.

Oh, and to foreverwes, NBC has the Super Bowl next year. Besides, when other networks try to premiere a new show after a Super Bowl, that doesn't always mean permanent success. Ask Jay Leno, who was on a cop show that had great post-game ratings that didn't last.

[ edited by impalergeneral on 2008-11-07 01:31 ]
Yeah sure Friday the 13th. Perfect day. I will be hopeful. I will be hopeful. I will be hopeful. I will...No. Stupid Fox!
I guess we'll just have to love it while we can.

"Dr, Horrible 2.0" may come sooner than we want.
OK, now my alert is on panicky-brown-red-enflamed. Buggering hell. Thanks, gossi.

NG: Yes. It really is this thing of executives loving the smell of their own urine and urinating on things. And then more execs come in, and they urinate. And then the next round. By the end, they have this thing which just smells like pee, and nobody likes it.

JW: There's really no better way to put it.

TIME, 9/25/05, Interview Neil Gaiman & Joss Whedon
Friggin' FOX.

Although there is an element of "Fool me once ..." at play here. And I don't care that the regime has changed. It's still FOX.

Joss needs to strike up a deal with HBO or Showtime (both of which will at least give you one heavily promoted season) ... or just stick to the Net altogether.
If this be truenews, I'd say that's a 95% chance of goodbye to both shows at the end of the season, if not sooner.
I can't handle this. Did the network think they could sneak Friday past us? Whedonites happen to be all around television experts. Did they honestly think we wouldn't know that Fridays are the place that good television goes to die? Because we do. Having trouble breathing now. I knew this good streak of television had to die. Friday Dollhouse, no more Pushing Daisies, and the end of Battlestar Galactica. I'm so over you television!

[ edited by marvelknight616 on 2008-11-07 01:43 ]

Last time I oozed pessimism, I was told that the actions I was basing my opinions on were done by the 'old' FOX.

This looks like there's plenty of old still in the new FOX.

Damn. Ugh.

:( I know that there are many, many reasons behind why a certain network is the one that aires Joss's shows, but why does it always have to be FOX? Sci-fi Channel, Joss. Not FOX. You'll have a bigger budget on FOX, and a larger audience (and make more money), but is that worth the heartache of having show after show sabotaged before it even begins?

What was so different about Buffy that it stuck?
I feel like I have been punched in the stomach, now I know how Red Sox fans felt like before 2004. I still have faith that somehow Joss will make a brilliant show.
I was all relieved by the headline because the new date doesn't conflict with my inauguration drinking plans. Now I'm just very sad.

[ edited by Sunfire on 2008-11-07 01:44 ]
As bad as it is, thank you for the truth, gossi.
I guess I'm kinda speechless now. I think with all the 'Don't Panic' press coming out I actually started believing that Fox would give Dollhouse a fair chance. 13 episodes on DVD it is then. Wonderful.
"What was so different about Buffy that it stuck? "

It was made to be iconic. And it was aired on a fledgling network. In 1997.
Not too thrilled either. Will be DVRing the show and probably will never see it live.

Read something recently that networks like CBS have realized that Friday night just can't get the same numbers as other nights and keeps lower performing shows on the schedule. Will Fox do the same? I don't see any chance that this will be a breakout hit on Friday night. Or even a decent hit.
It's a good thing some of us widened the panic scale to include the nonvisible spectrum, 'cause it seems to be gamma ray time. Ahhh, yes. Very ionizing. Now I'm dead. That's fine.

I was so hoping for January. Now I won't even get to see it on a real tv.
I'm a Neilsen Family person. I've been carrying around a little black box with me everywhere I go, for a month now. It is a pain but I figured that it was worth it because I will watch Dollhouse, tape it and watch it again and it will count!
Now, I'm not sure it will make a difference.
Show's screwed. Sorry, can't pretend it's not. It went from being planned as a lead-in to one of FOX's biggest hits coming into a long awaited return, and now it's being sent to the worst TV ratings night of the work week to be paired with a show that's also struggling.

[ edited by KingofCretins on 2008-11-07 01:52 ]
. . . . . . . . .

It's getting to the point where I don't even wanna watch it!

BTW, the prospects for this show over time have oddly mirrored the financial market (down big again today).
What time on Fridays does BSG air?

And that's very painful and awkward with glasses on. Excuse me while I try to clean and bend them back into a reasonable shape for wearing.

And b!x, BSG is on at ten so theoretically, this could be a three hour block of awesome before it all comes crashing down. (BSG hopefully on the highest note as I expect it will, only Lost has the potential to end half as well as BSG probably will)

[ edited by The Xan Man on 2008-11-07 01:59 ]
Lioness, are you allowed to tell folks that you are a Nielsen Family person?
What's really sad is Fox will make a profit on this. And we can't deny it. We'll all watch it on TV (if we can) and then we'll all buy the dvd. Just like the half season of Firefly, Fox will be sitting in the black (financially) when the 5 year mark hits on Dollhouse. No matter how many episodes/seasons it lasts.
Let's just be grateful for any JW work we get to see, as we get to see it.
Crap, seriously. My own personal Whedon-panic-meter is on bright umber and tipping the scale quickly. So we went from a 24 lead-in to the night of television death and possibly opposite BSG. (Hmm do you think there might be some audience crossover there?) Anybody else joining me in yelling curse words at the monitor? Maybe we should have a group scream later on.
*sigh* I should have listened more carefully to Mr. Whedon's posts, instead of just reading them. I offer awkward-cause-we're-strangers-and-who-even-knows-if-he's-a-hugging-person hugs. *If* this does mean what it seems (and as gossi believes) that's gotta hurt. Again.
This really, really sucks! :(

As AICN points out...
Sci-fi shows cancelled in Foxís Friday Death Slot:

The Adventures of Brisco County Jr. (1993)
MANTIS (1994)
Strange Luck (1995)
Sliders (1996)
Millennium (1996)
The Visitor (1997)
Harsh Realm (1999)
Freakylinks (2000)
Dark Angel (2000)
The Lone Gunmen (2001)
John Doe (2003)
Firefly (2003)

I really don't think Dollhouse is going to make it anymore.

Hopefully Dr. Horrible continues to do well and Joss can continue to explore the web medium with new series there, without any execs getting in his way.
Okay, I'm back for one more ill advised rant. I've been talking on Whedonesque recently about how FOX thinks it's "The Action Network", and how that's their biggest problem. I just want to make that point again. Its successful shows - AI, House etc - are not action shows. Its action shows - Terminator, Prison Break - are failing shows. It needs to stop thinking of everything in terms of action, action, car crash - as that leads to, well, a car crash.

Gorp. (That's the sound we're making).

Here's my radical FOX identity pitch I made here the other day: "The Quality Drama network".

[ edited by gossi on 2008-11-07 02:07 ]
I can't say I'm surprised. Who didn't see this coming?

Look, I'm going to take FOX's side for a minute (not a popular stance, I know; call me Captain Hammer, Corporate Tool if you must, but hear me out). They have a bottom line, and they have to protect it. "Prestige programs," which get better buzz than ratings, are not something most networks can afford more than one of, in these days of large numbers of channels. I'm sure they're just looking out for what's in the best interests of the network. Dollhouse just may not appeal to the demographic they want...and I want it to be understood that I don't mean anything negative or derogatory, unlike some people who have said similar things in the past. Different strokes, and all that.

Having said that, I will now officially wonder why Joss would continue working in mainstream television. Bottom line or no, it's gotta hurt to see his shows cancelled without being given much of a chance. Note to Joss: Go to SciFi or USA, and make some quirky yet smart shows that will last for a decade. Or start making films fulltime, either studio or independent. Or continue to work on the Internet, making little projects with big ambitions that bring in a ton of views. Or make series programs, and sell them straight to the fans, via DVD sets. You give them the general premise, they pre-order the set at $29.95 per copy, and then they get their copy. How much would a full season of Firefly or a similar show cost? $60 million, give or take? So sell 2 million sets, and you're in business. And you can make whatever you want. No networks. No suits. No restrictions. Just you, a computer, some blank paper, and whatever dreams you can bring to life.

[ETA: And you know that you have enough fans to sell 2 million sets of anything.]

[ edited by BAFfler on 2008-11-07 02:14 ]
Here is confirmation from Fox. Dollhouse is being paired with TSCC. I think the Friday spot may have more to do with Fox wanting to promote "Lie to Me" with Tim Roth, since procedurals seem to be succeeding more often than other shows. See The Mentalist, Bones, CSI...
I seem to recall watching x-files on Friday nights on Fox... I remember when it moved to Sundays... but it was on Fridays when I started watching it...
Here is confirmation from Fox.

I'm pretty sure the original link here, to an official FOX source, was the confirmation from FOX. ;)
Don Quixote has nothing on Joss, man, nothing.


edit: Yes, what BAFfler said.

[ edited by dark_tyler on 2008-11-07 02:13 ]
I wonder if this has anything to do with Fox's limited commercials experiment not working as well as they'd hoped.
Sorry, theonetruerubix. When I clicked on the link, it took me to Twitter, which didn't say that Dollhouse was paired with TSCC. Future on Fox is Fox's official blog. See the first entry. Notice the root of the website. It has laid out the premieres for the Fox shows in January and February, including the Friday pairing of Dollhouse and TSCC.

[ edited by ricetxpeaches on 2008-11-07 02:22 ]
"Having said that, I will now officially wonder why Joss would continue working in mainstream television."

BAFfler, could not agree more. I have to admit that I couldn't understand why Joss would risk yet another heartache by involving one of the networks in his plans for creating quality television. Okay, so there is apparently a new regime at FOX that is (was) more open to giving genre shows a chance but why take the risk when you have wonderful series like Battlestar Galactica, Burn Notice, Eureka, Dexter and so on thriving on the likes of SciFi, Showtime and USA.

Joss, please stop punishing yourself like this and go to a channel that will really appreciate what you do. You deserve a hell of a lot more respect and freedom than you seem to be getting at FOX. Again!
How can they know what demographic Dollhouse will attract since it hasn't been on the air yet?
Damnit, why can't Fox just show dead air on Fridays!

Wait, I think there's a flaw in that argument somewhere...

Anyway, I'm just a bit disappointed it's not being packaged with 24 any more. Just cos, y'know, I like 24.
[sarcasm] They're suits. They know everything. [/sarcasm]
Being in the UK I wouldn't have been able to benefit from the Dollhouse/24 Monday night double anyway but it was a good feeling to know that Dollhouse was being paired with another show that I loved. Not to mention a highly popular one.

So, out of interest (and hoping that it hasn't already been mentioned further up the thread) what is going to be paired with 24 now? If both Terminator and Dollhouse are being killed off shown on Friday does that mean they already have a better option for Monday?
Dollhouse, it was nice knowing you.
What are the chances we'll get resolution to any of the storylines that I can already feel hanging in the air? Thirteen episodes for a British series could be two seasons so it's definitely doable to still produce a good story even if it wasn't the one originally envisioned.

Of course it isn't cancelled yet and I really hope that it defies the odds and gets good enough ratings to be renewed.
I don't even know how to respond to those people who seem to think - even after FOX has demonstrated a full show of support for DH thus far - that putting the series on Friday nights is going to automatically kill it. Yes, Firefly happened to air on Fridays, but, as I would think people would remember, it wasn't the ratings that killed that series... the ratings were simply an excuse. FOX killed the series because they put it on the air even though they didn't understand it, didn't promote it, and kept pre-empting it; they then used the poor ratings as their excuse/cover story for cancelling it.
I have remained positive.

I have remained calm.

I have been annoyed with people who continue to pre-sadden themselves for the "obvious doomed nature" of Dollhouse.

Today, I join them.
"FOX killed [Firefly] because they put it on the air even though they didn't understand it..."

You're right. Good job they seem to be totally onboard with what Joss wants to do with Dollhouse then.

Wait... Damn! ;)


I was kinda determined to come in here and say "don't panic". Then I read gossi's post.

I'm certainly more pessimistic now. Then again: Joss did say he was kinda, totally, in love with the show again. So despite the executives urinating all over it, it apareantly still doesn't smell to Joss. Unless he's just trying to make us feel better. Which I think he wasn't.

Now, considering the fact that FOX is still under new management and that T:SCC has not yet been cancelled, when, really, with 'old Fox' it would've been canned a while back, I am still hopefull this show might succeed. If they accept that shows in a Friday night slot perform less than others, they might keep it on. Certainly given their experiences with the amount of DVD's sold from Joss properties. Although I'm not quite sure that the revenues from DVD sales go to the budgets of the people making the programming decissions, so they might not care after all.

All in all, much still depends on how well Dollhouse ends up doing. If it gets decent ratings for friday night and if the production costs are not too big, compared to what they're getting in return, new-Fox might decide to keep it on if the numbers aren't stellar. Then again: it still might suck as a show and go on the be highly succesfull. There's no telling untill Dollhouse actually starts airing.

