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February 14 2009

Ratings for last night's Dollhouse. 4.73 million viewers in the overnights. It built a million on Terminator, but let's support these shows. TVWeek has a positive spin on the numbers. The Hollywood Reporter.. doesn't. Entertainment Weekly have a fascinating piece up revealing "Dollhouse helped Fox double its viewership levels among women versus Chronicles", which is a nice twist from the clothes lacking promotion.

Things you can do that actually help:

- Digg the first episode.
- Watch on Hulu. Then rate it.
- Buy the episodes on Amazon.
- Or buy them on iTunes for your iPhone, iPod, Apple TV or Mac/PC. And rate it.
- Or watch on FOX.com.
- Crank up your TiVo and watch that recorded copy you made.
- Ask people if they've seen the show.
- Watch next week.

Well... it's a solid number for "Buffy".
I think we would be safe with an additional million...
I'm trying to remember what the difference is between fast nationals and overnights.
Marc Berman from Pifeedback says:

Here is the bottom line on the debut of Fox's Dollhouse:

1. It averaged 4.72 million viewers (#3 behind CBS' Flashpoint and ABC's Supernanny) from 9-10 p.m., with a second-place finish among adults 18-49 (2.0/ 6).

2. The positive news was growth out of Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles of 1.01 million viewers and 43 percent among adults 18-49.

3. Given the hype, however, this was still nothing to boast about.
The growth is the only thing good about the rating. Terminator is toast after that. Right now, I think "Dollhouse" best chance might be if FOX cuts bait from "Terminator" and moves "Dollhouse" to a better time slot. That is unless the buzz is enough that it goes up by about a million viewers next week.
I'm just happy it wasn't last for the night!
That's a solid number for the 18-49 demographic, right? That's good.

How is Flash Point so popular?

(Also, I wonder if / suspect that a lot of Dollhouse viewers (and possibly TSCC viewers, for that matter) are DVR or internet viewers, who are not captured in such a number and not counted as heavily, presumably, by networks making programming decisions.)
Ouch, this is bad. :-( I was hoping it could have 6-7 million viewers. Well, at least more than 5 million, but 4,72 really isn't good... Hope, the numbers will pick up during later episodes or this show is doomed. :-(
These ratings are roughly in line with THE INSIDE. DRIVE did better first episode on FOX. As did FIREFLY. We all know how these shows turned out.

Next weeks ratings will be.. important. There's no point panicking about it, 'cos - seriously - there just isn't.

I want to stress something. I don't think it's worth sending paperdolls to FOX or whatever. Tell people about the show. Digg things. Watch online. Start a fansite. Do a blog. Write a magazine and ask about the show. And if you didn't really like the show, eat something nice.
(Also, I wonder if / suspect that a lot of Dollhouse viewers (and possibly TSCC viewers, for that matter) are DVR or internet viewers, who are not captured in such a number and not counted as heavily, presumably, by networks making programming decisions.)

Yep, the +7 figures might actually matter here, Fox must've known about the DVR element.
For the first half hour, Dollhouse tied for first place in the demo. That's nothing to complain about, even if the numbers could be a little higher.

Terminator dropping significantly in totals viewers at the half hour mark. Dollhouse lost some, but not a whole lot. And they were in second place for the demo in the second half hour (Supernanny saw a pretty big jump at the half hour).

The real question will be how it does over the next couple of weeks -- will it maintain these numbers, decline, or grow?
Well...it was tied for first in the demo at 9:00. 2.0's not bad, so if it could just go up a little more... Unfortunately, T:SCC was pretty bad.

People who dvr on fridays probably won't watch it the same day, so those numbers won't be out for awhile. We really need the growth that they've been banking on.
Third should be decent, right? I mean, both Flashpoint and Supernanny were pretty heavy-hitting shows, I thought. So to be only behind those two?

Silver lining, silver lining.
Okay - I won't worry about it. There's very little I can do anyway. So, when do we know about the DVR element?
It's shared first in the demo, right? Is it really so terrible?
It's weird how 4.73 million people can sit down and watch a show, and still it's viewed as a low number. I don't get that. I just don't get it.
Anyway, I DVR'd it and watched it live, so I'm gonna rewatch it with the recording soon, no doubt. And watch on Hulu and Fox... is there anyplace else I can watch to help?
I don't get one thing. Why would Supernanny get such a big bump in the second half hour? Why are 1 million people tuning in for the last half of an hour-long show?
I'd love to BUY it on itunes. That should be part of the damned counting strategy. But it's not up there for subscription or purchase.

I know nothing about what these ratings numbers mean to Fox, what their secret calculus is, what their secret boundary of beyond-this-we-won't support.

What a bittersweet situation - to love this show already and see huge potential in it, and to worry hugely about its fate. I'll say it again: cable. If this were on one of the better cable networks we wouldn't be having this anxiety. Damn it.
Glad to see the 2.0/6, but I wish there had been more viewers watching the show. It will be interesting to see the +7 figures.
You can just switch Supernanny on though, it's not a story and they just recap everything that's happened (i.e. child biting dog) over and over again anyway. It's TV that you don't have to think about.

When I read it it makes it sound as though people turned over from DH to watch Supernanny...which is an odd concept.

I just hope Fox let it run it's 13 eps, a show needs to be spoken about. I watch what my friends tell me they've enjoyed, I definately don't go by anything a critic says.
2.0/6 is okay. If the buzz can hold that number for "The Target" (the one ep that saved the show's ass back then) or even increase it a little things can go very well.

And I don't think people turned over from DH to Supernanny, since DH held it's 2.0/6 constantly in both half-hours.
Yeah I hope the DVR numbers provide a big increase for the final numbers.

I was hoping for at least a 2.3 in 18-49 demos but 2.0 is still something to build on. What I fond interesting was that Flashpoint which averaged 2.2 in the demos earlier dropped down to 1.8 which probably means Dollhouse took away some of their viewers. Now whether these viewers will stay with Dollhouse, we'll see. Another good thing is that Dollhouse stayed with a 2.0 at 9:30pm and only lost .03 million viewers at the halfway mark so it's a good sign that people were continuously interested by the show. If I recall correctly, one of the factors that killed Drive was that their numbers would drop heavily at the halfway mark. The main hope right now is that the next episodes will build on the 2.0 demo.

It does look like Terminator is DOA. At this point, Fox is better off showing the rest of Prison Break's episodes in place of TSCC which will provide a much better lead-in for Dollhouse. If they don't, TSCC might end up dragging Dollhouse down with it.
Yeah wiesengrund, I didn't think that's actually what happened. It's just that my brain sometimes reads things the wrong way and it was a curious thought.

Holding the 2.0/6 across the hour is good though, means people who started to watch it watched it whole way though, right?
So help me....FOX better not pull any of their shit. I would feel so much more confident if Dollhouse was on a different network.
Yeah, DH lost .03 million viewers in the second half hour. Supernanny increased by .96 million, so it doesn't really look like much of an overlap in audiences.
Maybe Eliza should have an episode as a nanny. Are individual views on hulu, itunes or amazon included in the overall ratings?

Terminator may have more potential than a lot of shows, but the writers need a reality check. The story lines have been horrible. I don't know who the girlfriend is, but I could care less. It was painful hanging through an hour of that to get to dollhouse.

That Fox moved Terminator and Dollhouse to Friday means that they should have time from the network and from viewers to grow an audience.
What would be "their shit"? If you mean showing episodes out of order or preempting it, I agree. But they are not morally obligated to air all 13 episodes if it's not hitting a good number.

If the rating doesn't go up next week or after the DVR viewings are counted, what I'm hoping is that FOX has enough faith in the show that, for instance, they do as suggested and dump "Terminator" for "Prison Break", or shuffle their line-up to get "Dollhouse" paired with "24" again when "House" goes into reruns at some point, or give it an "Idol" lead in for a couple episodes. Or, if nothing else, that they do what NBC has done before and farm it out to their cable subsidiary, put it on F/X with "Damages" or something like NBC did with "Law & Order: Criminal Intent".

Question -- would each viewing be counted if I just played it over and over on my DVR? I mean, I could watch DVDs and just pause them occasionally to play "Dollhouse" again every hour. Could we get fans working on that?
Everything about the show far exceeded my expectation that were lowered from the reviews. The story has legs, and I can't wait to see where it goes. Hopefully, it'll pick up some more viewers next week even with the respectable 2.0. I've already watched it again at Fox.com (the picture really is great.)

I'm also going to re-watch T:TSCC later. Terminator is so much better than the numbers show.
Those ratings are not good. They might not be horrible, maybe enough to limp through this season, but with numbers like this no way is there a season two. That sucks.

