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"I miss my home. I miss my mom. I miss the gang. And churros. And sex. Great Muppety Odin, I miss that sex."
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February 28 2009

Ratings for last night's Dollhouse. According to The Live Feed, the show got "(4.1 million, 1.6/5), slipping a tenth this week". More analysis over at Mediaweek.com.

Things are looking worse every week. Unless Fox tries to air Ep6 after AI, DH is over.
If anybody is wondering:

Episode 1 - 4.7 million, 2.0 in 18-49 demo.
Episode 2 - 4.2 million, 1.7 in 18-49 demo.
Episode 3 - 4.1 million, 1.6 in 18-49 demo.

It needs to stop dropping viewers and pick up to at least 2.0 in the demo for a second season. To have dropped so much in the core demo is not, if I'm honest, a good sign really. That needs to stabilise.

[ edited by gossi on 2009-02-28 18:18 ]
I think it's Nielsen. I've now gotten several people hooked on the show (by sending them episodes), and all of them watched last night. Problem: none of them are Nielsen families. But, all of them are in the key adult demographic. I can't win for losing.
What with all the singing maybe this was a good episode to show after AI and to see how it does in that time slot.
I thought the same thing, J.I.G. I hoped they would show an encore presentation after AI this week, but I haven't heard any news about that.
FOX aren't moving the show off Friday night, as far as I can find out. I'm not sure what that Nick C dude on TVByTheNumbers was on about. It's a shame as Fringe is in reruns until April. Gotta (should) have some faith, FOX.

ricetxpeaches, Nielsen is what the network use to sell adverts, so we can name call Nielsen all we want - but it means squat.
Fox needs to expose the show to as many eyeballs as it can, which isn't happening on Fridays. Since Fringe is on hiatus until April, put it there for a while and see if new viewers will follow it back to Fridays.

[ edited by Barry Woodward on 2009-02-28 18:32 ]
And they have 3 different nights of AI next week too. AI overload.
Barry, as always, you are correct.
Where was Nick C claiming it was going to move? (I haven't check over there in days.)
Nielsen's their sample of the general tv viewing public. Does it catch everyone? No. But that's a meaningless criticism since it's not meant to-- it's a sample, not a census.

The meaningful question is whether that sample is representation of the general tv-watching population. And that I don't know anything about.
Next week AI gets the whole two hours on Tuesday, then is paired with Lie To Me on Wednesday and Hell's Kitchen on Thursday. While 24 carries its own weight for 2 hours on Monday.
Putting it in another timeslot would really show that the fine people at Fox are invested in the show.I mean, honestly, I can't complain about the promotion for the show. It's sad to see that all the tweaking they did/do (that, in my opinion doesn't work in favor of the quality) doesn't work in getting (more) viewers, so a logical decision now would be to take it a little step further and see how it works in a different timeslot. Who's with me on this?

[ edited by J.I.G. on 2009-02-28 18:33 ]
These numbers aren't good. I was really hoping that the show would be able to hold on to its first week's 2.0.
I know about Nielsen, gossi. I'm not name-calling. I'm saying relying on that sample rather than trying to ascertain the true number of viewers (which, I admit, is very difficult) is misleading. Because people can't opt into becoming a Nielsen family, it's hard to know if your watching a show is making any difference. The truth is it's not. I keep watching, and others I know keep watching too, but we realize we're not being counted. On a side note, occasionally, I do TV surveys for Scarborough Research. I know a few friends who have also done those surveys. I don't think the networks see those numbers, or if they do, those numbers aren't publicized as far as I can tell.