But all in all, friday night slot? Bad news. Still, I don't think we should panic too much, even if the reasons do justify it more than previously, given these circumstances. If, after all, we, the core audience for this show in terms of loyal viewing, are ready to throw in the towel, I'm not sure 'regular Joe' will want to invest their time in it. Ofcourse, as we have discussed before, we also do not need to overestimate our influence (or that of the internet in general). But all in all: this still has the chance of becoming a self-fulfilling prophecy. Which would suck.
This is horrible news. I hope Joss spends the next 3 months screaming in every Fox exec's ear he can find.
From Future on Fox:

Monday Jan 19th
8/7c House moves to its new night
9/8c 24 moves to its regular timeslot

Other than AI, I think these are Fox's two biggest shows, and they're putting them on the same night? What sense does that make? It was my understanding that ideally you pair a new show with a strong performer to encourage viewership. Putting both the big boys on the same night defies logic.
Fuck you, Fox. Sorry, no idea if I can say that here. Delete if not but the sentiment remains.

The worst thing about all of this is what Gossi says. If the show were cancelled but managed to be great for 13 episodes I'd still be fairly happy. But the thought of it turning into a giant Agent Ballard hitting things with music scene infuriates me.

[ edited by Let Down on 2008-11-07 02:47 ]
pillboxed, putting two sci-fi shows together, on FOX, on a Friday night means you're killing both shows. Which also makes no sense.

If Dollhouse finds a big audience, it will last. But Friday night? Come on, FOX. Oh, by the way, you also might want to tell people working on the show before you post it on Twitter to stop them finding out on Whedonesque. That'd be nice.

Let Down, I do not mean that's the entire show. Seriously. Dollhouse is, I believe, a good idea and may be a great show. It's just this whole idea of action for the sake of action kinda doesn't lead to the best product.

[ edited by gossi on 2008-11-07 02:49 ]
I was under the impression that Friday nights are where sci-fi/fantasy ("cult") shows are launched (The X-Files and Battlestar Galactica started on Friday nights), and then moved to Sunday nights when audiences catch up to the buzz.

Nerds are home on Friday nights, I guess is how the thinking goes?
If it's frustrating for us, imagine how it must feel for Joss and crew. I honestly feel really bad for them.
gossi, are you saying the people involved with Dollhouse didn't know about this timeslot yet?
Nerds are home on Friday nights, I guess is how the thinking goes?

Hell, I'm home every night.
I'm guessing not every night, bix. Surely, you go on vacation now and then ;).

Oh wait, me too.
The X-Files debuted in a completely different world, TV-wise, and BG was on SciFi, not a major network.

Nothing a studio--er, network has any real hope for debuts on Fridays. It's death for TV, with a random success now and again.

EDIT: I changed studio to network, as I'm used to talking movies moreso. Funny how little things remind you how much of a nerd you are (a proud nerd, though).

[ edited by Dhoffryn on 2008-11-07 02:55 ]
I really wonder about the extent to which they'll lose viewers who now decide just to wait for the DVD. I'm now seriously considering doing that. I'm in Australia so that doesn't matter but maybe some of you Americans are thinking the same thing.

Edit: Thanks for the confirmation, Gossi

[ edited by Let Down on 2008-11-07 02:54 ]
The bottom line is, Fox (or any network that doesn't cater to the higher-age demographics) doesn't put a show on Fridays because they think it can succeed there. They put it there because they don't like it, don't want it, and hope it goes away with minimal financial loss. If by some unlikely chance it does succeed, well, gravy; you can move it to a better slot.
FOX. Oh, by the way, you also might want to tell people working on the show before you post it on Twitter to stop them finding out on Whedonesque.

That's just unreal. What a fluster-cuck.
......ooooo,I need a hug.
Critic Alan Sepinwall just posted his take
Just to make a comment on the "Don't Panic!" side here, the historical reason for Friday sucking ratings wise is that young people are out having fun and not watching TV. But since I got my Sky+ (DVR) which automatically records what I want to watch and has it sitting there waiting for me the actual night a show is on is meaningless.
With DVRs and net streaming maybe Fox think those viewers will make up for the live-sit-at-home viewers?

They've kept the faith and supported TSCC, which old Fox would have kicked to the kerb months ago, so why would they not support Dollhouse if it gets less than stellar "Live" ratings?
I really hope this is the last time Joss ever does anything for Fox. I really don't want another scenario where in 4 years time Joss starts working for 'Even Newer' Fox and then bad news slowly starts coming out again only for us to realise again why we hated Fox so much in the first place.
Man, I'm seething with anger right now.
I suppose we can always hope that nerds staying home for BSG at 10PM will put FOX on for the two hour prior.
Trying to remain (ever so slightly) positive about this, and keeping in mind that they are pairing it with Terminator, a show struggling in the ratings but still getting a full season order, the expectations for success are now lowered. And that can be a good thing.

If Terminator and Dollhouse are able to perform solidly for being on Friday nights, they may consider it worth keeping and consider that a decent two-hour sci-fi block to have.

Or think about it this way: if the show premiered with 24 on Mondays and got so-so ratings, it definitely would have been in trouble. But if it premieres with Terminator on Fridays and gets so-so ratings (which Terminator already gets and still got a full season), they may consider it a strong enough two-hour block worth keeping for Fridays.

Just trying to stay positive :)
The X-Files debuted in a completely different world, TV-wise, and BG was on SciFi, not a major network.

Nothing a studio has any real hope for debuts on Fridays. It's death for TV, with a random success now and again.

What are you, Dhoffryn - the devil? ;-P

I'm sorry this doesn't bother me as much as it seems to bother everyone else. Joss has built up amazing karma, gained legions of new fans with Dr. Horrible, has a great premise and a gorgeous star. It'll find its way.
by the way, you also might want to tell people working on the show before you post it on Twitter to stop them finding out on Whedonesque

Man. Now I feel guilty for posting the news even though I had nothing to do with it. Oy. That's just effed up.
Hey, I'm the Lord of Arashmaharr. I call 'em like I see 'em. If you want to ensure Dollhouse's survival, or perhaps unparalleled success, I'm sure we could arrange something, if you wish...
Is there any chance that if Dollhouse does a bit better than what they usually have on on Friday nights Fox will allow it to stay in the slot?
Is there any chance...

Well, the Sepinwall piece that pillboxed links suggests as a third of three possibilities that perhaps they
... do believe in the show, but also think it needs a more hard-core sci-fi show like "Sarah Connor" as a lead-in. And they also recognize that both shows are going to have niche audiences at best and are therefore placing them on a night where the bar for success is much lower.

That said, he also then says he's not optimistic that this is the case.

[ edited by theonetruebix on 2008-11-07 03:14 ]
Don't feel guilty, bix. Not your fault.

I'm going back to bed as it's now, what, 2am. Somebody wake me up when they've mind wiped all of this, yes?
Screw you FOX! I honestly can't see why I'm surprised even when I expected something like this to happen.

On the positive side, we get Summer and Dollhouse on the same night and will soon have 13 amazing episodes of television on DVD. Hopefully in 2011 we'll get the movie.
Maybe this could be a good thing. If it did manage to stay on Friday nights where the ratings bar is set low, maybe there would be less executive interference with the making of the show. Though I have no idea how Fox works
Greenwood, that's a good point.
Damn. Just damn. Friday. Seriously.

I knew my whole sceptism (or whatever. It's late.) about FOX wasn't unjustified.

Yeah, sadly if I have the money I will still buy the DVD. XD

I just saw the new trailer recently. It wasn't bad. Kinda cool.

Off course, I could try and be optimistic here. XD It might not all go to hell, but please, that's so not me. I'm far too pessimistic. lol.

[ edited by druzilla on 2008-11-07 03:22 ]
Sigh... I really had hoped that FOX had changed. At least we have 13 episodes to look forward to, if nothing else :(
When I read the news, my jaw dropped open and I uttered something that sounds like: "mmeh? awwggg"

Why does this feel like I'm being pooped on?
"Coming in the Fall of 2011. Her conscious mind has been awoken. Now, it's Echo's turn to take control... Active. A Joss Whedon film."
Hate to rain on all the "at least we'll have 13 episodes" folks, but didn't Fox lower the order to 10 earlier in the week?

Edited for spelling, and then again to say oops, it was Castle not Dollhouse that was lowered to 10 eps.

[ edited by danregal on 2008-11-07 03:33 ]

[ edited by danregal on 2008-11-07 23:53 ]
Jace's take at Televisionary is here.

While he spoke glowingly of the original pilot script he read, he apparently isn't bowled over by the first two Dollhouse episodes, which he says he's seen.
Active. A Joss Whedon film.

Heh. Someone call Mary Parent.
Nerds are home on Friday nights, I guess is how the thinking goes?

Hell, I'm home every night.

"I'm always home. I'm uncool!"
My jaw dropped and my panic meter blew up when I first read this, but I'm trying to stay delusionally optimistic.

As some level-headed folks have already theorized, FOX could be moving T:SCC to Fridays so that it won't be competing against the multitude of other shows on Monday nights, and pairing Dollhouse with it could help both shows keep/build an audience under less ratings scrutiny.

And heck, if they advertise this right, with the Friday the 13th premeire, this could be a really good thing for Dollhouse.

Yep. Delusionally optimistic. That's me.
I wasn't gonna worry. I was certain there was no cause for alarm. I kept in mind the words of the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy - DON'T PANIC. Even seeing the news of the friday spot and february premiere didn't worry me - I'm in Sweden, I don't even have Fox, I would have had to wait longer no matter what. But then gossi started talking. I can't say I'm entirely unworried anymore. I'm not gonna lie. I'm a little worried. But I refuse to panic. There's still hope. A little. Please?
Actually, to be quite honest, I'm more worried about the Paul Ballard beating people up to music for an hour than I am about the risk of cancellation. But that's just me, I guess.
I'll be back with comments of panic and cursing the suits once it becomes abundantly clear that the steady, glimmering stream of fox urine has truly hit the fan.
Or, suits willing, I'll be back to sanity and calm once it seems plausible that it won't.

No offense to gossi, but I so hope gossi is full of sh*t.
Panic alert at puke green. This makes me feel a little sick inside.
12 months of fandom freakouts must have increased my resilience to inauspicious news, because I remain strangely unaffected. (Brings 'much hardier cockroaches' to mind.)

If anyone can bring audience to Friday nights, Joss can.

Besides, pretty much every other night of the week is crowded. Weren't we freaking out over Monday nights' crowdedness just a few weeks ago?

Although I must admit, these people do have a sick sense of humour.

[ edited by Effulgent on 2008-11-07 06:12 ]
I just...I can't...I don't understand. I want to both vomit and cry.
No offense to gossi, but I so hope gossi is full of sh*t.

Unfortunately for this context, gossi is full of internet magics and Whedon knowledge. So yeah, this is bad.
Not thrilled either that it doesn't sound like the first two episodes are that great. I'm sure they're pretty decent - I trust Joss enough to think that - but it sounds like they would have been much better without interference. It seems like we're going to get the worst of both worlds: the show will be cancelled and it might not be all that good, or at least not as good as it could have been.
Okay, I've removed my post from above as it was clearly adding to the freaking and it was made after getting a call while in bed, so it was probably made at the wrong time.

I'm just an idiot from Liverpool.
Go to bed Gossi. It's ok. We can panic all by ourselves!
At least now I will have an excuse to stay in on a Friday night.
I'm just an idiot from Liverpool.

John, Paul, George, and Ringossi.
My mother's from Liverpool. (Ohio. Same thing, right?)
I don't understand this "communication" problem between Joss and the execs. They bought something that was not the thing they thought they bought? I can understand that happening when you are, like buying cheese or exotic fruits, but for a prime time television show?
I've been talking on Whedonesque recently about how FOX thinks it's "The Action Network", and how that's their biggest problem.

Frankly, I'm wondering if "acton" is all that successful on network television in general. Outside of 24 itself, which arguably works precisely because of it's real-time structure which no one else could duplicate without being seen as stealing, are there even any all that many examples of successful network action shows in recent times?
The only one I can think of that even comes close to action-y is Burn Notice and that's a cable network.

ETA: I supposed Knight Rider is action-y, but that's an epic fail for NBC. Serves 'em right.

[ edited by cabri on 2008-11-07 04:38 ]
Fucking hell. I was one of those people who kept saying, "Have faith in FOX, they seem like nice folks this time around" and kept being bewildered by everyone running around like Chicken Little. But now I'm almost ready to run around wearing a sandwich board to alert the masses that the sky is indeed falling.

I'm trying not to overreact to this news. I don't want to look stupid. But it's hard to overreact to this, isn't it? This is just...this is absolutely horrible news.

Okay, if the show gets canceled. All right. That's completely awful, but all right. If it turns out to be not that good? Fuck-a-doodle-doo.

Joss is an amazing artist who has never made something I disliked. And judging from what I've heard, it sounds like if it's going to suck, it might be because of FOX interference (I say "might" because I know that Joss is not infallible).

I went from having an average day to having a pile-of-shit day. Fuck.
I can't say I'm really surprised by this news. Even though Fox broadcasting may have new management, i.e. Kevin Reilly as president, the suits who hired Reilly are probably the same folks who killed off Firefly. Nevertheless, I'm not really bummed out by this because I've kept my expectations low. I'm only expecting 13 good eps (good for a DVD release) and anything more is bonus. I also don't feel Friday is necessarily a complete death slot as it used to be because Mondays for genre shows seems to be rather killer as well. Look at the low ratings Monday shows like Heroes, Chuck, Prison Break and Terminator are getting. As people have mentioned above, moving Dollhouse to Fridays may mean lower expectations for ratings and their resultant ratings may end up good enough for a season 2 order which is what we're all hoping for. I only hope Joss isn't too bummed out by the news and that he'll keep doing the best he can for Dollhouse.