Barring some miracle I'd say we can bank on Dollhouse: The Complete Series getting released on DVD in...oh, I don't know, October/November?

EDIT: Well, I take that back. I can see there being a S2. Dollhouse with these numbers on a Friday...I could see a S2 if it stays about 4.5mil, at least 4mil, for the rest of this season.

[ edited by Dhoffryn on 2009-02-14 18:18 ]
This episode of TSCC wasn't entirely whiz bang action, so that might have been the issue for a lot of viewers. but I also think it's possible some more casual TV watchers might not have known it moved to Fridays. Whereas I've known for months...

I'm hoping it'll do well, and it'll get a third season but we'll just have to see.

As for the premiere...considering the hype, I'm not too happy, but I'm hoping for better continuity and a better build up to the good stuff.
By the way, the big news here is Terminator. 3 millionish viewers on FOX is, erm, bad.

If conventional logic holds - and, frankly, it probably will - Dollhouse should drop viewers next week. I'm hoping it starts to pick up steam once they get into some of the mythology stuff. Momentum is Dollhouse's best hope, I think.
What does FOX show with "Fringe"?
So, we seem to be doing a lot of reacting to the episode and the numbers "considering the hype" or "considering the expectations from reviews." To me, that says that we're viewing the numbers and the episode from a particular angle (we breathlessly sought out the hype and we think highly of Whedon, as do most reviewers).

From a more objective, unbiased point of view, I think that it's not that dire. As for the numbers, they seem solid if not spectacular for Friday night. As for the quality of the show, it seems better than we and reviewers expected because we like Whedon, but even to a non-Whedonite, I think it would seem like an exciting show with a cool premise. Right?
Gossi, I've been reading the posts, trying to think of what to say. But I guess the best thing to say is "You beat me. :-(" LOL! I was looking for ratings and about to post this story when you beat me to the punch. I think part of my delay was trying to reconcile my expectations for the ratings with the reality.

I think the Friday the 13th movie (like one poster on the blog said) might have dipped into a bit of the target demographic. I convinced my guy to stay home last night to watch Dollhouse, but he's taking me to see Friday the 13th tonight. He REALLY wants to see that movie, and I think he'd rather have seen it last night.
The problem
The only thing I know about Flashpoint is that the gal who played the Pink Power Ranger is on it...and she looks exactly the same.
The problem with last night's TSCC episode was frankly that it had too much Sarah Connor in it. How can Fox advertise the "D Girls" and air an episode in which on the D girls is barely on the screen! Unfortunately, I was one of those people who started watching the episode and then switched to Ghost Whisperer. I'll be good next week. I promise I'll watch the entire episode. I already DVR Ghost Whisperer, and so I promise to only watch it on DVR. :-)
KingofCretins, nothing you do on the tv will matter if you're not a Nielson family. Fringe leads out of American Idol and loses about half the audience, but that's still pretty high.

I really want T:SCC to succeed as well, but...I want Dollhouse to succeed more. Those ratings aren't helping either. There's still a chance for them to go up though, since there are people out there who have previously been watching the show and might come back. We can only hope.
Crap. This is disappointing as hell. I'm also quite sad for Terminator... though I did think the episode was weak. Not enough Summer, and I don't give a flying frak about Connor's girlfriend. I just really hope Fox doesn't get itchy trigger fingers. I am also curious what Fringe gets. Also, I just think this shows how pathetic America (yar I'm from here, doesn't change the fact) is, and how dumb it is that they prefer to watch nannies than Joss Whedon.
KingofCretins: What does FOX show with "Fringe"?


This. I get how they wanted to show the parallels of Summer and Eliza both being "robots" of sorts, but I do think Dollhouse would have paired up much better with Fringe. Fringe, by the way, has been the new show this year that surprised me the most and I am REALLY getting into it. If TSCC goes south, moving Dollhouse to pair with Fringe would seem like a solid possibility Fox should entertain.
They're not watching the nanny - they're watching the child biting the dog...;)
American Idol is with Fringe, which makes it difficult to move AI. I really, really enjoy Fringe. I think the most recent episode got 6.8 million or so, but that wasn't it's best ratings score. Fringe has been doing pretty well. It took a little while to get into the arc, but it's done it well.
Interesting comment: "I wouldn’t be shocked if FOX releases a PR that DOLLHOUSE had the highest demo for a FOX Friday in X time."

Could this be true? Is 2.0 really that hard for Fox on a Friday?
The only things I know about Flashpoint is Keith Mars is in the commercials for it and it's opposite Dollhouse in the VS. Also that it is a television series. And that it's Canadian.
bubblecat, I'd argue that the point still stands, if not more so. Of course Fox is the home of one of the worst shows every, especially culture wise, American Idol. The notion that those untalented hanks are supposed to be idols is a major headbang for me. Sigh.
Groo, Flashpoint draws 10 million viewers. It's a popular show.

Merc, I quite like American Idol and the like. In a mostly passive kinda way.

Firefly drew 5.1 million, #1 in households, in 2002, so Dollhouse got less. But that was 2002, so internet and DVR's will have taken a chunk out of Dollhouse. But still, my rather sad prediction held up. FOX did not do the best publicity job with this. Next week may be brutal; I hope not.

They should have - in my opinion - done a big first week launch for DH with Fringe or AI, then moved it to Friday to settle.

[ edited by gossi on 2009-02-14 18:48 ]
Stepmerc- I like American Idol too. Yes its a guilty pleasure but I wouldn't call Jennifer Hudson a hank. (or a hack for that matter)
For what it's worth, Dollhouse is 2nd to The Office on the Most Popular Videos on Hulu today.
Well, internet buzz saved "Gossip Girl" from it's sad ratings.
I can't think why Fox wouldn't run at least all the episodes they bought and paid for. It's not as though there's a whole lot else they can do with their Fridays between now and May--remember the old joke about two guys in the woods being chased by a bear, and one guy stops to change into his running shoes? "I don't have to outrun the bear, I just have to outrun YOU." Until May sweeps, Fox has no incentive to cancel: they already spent their money on Dollhouse and what could they possibly run that would do better? We don't have to beat Supernanny (yet), just have to be better than any of Fox's alternatives.

I agree the numbers have to pick up--definitely by sweepytime--but the Live+7 I think will be surprisingly solid (I've been looking forward to this since forever, but couldn't watch it live) and the cast and crew seem to agree that things didn't hit on all cylinders until a few eps in. Hopefully worst case is a move to FX on cable, where comparable viewership makes you a huge hit (our buddies on Leverage, airing on Tuesday, got lower numbers on Live+7 after 9 eps as Dollhouse got live--they also got renewed).

And for what it's worth, I got a Nielsen survey last week and sent it in with a note saying Fox had better not screw with Dollhouse lest their advertisers be boycotted. :)
Ouch! But not exactly unexpected so for now I'm gonna be optimistic. Kinda.
TVweek seems to think it's good ratings? I have no understanding of this stuff whatsoever.
For what it's worth, Dollhouse is 2nd to The Office on the Most Popular Videos on Hulu today.

The Office actually got picked up for a second series off the back of online video. And the person who made that move - Kevin Reilly. The new Head of FOX. So keep it up, peeps.
WOW! Drive did much better in ratings the night it premired.
You forget something really important.

The networks don't care about the total viewers. They care about the DEMO. And Dollhouse had a 2.0 18-49. So... It's not a bad start!
Yeah, I don't understand how this ratings stuff works at all. The TVweek article Caroline linked to sounded really positive, and this 2.0 thing (??) seems to please everybody. I'd understood that fewer than 6 million viewers was not going to cut it. So, baffled. And now that I've seen it, feeling properly anxious about its fate.
My exposure to American Idol is limited to listening to some of the songs the winners/runners-up have released. They have such boring, generic voices. Some compensate with absurd overuse of vibrato. It's like a musician with great technical ability but zero imagination.

I like flaws. I like personality. I can tolerate pop, but I suspect even slightly unusual pop singers (say, Anouk or Kenna) would be tossed out by American Idol.

But back on topic...wait and see. Fox did say they'd put it in this timeslot to give it time for an audience to grow.
I'm going to keep bringing up iTunes until someone slaps me in the face (electronically). I distinctly remember that the American "The Office" in large part gained its success and staying power (after a relatively rocky and little-watched first few episodes) through its iTunes exposure. People went wild for it on iTunes and it shot up the charts there, becoming one of the regular most popular downloads. Through that came many more riches.
The Hollywood Reporter's The Live Feed wasn't impressed with the ratings.