[ edited by ricetxpeaches on 2009-02-28 18:37 ]
Well, this is crappy and depressing.
Maybe they can book Eliza on American Idol to sing the praises of Dollhouse, literally.
It seems to me like American Idol is the launching pad for the FOX network. Since they're already using it effectively to launch Lie To Me, then why not take a week off from Hell's Kitchen to let Dollhouse get a touch of the AI audience magic.
I think Fox should pair Dollhouse with Bones. It seems to me that with the cult following Bones has it could help DH get better numbers.
Dollhouse should be on a cable network. Fox is not a good home for Joss's uber-cool but uber-culty shows. Dollhouse is like a cool, offbeat, super-smart girl trying to get the attention of a sought-after popular boy not interested in that kind of girl. Those boys go for AI and The Mentalist and Ghost Whisperer. Ouch, my analogy is straining itself. But, really, did anyone here really think that Dollhouse would be a hit by Fox's standards? On Friday nights? Or even a reasonable success? Or even get the ratings to justify its expense?

And can anyone tell me why Dollhouse is too expensive to be on cable? How on earth can Battlestar Galactica, which has zero viewers (by Fox's standards) and is on cable, cost less than Dollhouse, what with its heavy, well-known cast, etc. Surely also Ron Moore is not paid a pittance. How can SciFi afford BSG but not something like Dollhouse?
I don't know how they count people who watch it on DVR, but is that a better method for being counted? Maybe everyone who isn't a Nielsen family should watch it on DVR instead?
I liked the whole "watching TV shows I like" aspect of watching TV much better when I didn't have to worry about shows I like getting canceled before they hit their stride. Stupid numbers, I hate them.
So is there any reason left to hope for any future for this show or is it pretty much a lost cause at this point?

This is so depressing. Sometimes being a Whedon fan is just downright painful.

I just hope that they will at least still air all 13 eps so we won't have to wait six months for the dvd's just to see those.
Figures Nielsen would take away my ratings box when a Whedon show goes on the air.

The system is so antequated. A bigger, more mainstream research group needs to knock over the monopoly it holds over the media.
TV by the Numbers. WARNING: Spoiler for last night's BSG.

[ edited by The One True b!X on 2009-02-28 19:19 ]
There's a BSG spoiler in that TV By the Numbers link
Yeah I didn't see it until after I'd posted the comment. Was adding the spoiler warning just as you posted. Heh.
I think Dollhouse ratings will pick up in four weeks, after Battlestar Galactica has finished its run. There's gotta be a lot of 18-49ers watching the last weeks of BSG.
Actually you should also note the Dollhouse spoiler in that link, bix. BSG was just the ACK moment for me.

I only care about me.
Sampling theory is a wonderful thing, if a sample is properly selected it can be amazingly accurate. Me, I have more faith in Nielsen's than I do from anecdotal reports on the internet. That isn't to say there couldn't be a more accurate way of measuring in this day and age but at the moment the Nielsen's is the best we've got.

On topic I finally tried an episode of Dollhouse and couldn't get past the first 15 minutes.
@NimNams: They aren't on at the same time.

@Sunfire, IMHO, I'm not sure people should be actively discussing ratings, or clicking links about ratings, for an episode of Dollhouse they haven't seen anywa, if they're worried about spoilers. This thread alone is sure to end up having people going "how could this episode be so low when X, Y, and Z happened in it", despite there being an episode discussion thread.

ETA that's meant to be a "meh, whatever" about the Dollhouse spoiler in the link, not a "meh, whatever" about you and the BSG spoiler.

[ edited by The One True b!X on 2009-02-28 19:30 ]
Thanks for the link b!X. The news about Tahmoh is interesting. I might watch that BSG episode. I don't normally watch the show because it's not really my thing. But I find that Whedon fans generally highlight the best episodes, and I tend to like them. Did you see last night's episode?
The point about sampling is entirely correct. Nielsen, AFAIK, does seem to use good methodology, so there's not much to complain about. Also, they may be slightly off on the absolute numbers, but they're likely to be dead on about the trends.

I think there's still time for it to recover. Especially after two good episodes (compared to the mediocre pilot). For people in the know about these sort of things, when does the decision to cancel/renew actually get made?
So, we lost a .1 in overall and in the demo. What're the margins of error on this sampling by Nielsen? I.e.: is it significant at all, this loss of .1?