As far as why Joss 'choose' Fox to make Dollhouse for, I assume it's mainly because the show was written for Eliza and she has a contract with Fox only.
Then again, the guy whose blog was linked to earlier, the guy who says that the first two episodes of Dollhouse weren't impressive, well...he also says that he might stop watching The Office because of "last week's mind-numbingly awful episode."

While it wasn't classic, it was still very good. This proves the man may have questionable taste.

Either that, or I'm grasping at straws.
Let's not unduly panic here. The primary reason Friday was the kiss of death for Firefly was because of football, which isn't an issue in the spring.
There's a link on the frontpage of to a blog about this here. They claim Joss himself posted the link on Whedonesque.
This is what happens when you try to do actual work on the job and not keep up with Twitter. I've just spent an hour more at the office reading this depressing thread.

For me, I'm already watching/taping several shows on Friday nights, including Dr. Who at 9 pm!! For Western Canadians, BSG is on at 7 pm, if the schedule is the same as before their hiatus.

I don't know what to say, I have so been looking forward to a new Joss show where I would be in on it with other fans from the beginning. (I watched Firefly from the beginning but was not online then.) Whatever happens and for however long it is on the air (I'll keep my fingers crossed for several seasons), I will be watching. Keep in mind that if you decide not to watch and wait for the DVD, Fox will be justified in cancelling it due to low numbers - and I don't think we can just assume that there will be DVDs. After all, we're still waiting for ones for The Inside and Drive!

I think my panic meter is orange sienna at the moment.
They claim Joss himself posted the link on Whedonesque.
WTF. Not only that, they give him crap for not posting with his usual witty and honest style. Kinda hard to do that if he isn't the one that posted the news.

Edit: Unless they think bix is Joss.

[ edited by NYPinTA on 2008-11-07 05:07 ]
13 is my lucky number so I'm gonna bank on that. And I suppose that little talent thing Joss has.
Hey, Maria Elena Fernandez: I am not Joss.
Are you perhaps Ross?
Ooooooh positive thought: if Dollhouse gets cancelled Joss can finally make Ripper! (And he'll probably write the final arc of the Buffy comics which he's been suggesting he's too overworked to do)

Other positive thoughts: Cabin in the Woods, Servant Girl, Dr Horrible DVD
Oddly, although now I can't find it, I recently came across some other site that tried to conflate me and Joss. Which, in addition to being obviously wrong, sounds like it would hurt.
VeryVeryCrowded said:
Sci-fi Channel, Joss. Not FOX. You'll have a bigger budget on FOX, and a larger audience (and make more money), but is that worth the heartache of having show after show sabotaged before it even begins?

Would Joss have even gone back to Fox if not for the chance to work with Eliza? I'm a bit ignorant about how talent deals work (plus from "shiny new" land and too lazy to check the archives), so does anyone know what sort of deals each of them has with Fox? Ie, if (and not "when" - I'm happy being a pessimistic optimist) Dollhouse is not that breakaway hit we all hope for, does that mean Eliza has the chance to develop another show with them? Or, gulp, that Joss is required to do more for that F(-ing) network?
BTW, did he really "vow" to never work with Fox again? (I mean Joss. Not bix. I know they get confused so easily.)
Joss certainly isn't required to do any more work apart from Dollhouse. He just signed up for that.

I believe Eliza is signed on to Fox exclusively. Not sure for how long, though
looks like maria heard you, bix
Gahh, the L.A. Times article has been corrected. I was going to tell them to think before they blog, but now I cannot.

The article also says that episodes six and seven have been having major production problems, according to an "anonymous source."

Interesting analysis by Zap2It:
Mondays -- What this move tells me is that FOX is really antsy about 24, and with good reason. The show is coming off an 18-month leave of absence following a season of dipping ratings and dipping quality. FOX knows that the only way to keep that franchise healthy is to give it a legitimate lead-in and basically force people to stick around to watch Jack Bauer. Dollhouse was never going to be that lead-in, however optimistic FOX was about it at the upfronts. As brilliant as I can only hope and pray Dollhouse will be, it was always going to be a Joss Whedon show and it was always going to play to a niche audience, even before the reports of creative tinkering began circulating. Wedging that new show into one of TV's most competitive hours was going to be death. House is down dramatically this season, but its 18-49 numbers are quite healthy and should combine with 24 for a very strong Monday for FOX.

More analysis when they get to Friday itself, but I don't want to reproduce half their article here. Click through.
So Dollhouse will premier on my birthday? Sweet. If only Tahmoh's character was still going to be named Paul SMITH, all would be right with the world.

(Of course Angel was cancelled on my birthday, so the world has a lot to make up to me... but this could be a step in the right direction.)
Well, bix, thank you. That's the sanest argument I've read thus far.
IGN echoes (no pun intended) some of Zap2It's take:
... With no big hit paired with them, on top of airing on a low-viewership night, it means the expectations are down for the shows Ė which means they don't have to perform as well as they might in other circumstances to be considered a success and if they can pull in decent ratings, they might have a nice chance at coming back. ... When you factor in the returning Battlestar Galactica also airing on Friday nights on SCI FI Channel, you have one geek-friendly night of TV.

Interesting. I hope he's right. Does anyone know whether Fox has allowed shows to keep going on Friday night when they're doing kind of okay?

(Also, an aside: is Fox News a separate channel?)

As the guy with "questionable taste" that you're insulting, I thought I'd respond your insulting remark. Comparing Dollhouse and last week's episode of The Office (and make no mistake it WAS weak) is like comparing apples and oranges. I read Dollhouse's pilot script last year and absolutely loved it. (My early review of the script validates that.) The finished product--both versions of the pilot and the second completed episode--did not live up to the expectations that I had about the series. While I've been a huge Joss fan for years, Dollhouse sadly isn't his best work. And FOX putting it on a Friday night doesn't bode well for the longevity of the series.
This I know: nothing Joss has a hand in will suck. The execs screwed with Firefly like all hell and it's still bloody brilliant. However much Dollhouse we get, it will all be beautiful and infinitely re-watchable.

It's been over five years since a Joss show was on the air. I'll schedule my Fridays around Dollhouse. I trust you guys to do the same. If hardcore fans start opting out before the show even starts, you're killing it yourself. Get a clue.
Did we go over our quota for happy news this week? Grrr.
Okay, after doing a self mind-wipe of some of the things Iíve just read, Iím starting to think this could work. Like someone up the thread said, both shows wonít have much competition on Fridays. They should have a decent amount of cross-over appeal with them both being Sci-fi and the Whedon connection with Summer. T:TSCC seems to have done very well when it comes to DVD sales, and Fox must know that Dollhouse will do at least as well and likely better. If Fox also takes into account DVR and Hulu views along with lowering expectations because of the time slot, this might not be as much of a death sentence as we fear. Also, in bad economic times people tend to stay home more and watch TV instead of going out and blowing their money.

Or Iím really grasping.
So... we shouldn't panic?

BTW, to nit pick the LA Times blurb again, no one actually said, "It's Firefly all over again!" And Firefly has only been mentioned about 5 times in this thread, most in passing. Someone did say they 'hoped it wasn't Firefly all over again', which is close, but not an "outcry" or the same thing at all really.

PS I don't see anyone opting out of watching Dollhouse, no matter what day it's on.
So... we shouldn't panic?

I've become agnostic on this point. While I really have no opinion on the anonymous reports of trouble inside the production (I mean, how are we supposed to verify any of that?), the tradition in television does seem to be that Friday is where you put things to die.

But the Zap2It and IGN arguments are interesting, especially Daniel's (of Zap2It) take that from FOX's perspective, this actually, in a sense, balances their schedule across all five weeknights, which would be a plus for them, if it works.

[ edited by theonetruebix on 2008-11-07 05:42 ]
EvilElecBlanket, I don't think you are grasping. Those are good points to take into consideration.

I will try to remain hopeful. The initial anger has worn off a bit.
I've been sulking. That is until I read the Zap2It analysis. I still don't feel great about Dollhouse premiering on a Friday, Friday the 13th (really? I mean come on!), but maybe this is the best shot for Dollhouse to live past infancy on Fox. So while I got my hopeful feelings back about Dollhouse, I lost any good feelings I had for the "new" Fox.

Friday the 13th! Who does that!?! Fox does that.
"It's been over five years since a Joss show was on the air. I'll schedule my Fridays around Dollhouse. I trust you guys to do the same. If hardcore fans start opting out before the show even starts, you're killing it yourself. Get a clue."

Well, they can just leave their TV on the right channel and go out. And then watch it later. I don't think people are bad Joss fans for deciding to go out on Friday night
If the Joss fans that rallied post-Firefly came to Dollhouse's aid, I think it'll be fine. That's a big if, but if we all make a devoted effort to watch it or DVR-it, perhaps Fox will move it to a better time slot.
I'm actually happy it's on friday. Now i'll be able to dvr it. Monday's are already too full for me.
I'm not going to rally behind a show I haven't seen yet. Just weird that way. I am going to watch and see what happens though.
Jace at Televisionary, I apologize for my "insulting remark."

When I posted it, I thought about tacking "I'm grasping at straws, aren't I?" to the end, so maybe that'll give you more of an idea about my intent.
I'm going to keep hope alive since I've gotten over my initial 'freak out'. I think it could be a good night if Fox promotes it well and the TSCC watchers follow along.

One thing, I thought it was starting in January. Now I have to wait another month!! Bah, I say!!!
I hope the Zap2it and IGN arguments are correct. I refuse to panic. It might be ok. Maybe. If not, we still get more than one movie worth of Joss stuff in one year.
Grr. Argh.

I'm starting to wish we hadn't known anything about the show, or the creative process, until it was on the air. I've been through way too many emotions about something I haven't even had the chance to get emotionally attached to yet.

Do the networks have factor in internet viewings, or is it all about actual TV screens? Because pretty much anything I watch, I watch online--and I can't be the only one. People may not stay home on Fridays to watch the show, but if they're keeping up with it on hulu, that should count for something . . . shouldn't it?
Right now I'm physically incapable of saying any word other than "CRAP!" over and over again. :(
Ghalev, at least try using "POO!" instead, if only because it might reduce you to a fit of infantile giggles, which might help the mood.
It's interesting that Jace said that neither version of the pilot was all that good. Of course, we might not agree with him if we'd seen them but it does tend to suggest that maybe it wasn't Fox's interference that made the beginning of the show not that great.
kyrumption, Fox posts full episodes of all their currently airing shows on their own site, so I'm sure they keep track of that.


You're right, bix. That did lighten the mood.
Isn't change wonderful and awesome?
I too am feeling rather less bitter about the news than I was initially. But I'm still not regaining my optimism.
Finally, I'll have something to watch on Fridays. Two somethings, in fact.

See me? I'm mellow. I'm like Oz, man, cool. No panic here. I'll watch (Or record if I won't be home) every episode of both shows we get, and then, when I have money again, I'll buy the DVDs of previous seasons to enjoy again and again. Like I am right now with Firefly.

I'm not going to write off a show just because of the night it's on - I'll watch it no matter where it airs, as long as I feel it's worth watching. When the pilot episode airs, I'll tune in. If I'm intrigued enough, I'll watch the next episode. If it keeps my interest, I'm there for the duration, be it 10, 13 or 48 episodes, or 5 years.
UnpluggedCrazy, I feel I must remind you that while posters may get away with questioning Joss's taste in music/movies/men's wear, you must never -- never -- question the taste of any of his critics. To do so is insultingly insulting.

ETA Cats is a great musical.

[ edited by Pointy on 2008-11-07 06:40 ]
Oddly, although now I can't find it, I recently came across some other site that tried to conflate me and Joss.
Just as a bizarre aside, if you do a Google image search for my full name you get one, single, result. And that's a picture of Joss.
First the horrible narrator in the recent trailer, now a Friday timeslot? Well at least we elected Obama.
Okay, I'm back for one more ill advised rant. I've been talking on Whedonesque recently about how FOX thinks it's "The Action Network", and how that's their biggest problem. I just want to make that point again. Its successful shows - AI, House etc - are not action shows. Its action shows - Terminator, Prison Break - are failing shows. It needs to stop thinking of everything in terms of action, action, car crash - as that leads to, well, a car crash.

Why does any major network try to corner itself into a niche like that? I mean I can understand that if they were a speciality channel(really the Action Channel), but for a major network channel? I mean I can understand grouping two similar genre shows together on one night to try to hook in the audience, but beyond that what's the point? If they have a good show on a certain night, it doesn't matter to me what they are playing other nights and if it mixes together.

Do the networks have factor in internet viewings, or is it all about actual TV screens? Because pretty much anything I watch, I watch online--and I can't be the only one. People may not stay home on Fridays to watch the show, but if they're keeping up with it on hulu, that should count for something . . . shouldn't it?

Unless you are one of the families being monitored by Nielsen, then really it doesn't matter if you watch it on an actual tv screen as it won't affect the ratings of the show. As for how much networks consider Hulu in their decisions, unfortunately I don't think it does. I could be wrong and that this has changed more, but it's my understanding that it's a separate part of the company that is pulling in that additional revenue and the network's main concern is ratings, as that's how that part of the business makes money.

