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December 16 2008

Pie Spoilers! looks at number of Dollhouse episodes. A Fox spokesperson speaks about Dollhouse's episode order, appearing to suggest season one will be 13 episodes in total.

All right, NPR me: good news, bad news, or no/neutral news?
For us, it just means 13 episodes shall form the (first?) series.

Obviously, for the crew/some writers/some actors it means they're going to be out of work from mid January if Fox have got this right.
gossi, maybe you could explain this to me, for I'm having difficulty understanding.

If Fox gives the "go ahead" for a second season in the Spring 2009, couldn't the writers be back in the writing room Summer 2009? With fresh Season 2 episodes ready to go Fall 2009?

Which, to me, sounds like an early vacation instead of being out of work. Am I not seeing this right?
Isn't this old news? I thought a 13 episode first season was the plan ever since the writer's strike delayed things. I may be wrong though.
It was always assumed so, as far as I recall. But you'll note in the linked post that it was prompted by confusion in an earlier WHEDONesque thread, where people were discussing additional episodes or even just script orders.

It was intended to address that confusion.
Nothing about any of this seems that out of the ordinary.
If Fox gives the "go ahead" for a second season in the Spring 2009, couldn't the writers be back in the writing room Summer 2009? With fresh Season 2 episodes ready to go Fall 2009?

Nothing in Fox's statements says that a second season would have to be another mid-season schedule, so in theory yes, as near as I can tell. If they, say, renewed Dollhouse in, say, May, and intended an October premiere, that would give them five months before something had to be on the air.

However, the other confusing part on this is the question of the sets. If Fox doesn't have to decide on Season Two until Spring (although they could decide later, once Dollhouse is airing), what do they do with the sprawling set? Leave it up and render an entire soundstage unusable by anyone else in the meantime?

Just when will they be finished (once they get to it) shooting episode 13 anyway?

Nothing about any of this seems that out of the ordinary.

That might be true, but obviously people are confused about how the status works as they finish up the 13.

[ edited by The One True b!X on 2008-12-16 02:26 ]
I take part of that back.

Originally, if I recall correctly, Dollhouse was not picked up as a mid-season show from the start. Didn't we all assume at the beginning that it was a Fall show, with a small order to start with, and only later did it get moved to January (and then February)?

So, really, the confusion comes from the fact that it originally was a Fall show, where the question "what happens after the initial order" made sense in the context of Season One.

But once it got moved to a mid-season show, I guess maybe we didn't all re-adjust our thinking to seeing it as a show that would have a shorter Season One.

[ edited by The One True b!X on 2008-12-16 02:49 ]
Thanks for answering my question, bix.

Regarding the set, it almost seems to be better financially to keep the dollhouse up and shoot more episodes./wishfulthinking
Well, but the Fox position apparently is that Season One is thirteen episodes, period. That means there is no shooting any more episodes than that unless it gets renewed. So that argument is a non-starter anyway.

Really, I'm trying to stop thinking about the set issue until I understand when episode 13 would be wrapped, because until I know that, I don't even know how for long or for how short a time we're talking about.
I distinctly remember confusion about this issue expressed on whedonesque and at various other places, so thanks for clearing things up, b!X.
The One True b!X - I recall speculation that Dollhouse would air in the fall, but when FOX finally announced a schedule, Dollhouse was listed as a midseason show. It was never scheduled for the fall.
Yeah, I'm thinking it was more along the lines of a presumption on most people's part when Fox first picked up the show. It originally started filming in April, after all, so it seemed a reasonable thing to assume at the time, heh. But looking back, yeah, it was at least as early as May that "mid-season" was being mentioned.