Maybe it's like, one nielsen family not watching (maybe they went to a birthday party or got the flu or anything else, really, and as a result we're now talking gloom and doom in a whedonesque thread) and maybe it's completely within the margin of error. I just don't know, basically :).

Plus, if they're not sure to be correct on the actual numbers, but are more likely to be correct on the trends, then I'd say that three data points are a pretty small datagroup to be making any assumptions whatsoever on.
GVH, if my assumption is correct, then we're talking margins of error when Nielsen is trying to estimate the general TV viewing population.

Given that, the Nielsen numbers are based on the same group of TV sets/families every week. So this would suggest an actual drop-off (among Nielsen families at least).

This show needs a shot of adrenaline - a great episode premiering or re-airing on a good night is the only thing I can think of.
A good question, nasarius, about the cancel/renew timeline. Probably one that's been answered before, somewhere, but yes, what is the window of time for the cancel/renew decision? I know some cancel/renew announcements have already been made on other networks. Relatedly, when is the cutoff for the decision as to when the sets must either be torn down or be preserved? Is there a cutoff time for this?

Basically, amidst all the alternatively whistling in the dark and wringing our hands we're all doing over numbers that most of (any of) us are not paid by Fox to evaluate, it'd be good to have some solid guideposts to cling to. It's all very well to have intelligent fan discussions about the meaning and worth of Nielsen sampling. (Discussions I appreciate because I'm innumerate as all hell.) But what's the solid what here? Where's the there and when/how might we know it?
what is the window of time for the cancel/renew decision? I know some cancel/renew announcements have already been made on other networks.

I'm not sure if there's a single concrete answer to this. Back when I was actually paying attention, Fox publicity told me: "A decision would not have to be made on if the show is picked up for a second season until late spring."

But, you know, that's what they said before it had even started airing. Someone else here maybe has heard more recent positioning.

Relatedly, when is the cutoff for the decision as to when the sets must either be torn down or be preserved? Is there a cutoff time for this?

I haven't heard anyone give a timeframe on that.
How can SciFi afford BSG but not something like Dollhouse?

I believe the costs are split between SciFi and Sky 1 (a UK network). Plus, cable is a whole different animal in terms of what is a hit.

So is there any reason left to hope for any future for this show or is it pretty much a lost cause at this point?

It's been a lost cause since FOX decided to air the show on Friday nights. The numbers for the pilot sealed that fate. The only question since that point, is whether or not all 13 episodes will air. IMO, a renewal has never been on the table.

(re: GVH) Dollhouse seems to have lost about 900 000 viewers, or approx. 2% compared to last weeks airing, according to these overnights.
2% of 25 000 Nielsen households is 500 households; so more than just a couple of folks that happened to go to a birthday-party last night, I'd say.

[ edited by Tristan on 2009-02-28 20:23 ]
Can Joss & Eliza shift the show to another network (e.g., SciFi or Showtime) if Fox chooses not to renew it?

Part of that answer relates to Eliza's contract with Fox (which another thread mentioned expires in August 2009). But a separate issue relates to the ownership of the the Dollhouse show itself. Who owns it and can they pitch it elsewhere? (a la BtVS seasons 6 & 7...)

Can Joss & Eliza shift the show to another network (e.g., SciFi or Showtime) if Fox chooses not to renew it?


I believe not. Eliza has an exclusivity deal with FOX.
Things are not looking good, but we're still on the third episode. There's still hope!

SteveP, that's very very unlikely, if not impossible. Don't count on that.
Can't speak for the Eliza end of the issue (though my guess is her deal is also with the FOX production people rather than the network) but it'd be down to FOX the production side rather than the FOX network as to whether the show could be shopped to another network.
Does anyone have the Live + 7 numbers for any of the eps yet? If I had a Nielsen box, the DH rating for my house would be zip (I DVR it; I can't watch any primetime programming live because of my work). I've said before I would be surprised to see Fox scratch the show before its 13 were aired; they already paid their money for it and, really, what could Fox put on in this timeslot (on short notice) that would do better in the demo? Season 2 is definitely in jeopardy unless they can wangle some big jumps later on or arrange a move to FX for lower ratings pressure.