[ edited by Matt_Fabb on 2008-11-07 06:53 ]
Oh, God, flak, you're right. We're oh-for-three.

zz9: Could you give us your full name, so we may verify this astonishing result? And also, could you send along your SSN and driver's license number (with car tags, if possible)? Why? Oh, no reason... :::devilish grin:::
Not to be a downer, but I recall the, "If it's on Friday, expectations will be lower!" line echoed by Bryan Fuller back when Wonderfalls was on.

I know, I know. New regime. But still.
BAF, being English, and therefore evil, I don't have a SSN. I have a NI number but it's not the big deal ID wise here so you you wouldn't be able to steal my identity. And if you do can you pay off my overdraft for me? :)

(I also have a Canadian SIN, but that's a whole other story...)
I'm sorry but I am not going to be optimistic. I mean, Friday?? Friday?! That is a death sentence right there. This is just ridiculous. I want this show to do well, but I'm already losing hope... Do they really expect a large audience when they put the show on a Friday night? This show is not going to get big ratings at all. And we all know what happens when a show doesn't get big ratings on the Fox network. ugh this is just depressing.
Do you know what your Canadian SIN is?

Aw, hell. I'm a fan of all 1.3 million issued per year.
If you do a Google Image search for my full name, pictures of John and Yoko and the Angel characters show up on the first page of results. Though there's actually a reason behind that (I used those pics on a blog), it's still kind of cool.

Not as cool as zz9's situation, though.

(Damn you, zz9!)

Oh, and bix: EPIC WIN.
So I'm thinking... besides ranting about the not-so-great timeslot here on Whedonesque and other online forums, what can we, the lowly fans, do to keep "Dollhouse" from meeting the big cancellation in the sky?

Letter-writing campaign? Pencils to FOX execs?

Ooh, DOLLS to FOX execs?!

Who's with me?
bix, 1.3 million? Is that thanks to all the Baldwins arriving because they said they would leave the US if Obama got in?
We could, kasadilla, wait until the show actually airs and then wait to see what happens.
Letter-writing campaign? Pencils to FOX execs?
Ooh, DOLLS to FOX execs?!

If one of my dreams ever does come true, and I become a showrunner. I'm going to make sure I have one character that loves eggs just for this reason. They wouldn't dare cancel the show. Muhahahahahaha
Six days after my birthday? I'll take that birthday present!
Fucking hell.

At first.. my gothic imp inside was all giddy with Joss on a Friday the 13th.. and then my brain kicked in and said "oh fuck, Dollhouse will be on Fridays."

panic. panic. PANIC.

We have to do something. Petitions. Banners. Signs. Human Advertisements. We need to get another network to buy the show. We need to do something. Neeeds more Joss.

we also need to save terminator. needs more summer.

[ edited by almost cookies on 2008-11-07 07:38 ]
That's what I'm sayin', almost cookies! We'll send Cupie dolls to FOX execs! And... uh... little robots that take things literally.
Hmmm, I don't know, I think sending Fox stuff for T:TSCC sends the wrong message, like "How dare you give Terminator a full season order!!!" ;) I'm just grateful it's still on the air.
Whether we like it or not TV is a cutthroat business nowadays. Every time slot is perilous, for a variety of reasons. It's either 'a lot of potential audience but stiff competition' or 'little competition and less potential audience'. Realistically, there is no perfectly safe spot for Dollhouse.

Genre show are struggling on Monday nights, and that's a fact. Even Heroes isn't looking too good despite 8-9 million viewers every week. A show that costs $4M an episode is expected to do better. What chance does a freshman show stand?

Friday nights do have a potential. Ghost Whisperer is the highest rated speculative show, and it runs on Friday nights. Last year, Moonlight wasn't doing too poorly, either, gathering 7-9 million, although of course it wasn't good enough for CBS.

And there are a lot of things that are different now from what they were 7 years ago. Let's just wait and see.
Really? Fox will premiere it on the 5th anniversary of Angel's cancellation? Oh well done.
Well, if it's not meant to be, it's not meant to be. I honestly believe that. It'll still be a great 10 eps, or however many that airs.

I'm counting on it to do well, but even I wouldn't stay in on a Friday just to watch TV.
Hear, hear Effulgent.

Just hopes Joss doesn't have time to read Whedonesque today, watching your show being declared DOA before they have seen a single episode by the people who really, really like you must be a serious downer.

If I worked for Fox marketing I'd work very hard to spin Fridays away from the 'graveyard of shows' to the 'time for Cult shows', TSCC, Dollhouse, BSG (on Sci-fi) seems like a great lineup to me.

Simon, you don't really believe Fox keeps track of that date do you ?

[ edited by jpr on 2008-11-07 08:30 ]
'time for Cult shows', TSCC, Dollhouse, BSG (on Sci-fi) seems like a great lineup to me.

I keep trying to think of ways to promote it this way that don't actually conflict with the fact that we're dealing with two entirely different corporate entities. It might take fan-based guerilla marketing, although personally I'd ditch the "cult" part.

The problem, of course, with trying to do it as a fan thing is that it doesn't have the reach of, say, an actual ad on TV for the line-up. Heh.

(In part I keep trying to think about this because when Joss first started saying that Dollhouse was morally gray, I kept saying that FOX should find a way to promote it as "what you should watch when BSG is gone".)

[ edited by theonetruebix on 2008-11-07 08:33 ]
Simon, you don't really believe Fox keeps track of that date do you ?

No but I do. And I bet journalists will find it an interesting talking point for their Dollhouse articles.
I'm not giving up the ghost, unless he wants to be given up. My ghost is called Tom.

Anyways, I still have hope that it will succeed.
I think they looked up the date.. just to further break our gigantor-joss-lovin' hearts.
bix, using 'low rated but really very popular with critics and people smart enough to get it' instead of cult seems counterproductive, but why not :) doesn't everyone want to join a cult ? unless it's one of those that require you to quit this life and move on to the next that is.

Sci-fi Friday have been used before but it does lock out all the people frowning at the sci-fi label, how about 'Imagination Friday' ? or 'Terminate your week with Echo and Six' ?

Simon, now that you have given them the idea sure they will.

[ edited by jpr on 2008-11-07 09:08 ]
Effulgent, I disagree with your comment about Ghost Whisperer and Moonlight. You see, its not surprising at all that those shows do well ratings-wise.... Ghost Whisperer is a campy show - so of course there was going to be an audience for that. Moonlight was campy as well; and it had vampires - so of course there was going to be an audience for that. None of those shows are original. A large percentage of people who watch those shows happen to be women as well. And let me add in another CBS Friday night show that got decent ratings; Numbers is a procedural - so of course there was going to be an audience for that. But a show like Dollhouse? No, it will not get a huge audience. There will not be a big audience for a show like this especially when its going to debut on a Friday night. Dollhouse needed to air on a Monday night, with a show like 24 debuting afterwards. There would've been people who aren't Whedon fans that were going to watch Dollhouse in anticipation of the show that was going to come on an hour later. And if those people liked what they saw, then they would've came back the following week just to see a new episode of Dollhouse. Friday night is not a good timeslot for a new show that is so different and unique. Dollhouse needs to be on a different night for it to do well.

[ edited by ria on 2008-11-07 09:09 ]
There would've been people who aren't Whedon fans that were going to watch Dollhouse in anticipation of the show that was going to come on an hour later.

Do people really do this? Put channels on while waiting for the show that's going to be on an hour later? I just leave the TV off until it's time for what I intend to be watching.
Or make series programs, and sell them straight to the fans, via DVD sets. You give them the general premise, they pre-order the set at $29.95 per copy, and then they get their copy. How much would a full season of Firefly or a similar show cost? $60 million, give or take? So sell 2 million sets, and you're in business. And you can make whatever you want. No networks. No suits. No restrictions. Just you, a computer, some blank paper, and whatever dreams you can bring to life.

Couldn't agree more. That's exactly how I see the possible future of Buffy the animated series, unless it would be much more easy (how much can an animated series cost ?) !
For Dollhouse, I can't say I am very much surprised, but I believe we need to hear what Joss ahs to say on that matter.
Yes, people do that theonetruebix. Some people get so excited to see their favorite show, that they will just keep the show on that specific channel until that show airs. (The same thing even happened with Prison Break and I know a lot of people who stuck with that show just because 24 was going to air the next hour). 24 might not get 20 million viewers, but it is a HUGE show. Its like an event - 24 has a loyal fanbase and people get so excited to see it. A few my friends and I got into Stargate Atlantis simply because we were waiting for Battlestar Galactica to air an hour later. Its cheesy, I know. But the lead in of a show is VERY important.

[ edited by ria on 2008-11-07 09:27 ]
Zap2it is very very wise re the House/24 pairing and a Dollhouse DVD is an extremely safe assumption. Past that, I've got nothing even remotely positive to say .
Shouldn't we, like, not panic? Firefly aired in 2002, Buffy ended in 2003, both a long long time ago, and since then both shows have continued gaining new fans every year. Even though I occasionally watched Buffy on TV when it aired, I wasn't a real Whedon Fan until earlier this year, and I know a lot of people in the same situation. What I'm saying is that Joss' fanbase has been growing a lot in the last couple of years, and I'm confident that enough people will be watching Dollhouse religiously. Especially now that the show has had a lot of promotion on the internet, something that wasn't present on the same scale in 2002.
Let me be heretical for a moment.

Guys, what are you doing? The only people who have already dismissed this series as a failure are you yourselves.

And please don't forget that this blog is the Joss-centric page focussed by internet journalists. We're spreading the Joss-love, but when we panic, we're spreading that as well. What do you want to read on their pages tomorrow - "Whedon core fanbase dismisses Dollhouse as a failure"?

Me myself, as I'm not even in the US, will have to wait even longer to view my dollhousy goodness. I hope we'll even be getting it here in Germany. You're all playing a part in that, remember. :)

Is Friday good? Of course not. But if it lowers the bar of what DH has to perform, I'm with it. Is Friday the death-slot-of-doom? Well, we'll see, won't we? Cause nothing is over until it's over. Firefly & Serenity should have taught us that lesson a while ago.

As a final note: Sorry for the rant. It's nothing personal. I just can't stand it when people get all whiny about something that hasn't even happend yet.

It's still in our hands!

[ edited by Harridan on 2008-11-07 14:14 ]
I think one of the major downer feelings fans are experiencing is not only is it not in our hands, it's beginning to sound like they're trying to tie Our Jossir's hands, and he's the one we wanna watch - he and Eliza and the gang - not the execs. The quality of Dollhouse isn't dependent on our belief in it, but by how much Joss is allowed a free hand.

I wouldn't pay a nickel for art-by-corporation. Good TV shows are realized by a great gang of people - but they are inspired and helmed essentially by one. It's Joss' stories - he and his writers - I'm interested in, and whether we get that or Crappy Committee Art is entirely out of our hands.

I'm just gonna hope that Joss will prevail.
Don't try to stop the signal, FOX, you can't!
What I'm saying is that Joss' fanbase has been growing a lot in the last couple of years, and I'm confident that enough people will be watching Dollhouse religiously. Especially now that the show has had a lot of promotion on the internet, something that wasn't present on the same scale in 2002.

The hard-core Whedon fans are not an acceptable network tv audience. That's just fantasy. Dollhouse needs promotion and a good timeslot to get more viewers, and it looks like it's not going to get it.

And what QuoterGal said.
What dreamlogic said.
I've got mixed feelings about this.

On one hand, I'm thinking the whole "Doom, doom, doom!" thing that a lot of others are, and am getting very worried about this. (Friday the 13th just seems so omen-y...)

On the other hand, it's really not in Fox's interests to kill a show before it's aired, and before they know whether it's going to be a success, right? Their goal is to make money, and killing a show they've spent money on without giving it a chance seems a little... pointless. And the idea of airing Dollhouse in a less competitive timeslot so it has a chance of being watched rather than ignored for it's competition does make some sense.

I'm curious... In the US does recording a show and watching it later count towards ratings, or is it only if people watch the show live?
I think Fox should be more concerned by the fact that Fringe ain't exactly the major success they expected to be, which might be why they're meddling so much. Do I need to get into the Joss is Joss argument again? I promised myself I would avoid that.

I have no doubt that TTSCC is a good pair for Dollhouse, but why stick a new show in a death time slot, with a show that's been also in some ways struggling. Instead they're sticking the 24 and House powerhouses together, instead of using them as potential lead-ins or night-pair for shows that need it the most.

Yes, the current Friday night line-up is not that competitive, but there's a reason why networks don't schedule many things on Fridays. Not that a sense that we'll get an uber sci-fi combo night is not interesting, with TTSCC and Dollhouse on Fox, and the final episodes of BSG on SciFi Channel.

As much as I was trying to support the positions of nuFox, it's getting harder and harder to get this through and how they're not trying to sucker punch Whedon fans once again, this announcement does not help at all. Will we once again see it suffer under the hands of weird pre-emption, or because there are sports?

I'm very weary about it. And I thought that the week started bad, not it's just more weird.
Uhm, Numfar, Fringe has been incredibly successful for FOX.