Expectations were low.

But they weren't quite this low.

The series premiere of Joss Whedon's "Dollhouse" was seen by 4.7 million viewers Friday night and garnered a 2.0 preliminary adults 18-49 rating and 6 share. It was beaten in the 9 p.m. hour by ABC's "Supernanny" (8.5 million viewers, 2.2/7) and is the lowest-rated drama series premiere on a major broadcast network this season aside from NBC's now-defunct "Crusoe.


But EW.com's The Hollywood Insider says

So what does this mean for Dollhouse's longterm prospects? Though 4.7 million isn't that great -Fox typically averages 5.5 million on Fridays - the Whedon drama has a better chance of making it over the long haul if it stays put on the night. In fact, network insiders have long cautioned that if the series were scheduled earlier in the week and ended up attracting these kind of (low) viewership levels, it would have been axed by its second or third airing. So relax, Whedonites - Dushku and Co. appear safe for now.

For context... here's the last time we had this discussion: http://whedonesque.com/comments/264
Fast Nationals from Zap2it:

http://www.zap2it.com/tv/ratings/zap-tv-ratings-021309,0,3465294.story

2.8/5.. which should mean 5 millions, 2.8% households, right? Cautiously, not too bad.
Pereso, no. I means 5% of households.

I didn't realise Terminator had dropped 27% from it's already dire numbers. That's the price of Friday night.
I wrote to Global who show it in Canada and have asked why they don't have it on their website to watch.
I'll go watch it again - I taped it last night as well as watching. Since I am a Neilsen person, it is the least I can do.
That's the price of Friday night.

Which makes me wonder how Dollhouse would have premiered if it weren't on Friday night (and paired with a stronger lead-in) considering that Terminator suffered a 27% loss.

And hey, Dollhouse is being featured on the front page of Hulu now. So good props there.

ETA: Dollhouse is the first show featured on the front page of Hulu, that is. It switches to other shows throughout the rotation, but still. First to appear.

[ edited by Emmie on 2009-02-14 19:40 ]
You can also rate it on Hulu, which might be worth mentioning up top, too, gossi, if you please.
I would love to watch the show on fox.com or get it from amazon, but both are restricted to the u.s. and I am in germany :-(.
This link shows that there are over 12,000 people currently seeding the TV show, and over 20,000 downloading at the time of this posting.

[ edited by Simon on 2009-02-14 19:46 ]
Please don't link to torrents here. Thank you.
Especially since torrents are the *opposite* of helpful for keeping the show on the air.
Conan, people seeding the show on BitTorrent aren't contributing to ratings or network revenue.
I am sorry about the link. Was just trying to show the intrest in the show (Likely from those who didnt get to see it last night)
It makes me wonder when the networks are going to capitalize on the international market available online. Or rather if there are restrictions that keep them from doing that already.
Was just trying to show the intrest in the show (Likely from those who didnt get to see it last night)


Fair enough. The only trouble is that high torrent interest in a show doesn't automatically mean that it is a success.
Aye, I had noticed myself in BitTorrent it's very, very popular. It's floating just behind Battlestar. If the networks could work out a way of profiting with BitTorrent, they'd be slightly more rich.
I really wish I could get it legally. I would be willing to pay for it!
Very disappointing ratings. There's nothing really positive to say about these numbers. I have no confidence in FOX and part of me does think that this show will get cancelled. I don't think the ratings will increase next week and if the show keeps pulling in low numbers, then there's no way we will see a second season. I wish that the show aired after American Idol or something. This show deserves more viewers and a boost in the ratings. But again, I'm not sure if FOX even cares all that much about Dollhouse in the first place. Sometimes I just wish Joss would go to cable and be able to write his show in any way that he wants. Either way, I will keep watching this show every week and like people suggested, I will give the show a second viewing on hulu or at FOX.com. Maybe that will help a little bit.
Conan, it's a good sign that there's interest, and interest is good, but the more people opt to get it through bittorrent, that's the fewer people that see it through the ordinary means that lead to setting ad rates, picking shows, etc.
Your right Simon, Success of a show can only be shown over time. Just because it may have high ratings the first few shows does not make a show successful. The opposite is also true. A show’s low rating doesn’t mean it will fail. A lot depends on how if the network likes a show and has faith in it. Take a look at some other shows that started out weak, but lasted 7 years?
Conan, I think Simon was trying to say high (BitTorrent) online downloading does not always equal viewers. For example, one of the most popular shows (by far) in Torrent form is Battlestar, but that has less than 2 million weekly viewers on US TV. That's less than half of Dollhouse's viewers.
I think there is a way that the networks could try and make money. They could take the pre-recorded show (Advertisements included) and Seed the torrents the day before the show. Advertisements pay for the show on the net. Besides, don’t the networks already provide the show on the websites?
But they want you to watch a stream where you can't excise commercials, not a digital copy that you can transcode and then not buy on Amazon/iTunes or DVD/Blu-Ray later, so I doubt that you will see them torrenting it. I'm still shocked Hulu happened.
In the US, it doesn't matter if you watch it on tv unless you are a neilsen family. Although if you are a neilsen family I believe watching a DVR of a show still counts, just not in the overnights. a lot of people also get nieslen surveys, but those only go out on sweeps weeks.

The streaming internet viewings (not torrents) from Fox and Hulu are considered though, so go set your computer to watch it while you go do stuff over the next few days! :)

I also hear there is a proxy tool that foreigners can use to view Hulu just like a US citizen. SO you Brits go figure that out instead of getting the torrent.

Hulu is not really ratings, but it does make a revenue and it's ratings are considered.

[ edited by Jaynes Hat on 2009-02-14 20:13 ]
so go set your computer to watch it while you go do stuff over the next hew days! :)

Hey--great idea!
These ratings are great. I was hoping against hope for a 2.0 or higher in the demo and for Dollhouse to beat Flashpoint in the demo. It did both of those things. Sure more viewers would have been icing on the cake but these are respectable numbers. Fox hasn't had a Friday night show get a 2.0 in the demo since I can remember. Awesome. This show will have huge ancillary numbers (fox.com, hulu, itunes). I'm definitely encouraged. And it gets better when you see that both Fox shows won the Fox sweet spot, men between 18-34.

This is really GOOD news, people. It is all about perspective.

[ edited by TamaraC on 2009-02-14 20:15 ]
Just checking I haven't missed something huge - there's no way for Canadians to watch the show in a way that would demonstrate viewer interest to FOX, right? Since we're blocked out of the official FOX website and Hulu.

Also, I suspect a lot of people downloading via bittorrent are int'l peeps or people who want to have a rewatchable copy (but have already watched via legal means). I hope so anyway. I know whatever if I can watch an official stream, I always prefer that to show the show support. It makes sense.

In any case, I'll be in the U.S. next week so hopefully I can watch live, stream on Hulu and FOX. :)
I like TamaraC's perspective!
The problem with technology is you can’t control it. What you can do is try to bend it to your will and make use of what you can. Pirates have ALWAYS found was to break code, copy content, etc. So why not make them work for you? There will always be people recording shows, cutting out commercials, etc. My thought is put this together and try to make it work in a way where everyone can benefit. Besides, the Nelson Ratings is outdated. They need to catch up to technology.

Right now im watching it on Hulu :D
Speaking of using proxy ip addresses for int'l viewers - if anyone has experience on how to do that on a machine that runs Ubuntu, I would LOVE to hear from you. I've been surfing around trying to find an answer but I couldn't find anything and I have papers that need grading.

That's the only thing I could do that I figure would really help in the eyes of the network.
One of the important bits in that demo rating, I would think, is that it's higher than Fox was scoring in that demo with Don't Forget the Lyrics. So, in that sense, the network has already seen growth in that timeslot, which is good news.

But yes, as stated repeatedly, the next couple weeks will be the interesting ones to look at.
joey_breizh there is a way for us Canadians to watch things on US only websites (we did it for Dr. Horrible). I'm not sure if what you need to do means that the views won't count to the network types... anybody know? 'cause I would like to watch it on hulu/foxondemand/buy it on amazon but want to make sure it counts...
I don't think I am allowed to link to the international Hulu viewing tool, but I will see if I can find a name or something to help the non-us citizens actually contribute to some sort of viewing numbers.

Ok, I found it, it is called HOTSPOT SHIELD.

I don't want to link to it since it is basically a way to get around international streaming copyright restrictions, but you can find it in a search.