In a perfect world, Joss would have at least one show running on cable from here to eternity; alas, for this one, he needed Eliza--and though Joss and Eliza (and Craft & Fain) own the show, Fox owns Eliza.
Fox owns Eliza.

Interesting parallel to Dollhouse "owning" Caroline for a 5-year exclusive commitment...
what could Fox put on in this timeslot (on short notice) that would do better in the demo?

Well the week before Dollhouse launcehd Fox got a 1.5 in the demo with Americas Most Wanted. Plus never underestimate the power of a House re-run. Currently I think Dollhouse is safe for the 13 episode run but if the demo keeps trugging down that might change.
Ai, these numbers are indeed more than a tad worrying. I quite accidentally got a co-worker to say they would watch Dollhouse. I found out about a month ago she was a big Whedon fan, unbeknownst to me, as is her husband. Serenity/Firefly? Fuhgeddaboudit! I showed her, while at work Thursday, the last Joss TV Guide video interview and she was shocked, "Joss is doing Dollhouse?!!!" "Yes," says I. And sent her the direct link to Hulu to catch up in time to watch Friday's episode.

Frankly, at this point, word of mouth is the only thing I can think of to do. I'm sure that sending Barbie and Ken Dolls to Fox with little notes tattooed on provocative body parts, "Put Dollhouse on a better night or we'll take your studio hostage," won't be effective.
Regarding the renew/cancelation timeline, It's probably a flexable timeline. If Dollhouse's numbers go up by even 2% next week, the cancel button would likely go unpushed for another week. But if the numbers drop by 50%, likely the button is pushed on the spot.

Regarding the sets. They stay up until the show is canceled, be that tomorrow or 5 years from tomorrow. At the moment the stages are probably "hot locked" meaning something like 3 people are on a list of those allowed to go in. And those peeps don't even have the key, they have to get studio security to open it.

Also, for to make you all jealous, I visited the show while they were shooting in "The Music Box" for last night's episode. Also saw the Beastie Boys there 2 years previous.
All the gloom may be premature. We still have ten more episodes to go, and they apparently only get better and better. Some shows take a little while to build ratings. Isn't that what happened with Fringe? I'm no expert, but I've not given up hope for a second season.
bobw1o: You have made me jealous. Very, very jealous. Thanks for the sets info, etc., though. That's helpful. But still: jealous! Did you talk with anyone from the show? Or did you just gawk and gloat? :)
phlebotnin: I've been a few times, that was the second. I also got to check out the hideout from "Ghost" and was there when a certain someone came bursting into the door. The third time I inadvertantly learned something about Victor's past.

I got lucky one day getting connected to Shawna Trpcic (though I also totaled my car that day, so I guess it was a tradeoff). I also know some of the camera crew that filled in here and there. Not the regular crew, just some day players.

Also, I forgot before, regarding the cost of dollhouse versus the cost of BSG. BSG shoots in Vancouver. Film/TV industry is cheaper in Canada than California. They have tax breaks that CA doesn't. Also, Dollhouse shoots on film, BSG on HD. In fact, the stye of camerawork on BSG means they need a lot less equipment to pull of the shots, and also means they shoot faster, so less overtime (you wouldn't believe how much money productions waste on OT) and possibly fewer days to shoot. BSG stays on stage most of the time which is cheaper than going to location as often as Dollhouse, and BSGs locations are cheaper to get. I could probably go on, but you get the idea.

I'm not saying Joss couldn't successfully do a show on a cable network (the Shield was shot in LA for example, although same camera style as BSG and on 16mm film instead of 35mm, so cheaper equipment and film) I'm just saying he would certainly have to take a hit in budget from what he's used to.
BSG shoots in Vancouver. Film/TV industry is cheaper in Canada than California.