Maybe a lot of superstitious people will be staying home on Friday the 13th and watching tv...'cause nothing bad can happen to you if you just stay home and watch tv.

I know, silly. But you never know?

(See above re: grasping straws)
gossi said:
Uhm, Numfar, Fringe has been incredibly successful for FOX.

For some reason I got the impression that they were expecting more from it. Read that somewhere, don't remember where.
But heh, sorry. I was just ranting. All better now after writing the post above.

[ edited by Numfar PTB on 2008-11-07 11:07 ]
In terms of ratings it's been a hit for them, and it's also their model show. Dollhouse gets compared to it, put it that way. Which I don't think is a bad thing, personally, as I like Fringe - although they're very different shows.
I'm actually on board with ther idea that Dollhouse has a better chance on Friday night that it had on a Monday, especially paired with T:TSCC and with BSG's last season airing the following hour.

Friday nights on Fox didn't spell early death for a little show called The X-Files. Yes, it's a different media world now, but I would argue that it's different in a way that gives a Friday night show a much better chance of succeeding. Going out on Friday night? Just record it (virtually everyone has some method of recording shows, which was not true back in the early X-files days).

I'd also point to Ghost Whisperer and Numbers, both still solid after what .... three of four seasons? So a whole lot of people obviously watch/record shows on Friday night. And both of the shows I mentioned are reaching a point where all but the most hardcore fans are starting to get bored and may just be looking for someting new, on Friday nights.
I also think the "lower ratings expectations on Friday nights" could be a plus (and hopefully save T:TSCC as well). I've been really concerned about the competition on Monday nights, and the fact that Dollhouse and 24 seem like a really bad match.

This isn't Firefly. No football, and still no indication of the total lack of support that Firefly suffered.

Have to agree with Harridan ....

What do you want to read on their pages tomorrow - "Whedon core fanbase dismisses Dollhouse as a failure"?

There's a great pic of Obama on AlterNet , with a photo-shopped caption that reads:
"Everybody chill the fuck out, I've got this". ;-)
... 'cause it seems to be gamma ray time.

Saje SMASH !!

In the US does recording a show and watching it later count towards ratings, or is it only if people watch the show live?

It counts, they have what's called a "Live" rating (people who watched it when broadcast), then a "Live+SD" (people who watched it live AND people that recorded it but watched it on the Same Day) and then a "Live+7" (everyone that watched it either live or within 7 days of it airing).

Bloody buggering shite. It's not necessarily the end of the world of course, Zap2it's comments make sense and it might well be that Fox are trying for a sort of Sci-Fi Friday idea (it worked really well for Sci-Fi, at its height, with the Stargates leading into BSG, they were getting the best ratings they'd ever had) but it's really hard not to see it as negative news.

Really clutching at straws, maybe they're experimenting with what amounts to straight to DVR TV ? Cos if you're gonna try it, the sci-fi crowd is the one to try it on since a) they tend to follow shows wherever they go and b) i'd bet they tend to have DVRs more often than average.
ETA: Whoops, posted before checking to see if there had been new comments makes me say things that are totally irrelevant and already disproven.

[ edited by UnpluggedCrazy on 2008-11-07 11:15 ]
Shey, it's not just a problem of raw ratings on Friday night, but demographics. Fox sold ad time for the show last spring, presumably geared towards the 18-34 demo; that audience just traditionally hasn't been there on Fridays. If Dollhouse somehow becomes a hit with say, 45-69 year-old people, that will only help so much, since the advertisers will be pissed that they're getting the wrong eyeballs on their ads.

(disclaimer: I'm only an amateur observer of all this, and could be wildly wrong)
Hmm... the whole US TV system is so weird. All this talk of timeslots and cancellations and seasons and back-9 orders. If Dollhouse was a show made over here (UK), you might have 13 episodes order and then it would be shown. It might then have a second series if it had done really well in terms of critics and ratings, but the program makers would never go in to making a 13 episode series with a view to what's going to happen next year, they would just tell their 13 episode story.

I discovered Firefly after the fact, and it remains one of my favourite shoes ever. The fact that there are only 15 episodes and then a movie doesn't diminish from it. Sure there are hints of stories that never got to play out, but in my mind it feels like a story that was meant to be that length, even if that's an afterthought.

On the converse, there are some US shows which are given 22 episodes a year, and just don't really know what to do with it. You get lots of filler episodes, or the story dramatically shifts half way through.

If Dollhouse does OK in its timeslot and gets a second season I will be happy. If it doesn't, but I still really like it, I'm not going to worry because it will always be around for me to enjoy. I trust Joss to have kept his 13 episodes tight and for each moment to tell a poignant thematic story.

[ edited by flugufrelsarinn on 2008-11-07 12:02 ]
I'd probably think the same thing about Firefly if I hadn't seen Buffy and Angel and knew how much Joss's shows build on what came before and get so much emotional resonance from it.

Though it is good to think that no matter what we're going to get 13 hours of Joss TV. (Someone said upthread that it had been reduced to 10? Anyone know where that came from?)

Aside: it's Friday night and I actually am at home, though I do have an exam tomorrow morning to study for
If Dollhouse was a show made over here (UK), you might have 13 episodes order and then it would be shown. It might then have a second series if it had done really well in terms of critics and ratings, but the program makers would never go in to making a 13 episode series with a view to what's going to happen next year, they would just tell their 13 episode story.

The difference is, all UK TV shows (without exception AFAIK) are completed ahead of being broadcast so the station plays them and that's that. And there's less money involved usually.

Also - and this is something the licence fee naysayers seem to forget IMO - we have a major non-commercial TV station to reign in the worst excesses of advert driven TV. Or in other words, there's a balance over how long adverts can be on ITV and how ratings driven the entire system can become just because one corporation exists that (on paper at least) doesn't have to worry solely about popular success for each and every show it airs. In fact, the BBC is almost mandated to produce some shows that won't be popular (in the sense that they have broad appeal).
My god, this is horrible news.
What's wrong with FOX?

Please Joss, for our (and your) health, stop making shows for FOX.
You belong to HBO, Showtime, AMC...
Ok... first I was angry, angry because so far i've been very positive... now i'm really worried, but really trying to stay positive. Please help me stay positive ! I agree with Harridan :

"And please don't forget that this blog is the Joss-centric page focussed by internet journalists. We're spreading the Joss-love, but when we panic, we're spreading that as well."

We don't know what will happen. It doesn't look good, but maybe Fox won't expect as much of the show as if it was on monday night.
Now if you really think they're killing the show, you can go protest at Fox offices (i can't, i'm not in the US)... but i think the clever thing to do would be to stay positive... Joss and his crew are still working on the show, imagine how depressing it would be for them to read all this.
I actually too wish Joss would go and make something small and arty for Showtime, HBO, heck even the BBC. I love his work because of it's artistic merit, but artistic merit is always going to clash with capitalist performance targets.
At this point in time Joss seems to be trying (very uncomfortably ) to straddle the 'I have a story to tell' and 'more action, make it sell' fence, maybe he should consider to follow the smart filmmakers example and make some disgusting sellout show to get the backing for the more arty farty stuff.

And just think how silly all these discussions will prove to be in February when Dollhouse is a big hit show (says the born and bred contrarian) :)
"I love his work because of it's artistic merit, but artistic merit is always going to clash with capitalist performance targets."

I'm not sure how true that is. Look at Shakespeare - very popular today and not too bad artistically. I know we Whedon fans like to think about how cultured and sophisticated we are but Joss's stuff has a real popular element and doesn't tend to slouch on the fight scenes and sex appeal. I think his stuff really could break out and become huge which is why I'm disappointed that he seems to have resigned himself to not being the big movie director he wanted to be, and why I'm pissed off about what appears to be happening to Dollhouse.

[ edited by Let Down on 2008-11-07 12:42 ]
Ack. What a day to come back here after a long absence. And getting to this thread late leaves me with one burning question: What the heck did gossi originally post???

One GOOD thing about a Friday the 13th premiere is that none of us are going to forget when it's coming. I know I'd have had a hard time remembering some random date in the middle of January, and now we can go tell all our friends about it, and chances are they'll remember the date too.
Shakespeare? What a weird analogy. But if you're trying to use it, I should point out that the theatre in those days was seen as an awful sinful degrading thing to be a part of, and they tried to ban it. Shakespeare's popularity and artistic merit were both realised much later.
That's not correct. Shakespeare (and plays in general) were popular entertainment in much the same way the cinema is today. Much of his audience consisted of tradesman/women and in a time before widespread literacy it was one of the biggest forms of entertainment.

Look at Shakespeare - very popular today and not too bad artistically.

I'm not sure how true that is ;). Imagine if Shakespeare's plays were televised on Fox (as they appear on the page) and needed around 10 million viewers a week to continue. Do you think they'd make the ratings grade ? Got my doubts.

(though he was definitely popular in his day)

I do think though that we arguably don't know if Joss' stuff has popular appeal since his shows either haven't been given a fair chance (shown out of order, pre-empted etc. as in the case of 'Firefly') or appeared on smaller networks with less market penetration (BtVS and 'Angel').

What the heck did gossi originally post???

Been wondering that myself ;).
Yeah, theatre was very popular with the poor and nobles alike. It was only later that the Puritans came along and shut down the theatres. (Though, flug, you're quite right that artistically he wasn't seen as all that in his time. He was seen as inferior to any number of playwrights including Ben Johnson)

"I'm not sure how true that is ;). Imagine if Shakespeare's plays were televised on Fox (as they appear on the page) and needed around 10 million viewers a week to continue. Do you think they'd make the ratings grade ? Got my doubts."

Well, I'm not sure how useful that analogy is ;) Shakespeare's plays might not attract 10 million viewers in modern day America. But if TV existed in Shakespeare's time (and most people had access to it) would Shakespear's plays be watched by a number of people proportionate to 10 million people in modern US? I can't answer that question although I suspect it would attract a pretty huge number of people
Ah, sorry Let Down, I misinterpreted you. I thought you were saying Shakespeare is very popular today and drawing an analogy with Joss (i.e. how Big Dub could, therefore, also be popular today without dumbing his stuff down).

I completely agree, in his day Old Billy Shakes would've had, like, a 40 share or something (and not just because people would be fascinated by the funny flashing box with little people inside ;).
Haha I just reread my comment and there is a stray 'today' sitting in there. I meant to write 'in his day'
In that case I just interpreted you then ;).
What. The. Fuck.

At this rate, I'd rather the CW took over the show or something. It's not the best network. HBO or Showtime would be better, but even CW would give this show a decent time slot and the chance to prove itself over 2 or 3 seasons.

This is a bizarre death trick. They're creating the show and getting the rights to it, and then almost self-awarely trying to stifle it as if they want the 'cult hit' DVD sales from around the world where it never got to air. Let's face it, Firefly made Fox undeservedly very rich for the amount they let it do. I get that the economy of television is changing (advertisers being very, very difficult to negotiate with and fussy about ratings) but this is beyond stupid.

Showtime just renewed Dexter for 2 seasons at the same time. Ratings are OK, not stellar, but the reviews are strong and the production turnover I'd imagine is healthy. Why can't Fox just take a page from that book? I wish a better network had this show. I mean, Showtime even let Queer as Folk run for 5 years despite the fact that it's expensive to shoot outdoors or in fancy club sets as much as they did.

I have no idea what to say, only I hope beyond hope that this show is allowed to deliver everything Joss is promising it will. The creators of Futurama were right in "Bender's Big Score", the Fox Network really are just the most horrific executive manwhores the world has ever known.
Pretty sure 'Dexter' is Showtime's highest rated show, or one of them at least (you can't directly compare cable ratings to network numbers, a huge hit for Showtime would be 1.5 million viewers whereas that's very likely an instant cancel for e.g. a Fox show).
I never wanted Dollhouse on Monday nights. Nothing, nothing would make me switch away from How I Met Your Mother on Mondays. Dollhouse was going to be competing against a lot of good shows and either hurting them or hurting itself, so I wanted it to be on another night. However, I never wanted (nor expected) it to be on a Friday night.

A part of me just wonders if this is Fox giving Joss the finger.
It's hard to compare with Cable ratings, especially if the cable network in question is not part of what's considered basic cable, which make them only accessible for people signed into special packages. What's happening with Friday Night Lights with Direct TV is an interesting case to be considered, as the pool of subscribers is even shorter compared an HBO or Showtime.
There hasen't been a single show on FOX since The X Files to debut on Firday and make it past it's first season. It's Firefly all over again!
btw maybe Joss already knew about this slot and the pairing with TSCC. I mean he was on here sending out the TSCC love just recently
Wow, over 200 distraught posts and this is still near the top of the page! Do you think we can make some kind of a record before this thread disappears?

I'll admit I'm disappointed, I had actually hoped for an 'American Idol' lead in or some other guarantee of success, because even though BSG did well on Fridays, I'm afraid they only "did well for cable/Sci-fi channel" I don't think they ever got the numbers a network expects to get. Never-the-less I want to believe that the awesomeness that is Eliza & Joss creating magic on TV will over-come all obstacles (can you say: 'Yes We Can!?'.... okay, yeah... maybe I'm being silly).
Someone posted something about the episode order being reduced from 13 to 10. Someone later asked where that came from. News of the reduction from 13 to 10 was posted recently elsewhere, but that was for Nathan Fillion's "Castle" on a different network.
O kaaay. Upsetting. Been trying to avoid knowing too much about the show (I really wanted to see it "cold"), but this...