[ edited by The One True b!X on 2008-12-16 03:15 ]
I actually like shorter seasons. Many excellent series follow this format, and I find there is less filler. For instance, consider BSG: in its 22 (or a similar number) episode seasons, there tends to be throwaway--or, perhaps more appropriately, one-offs--that don't contribute to the overall story and are seemingly forgotten within the canon of the series. However, in the latter part of BSG, when shorter seasons have been implemented, the narrative is much more concentrated and the episodes are more to the point. The same is true for Lost, which recently had its best season IMO because of the (strike) shortened season 4. So I'm not worried about a shorter Dollhouse season, as these tend to promote higher quality serials and, hopefully, cheaper box sets. ;)
Yeah, once it was moved to mid-season I stopped thinking of episode orders beyond 13. I also giggle (in a manly way) whenever I see Pie Spoilers! Thanks, b!X ;).
I steal from the best.
Wasn't Lost S4 always supposed to be shorter, Buffy the Slayer Layer? I.e.: won't S5 and S6 be just as short?

Anyway, thanks for this post Bix. I know I was getting somewhat confused, even if by nothing else than the confusion of others :).
Lost S4 was intended to be short, but got further shortened by the strike. I think it lost (*cough*) two episodes, but those will be made up by being added to S5 and S6.
When Dollhouse was originally announced, Variety (I believe) said they were aiming for a Fall start. It was definitely mentioned in the trades.

b!X, Dollhouses' ep 13 start date is mid January. I don't have exact date to hand as the schedule has slipped briefly.

Tamara, it is a little unusual to have such a big series wrapping a month before it airs. This is anything but a usual TV season, though.
So if they wrap in January, and if they end up not deciding on Season Two until close to episode 13 in May, that's a three or four month period.

Assuming that Fox really means it when they say putting Dollhouse on Fridays means they can afford to give it twelve to thirteen weeks to establish itself and gather an audience, would they leave the sets up, rendering the sound stage unusable, for that length of time?

That's not a "what does this mean for Dollhouse" question, by the way. I'm genuinely curious about how they'd look at the asset of the sound stage for a calendar period of a full quarter.

[ edited by The One True b!X on 2008-12-16 09:45 ]
I'm wondering how much of the set was built to be modular. It may be possible to take the set down instead of "tearing" it apart, and then put the components into storage if they need to free up space. If it was mostly like this, it wouldn't be too hard to put everything back together even on a different stage.

Does anyone know what happened with the Firefly set between the show's cancellation and the movie? That might be a good indicator.
I believe most of the set was rebuilt for Serenity, but I could be wrong. Anyway, I wouldn't think that that's a good indicator: a movie from an already cancelled tv-show made by a different company, does not have a one-on-one correspondence with a tv show that may or may not return the next year on the same network :).

But, nontheless, a good point: I also think storing most of the set and rebuilding later seems like the safest bet. But I have no clue how these things go in actual practice.
I was just wondering about how the set was built. The reason I brought up Firefly was to judge rather or not a complex set could be taken down and put in storage. If it had to be rebuilt for the movie (and hats off to whoever did it because it looks exactly like the original to me,) than that isn't a good sign.

But that was years ago, so stage construction might have changed, or have been designed differently for Dollhouse.
Last night was the fall finale of T:TSCC and I was hoping for a mention of Dollhouse at the end, when they announced that T:TSCC would be moving to Friday nights, when it returns. No such luck. :(
I want a full season.

Maybe if Dollhouse has an average of 15 million viewers they will think about giving it a full season. Lets think *very* positive.
Well, there's positive and there's unrealistically optimistic. Fifteen million falls into the latter category. It would be very nice to see mid to high single digits, though.
The Firefly set, if I'm remembering what I've read and heard correctly, was kept up for quite a while after the show was cancelled, but they did eventually take it down and a new one had to be built for the movie - based on stills from the DVDs.
Shey, I thought they DID mention Dollhouse at the end of T:TSCC. They said something along the lines of "T:TSCC will be returning on February 13th with the premiere of Joss Whedon's Dollhouse... blah blah". I guess I could have dreamt it, though. I'll check my DVR tonight.
They definitely didn't mention Dollhouse on my television.
They didn't mention it on my TV either. Not once.

gossi, I have a feeling that "usual" is not something we are ever going to see again.
Nope. Not a word about Dollhouse on my TV. In fact, I haven't seen a single ad for Dollhouse on FOX! A lot of ads for 24 and other FOX shows, but none for Dollhouse.
I'll get proof from my DVR (if there is any).

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