I was going to mention that too. For the majority of BSG's run the Canadian dollar was worth less than the US. Now it's about $.80.
Interesting biz background info, bobw1o. It seems that to survive in the genre TV business these days you have to be either really lucky on network TV (Damon Lindelof and Carlton Cuse, JJ Abrams, a couple others) or go to Canada (I can think of far worse things!) and learn to shoot HD. Or stay on stages. I wonder if Joss would be willing to adapt...
For what it's worth, Stage Fright is already number 3 on Itunes.
Redeem147, I forgot about the canadian dollar, actually. It's cheaper also because the tax incentives (We're Canada, shoot here, don't pay as much tax! yay!) New Mexico, Michigan, Mass. and Lousiana also have tax incentives that have boomed the film/tv industry in those states. Arnold has yet to start competing with tax incentives for CA.

HD is where everything is going, really, eventually that'll be all there is. Actually, the SAG stall is helping that. AFTRA essentially deals with HD, so producers right now are shooting all the pilots on HD so they can make AFTRA deals, skipping SAG altogether. Cinematographers are being forced to shoot HD, and the camera crews are learning how to use the cameras. This was already happening, but it's being forced more now, so it'll speed the transition. There are several really good HD cameras that can compete directly with Film now too. They are of course really expensive. But BSG used one of the less expensive, not quite as competitive (quality wise that is) cameras (same one Lucas pioneered the use of on Ep 2) until the last 10 episodes. For that they upgraded and used the same camera first used on Flyboys and Superman Returns.

Ultimately I hope for Joss' success on network television, but I get the theory of moving to cable. As long as I get more Joss, I'm pretty much content no matter where it comes from.

Yay for Stage Fright on iTunes!
Though I've been enjoying "Dollhouse" up to episode three, I'm rather intrigue about Eliza's comments about episodes 6 thru 13. As many of you may recall, this is when BtVS really started to take shape. Hopefully, FOX will allow the show to continue thru its first season to see if this is the case as well.
Darn. I have been trying to keep optimistic, which is always hard for me, but things keep on looking worse. I know after episode 6 is supposed to be when it gets good but I fear that viewers will have already written it off by then. I'm particularly frustrated with Terminator, since I liked the episode, but they really need more Cameron, and more easily accessible stuff for new viewers (crazy dream stuff, while cool, isn't easy to jump in to I'd assume). I know that it was already done before they realized how badly they'd need the ratings (again assumption) but still. Very sad. And if Terminator goes, and Dollhouse doesn't get picked up for another season, and with BSG ending, and Lost only going on for a season after this... I might have to find things other than TV to distract me from studying and socializing, which is never a good thing.
http://www.zap2it.com/tv/ratings/zap-tv-ratings-022709,0,4513875.story

Says it's holding steady and on par with last week. These are fast nationals.
Oy- put away the picnic gear, it's not THAT bad!

I agree with zap2it that a one-tenth drop in the third week is relatively minor, for the most part the show seems to be holding steady. They're not perfect numbers, but personally, I've encountered very few people who have stopped watching, but many who have pledged to start.

Now if it drops to half those numbers- you grab the picnic basket, I'll grab the wine, and we'll meet at the park to drown our sorrows!
Zap2It had it at 2.7 last week, so by their own numbers it's down.

All 13 episodes will air, barring any kind of huge drop off. The problem is they can't wait until the show has finished airing those 13 to renew it. They need time to, like, hire new writers, write episodes, cast things, get crew etc. I suppose they could push back production on a new series from the usual (June) to later, then bring back the show in 2010, but I doubt they would consider that. I was told by an non-FOX-Network exec that the call will come in March or April.
How much do you think (or know) DVR numbers will be taken into account, gossi? Do Fox really value them, or it's just ancillary data? Dollhouse should have a big DVR audience as all niche shows do, and judging from Internet (Hulu, iTunes) appeal, maybe even bigger than normal.
The Live+7 (full DVR) numbers come out this week for the first episode, so we're about to find out what it looks like. Weekly Live+7 numbers should give a fuller picture on if the audience really is tuning out or not.