[ edited by Jaynes Hat on 2009-02-14 20:25 ]
But they are not morally obligated to air all 13 episodes if it's not hitting a good number. Well, maybe not air, but IMO it would be pretty evil to withheld hours of Joss television from fans dying to see it. You should atleast post it online as a paid download or something.

Also really sad to hear Friday Night Lights is doing so bad.

Gossi, I didn't mean to suggest Flashpoint isn't popular, just wanted to react to edcsLover9 comment about the pink ranger and add my knowledge of Keith Mars Enrico Colantoni being in the series (or atleast a commericial I have seen for it) too.
I purchased the download from Amazon, even though probably won't watch from PC.
A show like "Gossip Girls" barely gets 3 million viewers on it's best nights, but is considered a "hit" on the CW.
They claim it does well on ITunes, DVR, etc. Think that's the path we may need to go.
but IMO it would be pretty evil to withheld hours of Joss television from fans dying to see it.


It's never stopped them before, look what happened with the last three episodes of Firefly.
I like TamaraC's perspective too, but remain confused! Some people / linked articles are saying it's good news, some people / linked articles are saying it's awful news... I just hope we do see some growth in the coming weeks. I really liked that ep, much more than I thought I would. (I hadn't enjoyed the clips I'd seen so much, so I was pessimistic, but it all worked so much better in context and it was some tight story-writing).
You may put it as you like, but it seems pretty bad to me. The demo is, I understand this, the most important thing, but that's the premiere. I don't know a lot about TV, but I'm pretty sure that next week there will be less than 2.0/6, and anything less than 2 mil is pretty bad, as Fox can get as much with reruns.
But well, you never know : if DH keeps that share next week among the demo, I think chances for renewal will be better. But I really don't see how that could happen.
Also, Buffy was on a network with the lowest expectations at that time. If you want my two cents, Joss would have been better working with the CW, for them 4.72 is like the Holy Grail, or with cable.
So well, I guess TheWhedonMicrostudio.com will start working before the end of the year, cause that's the last cancellation the man can take.
The worst of all is not Dollhouse (I have still some hope), the worst is clearly TSCC : here is a brilliant show that is going to get axed without any doubt.
Especially reading that TV by the Numbers item, I'm going to need someone to explain to me why these ratings weren't a plus for Fox, when looked at (as you kind of have to) in comparison to the network's recent past performance on that night in that timeslot.
As just pointed out to me on Twitter: Dollhouse costs $$, Don't Forget the Lyrics doesn't. Heh.
Leo, actually two weeks ago they aired a rerun of House (it's best show for rerun ratings) and it only got a 1.4 in the demo and was slaughtered by a repeat of Flashpoint. So, no, they can't get these kind of numbers with repeats.

You all (or most) are still missing the point that TSCC and Dollhouse won the night in the demo that Fox sells to its advertisers, 18-34 yr old men. That is the hardest demo for broadcast tv to attract, the most attractive to advertisers, and Fox does it the best.

Why so sad?

The trades are going to spin it bad because they don't like tv and they tend to be petty and take delight in what they choose to spin as a failure. Ignore them. Everyone in the biz does.
I was told (by who I'm not saying) they expect Dollhouse to have around a 60% drop from the first week to the second week. That's why I'm pondering.

Bix:

For a Friday night Dollhouse has done great for FOX so far on the face of it. But keep in mind it's a lot more expensive to produce than a reality show - look at the sets. Additional costs - two pilots, two production stoppages, a large cast etc etc. Plus, people like Joss and Tim on big salaries. In terms of cost vs return of investment, right now, a cheap reality show may be a more bankable option. Or, put another way - FOX have put a massive amount of money into two big dramas on a Friday night, a huge investment in genre and drama (and money!), and have come out 3rd for the night still.

I do think TamaraC is on to something with regards to the key demo and sales elsewhere. Basically, week to week is where it's important. If it starts falling like a rock week to week, it'll be the new Wonderfalls. If it builds, it'll be back for another series.
..it's higher than Fox was scoring in that demo with Don't Forget the Lyrics. So, in that sense, the network has already seen growth in that timeslot, which is good news.


I'm guessing that the production costs of Don't Forget the Lyrics are a fraction of Dollhouse though...
JaynesHat - Definitely, Hotspot Shield works great on Windows (and it's easy to use, so always a plus). Just not for me on Ubuntu, unfortunately. :)
chazman, that would only matter if the revenue received by a network for ad time was held constant. It isn't. Scripted programs demand much more in ad revenue even if the ratings are exactly the same. Advertisers also care about the quality of the viewer and quality programming gets quality viewers. Crap programming gets bottom the barrel viewers and there may be a lot of them, but they don't go out and buy new cars.
So ad spots for that DEMO (18-34 men) sell at a premium since it's a hard-to-reach demographic?
That’s a big problem with ALL the networks. Reality shows cost a lot less then any other show to make (right next to game shows). But in order to gain a large viewer base, they have to have a variety of shows. I just hope that this show works. Any show I have seen placed in the Friday slot(s) are usually on the way out and not meant to stick around.
Emmie, they do, but it's questionable as to if it's enough of premium to justify the show cost.
Exactly, Emmie, and they certainly are not watching "Are you smarter than a 5th grader."
I've got the show on Tivo, watched it live, bought it on Amazon, and viewing it on Hulu now... but it's not available in an ipod format yet. This is the problem with DRM. I'm glad to pay for it but they don't want me to have it the way I want it.
Fox may have felt that they would sell more DVDs of Firefly if it contained unaired episodes, but I hope they realize now that we'll buy the DVDs even if we have seen all the episodes many many times! I'm also hoping that Fox realizes that particularly among the most desirable demographic watching online has become popular, just as watching on DVR is. The Neilsen ratings are a little passe.
Apparently, the Friday the 13th movie did REALLY well. I think, as others speculated, that it may have cut into the target demographic for the night.
You might be right, TamaraC. I do hope you're right. But as others have pointed out, the real question is how much is worth the additional 0.3 Dollhouse won in the demo over the cheap stuff they usually put on friday.
But as I said, Dollhouse is safe if they can keep 2 mil in the demo. If they lose even a small magin, they're toasted as a Cylon.
Also, Hotspot Shield works great on windows, but Hulu is really crappy when you are abroad. The only thing I ever could watch there was Weird Science (man, they knew how to do something lame AND fun in the 90's).
What the fuck is Flashpoint?

Seriously, I like to think I'm caught up on things, but the show wins #1 on its night and I've never even heard of it? What?

Must be pretty bad...

Anyway, I wish everyone involved with Dollhouse the best, and of course, I will be tuning in every single week. So I don't really understand the ratings game, but you've got my support!

(Let's not mention the fact that most of the shows which have my support get canceled. Er...I just did. Oops.)
Has this been posted yet? From http://tvbythenumbers.com/2009/02/14/friday-ratings-how-did-dollhouse-and-terminator/12837

At 9p, the series premiere of DOLLHOUSE increased to a 2.0/6 among Adults 18-49, ranking No. 2 in its time period among Adults 18-49 and Adults 18-34 and No. 1 among Male demos. DOLLHOUSE built upon its 8p lead-in by +54% among Adults 18-49 (2.0/6 vs. 1.3/5), by +55% among Adults 18-34 (1.7/6 vs. 1.1/4) and by +27% among Total Viewers (4.7 vs. 3.7 Mil.) while delivering FOX’s highest rated Friday series premiere in over four years (since 1/14/05, Jonny Zero) among Adults 18-49 and Adults 18-34.

The series debut of DOLLHOUSE also out-delivered FOX’s prior season average in the Friday 9p hour by +25% among Adults 18-49 (2.0/6 vs. 1.6/5) and by +21% among Adults 18-34 (1.7/6 vs. 1.4/5). Finally, DOLLHOUSE was the highest rated Friday FOX entertainment telecast of the broadcast season among Adults 18-49.

One True B!X

Usually much cheaper TV would occupy that spot.
Yes, it says that in the comment I posted after my original one. ;)
My other tab watched it on Hulu & is now watching it on Fox. Three other computers in the house are going to do the same. Hope it helps. :)
Actually, looking at the demographic breakdown, it's actually done pretty well. It's almost nailed what it needed it to get, and has doubled FOX's female share compared to T:SCC. It could do with a few more million, that's the only negative I can think of.
I'm watching the DVR'd episode of Dollhouse right now. I'm doing my part.
Oh, and Flashpoint is a TV show from Canada that CBS had ordered a while ago. Apparently it was more popular than they thought, and will stay on Fridays. It's popular with fans of Veronica Mars because the guy who played her dad is on it.
While response to last night's ratings has been as mixed to reaction to the episode itself, one episode does not a show make...most of the time. Let's support this show for all its worth.
I think Friday night is a lame time slot for it to be in. It took so much effort to see it as it was broadcast last night. It kind of worked and we started the boozin at 10, but there were so many damn interruptions while I was watching it. Lol.
Take a note: Timeslot apparently not good for the boozing demographic.
I'm fascinated by the posts of people actually in the biz (TamaraC, for example). Please keep sharing your unique insights. All I and some others can add is ill-informed if well-meaning speculation. That won't stop us, though, will it?