All I can say is that if they are going to schedule it on such a "challenging" night then they're gonna need something better than that lame-assed trailer. I've been salivating about the project since it was announced and that trailer was just plain confusing and well, boring. Not to mention, something I'd completely ignore If I didn't already know what it really was.

I mean, man! Here is the only two minutes Fox has to peak a viewer's interest amidst the barrage of entertainment options and they come up with that?! And yes, I know the trailer thread was two days ago, but that along with the Friday thing now as well...*sigh*.

I don't know how the trailer thing works production wise (who's responsible etc.), but if I were Joss I'd be spending some serious time trying to make a couple of the best two minute movies ever. Think of it as a challenge. Make Friday destination T.V. for at least one night. Ya got three months to make 'em all salivate. And we know he can do that.

Take what you're given and sell it, sell it, sell it.
embers: ... they only "did well for cable/Sci-fi channel" I don't think they ever got the numbers a network expects to get

True but then you have to look at how many they could have got on Sci-Fi. It's like comparing Buffy's ratings with A N Other show on Fox - The WB had around half the affiliates that Fox had, so it's not really right to say its ratings couldn't compete, maybe they could have given the same number of potential viewers (which is why 'Firefly' was cancelled with ratings that, IIRC, beat BtVS on its best day).
which is why 'Firefly' was cancelled with ratings that, IIRC, beat BtVS on its best day

Not true. Firefly's highest ever rating was something like a 4.2, for the premiere; it then consistently did about 2.0-2.5 for the rest of its run. Buffy, I believe, generally averaged somewhere between 4.0-5.0 circa S3, before cable superstation WGN stopped carrying WB programming, thus drastically cutting the WB's national audience reach.

[ edited by jlp on 2008-11-07 17:13 ]
Noooo! Nonononono :(!

Whatever happened to the 24-pairing? Living outside the US, I wouldn't have gotten anything out of Dollhouse being a lead-in to 24, but it sure would keep the ratings up. Now we're stuck with Friday, the-time-slot-of-death? Oh well, let's just hope they'll move it to Mondays if the ratings are good.

As long as this doesn't turn into Firefly all over again. That would be bad. Really, really bad...

Dollhouse on Friday?!? With fuck*ng Terminator?!?

I can't believe it. This show is dead.
So just out of curiosity, what kind of ratings do you all think the show would have to get in this timeslot in order to be given a chance to stick around? Given the fact that the ratings potential on Friday nights is a lot less than the other nights to begin with.

It is possible that the show might now have less pressure to get huge ratings than it would have paired with 24 on Monday for example. Granted I'm as frustrated by this news as anyone else here, but I'm trying to see the possible silver lining.

The fact that they just recently extended TSCC episode order when in the past, that show would have been long cancelled by now, does not convince me that now all of a sudden, they're trying to kill it. Both TSCC and Dollhouse are not going to have an easy time of it, but I'm not ready to sign the death notice for either of them just yet.
This time Fox will be different. Yup. New people. Ooops
Both TSCC and Dollhouse are not going to have an easy time of it, but I'm not ready to sign the death notice for either of them just yet.

Thank you, SteveJ2008.

It's becoming harder to stay optimistic when so many of us are throwing in the towel already. We ought to be showing FOX and the skeptical TV critics, etc. out there that we're behind Joss, we're behind his vision, and we're behind his show.

Stay optimistic! It's going to be on the air, and that is a feat in of itself these days. What happens to it after that is at least partially up to us, the fans, to watch it, spread the word, and help keep it on the air.
I got this from Broadcasting and Cable magazine;

"Fox is revamping its midseason schedule, shifting shows and timeslots. Fringe, the networkís most successful new fall series, will get another major push from the network, which is moving the show to Tuesdays following American Idol starting Jan. 20. Also getting an American Idol bump is new series Lie To Me, which will premiere after Idol on Wednesdays beginning Jan. 21. House is being moved to Monday nights at 8 p.m. starting Jan. 19, leading into the new season of 24 at 9 p.m. Bones is shifting to Thursdays at 8 p.m. beginning Jan. 15, leading into new episodes of Kitchen Nightmares and later Hellís Kitchen, starting Jan. 29. Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles is being shifted to Fridays at 8 p.m. starting Feb. 13, followed by Joss Whedonís new series Dollhouse at 9 p.m."

Am I mistaken or isn't Fringe already on Tuesday nights at 9pm. So wouldn't that mean of all the shows mentioned that are currently airing Fringe is the only one keeping it's timeslot.

[ edited by RavenU on 2008-11-07 19:25 ]
Dollhouse on Friday?!? With fuck*ng Terminator?!?
Best. Censor. Evar. :v)
If Fox truly wanted to boost their Friday night ratings, they'd move one of their popular stupid reality/contest shows into that time slot. Viewers who watch people sing karaoke for money and get all wrapped in fake drama like that are probably home on Friday nights already. I imagine they would love to celebrate the end of the work week by watching their favorite show.

As for narrative shows with elaborate premises that need patience and nurturing... the Friday night slot is dead soil. Everybody knows this!

Fox is obviously locked into a failed programming strategy. They have no one to blame but themselves when they lose money investing in brilliant creators such as Whedon. When handled correctly, Whedon always brings in positive returns.
jlp: ... Not true. Firefly's highest ever rating was something like a 4.2, for the premiere; it then consistently did about 2.0-2.5 for the rest of its run. Buffy, I believe, generally averaged somewhere between 4.0-5.0 circa S3

Oops, mea wronga (that's Latin, honest ;). Although 'Firefly' never dropped below 2.4 and averaged about 2.9 (at just over a million households per point) but yeah, even in season 4 Buffy was getting about a 4.1 (that'll probably be fewer households per point but not enough to make a big difference) so what I said simply wasn't true (as it turns out), ta for the correction ;).

The point stands though I think i.e. 4.1 million (or even 5 or 6 million) will still get you cancelled on Fox BUT we've no way of knowing if e.g. Buffy would only have got 4.1 million if it aired on Fox so Joss' shows may not be as niche as we think.

It's becoming harder to stay optimistic when so many of us are throwing in the towel already. We ought to be showing FOX and the skeptical TV critics, etc. out there that we're behind Joss, we're behind his vision, and we're behind his show.

Not many of the linked articles (on this thread or others) talk much about Whedonesque and that's because the critics already have an opinion about what the schedule change means, regardless of what we say on here. And I hope no-one here's throwing in the towel in the sense of refusing to watch the show (or at least, not the folks that can make a difference i.e. Nielsen participating US viewers) or no longer spreading the word but at the same time, there comes a point where optimism tips over the line into denial.
This is the first post I have ever read on whedonesque where there is a great deal of swearing, and I have to say I find it a bit off putting; this is a board I love because civility reigns, the mods actually moderate, and people treat each other with respect even when they do not agree. Now, I can swear with the best of them, but I'd honestly be grateful to see it curtailed. It does not help. And I get that people are concerned about the potential success of the show.

There is a bit of groupthink going on here; the worry is infecting others and is being amplified. I'd caution caution, you know; the show has not yet aired, we don't know if it will be successful or not, and something has to be put on Friday nights. Americans now have vastly different viewing patterns than they did even 4 years ago; there are many more options for drawing your attention- TV, cable, internet, rental movies, downlaodable movies, streaming movies, feeds, twitter, etc. So this simple move does not indicate a failure. I am more worried by the constant tinkering than I am the scheduling. Joss is o very busy, but perhaps he needs to be on set to help with the showrunning; perhaps not. I was never convinced that Fox was the best way for Joss to go, but he is so creative and so mercurial and so verbal that his excitement at being able to work with Eliza might have colored what he is doing, given that this show fell together in what semed just weeks once it was pitched. But until there is a negative reality to deal with, I am just going to wait and watch when it comes on. And I'll assess whether I like the show and go from there.
Here's a question, folks. Imagine you are FOX executives trying to work out a midseason schedule. How do you balance the following:

1. Monday and Thursday are very competitive -- what will perform best in those situations?
2. 24 is returning after a long absence -- what would be the best way to give it a good audience?
3. Fringe is, so far, the best performing new show. How do you keep that up?
4. Terminator is not doing well in ratings (see #1) -- is there a way to give it more breathing room?
5. What would be the best position for Dollhouse? As a lead-in to a long-absent show in a competitive timeslot? As a follow-up to AI (do AI viewers have much in common with expected Dollhouse viewers)?
6. House is your highest rating scripted show. Bones is your second. Can they be used to leverage a night?

Look at what FOX has done with the schedule:
1. Use House and Bones to lead off the most difficult nights.
2. Pair Terminator (the fourth highest rating scripted show) with Dollhouse (most likely to have a niche audience -- also an audience that will have the most in common with T:SCC) on a much less competitive night than they originally would have been on (Friday rather than Monday).
3. Give Fringe and Lie to Me the AI lead-in. That will help to keep Fringe's momentum, and Lie to Me (being a procedural) shouldn't struggle too much with keeping the AI crowd.
4. 24 gets the House lead-in. 24 is an established show, so it doesn't need the AI boost as much as Fringe or Lie to Me (or, granted, Dollhouse) would need, though it still needs a better lead-in than Dollhouse would have given it.

Looking at it from the perspective of the network trying to balance ALL their shows and leverage them as best they can, I'm not sure I can come up with a better schedule. Would I prefer to see Dollhouse get a more juicy timeslot? Sure. But I can't really blame the network for setting the schedule as they did.

I don't know about the rest of you, but I can tell you where I'll be on Friday, February 13th. I'll count my chickens after they hatch, thank you very much.
Even before this I thought Fox should move SCC to Wednesdays and stick House reruns on Mondays. Now that they're planning on moving House there anyway, they might as well start now and set a presence there. Even the reruns would likely get higher ratings than SCC and therefore help Prison Break. On Wednesdays, hopefully Bones could beef up SCC's ratings at least a little bit before it gets moved to Fridays as another lead in. I know it's generally not a good idea to move a show around too much, but at this point, isn't it worth the risk to try?

As someone upthread said, it's not over 'til it's over.
Dana, sometimes swearing is warranted. This is one of those times.
I'll keep my fingers crossed and hope that this means "more breathing room" rather than "they sucked the life out of it."
I'm going to try to keep my head up on this one. Fox knows Joss shows come with a cult following, and lets hope they're looking for more sustained numbers than anything. Sticking it on Friday right away may reveal what kind of following they're dealing with. It's still sad that they're expectations are obviously low.
It may be warranted, Tamara; it is just unpleasant to me. Sorry 'bout that.

[ edited by Dana5140 on 2008-11-07 19:51 ]
I think several concerns are being discussed here, but almost as if they are interchangeable, but they are not - though they may be related.

One is 1) is Joss' Dollhouse being fiddled with by execs in a way that waters down, alters or f.u. his vision and his work? Is he getting those "notes" that say "obscure" or "too hard to understand" or, ya know, "why are there horses in space?" Is he having to bend the show into a pretzel to try and respond to their notes while trying to maintain the show's integrity?

The second is - does moving the show to its new Friday slot signify a) Fox's lack of backing for the show and/or b) thus condemning it to a slow, obscure death? Or is it giving it a better chance at surviving?

Obviously, all of these are matters of concern, and have been the subject of rumor and speculation. I think it's important to make a distinction between these various aspects when exhorting folks to either keep their chins up or panic now.

Myself, the major warning bell that's being rung is about the studio failing to understand what the show was about -not getting Joss' and Eliza's intentions - and if they are now trying to run Dollhouse through some confining template they think will make it sell (at a time when they as execs of the entertainment business in major flux can't even begin to assess what viewers want).

I don't understand the way TV works in terms of timeslots and day-of-the-week placement, and what leads in and what follows - I don't know how any of that stuff works. It may be that the new timeslot works better, or that it's the kiss of death. I don't know, and it's possible that no one knows how it will operate in its new placement.

But I do know something about art, and how it needs to express an integrated vision - it doesn't work as patchwork, and as I've mentioned, building something by committee results in some very odd shaped and unpleasing horses-as-camels.

This is what worries me, and I dunno if I'll get any resolution until the show airs and I can see if they've left the life that Joss, Eliza and Company breathed into it when they originally started creating.

"I'd rather have a show that a hundred people need to see than a thousand people like to see." - Joss, TV Guide interview, some time in the past decade
Hadn't even noticed the swearing, if I'm honest. But then I have to admit that I probably do more than my daily share of that anyway and hearing other people swear just isn't an issue to me. Particularly, as TamaraC says, in cases that warrant it.

You know, I'm starting to feel like I'm the one in the wrong here. I've never been someone to be overly optimistic about things that I see going wrong but on the other hand I'm not usually a quitter either. FOX is FOX, no matter who is calling the shots it's still a network and a business and those in charge will do what is best for themselves, not what makes me happy. This I am well aware of and so why am I letting myself feel disappointed here? There was always a good chance something like this would happen.

However, the fact is that there are certain positives about this move. I am starting to truly believe that the 8pm Monday slot may have killed Dollhouse anyway. It certainly didn't help Terminator thrive and that show had a movie franchise to help it's chances. If it still couldn't pull an audience then what hope did Dollhouse have?