They take them into account. FOX are trying to launch a brand show - Dollhouse, so although DVR and the Internet isn't yet a strong source of revenue, they know if they can score big numbers on those they can probably climb it in the Nielsen's because of long term word of mouth. It's another reason to get the DVD out early. And, yes, the DVD is coming out very soon, along with Blu-Ray on the same day.

Putting a show on a Friday night is always going to lead to low ratings. It's called the Death Slot for a reason. The question is if the Nielsen's for Dollhouse can climb enough to justify investing in another season. If the show can get back to 2.0 area, sure. 1.5 or less? Not a chance. It would be business suicide for Kevin Reilly.

The big news here, by the way, is Terminator. It was on the brink when it was struggling to get 5 million viewers, and now it's going to struggle to get 3 million viewers. That show is absolutely doomed. Sorry, Summer. If there's more Dollhouse, I got a new Active opening.

[ edited by gossi on 2009-03-01 11:40 ]
I'm reasonably optimistic for the +7. If shows like Smallville, who has a smaller live audience than DH and less fanfare about it, can add 1.1 millions (last week's data), Dollhouse should have the same jump or even higher, given its cult status. It's basically what Eliza said a couple months ago: "Dude, we're in the age of DVR". It's probably true that a considerable slice of DH's target demos are intentionally saving it for later viewing.

But the DVD will come out after the 13-episode run is over, right? So it could influence word of mouth only if Season 2 is greenlit.

As far as I understand generally DVR adds a .2 or .3 to the live number, so let's hope it gets there. About TSCC.. at this point if FOX already took their decision they should promote DH with a better lead in. Put on Prison Break early?
I could be wrong, but Prison Break was already in a lot of ratings trouble (hence why FOX cancelled it). If they move T:SCC off and put Prison Break in early, it could drag Dollhouse down. So I hope they don't try that. Also, the T:SCC fans deserve closure. (If the show will give them that, I don't know). Prison Break is definitely taking Terminator's place in April, so Dollhouse will probably have a rougher ride on the horizon then. (Not to mention CBS's March Madness is coming week after next, which will take a hit on Dollhouse, plus then Dollhouse is against both March Madness and the finale of Battlestar - during episode 6, which is an important episode. Doh).

Predictions wise, I think Dollhouse will get 1.5 million or so on DVR. I hope, anyway.
Prison Break could have a ratings surge for the last episodes. Ironically, I think it's Dollhouse who's bolstering TSCC's numbers, not the other way around, when the lead in doesn't provide higher numbers than the lead out. Not being an American, I don't know what March Madness is, so I can't estimate its impact on Dollhouse. I just think the show must stay where it is, at least. Another factor, how's DH keeping up with the particular demos? Maybe Fox are happy with the male demos because the show is targeted at that particular sector.

Yeah, I think 1.5 too. That should make Fox satisfied.
@SteveP

Good call on the similarities. What is a talent contract actor to a network but a Doll? The main difference is they get to keep their original personalities instead of being wiped, but there certainly is a lot of similarities. If an actor is required to do their own stunts, they get paid more. An actor can be told to become anyone.

I think our biggest aid could well be the +7 numbers as they start arriving from neilsen on tuesday (and posted on tvbythenumbers on thurs)

I, too, find 25,000 not to be a significant proportion of the country's population to be statistically significant. but without knowing what the confidence interval is, it's hard to calculate.

I would like to see TV's come with a transmitter. These would not be recorded in any way, so no demo information would be provided, nor would they know which tv was in which house. I would like to see TV broadcasting towers etc have receivers for these transmitters, and they could then count direct hits to particular shows instead of relying on neilsen, except for demo breakdown. I'd like to see an option to have these transmitters also submit user data if you want to. Here in Oz we have Foxtel IQ. I bet it would be a very simple tweak to put this in place as it is already interactive.