I'm also fascinated by the disparity in interpretations of the ratings by some of the media outlets. However, it seems right now as if the growing media meme is that there is lot of good in the numbers. Thanks for that latest, Emmie.

Okay, I'm asking flat-out: Anyone know if this thing will be put on iTunes for download? Every other Fox show seems to be, including preposterous failures, current and past. Or by putting it on Amazon for download does that mean there is some exclusivity thing going on and so no iTunes? Anyone? Anyone?

I've been trying to watch via Hulu but my connection is sufficiently not-good that it keeps stopping and buffering and driving me bonkers. I'll keep trying, though. And I don't have a pc, so Amazon doesn't work for me. Hence my incessant (and so far unanswered iTunes) question.
Leo, I am not trying to convince folks who insist on that the glass is half empty. I just think that it is useless to have that attitude without all the information. Last week the 9pm hour on Fox had a 1.5, the week before it was 1.3, the week before it was 1.7, the previous was a 1.2, etc. You have to go back to October to find a Fox show at 9 getting a 2.0 in the demo and it was a first run scripted drama. It was canceled but it got crap numbers in the 18-34 male demo and got no help from DVR, hulu etc.

The expectations are different now, and Dollhouse is performing. We will see what next week brings next week.

Full disclosure, I do not work for a network, nor am I privy to their decision making process. Just obsessive about watching these sorts of numbers.

[ edited by TamaraC on 2009-02-14 21:22 ]
The iTunes thing is confusing, because last night's Terminator is up, but there's not even an empty section for Dollhouse. For a show that needs DVR and download numbers, this is a truly boneheaded delay.

[ edited by The One True b!X on 2009-02-14 21:19 ]
It might be a lame time slot, but I really hope it does not get moved around. That will hurt it much more than having a Friday spot since the average Joe won't look for it.

I also think the Terminator lead in will improve. Last night was the "talking to the dead people" episode that every dramatic genre show tries to work into the story at least once. Babylon five did it 2 or 3 times (although they did it well). At least it has replaced the "flashback episodes" of the 70s and 80s. It's too bad the "trapped in a confined space" episodes are still around to plague us.

The part where the liquid metal terminator went on a killing spree was cool though, too bad most people probably fell asleep or turned channels by then.
No kidding, b!X, especially considering the cross-fertilization marketing that could go on in iTunes with the prominently featured "Dr. Horrible" (still shown in the top ten TV subscriptions) and "Dollhouse."

Also, whatever you think of itunes as a program, it really has become a pop oasis/clearing house for would-be consumers. People go there to get ideas and buy. You can't find "Dollhouse" so easily or instantly on Amazon unbox or whatever. Not having it up there already is completely and thoroughly idiotic. Idiotic! They could have started the day of the premiere, even, and put up a free download of the video panel at the Apple Store in Soho. That was supposed to be available on iTunes, wasn't it? Other shows do that in advance of their premieres to draw interest. You advertise the "free download" video on the front page of the TV section of iTunes and lure people to your placeholder site. Then you slip in something like "Dr. Horrible" and "Buffy" to the "Other people who bought this bought" list. Surely that list is seeded initially like that.
The Apple Store thing probably won't be there until Monday or Tuesday. All the prior ones in that "series" seem to have been posted late Monday or sometime Tuesday (which is new release day).
Sidebar - Jaynes Hat, B5 did it once, and yes it was done well.
I like how SCI FI Wire cherry-picked only The Hollywood Reporter piece to reference regarding the ratings, rather than give a sampling of the range of differing opinion on the matter.
Reality might be cheaper to make, but people are less interested in rewatching it, so in the long term it won't sell as many DVD's or downloads on sites like iTunes or Amazon, right? I mean, I know DVD's aren't officially in the equation, but surely someone somewhere is considering how many they'd sell?
The Dollhouse iTunes page is here.
I can remember 2 B5 episodes Bobw10, although one was more of a flashback episode. The good one was written by Harlan Ellison and involved the aliens transporting part of the station to a different dimension for the night. The other one was where ambassador Malari almost dies and had hallucinations like Sarah Conner did last night. I seem to remember another near death hallucination episode with dead people as well, but I could be wrong.
According to the iTunes page you can supposedly purchase a pass for the entire season for $1.99. I wonder if they'd honor that price mistake.

[ edited by karosurly on 2009-02-14 22:02 ]
Actually, it doesn't say "season pass." It says "buy all episodes," which right now = 1. But thanks for the link! My copy is downloading right now. (My computer is not happy with me for downloading from itunes while watching HD on Fox.)
*CROSSES FINGERS*

Despite the overly soft reviews, I liked it...
Thanks for pointing out my mistake, jcs.
I haven't seen the number for the real culprit: WWE Smackdown.
I was afraid Flashpoint would be a hard nut to crack. It's in its second season, people started watching the new season weeks ago, they're used to it, it'll be hard to get them to watch any other show in this hour.

So I'll just do what I've planned on doing ever since the date/time was announced: watch it every week, watch it on hulu when I can, and hope there's enough buzz in the right demo to keep it on the air.
I know this is premium cable, but a recent example of a new genre show growing its audience after Week 1 is True Blood. A lotta folks predicted it would tank and get pulled after its first episode aired (although HBO would certainly air all the episodes. They air what they paid for, always). Heck, a lotta folks who watched that first episode (or the internet-leaked pilot, which the actual first ep improved on apparently) thought it deserved to get pulled. But most folks who stuck with it agreed it got leaps and bounds better real quick and it saw huge jumps (for cable numbers) in the ratings. Season 1 was a smashing success, something HBO really wanted after a lot of its signature, long-running shows have ended in the past few years.

Of course, it also had the advantage of HBO-on-Demand numbers...but Dollhouse kind of has that with the many internet options that are measured ('cause I don't have to pay to watch it on Hulu, do I?).

From September 17th, 2008:
HBO has renewed Alan Ball's vampire drama True Blood after only two episodes, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

The series debuted September 7 on the cable network to a modest 1.4 million viewers.

But the debut has attracted a total of 4 million viewers with repeat airings. Also, HBO noted the second episode grew 24%.

"We're in a business where we have to believe in the show — and the show is fantastic," said Michael Lombardo, president of HBO's programming group and West Coast operations.

"It gets better in every episode. The show deserves a second year whatever the ratings."


Er, I know Fox can't afford to be as enthusiastic and "air-it-at-any-cost-because-quality-trumps-ratings!" as HBO's president is (and realistically, HBO does cancel if a show is expensive and doesn't perform as well as they'd like it to/need it to, they've just been known to let a second or third season squeak by sometimes if the fan support is there and the company believes in the show). But isn't last Fall's True Blood success at least a little encouraging ? Dollhouse could grow from week-to-week, if buzz is strong. And if the targeted male demo (me), puts down its video games and stays in Friday nights (don't play many video games anymore, Saturday nights are for going out...I also don't count in the ratings, as a Canadian).

There're a lotta ifs, but like a lotta folks in this thread are saying, there's no point worrying about it. Do what you can online as far as watching it/buying it where it counts, and spreading the word both there and in real life. If you have the time and the inclination to do so. Otherwise it's not worth stressing over. See what happens in a few weeks.

What counts the most toward the ratings besides folks in the States with Nielsen ratings boxes ? I loved the pilot, but I'm not gonna watch it more than a couple more times (I'll do once online to help it out, or just leave my computer running on Amazon and Hulu and whatever else is available, but otherwise I only really wanna re-watch it on my TV, this time with closed captioning on to catch dialogue I missed or may have misunderstood). So would paying for it on Amazon make the most impact ?
Considering there can be two completely opposite perspectives on these ratings, I assume I can say they were so/so?

Also, they seem fairly par-for-course in terms of Whedon TV, no? Maybe not when comparing budgets, but I won't start crying Apocalypse yet.