Okay, no doubt about it. This Friday slot isn't a positive as such but maybe it's not the negative I thought it was either. Maybe it could give Dollhouse the chance it needs to grow a modest but large enough audience to keep FOX happy. An audience that in the Monday slot wouldn't have been remotely good enough but in the Friday television dead zone might just be what they were looking for.

We've been positive up to this point. We may as well keep it up until the axe finally and officially comes down because if not we share the blame of Dollhouse's demise, I'd say.
Skipping the Friday thing for a moment to focus on the February thing: They've just given the fans an entire other month to chatter about what is or is not going on with the production. All things considered, I'm not sure that's a good idea.

This might be a good opportunity for FOX to take an earlier gossi suggestion and put the first episode out online before the February 13 premier date, so there's something to buzz about other than "WTF is happening?"

At this point, I'd argue the only way out of the trap of growing "WTF" buzz is transparency: Let us see the first episode and talk about the work itself, not the production questions.

[ edited by theonetruebix on 2008-11-07 20:22 ]
I'm letting go of all my worries here. If all we get is a half-season, then I'll take it and be happy to have it. It's still more content than any movie.
But I do know something about art, and how it needs to express an integrated vision - it doesn't work as patchwork, and as I've mentioned, building something by committee results in some very odd shaped and unpleasing horses-as-camels.

As an aspiring writer, I do agree that there needs to be someone with overall control over the artistic vision and decisions relating to it.

But -- and this is a big but -- the feedback of others can really help a writer figure out what isn't working, what isn't clear, what's getting confusing. And that seems to be one of the main complaints people were having about the Dollhouse pilot: people were finding it confusing to follow, and pilots are generally a challenge to follow at the best of times with new characters, new situations, and, for sci-fi, a whole new world. I know that we'd be willing to rewatch it and try to figure things out, but Fox do need an audience bigger than just us, and the general population could easily choose to stop watching when they start getting confused. I don't like the idea of Fox meddling, but, that said, since they're the ones paying for the show, they probably have a right to have an opinion.

That said, I really hope they don't screw with Joss's vision too much, because I trust Joss a whole lot more than I trust them.

Rikardo: Dollhouse on Friday?!? With fuck*ng Terminator?!?
Roland the Headless Thompson Gunner: Best. Censor. Evar. :v)

I was kinda freaking out at the time...

[ edited by Rikardo on 2008-11-07 21:05 ]
Thank you Dana5140 for the pleasant injection of rational thought. I was getting more and depressed as I read further down the page. You made good points and the clouds over my head appear to be dissapating. Thanks again.
G4 is taking Newsarama's T:SCC, Dollhouse, BSG position on this.
This might be a good opportunity for FOX to take an earlier gossi suggestion and put the first episode out online before the February 13 premier date, so there's something to buzz about other than "WTF is happening?"

I dunno, that'd depress the premiere numbers which might have a pretty negative effect in a snowballing "It's as good as cancelled anyway, why bother ?" stylee. Maybe the first act though (or first ten minutes or whatever) ?

Myself, the major warning bell that's being rung is about the studio failing to understand what the show was about -not getting Joss' and Eliza's intentions - and if they are now trying to run Dollhouse through some confining template they think will make it sell (at a time when they as execs of the entertainment business in major flux can't even begin to assess what viewers want).

Then you should probably rest easy QuoterGal because that hasn't really changed since yesterday as far as I can tell - the production issues were there before and don't seem to have changed substantially. If the Friday slot genuinely doesn't worry you at all then you've really got nothing more to worry about than you had two days ago or last week. Yay, happy weekend ;).
I don't think just putting the first act on will work. As antsy as people are, I think that would actually just tick people off more. In my mind, they could do it as an event, like Joss et al did with Dr. Horrible. Put a stream up for, say, one single day and then take it down.
Unfortunately Saje, gossi's post, which he later deleted, suggested that in terms of meddling it's worse than certainly I thought.
ETA: Ah, thanks, that puts QG's concerns in a different light.

In my mind, they could do it as an event ...

Yeah, something like that might work better, some sort of focused effort directed mainly at fans to settle nerves and hopefully generate some legitimate (positive) buzz. Don't get me wrong, if we could guarantee that every report of the premiere's numbers included a caveat about how it'd been available online previously and so there was no cause for panic then i'd say go for it but all it takes is for the ball to start rolling in the wrong direction and suddenly we have "Troubled Whedon Production Doesn't Rock the House" or "Is Whedon's New House Built on Sand ?" or whatever.

Not really sure about that G4 article though I appreciate the attempt to spin it in a good light - in what way is T:TSCC a "big hitter" ? Surely it's got too many of its own troubles to be an effective "prop" ?

[ edited by Saje on 2008-11-07 22:07 ]
I'd be up for that. Haven't helped fandango anything in a while... and could generate good buzz instead of negative boo buzz.

ETA: this comment was in response to the idea of putting the first ep online for an event like time limit of a day or a weekend as proposed by gossi and bix. (Cuz guess what, bix is gossi too. Shhh! Don't tell.)

[ edited by NYPinTA on 2008-11-07 22:10 ]

Alright, not the news I wanted today, but since 13 is my favorite number, and it occurs on Friday the 13th... I'm thinking an awesome promotion push. Something like, "The Horror of Not Knowing Thyself" or something. You know, can kill bad guys, speak languages, rescue babies, but if you woke up one day (Friday 13th), and honestly didn't know who you are, would you still be you (lead in to Echo & her self-discovery & retaining of soul). I like that take.

QUESTION: Does Dollhouse still get the limited commercial air time???

Or did that go when it was moved to Fridays?

I kind of don't know why Dollhouse isn't leading in Fringe. Okay, American Idol, but that can be placed anywhere.

Yeah I don't get the T:SCC as "big hitter" line in that piece either.
They could use the Tahmoh connection to attract some BSG viewers, but I'm not sure how much difference that would make. Terminators, Actives, Cylons...oversimplifying, but it does seem like it could be a compatible block. It's just a question of whether there's enough of an audience. Dollhouse would have to outperform both of them.
Saje - check your email address wot you've got in yer profile. I sent you summat this morning...
You know, if they were planning some sort of Friday Nerd Pron BSG/Whedon cluster of goodness, they probably should have hinted at that before announcing the new schedule and letting us kind of spazz on the news. How else would people react to the Friday Timeslot of Death? (New kids at the helm or no?) A tiny smidge of a plan being released would have been a good way to have prevented a lot of angst. Maybe would have gotten some folks really excited about in ways they didn't think possible for the new show. Too late now.
Do they need some folks in their PR Dept at Fox? Cuz I'm available. (There is on the job training, right?)

[ edited by NYPinTA on 2008-11-07 22:24 ]
Having cautioned caution, I will say this: the constant worry about the show is in no way a good thing for it. It is not how you build expectation and interest; it is a good way to tune people out long before the show ever airs. For many people who are not familiar with Joss Whedon, for whom Buffy was just another show, there is no real reason going in to watch this show as opposed to any other show. Let me be clear; if this was a show pitched by some other person outside of Joss Whedon it is a certainty that many of us here would at best have some potential interest. It is Joss's involvement that has us excited, not the show per se. So I am worried that our constant concern, expressed now in close to a thousand posts on several threads extending over several weeks, and picked up by the press in a number of cases, is just not helping Joss. Quoting one of my favorite bands of all time, the MC5, it's time to choose, brothers and sisters, time to realize your purpose here on the planet. It's time to get down with it, it's time to testify and I want to give you a testimonial, Joss Whedon's Dollhouse!
(There is on the job training, right?)

Well, you know, apparently not. ;)

ETA that this really does, to some extent, demonstrate that while they might want to exploit the fandom (for example, to make the fans build the official website without any sort of compensation for doing so), they really don't seem to actually understand fandom.

Anyone inside FOX's PR department who actually understood such things would have noticed right away that moving the show to Fridays was going to freak out the fans. Anyone who actually understood PR in the age of an Internet-connected fandom would have gotten out in front of that somehow.

Whatever else any of this does or does not mean for the show, it's certainly re-proved to me that while FOX is trying to use Internet fandom, it certaintly doesn't understand it in the least.

[ edited by theonetruebix on 2008-11-07 22:36 ]
QUESTION: Does Dollhouse still get the limited commercial air time???

I'm pretty sure I read somewhere that it does.
One of the recent articles on this Friday move mentioned that it's still part of Remote Free TV, yes.
When I first read this news this morning, I just started fuming flames out the ears. It's only now, after several hours, that I can again piece together a mindful thought.

First, every feeling I felt, has been voiced in the comments above. Which I completely expected. I knew our little room would be raising cane from this development.

Anyhoo, after catching my breath, my thoughts turned towards Joss and what he must be feeling right about now. Know he must be disappointed. So, lets give him a good hearty cheer. We know the backwards thought process of network television execitives, don't we now?
I sent you summat this morning...

Cheers QG. That was illuminating. And not in the good way.

Maybe it's just a corporate snafu, maybe someone was meant to get out in front of it and screwed up. If it's simple human error then they should probably fix it as soon as but hey, stuff like that happens, we're all human. But if this is exactly how they expected/intended it to go down then it's either monumentally lacking in foresight/understanding OR it's running under the banner of "All publicity is good publicity" (cos I think it's safe to say it's garnering more attention than a standard "It's on Wednesday" press release would) OR it's a deliberate torpedo (that seems like a slim possibility but still a real one).
I agree, Madhatter, we're all cheering for Joss.

Let me just say that though I am very disappointed with how things are turning out, and am extremely concerned that FOX might be ruining the show content-wise (that's more important to me than ratings), I am still eagerly anticipating Dollhouse and nothing short of death could stop me from watching it every week no matter how long it lasts.

Love ya, Joss!
I presume that all of you, despite your wailing and gnashing of teeth, will still be watching T:SCC and Dollhouse starting on Friday, Feb. 13th. I know I will be.

Btw...neat thing about being able to watch the show online (if they do 'track' these sorts of things) is all it takes is 10 seconds worth of mouse clicks to be 'watching' an episode: right before you goto bed; before your morning constitutional; as you're walking out the door to goto work or run an errand. Unless they also track IP addresses (which, if needs be, can also be easily be spoofed), with just a few mouse-clicks a day, I can make myself look like I'm a couple dozen different folk watching these shows online each week. Get enough folk doing this same thing, even if they're broadcast on a Friday, and these shows can be made to look like they are more popular then they are. This will, in turn, convince FOX to keep them on longer...hopefully long enough for others to fight.

[ edited by mangydog on 2008-11-07 23:44 ]
Ugh! I wonder what Joss is thinking.......
Hopefully it's "Hmm, mint choccy chip or strawberry ripple ?" because he's totally unworried by it all.
Do people like the Dollhouse logo? Cuz it's not vibing with me. Less than the other one. I think they're really struggling on how to pitch it to the audience. Maybe as a "safer" route, Fridays are the nesting area for the sci-fi Fridays. Gotta walk before running and all of that.

Thanks for checking on the RemoteFree thing, snowinhell & bix.

But seriously, though. Promotions & PR definitely need some revamping.

Saje ;p

Personally I'd go for some Rocky Road. Not because it's a ROCKY road, but because there's marshmellows in it. And nuts. And it's yummy.


Maybe I should think about brownies instead. Yeah, Joss is enjoying some nice warm brownies that are chewy but not-too-chewy that have strawberries hidden inside (possibly rhubarb as well).

OR, he could be having a conversation in "mew" with his cat. Like I did. Went on for 20 minutes & it was hilarious. Thinking about that makes me feel all fuzzy inside again.

Does anyone know where I can find some good pics of the Fox executives who did this? I want my voodoo dolls to be absolutely authentic so that the right people hurt when I start sticking very large pins in them!

[ edited by Giles'chainsawchick on 2008-11-08 00:30 ]
If anybody has ever studied numerology it becomes very apparent as to why Fox behaves the way it does.

Yup, Fox=666. Coincidence? I think not.
Except you have to keep reducing it, so it becomes 18, which then becomes 9.

OMG! FOX is 9. I should have known.
Crappola. But hey, on the bright side, WE'VE GOT A CONFIRMED AIR DATE!!!

There's only 15 weeks left until we surely get to see more humor, pathos and raw emotion on our TV screens than we've seen for, well, years. Let's take it and be grateful, and to hell with what anyone else thinks, says or does.

(My personal Whedon Alert Meter has been medically regulated to stay at 'Rainbow', with a slight sprinkling of fairy dust.)
Rainbow with fairy dust. I like it. Throw in a Pegasus, and we also have a 70's album cover.

[ edited by kazzmere on 2008-11-08 04:10 ]
I think QuoterGal summed up my feelings very aptly above.

Still I am compelled to comment:
I so cannot wait for FOX Friday sci-fi/shows we need an excuse to cancel night. Honestly this show was announced over a year ago which I have been following keenly with optimism and here we are with 3 months still to go and this is how they have treated it in the time before it even goes on the air. Is there even anything left to do with it before it comes out besides out right kill it? Would it kill someone at FOX to grow some back bone and support the show and artist they initially had enough faith in to put pen to paper to produce a tv show together! I hope Mr. Whedon's kitchen counter is not made of granite or anything too hard because it seems likely he will be slamming his creative noggin against it going why?! Why?!