I'd like to see people be able to sign up for demo data collection in hulu and iTunes. If Nielsen can work out stats based on 25,000 or less boxes, then 25,000 hits or less should also be fine for streaming etc.
I, too, find 25,000 not to be a significant proportion of the country's population to be statistically significant.

Very accurate nationwide political polling is done with far smaller samples; typically 2,000 to 3,000 people. It's all about composing the sample properly. Whether Nielsen does so or not, I can't say, but 25,000 is absolutely a sufficient sample size.
Uh, Ivalaine. I for one would certainly not want to see a big brother filing away everything I watch. And of course as those first generation transmitters would only send the status of the TV, I would not like to see the second generation with a small camera checking who watches, and using facial recognition to define their sex/age, or even identities. No, no, no. It's a slippery slope, and I prefer not to take the first step, whenver it's possible to avoid.

Anyway, I wonder how much the current weirdness of Terminator hurts the Dollhouse. The episodes this year have been pretty weird, and really different from the earlier series, I for one almost did not make it through the last episode. It seems almost if they're run out of ideas for the grand plot and now just stall...
Ivalaine, online audience doesn't tend to translate to national TV audience (example: Battlestar is a #1 show online, with only 2 million viewers on TV according to Nielsen), so using online data to form a bigger opinion wouldn't work. Online streamers tend to skew to young adults, often males.

Nielsen's data isn't perfect. I don't think anybody says that, including FOX, who've been involved in legal action over Nielsen ratings in the past. But, the reality is, I think it's a reasonable enough representation of viewing trends. I don't think it's going to change any time soon.
Right Gossi, but considering the key demo is the kinds of people who will stream, i think it would make great supplemental data.

And as for the big brother comment, it seems a little paranoid. Phone companies provide you with a service which you pay for, and they record every call you make. Why should TV be any different? Why shouldn't the companies and networks involved in making TV be entitled to know exactly how many are watching what

It would be an anonymous system. the record keeping that would have to go on to really big brother TV watching habits would be significant, and not worth it. The government doesn't really care what you watch, but I think this preconception of it being unethical for people who you PAY to provide you with a service, aren't entitled to know which parts of the service you are using the most. Just like your phone companies know what percentage of texts, local calls, received calls etc you get. AND they know who you are, your age etc. All I'm suggesting is an anonymous system, where devices are installed into TVs or digital set top boxes to relay to the network you are watching, that SOMEONE is watching the show. That is FAR less invasive than the records your phone company, or your ISP keep, and they offer similar types of service to your cable networks etc.
Oh, FOX get data from Hulu (they part own the Hulu company) and their own FOX.com streaming. FOX actually do online polling of their audience, too, and -- get this -- they've been using their online polling to ask their viewers specifically about Dollhouse.

They've been asking: whether viewers liked episode 2 better than 1, what they thought about teaming Dollhouse with Terminator. They asked about viewer confusion ('do you understand what is going on during the show', 'Who was Echo? What characters do you like? What is the Dollhouse?'). And, of course, would you be watching again.