And how much, really, can it help trying to 'cheat' the system with multiple rewatchings and online linkings, if the audience just isn't there? Feeding a faulty system that way doesn't seem the best way to protest it, or prove anything. (Btw this is not meant to offend anyone, I just think ratings like this are lame.) I'm sure none of the huge Dollhouse-watching parties in my college dorms will contribute at all to these ratings, for ever and ever, but encouraging us to "make this count" and watch it individually on Hulu would be less awesome.

I'm sure, anyhow, that the show will pick up in quality, whether it does so in 'official' numbers or not.
Bought it on iTunes (and Amazon)!
All hail karosurly! Thanks for alerting us to the itunes placement. It's curiously still hard to find on the itunes Fox subpage - it's the very last series listed, placing it well below some truly short-lived duds, but hell, I'll take it. Am downloading now. Hee!

As for stressing/non-stressing over "Dollhouse's" fate - well, the logical thing to do is do what one can and then relax about it. But it's hard to help worrying about storycide when one believes in the possibilities to come *if* allowed to come. It's part of being one kind of fan, I suppose. I don't want my stories to be killed off before I think they should.
Flashpoint is a great show.. and yes, Keith Mars is in it (of course that's not his name, but the character is similar so it makes me happy).
Flashpoint will premiere here in a week, I believe, maybe I'll check it out. I do love Keith.
Ditto on the iTunes "huzzah!" I had Firefly on DVD, of course, but was among the Buffy-skeptic until I said "what the hell" and bought season 1 on iTunes... and then bought the boxed sets (Buffy and Angel) on Amazon twelve hours later. Hopefully similar converts will be made with DH.
So just to clarify- Dollhouse had an amazing night as it had one of the lowest debuts for a new show this season and disappointed many pundits by doing really well in certain key demographics.
That appears to capture the essence of it, Simon.
Well, I enjoyed it. Think I spotted the points the network wanted redone. Had to smile, Joss was getting there!

Looking forward to next Friday, don't you know:)
By the way, it can't hurt to write a many-starred review for the iTunes Dollhouse section. Nope, it can't hurt at all.
UnpluggedCrazy, Flashpoint premiered in the summer and is one of my new favourite shows. (e-mail me if you want more details.) If Dollhouse wasn't Joss's, I probably would put Flashpoint in first place in the slot, but as it is, I go with taping Dollhouse first when I'm not home, as happened last night because I was at a combined BSG/Dollhouse meetup with 58 other people, some of whom became fans of Joss's last night! :)
Well, the chat feature didn't last too long. Warning! Two naughty words, and you get kicked off, and it won't let you back in. The problem is, you don't KNOW a word you're using is unacceptable until it's too late! One is a word used on Buffy all the time, including in one of the songs in the musical...
The reason I'm watching it on Hulu and buying from itunes is because it can create buzz. Buzz is good. It gets people interested and that can increase the audience and make advertisers pay attention. I watched it live and on tivo as well. I'm also talking it up on all the treads on message boards I routinely visit.
I gifted the series to my son on iTunes. He's someone who generally watches shows online, because his schedule doesn't allow him to watch them during TV air times. He's someone who would like Dollhouse, but never be counted.
"So just to clarify- Dollhouse had an amazing night as it had one of the lowest debuts for a new show this season and disappointed many pundits by doing really well in certain key demographics."

I bet the other shows didn't have a lead in with 3.5 and a 1.3 in the demo.

DOLLHOUSE did GOOD. Even Fox is saying so. It kicked Flashpoint in the ass! It was first (tied) in the first half-hour and second in the second half-hour and it didn't lose viewers during the show.
Damn people, 150 comments, and no one even say what they thought of the Pilot?!

Well I'm sad for the ratings, both for Dollhouse and T:TSCC that I love too, maybe Valentine nights could explain this.
But I'm sorry, I didn't really hooked on the Pilot. First mission was weird to introduce the show and I didn't believe in Dushku's acting (or the way the character was written) for the second mission. The whole was a bit tasteless for now, there are a lot of characters and I hope we will learn more about them in the second episode, they are currently like empty dolls.
I don't see the reason for the quick negativity. Some unease, yes, but not doom or gloom.

I'm tending to follow what TamaraC is saying or the article Emmie quotes because those have actual comparisons with other shows in comparable time slots, with an eye on the bottom line (appealing to certain demographics) which is all the networks care about.
Damn people, 150 comments, and no one even say what they thought of the Pilot?!

Because there's an entire thread for that already.
/me slaps himself
Sorry for the annoyance.
It was so, and so. It should of had better ratings. :(
UnpluggedCrazy- this from IMDB:

FLASHPOINT - A television program about a special tactical team that rescues hostages, busts gangs, defuses bombs, and takes on other tough cases.

I'm like you. I have never even heard of this show. Ever.
I love that a day later Dollhouse is still a trending topic on twitter!
You guys might be interested to know that over at TV by the numbers a guy called Nick C (who appears to have connections with FOX) said that people at FOX were excited by Dollhouse's numbers and also that they're considering putting a strong episode of Dollhouse after Idol as a one-off (they didn't think 'Ghost' was good enough). If true, that's pretty great news
Let Down! Your report (which I must take with a partial grain of salt only because it's about what an unverifiable guy at another board said) most definitely leaves me feeling up, not let down. Let's hope this Nick C guy knows what he's talking about...Very cool.
Nick C also says Serenity wasn't a flop.
Ah. Feeling let down suddenly.
Yeah, but he doesn't claim to have any special knowledge about the workings of Universal whereas he does claim to know people at FOX (including Kevin Reilly) and all of the other people at the site take him seriously. Plus what he's previously said about goings on at FOX meshes very well with what we know is true

I can't vouch for the truth of what he says but if I had to bet I'd bet that what he says people at FOX said they did actually say
"Ah. Feeling let down suddenly."

I'd rather you didn't. It's a little awkward given we hardly know each other :)
If one was to use a US proxy to rewatch the show on Fox's website would it count towards their ratings? Sadly, being in Oz, illegality is the only way to go to watch it on the day it comes out and not weeks/months later. But I would be happy to proxy in if it mean it helped ratings, and helped pay for the show. Likewise, anyone know an easy way to get a US iTunes account? I'd be happy to download from there too now, with DRM out of the picture.

I'm looking forward to seeing the live +7 ratings. Whedonites are notoriously net savvy, as shown by the staggering numbers for Dr.H
As far as I know, DRM is only out of the picture on iTunes music, not iTunes TV shows.
Though I'm optimistic, I don't think I'm ready to accept that they would have it paired up with Idol for one night. The numbers for the demographic seem decent (to me at least), but not "Heck yeah! Let's pair this Idol" good...
The point about pairing it with Idol for one night ultimately is about IDOL's ratings, not DOLLHOUSE's ratings.

Meaning, if it's working well enough on Fridays, and we get into the episodes the kick things up, why not take one of those episodes and give it a run after Idol so that a portion of Idol's massive audience stays around and gets a taste.
Bought it on Amazon.com through the Amazon.com link on http://drhorrible.com Hoping they might make some money from the purchase.

#8 in Bestsellers in Video On Demand.

[ edited by Anonymous1 on 2009-02-15 04:25 ]
Registered imdb.com users...remember to vote on Dollhouse http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1135300/
Yeah, exactly what b!X said. It's a great idea and I really hope it's true that they're considering it. (And I also think it's a great idea to do it on a really killer episode)
One True Bix, that is true, but I would think they would reserve the "Idol effect" for shows they have a lot of faith in. Or maybe there's a lot of Idol love to spread around?

You can tell I don't watch a lot of TV these days. :)
My opinion: the first few episodes don't need to be high enough to guarantee a 2nd season. They just have to be good enough for Fox to show all 13 (aka avoid Firefly/Wonderfalls/Drive treatment). We know things will pick up as the Arc (with Adam?) starts kicking in. Hopefully that will get more people watching as the season progresses, and *then* we can worry about 2-season ratings.

And I'm still laughing at the bathroom scene. ("Dollhouse, doll freakin' house. Keep saying it, its fun to say...")
One True Bix, that is true, but I would think they would reserve the "Idol effect" for shows they have a lot of faith in. Or maybe there's a lot of Idol love to spread around?

Well, a little of both, I'd think. On the second point first, Idol does air more than once a week, so there's some room there to air things after it. On the first point, I think the argument being offered is that if Dollhouse holds onto doing reasonably well demographically where it is on Fridays, Fox might give it an extra kick in the pants by putting a strong episode after Idol.

Basically, I think the premise is that if Dollhouse can establish a decent-enough-for-Fox early base, it can afford to try to reach out to Idol's audience with more than just ads.
Ivalaine- my nephews, who are in Sydney, have US itunes accounts. They buy gift codes from ebay and use my former home in Portland as a billing address. But I'm not too sure if Apple lets people register that way any more.