Furthermore I believe a little outrage is in order. I love the optimism and it has its place but it should not be the sole concept of these forums. Itís obvious we care when we become out raged and frustrated and come together over it as the multiple hundred postings on this thread have shown we do. Half the fun of visiting these forums for me is losing my mind and reading peoples posts to calm me down with reasons I had not thought of and once again enrage me with other angles I had not considered. I think it is far better to be called anything over being called passionless when it comes to Mr. Whedon and his work.
Sorry, didn't read all of this, but is there an e-mail address to which I can send an angry e-mail?
I don't think angry e-mails are a good idea.
Anger is never a good idea.

There is a thin line between love and hate.

I love the works of Joss and Tim, even if they just play off of the ideas of others. I miss creativity.

Joss...... and Tim... abandon the networks. they are....nothing.
Adopt the Marillion view....Ask your fans to order your stuff before you make it, create the beauty you are accustomed to making and ship it out to those who place their faith in you.

[ edited by JadeHand on 2008-11-08 15:04 ]
Fox's strategy is obviously to stick with the handful of shows they have that ARE working, and to trap all other really talented people out there into development contracts for years so that they can't go make anything good for competing networks. They have to let those people make stuff so that the talented folk stay tucked away for years, and occasionally they have to air just a bit of the stuff that gets made just to keep up the illusion that they care what the talented folk are doing, though really they just want them to *not* be making good stuff for anyone else.

This is only my view of of the stupidity that is Fox. I'm still looking forward to seeing whatever does get aired of Dollhouse. I have no social life. I am home most Friday nights. But I do wish they'd treat our guy and his work with the respect it deserves.
TV by the Numbers
Weíll definitely be interested in seeing how Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles and Dollhouse perform on Fridays. Iíd give it a 100% chance that Dollhouse will get some better promotion - Iím not sure it will be ready in time to air an episode after the NFC championship playoff game, so Iíd look for it to air once after American Idol, even though nothing of the sort has been announced so far.

(They also includes another good reason for Dollhouse to not be on Wednesday, though they don't explicitly say so: it'd be competing directly with LOST which is scheduled at 9:00 on that night. Also, in other news, they mention that Life has gotten a full season order, so YAY!)
But missb, judging from all of the production problems we've heard, we might not get to see all of those great things. We might get to see those things as watered down and manipulated by confused network executives. I mean, I hope that's not the case, but that's my biggest concern right now.
When it comes down to it, sadly, Fox has realised that Dollhouse will only draw Whedon fans and a SMALL percentage of others, as it is. Its too complicated and not exciting enough for the casual viewer. And, like other Whedon shows, it requires you to tune in every week or be totally lost. It is the same as Arrested Development... it requires too much thought. Thats ok for viewers interested in that, but NOT to your LARGE MAINSTREAM demographic that you HAVE to reach in order for the show to make money, which is why FOX is in buisness. At the end of the day, FOX wants to make money, NOT satisfy a niche market.

This is actually understandable. But where the problem lies is that FOX should have known this was the case and, frankly, not given Joss the greenlight in the firstplace. Now they are trying to minimise the mistake they made.

13 episodes on DVD is still better than nothing, remember that.
Beren77, I totally don't agree with you. Why does everybody thinks that viewers are stupid?!? I love Whedon's work and I think that if it premiered after American Idol and stayed there for a little it would gain a loyal audience. If Fringe can do it, if Heroes can do it, if Lost can do it, why the hell Dollhouse can't? Yes, it is complicated. So what! It's excellent television! Are you telling me that there isn't at least 9 million people in the USA interested in good series and smart enough to watch it?
Viewers are stupid, though.
I don't know if anyone is still reading this thread, but I just now realized something else: Ron D Moore's show Virtuality is completely missing from that schedule. Did it not get picked up?
Damn, you're right about that. You know, there was a specific point in time where FOX had lined up new shows with nearly all of my favorite TV creators: Joss Whedon, Ron Moore, Shawn Ryan, JJ Abrams & Amy Sherman-Palladino.

And then they made Amy do the laugh-track thing, they didn't pick up Ryan's show, they forgot about 'Virtuality', 'Fringe' turned out to be a bore, and Joss, well, he got ReFireflied.

Is Joss going to talk about this? Maybe a post or something?

Great idea I had right now. Do you think its possible to reprogram Fox executives and imprint new memories and a fanatic love for Dollhouse?!? Wouldn't it be great?!?

Because there are millions and millions of people out there who watch TV for different reasons than we do. Its a simple fact. They work hard all day, have kids pestering them at night... they dont have unlimited time to watch TV, and when they do, they want something simple and familiar. Its just a fact of life. I hate the fact that it affects me and MY viewing but its just the way it is.
CSI, Law and Order... as much as I HATE these shows, they RATE fantastically for a reason. They are (sigh) standalone and (sigh) have that chase thing, to put it one way.

Dont get me wrong please. I wish all TV was Joss-quality TV. But im also realistic. Its understandable FOX want a show that will appeal to the masses. They want to make money.

I say this because i KNOW and LOVE people that are in my life for whom a joss show is just too much for them to be able to take. They arent able to guarentee week-in week-out viewing. The have young kids. They are exhausted every night. I want to yell at them WATCH THIS SHOW but sometimes life gets in the way. Yes, one day im sure they could get the DVD and watch a few epiodes each weekend, or one night a week, and they would enjoy it. But life is more complicated than we might think from our own perspective.

Im just trying to say I understand both sides of the story. Our side, AND Fox. And as I said in my post, perhaps the problem here lies in the fact that it was greenlit in the first place. I just wish someone at like HBO or SciFi would make a Joss show. Then they could afford more leeway in the ratings department.

Two little edits. You say "if it debuted after American Idol..." but I would say the demographic that watches that show (which had *some* value in perhaps its first 2 seasons but now is just a money spinning joke) is the exact opposite of the demographic that wants indepth character driven drama. To be honest Id rather not have the teen idiots watching (ok well I would like the ratings boost :D). Secondly im not saying Dollhouse couldnt draw 9 million viewers. Im just saying that IF it doesnt, then FOX stand to lose a lot of money. So there is another side to the story than just Boo FOX. (Boo Fox btw...)

[ edited by Beren77 on 2008-11-09 00:55 ]

[ edited by Beren77 on 2008-11-09 05:40 ]
Have to agree with Beren77, mainly because he ain't wrong.

The fact is that I've had my doubts about this series going longer than a season since I first heard about it. Not because I doubt Joss or Eliza. In fact I don't have a single doubt about the show itself. From all I've heard I think I will love it and that it will likely be incredible television. My doubt came from it airing on FOX. I just had a gut feeling that no matter how much we wanted to believe in "New FOX" the reality was that a Joss Whedon show was just too complicated an idea for it to survive on that network.

Don't get me wrong. I stand by what I said further up and truly think that the Friday slot might be a blessing in disguise. I also think that we should do all we can to help the show be a hit. I just can't pretend that I think FOX was the right place for a Joss show to end up. Such a shame that Eliza is tied to them or they could have taken Dollhouse to a channel that would realise they had struck gold and let Joss do his thing.
grrr arrrgh! stupid fox....*grumbles some more*

BUT at least we DO have a confirmed air date and 13 eps if worst comes to worst...SIGH.
I just have to make a comment on something Beren77 said and that has been said here before in various ways and that is that people who watch other shows, such as CSI, Law & Order, Criminal Minds, etc. are somehow 'lesser' viewers. I know that you didn't come out and say that, Beren77, but it was implied - or at least I inferred it from the tone of your post. And you're not the only one here who looks down on people who enjoy these shows.

This time, I'm going to defend viewers of those shows, since I am one. I don't watch Law & Order any more, in any of its incarnations, but I did for a long time, just as I did CSI and I still watch CSI: Miami. I also watch Bones, Life, Numb3rs and Criminal Minds.

Why, if I'm such a Joss fan, do I watch these shows? For two main reasons: I've always liked puzzles and logic, and watching these shows and seeing how the people on them put together their clues and evidence is fascinating to me and for all these shows, I like the characters and their interactions with each other.

One of the things I like best about Joss's shows is how he always creates a family out of the characters. So do all the shows I mentioned above. In the case of Numb3rs, it is a literal family, but the other shows also have very close-knit colleagues who would go to the mat for any of their co-workers/friends, and often do. These people have lives and loves and grow and change over the seasons and that's what I enjoy watching.

Would I rather watch a Joss show than any of those I mentioned? Of course. I'd rather watch an episode of Buffy than just about anything that's on TV right now, but I do enjoy other things as well. It's like people (even friends) who are astounded that I can be such an avid football and hockey fan and still enjoy the xymphony and opera. They aren't mutually exclusive.

On the other hand, there are a lot of people on this board who rave about Dexter and Mad Men, some of whom are good friends of mine. I watched an episode of each of them and they both left me cold. I could not identify with any of the characters - or even really like them - but that doesn't mean I think any less of my friends for watching those shows. While I don't understand the appeal of some of the reality shows on TV, I know intelligent people who love them. And if Fox does so well with American Idol that they can afford to gamble - at least on a short-term basis - with a 'strange' premise such as Dollhouse, I say more power to them.

Sorry for the rant. I'm actually looking forward to seeing Dollhouse on February 13th. It will be so good to have Joss back on the small screen, whether the series lasts a few episodes or a few hundred. I'd prefer the latter, of course. :)
I think procedurals have their place on tv, same as everything else. Of those mentioned by samatwitch the only ones that I personally watch are the excellent Numb3rs and the less brilliant but enjoyable Bones. Have to be honest, I cannot stand CSI: Miami. Makes me cringe watching some of that (so called) acting.

I even enjoy a little reality television. Big fan of American Idol and The X Factor, not to mention the UK version of Big Brother. The majority of reality tv leaves me kinda cold but that isn't to say that it's all bad.

I do prefer the more complex and arc-heavy shows like Lost, BSG, Dexter and obviously Joss' stuff. I don't think watching procedurals or reality television makes you a lesser viewer as such (or if it does then clearly I'm a lesser viewer too) but there is certainly a greater need for keeping the brain active when watching a series that demands your concentration, which is the kind of show that I crave. I don't want to always have the answers laid out on a plate for me. I don't want a show that doesn't keep me guessing. I like to be kept in the dark and to be allowed to try and theorize about what is going on week after week. That's one of the reasons that Lost has never let me down. It's my dream show for never knowing what is happening! ;)

Like I said though, there is a time, place and audience for all kinds of television show, as it should be.

I'm kind of upset that you think I am looking down on viewers of these shows. That's simply not true at all. The opposite is in fact true, as I mentioned my my post, some of my closest friends watch the shows you mentioned and my mum is obsessed with procedurals. I was actually sticking up for these shows, in the face of the anti-fox sentiments in this thread.

My perspective is that when I was younger I did in fact look down on shows which did not expect much of the viewer, which did not place any emphasis on long term plot and/or character development. Shows like the ones you mentioned (although substitute equivalent 90's shows) I felt were not really worth my time to watch. And I felt kind of sorry for those people that watched them and didn't watch the more interesting shows like Buffy, or The X-Files or similar shows. I felt they were missing out.

But my perspective has now changed, and I have come to learn that lots of people get lots of enjoyment out of these shows, for many and various reasons. Some, like you mentioned, like the puzzle elements and working out mysteries and so on. Others, like I mentioned, and like my good friends, found escapism and relaxation in the shows, not requiring too much thought, being able to watch without studying. I realised that people are different and have different needs out of television.

So my post was just trying to say that I understand that many people don't have the time, or the energy, or whatever - to watch a show like Buffy. And that Fox want a show that would be accessible to as many demographics as possible. So they are doing all they can to satisfy all sides. Even Joss, to an extent, respects and understands this, as many posts by him have indicated.

So please don't accuse me of thinking that viewers of these shows are 'lesser'. Its simply not true at all.

Small edit: Yes I did happen to call American Idol viewers 'Teen Idiots'(I apologise Highlander) and that was a slight overreaction. I'm sure it is still enjoyable to see the contestants journeys and so on, as I did when it was a new show and it had social impact and relevance. I just cant see myself sitting through it again year after year... I expect i would see the same thing just with different faces. But there is that large chunk of (as research of voting habits indicate) teenage girls who have it as part of their social lives that vote and vote keep the show alive because it makes money. If it were just the 'interested observes' who find it fun to watch it progress watching (and for the most part NOT voting) then the show would have been axed years ago. To me, I have filed the show under 'I have better things to do with my time' but I guess, if it makes people happy then more power to them. I am sorry for being slightly hypocritical. I guess in the end I will kind of look down on some people for some things, I guess everyone will, but its now a much reduced list, and definately doesnt include the 'interested observer' American Idol viewer, just the vote 100 times viewer. And I stand by that :D

[ edited by Beren77 on 2008-11-10 15:19 ]
Really late on replying but add me to those who are feeling pretty shitty about all of this. Was and am pretty upset. I had actually believed Fox had changed. ><

I hope Joss is doing ok right now. :(

[ edited by Rhodey on 2008-11-11 09:34 ]

This thread has been closed for new comments.

You need to log in to be able to post comments.
About membership.

joss speaks back home back home back home back home back home