I don't at all understand the US ratings system, the general consensus from what I can gather seems to be that the Dollhouse numbers are a glass half empty/full situation. I actually never thought I'd say this, but Fox did us a favor in pushing the T&A- since it led to good numbers in the young, male demographic.

If Dollhouse consistently gets higher numbers than SCC in the next few weeks, will Fox switch Dollhouse and SCC around so Dollhouse gets the earlier timeslot? And would this be a good thing?
Lets just remember none of us are Fox execs... At least, not to my knowledge. ;)
"My opinion: the first few episodes don't need to be high enough to guarantee a 2nd season. They just have to be good enough for Fox to show all 13 (aka avoid Firefly/Wonderfalls/Drive treatment). We know things will pick up as the Arc (with Adam?) starts kicking in. Hopefully that will get more people watching as the season progresses, and *then* we can worry about 2-season ratings."

I dunno. I'm not an expert but I would have thought that if you haven't attracted people with 5 standalones you're not going to start attracting droves of people once an arc kicks in even if it's really good. In other words, I expect that if the ratings for the next 3 or 4 episodes aren't renewal-worthy it's unlikely that they will become so later

I'm feeling pretty chipper, even to the extent that I'm saying 'chipper' which I never have before
I don't think we need to be Fox execs to debate interesting potential information from another site, which is what we've been doing. ;)
An interesting question is whether they'll stop playing the last episodes of T:TSCC and replace it with a better (ratings wist) lead-in for Dollhouse. From what I gather, repeats of House got better ratings than Terminator did last week. So if they switched to House or Prison Break you'd expect more people to be watching FOX at 9pm and so be there for Dollhouse. Although one question mark is that, given that House viewers probably aren't the same as Terminator viewers, would you get as many sticking around for a genre show like Dollhouse?

I kinda hope they do replace T:TSCC with something that rates better. This is partly selfish: I've never seen Terminator so, unlike many people here, I have no attachment. But also: it seems fairly certain now that T:TSCC won't be around for another season. So if the network pulled it off air its fans would be in more or less the same position except that they'll have to wait for the DVD for the final episodes. Whereas with Dollhouse we have a real chance of a second season

Edited because I realised I said all this in response to a question that the poster didn't actually ask. Oops

[ edited by Let Down on 2009-02-15 05:12 ]
The problem with putting something like House on Friday night, I think, is that more likely than saving Dollhouse, you're killing House, which needs its ratings as well. Not everyone will follow it to the new night.
But the suggestion, Jobo, is that repeats of House be placed in Terminator's spot. Apparently, a mere repeat of House pulls in more viewers than does T:TSCC
Or at least than Terminator pulled this Friday (maybe it will pick up next week? More people out on Friday 13th perhaps?)
Gah, don't cancel Terminator! I don't give a good gorram about Fox or its ratings or any of it's shows. Especially American Idol, evil incarnate. I don''t really care about House anymore either... i used to like it but it got repetitive.

I should point out that I care more for Dollhouse than Terminator, despite my love for Summer. But since we're in the position to make wild, unlikely to happen wishes, I see no reason to start getting negative. To quote an excellent band, "You gotta stay positive!"

Also, the notion that Friday the 13th remake is more popular than Dollhouse... is painful to me.

[ edited by SteppeMerc on 2009-02-15 05:32 ]
I don't think it would make much difference. House isn't as strong as it used to be. If the last rerun there only did .1 better, there's no point in changing it up. And we don't want Dollhouse at 8, because that would just hurt it. If you're going to put something else in front of it, it has to be an original. Unless they throw one of the preempted Bones episodes on Friday, it seems unlikely.
What do you think about putting the remaining Prison Break episodes in front of it, hacksaway?
I like Flashpoint very much, and it's a show I'm already watching, Were I not a Joss fan, I wouldn't be inclined to switch from my show to one I've seen a few ads for. Especially one for which I don't find the ads particularly appealing.

I have yet to see the episode because I was on a plane when it aired. Since I'm in the States now, I just realized I can get it on Hulu. So I'm watching now.
Anyone know when totals are posted for internet streams or if they even are?
What do you think about putting the remaining Prison Break episodes in front of it, hacksaway?

Which is what will happen once T:SCC is finished.
In other words, I expect that if the ratings for the next 3 or 4 episodes aren't renewal-worthy it's unlikely that they will become so later

Do you *really* want a list of shows that started slow, and became hits much later? Yes, the ideal case would be blockbuster numbers from the start, but since that didn't happen, I still want to think of scenarios where Mutant Enemy can grind it out. This is about gradual word-of-mouth among viewers, and reviewers writing articles about how much better the show is than its first episodes, both of which will increase numbers.

I kinda hope they do replace T:TSCC with something that rates better. This is partly selfish: I've never seen Terminator...

Isn't that called Catch-22 or something? :-)
I'm hoping Terminator manages to do well enough, so that I can finish the season (which I am invested in) and that it doesn't act like a wet millstone for Dollhouse.
"Which is what will happen once T:SCC is finished."

Yep, but I've heard talk of doing that earlier. Admittedly not talk from anyone with any say
Priosn Break in front of Dollhouse? That would be horrid... Side's isn't that show done yet?

edit:Prison Break even, instead of Priosn Break.

[ edited by SteppeMerc on 2009-02-15 05:57 ]
Prison Break only did a little bit better than TSCC in the fall, so it's hard to say if it'd be much better. I think they'll have to see next week's numbers before completely writing TSCC off. Hopefully it can go up a bit and Dollhouse can at least stay the same. PB has been gone a long time too, so putting it on now without any promotion probably wouldn't help much either.
Is having a high-rated lead in what killed Drive? Refresh my memory - but Drive "drug down" the numbers of the higher-rated lead in show that's part of why they canceled so fast.
Browncoat_Tabz - that was the claim ... that Drive drove down 24's numbers. Of course, now they admit that 24's Season 6 low ratings were due to the fact that it was so poorly written. Not just that it was bad, but the worst season of all six!
What killed DRIVE was multiple things - not the best development at FOX, the fact it was about car races, it launched in April etc. If you're evil and want a laugh, mention Drive near Tim and see if his face twitches.

I believe I'm correct in saying when T:SCC runs out of fresh episodes (i.e. before it's even finished it's second season) FOX plan to swap it with Prison Break, and air the final few Prison Break episodes. Didn't that come out in Entertainment Weekly or THR a few days ago? Prison Break is already in ratings freefall, so it's not an ideal pairing either.

I suspect FOX will wait for next weeks ratings to see how Dollhouse fairs. If we can get 4.7 million people again, I think FOX have a show, and know it. I would hope they would air the Dollhouse episode "Man On The Street" (written by Joss) with Fringe or American Idol as a big 'event'. The mythology slope really starts to kick in then, yet the episode itself explains exactly what the show is about, so it would be absolutely ideal 'event' night for FOX.
"Man on the Street" is exactly what I was thinking when I read that notion of dropping an episode into an after-Idol slot one evening.
Gossi, is Man on the Street definitely Joss? Meaning he didn't write the finale?
Why would "Man on the Street" being Joss' mean he didn't also write the finale?
I'm pretty sure--maybe I'm crazy--that he said recently-ish that he wrote and directed only two eps this season.
I don't think he directed "Man on the Street", I think he just wrote it.
What do I think about the ratings? I don't know. They seem satisfactory, but only Fox knows what they are looking for. So, I'm going to remain positive until I have reason not to.
Oh, okay. Well that's good, then. Also, the idea of DH airing after Idol excites me immensely. Hoping it's not just a... not-true piece of info.
Disclaimer - I have absolutely no idea if they will move it to American Idol or not for a week. I'm just hoping. That Nick C person might know, or might not.

More people have Digged "Dollhouse is a flop" than the first episode on Hulu. Can we fix that, please?
Forgive my ignorance, but what is Digg, gossi?
Gossi,

How can I fix that?
Where is the first episode on digg?
I just did my small part to promote Dollhouse by emailing this to 20 friends:

"Dear my more geeky friends

I know that you guys enjoy at least one of Joss Whedon's wonderful creations (Firefly, Serenity, Dr. Horrible, Buffy, Angel, Toy Story, Sugar Shock etc.) so this email is to give you a heads up about his new TV show (Dollhouse) which has just started and is made from pure, unalloyed awesomeness

It's got a crazy and interesting premise, really fine actors and most of Joss Whedon's best writers from his other shows. Everbody involve in the show and everybody who has seen it through says it gets much, much better as it progresses and that's great news given that the first episode is already pretty damn great

The problem (and the main reason I'm sending this email) is that Dollhouse - like Firefly - is going to have to fight to not get cancelled and it needs all the viewers it can get. It's not playing on Australian television but if you do want to support the show the best way is to watch it at the site I've given you below and to encourage anyone else who might be interested to do the same. Basically, if you watch it at that site you count as a viewer, the television network makes advertising money and Dollhouse gets a second season

So to watch:

Step 1 - Go to http://hotspotshield.com and download Hotspot Shield (it's perfectly safe and should only take a few minutes at most)

Step 2 - Keep open the programme you just downloaded, go to http://www.hulu.com/watch/57885/dollhouse-ghost and click play

And if you're still not sold keep in mind that Alan Tudyk (ie. Wash from Firefly) will be in a bunch of episodes

Cheers
Your evangelical Whedon-promoting friend"
gossi - I agree with your assessment of what killed Drive versus Fox's lame excuse. However, I distinctly remember that particular excuse being trotted out, because as a fan of 24, I could quite clearly call 'BS' on it (and did).
More people have Digged "Dollhouse is a flop"...

I'm embrassed that it was posted by someone with "bix" in their username.
Um, well, it was OK. Didn't really feel like Joss at all. But I hear ep 2 will be better.

Frankly, I would have preferred a Buffy movie or Serenity sequel. But I can understand how Joss would want to branch out to do other work.

Still a fan, Mr. Whedon.
I have dugg. Also, the description of the episode "watch Eliza Dushku dance and stuff" would be hilarious if that wasn't the way Fox is promoted it.
Simon put it well. Bad overall, strange demo. Next week will tell us all we need to know.
I think some of you are harsh on TSCC. Here's a great show a in a dire situation, which has happened to us a lot of time, and you're asking for it to be removed from the air.
Moreover, if Fox wants "men between 25 and 35", then I don't see a better lead-in on their shelves.
Also, here is what John J. Joex has to say on axiomsedgeratingstracker.wordpress.com :

All eyes were on Friday night this week, especially Joss Whedon fans, but Dollhouse’s premiere pulled less than impressive numbers. The debut episode pulled a rating of only 2.0 in the 18-49 demographic with 4.72 million total viewers. That’s barely half of what I predicted it would get earlier this week and these overnights probably did not bring many smiles to the faces of FOX executives. TV by Numbers pointed out the upside that the premiere did score well with male viewers and that it performed better than previous programming FOX has had in the 9 PM Friday night slot this year. Perhaps that will be enough to keep the show afloat, but I would say that it can’t stand to lose even a fraction of that audience going forward.


And here is a little more from tvbythenumbers.com :

The premiere of Joss Whedon’s Dollhouse despite being lower than some already lowered expectations, performed better than the consensus expectations I saw from commenters on the blog when it came to 18-49 ratings, where the consensus was in the 1.8 rating range and it came in at a 2.0. Even some people within FOX weren’t thinking it would hit a 2.0 rating, so I think the premiere numbers may actually have been better than some at FOX thought they would be.

Both Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles and Dollhouse performed better with men, winning the 18-34 and 18-49 male demos against the competition at ABC, CBS, NBC (and The CW). But I’m not sure how meaningful that is. You could’ve put Summer Glau and Eliza Dushku in bikinis sunning themselves on chaise lounges and drinking fruity concoctions out of straws for two hours and doing nothing but product endorsements for geek gadgetry and it might have still won the male 18-34 and 18-49 demos.
I haven’t been optimistic for a third season of Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles, and the move to Friday didn’t make a third season seem any more likely. But now I am a little worried that it might not even see its full run the rest of this season. It could be argued that at least for another week there is reason to be (extremely times infinity) cautiously optimistic about Dollhouse. While its numbers were far from stellar, it’s not like a gazillion people tuned in and switched it off after 10 minutes. In fact, there were pretty much an identical amount of people watching the second half hour as the first.

But this optimism for Dollhouse actually makes me even more (if that’s possible) pessimistic for TSCC. Somebody at FOX is bound to think, “well, there might be some hopes for Dollhouse, but if there are, are we giving it the best lead-in we can with TSCC?”

It seems like a pretty fair thing to think and there are some other options for FOX. I’m pretty sure FOX won’t change up anything by next Friday (February 20), but if Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles numbers don’t perk up, and there isn’t much drop off from Dollhouse, I wouldn’t be very surprised to see FOX make changes with the 8pm hour. Entertainment Weekly is already reporting that FOX will air TSCC as Dollhouse’s lead in until it runs out of TSCC episodes and then air the final six episodes of Prison Break. But that was announced well in advance of last night’s premieres. If next week isn’t much different than this week for TSCC, I’m not sure FOX won’t change things up much sooner.


That's a bit long but quite interesting I think.
That's a bit long but quite interesting I think.

And contradicts the position of the first quote, at least when it comes to opinion of the demo numbers.
Different people have different opinions, and you can't say that the numbers are significant enough to discard one quote or the other. Therefore, both opinions are interesting :)
Just FYI, I got Hotspot Shield earlier today and have spent the entire rest of the day fending off popup ads. Hotspot Shield's the only change I've made. Beware.
Ok, that's enough Hotspot Shield talk.
Oh, it was music videos that are now DRM free, not all video. My bad.
Nick C also says that "JJ [Abrams] and Joss are incredibly close friends", which is kinda funny regarding Abrams' "begging", "obvious reasons", handwaving and "I've known him a little bit for years".

But nevertheless, he makes a good point about the C3 numbers we don't see: If Remote-Free TV really works well (like Fringe seemed to prove), Dollhouse could actually be quite okay with these numbers.
And on a different note: Dollhouse is #19 on iTunes. Can we fix that, please? :)

The TV by the numbers Dollhouse/TSCC-speculation-thread is here.
You could’ve put Summer Glau and Eliza Dushku in bikinis sunning themselves on chaise lounges and drinking fruity concoctions out of straws for two hours and doing nothing but product endorsements for geek gadgetry and it might have still won the male 18-34 and 18-49 demos.

Haha!
I think Dollhouse's ratings will improve next week because the episode is supposed to be really good.
I don't like to be the guy defending Nick C since I know nothing about him .... but I should say that though I also noticed his error about Joss and JJ Abrams being close friends I didn't think it relevant. He's claiming to have some knowledge about what's going on inside FOX and that's all. He's not suggesting he knows Joss (and so would know who his friends are) and actually says he thinks 60% of Joss's stuff is crap. Point being: it's plausible that he does know what he says he does and what he's saying about FOX execs is true (though we should all take it with several grains of salt)

[ edited by Let Down on 2009-02-15 11:58 ]
Shout out to Lioness, from another Canadian Neilsen person.

Sad to say but we Canadians (& non-Neilsen US'er) have no effect by watching it on Network.
On the Internet by using Hotspot Shield at Second Cup may help in the numbers.But Neilsen and Networks have only recent published DVR and on-line figures but not sure how much weight Networks give to them.

Hey! a 6 share with full hour retention in 18-49 is good.
Plus Friday always has lower Viewer numbers.
Full disclosure, I do not work for a network, nor am I privy to their decision making process. Just obsessive about watching these sorts of numbers.


Tamara, glad to see you.

[ edited by tinktanker on 2009-02-16 01:07 ]
I will say it got off 2 a slow start but it came through and l am digging all the characters. 4.73 rounded off its almost 5 and that's not bad esp on a friday night. l will continue 2 rally around this show. l very much want this show 2 succeed Joss rules!!!!!
Something that MIGHT help spread word to you Facebook geeks. I put gossi's digg link in my facebook status saying "if you missed Dollhouse on Friday, here it is for you"...can't hurt.
Just want to take back my previous complaint about iTunes not having it... just took them longer than most. Go buy it people. A high ranking will make a sizable statement. It's on the top banner and #5 in tv shows as of right now, so good news there.
Hi, tinktanker! Great to virtually see you. It's been a while.

ETA: thanks!

[ edited by TamaraC on 2009-02-16 01:47 ]
Edited my comment. (oops)
DigitalSpy call the ratings 'poor' and 'sluggish'.
Jaynes Hat actually the B5 episode where people talk to the dead because part of the station is transported to another realm is called "Day of the Dead" and was written by Neil Gaiman not Ellison.
I doubt that multiple online streams from the same IP address are counted in any significant way. So rewatching it on the same service from the same computer/device or from behind the same router most likely does nothing more than waste bandwidth and time.

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