If you want to get in on the viewer panels, fill out this.
Do you know, I know who Echo is, and Boyd, but Topher, Adele, annoying blonde guy in suit, their names aren't mentioned very much. I find that distracting for some reason, and somewhat confusing.
Personally I'm glad the numbers weren't worse this week for Dollhouse, because I didn't find the T:SCC episode very strong as a lead in. Do we know what numbers T:SCC has been getting lately? I was also wondering if people know why iTunes just raised the price per episode of Dollhouse from $1.99 to $2.99, percentage wise that is a very large increase (it seems like it could discourage college kids from downloading it)!
embers, if you look in the top tv episodes, you'll find the Dollhouse episodes for $1.99. The HD versions are $2.99. If you just do a search for Dollhouse, it only shows the $2.99 versions.
Dollhouse: Stage Fright #3 on iTunes.
Target only made it to #4 I believe...
Oh thank you, JossIzBoss! I didn't see that so I misunderstood the pricing. And I'm glad to hear that 'Stage Fright' got to the top (#3 is top...ish) of iTunes again! It can't hurt.
And its #1 at Hulu. Does that matter to Fox?
Depends how many people downloaded it on iTunes/watched it on Hulu. I think we're still in the very early days of internet sales making an impact on the renewal of a tv show. I'll go out on a limb and say that it'd have be in the hundreds of thousands of copies of a particular episode legally downloaded/watched before Fox took notice.
Hey just to let you know, I have started posting the weeks Dollhouse episode on my Facebook profile every week now. Its really easy to do through Hulu, just go to the share option. Just an idea to get more people to see the show. Every bit helps.
Yeah, my Facebook statuses have been pimping Dollhouse since about a week before the premiere. Dunno how long I can keep it up, though. I don't want to annoy people away from the show.
Fuhgeddaboudit has just become my favourite word!

Ok. I have a theory. As an outsider who's been reading various articles this is what I would put it down to...

BSG.

You know how it is. You started watching a show coz it robbed so much from Joss and then you get hooked and then Joss comes along with a new show that is direct competition for BSG and while you would normally lay your allegience with Joss in a heartbeat, all you have to do is stick with BSG for a few short weeks to see it to the end and then you'll be back in the Jossland.

Personally that doesn't apply to me but I can see the figures going up within 2 weeks of BSG finishing and doesn't that coinside with week 6??

Or it could be bunnies
BSG "robbed so much from Joss"? What? (Also, I'm confused. Why do people keep posting that Dollhouse competes with BSG when it isn't on at the same time?)

[ edited by The One True b!X on 2009-03-01 21:19 ]
Because you can count the amount of very dark and twisted genre shows on two fingers.
For some places b!x I've heard some say that BSG and dollhouse come on at the same time for them.

And BSG robbing Joss? wut. I guess using steadicam and having Zoic do your space scenes suffice as robbing from Joss now.

[ edited by Rhodey on 2009-03-01 21:44 ]
Because you can count the amount of very dark and twisted genre shows on two fingers.

So it's a tonal competition, not a timeslot competition? People will only watch one dark show per week?
I guess using steadicam and having Zoic do your space scenes suffice as robbing from Joss now.

Yes, I remember exactly this kind of talk back in the beginning. That the "shakiness" was being praised but hey Firefly did that first!
Yes, I remember exactly this kind of talk back in the beginning. That the "shakiness" was being praised but hey Firefly did that first!

Technically this isn't true. Zoic developed that approach for the proposed revival of the original BSG. And then that project fell apart when Bryan Singer went off to do X-Men. Which left the door open for Firefly, which then also went with Zoic, to take its place on Fox's schedule.

ETA that actually I can't remember if Zoic was Zoic at that time or not. Somewhere in there is a chain of connection, but the underlying point was that the forgotten story is that Firefly didn't actually get there first. It just lucked out in getting to air, since the BSG revival halted.

[ edited by The One True b!X on 2009-03-01 22:21 ]
Just to reiterate the point, while it may be counterintuitive, population size really doesn't impact sample size.

Sample size is determined by the number of factors being considered (like demographics), how reliable you need the results to be, and the uncertainty in the underlying distribution. The larger the population, the more predictable the underlying distribution becomes (Central Limit Theorem), so if anything the sample size could be smaller. A sample of 25,000 is perfectly fine for a population of a million, a hundred million, a trillion, etc.
Steadicam has been popular long before Joss ever used it, but maybe that was part of the point of the comment. BTW, thanks for spelling it correctly. It's a regular tool on any studio production these days, and has been since the 90s.

Also, BSG doesn't use it all that much, not in an indicative fashion anyway. The opening shot of the BSG Miniseries aside, I don't recall it really being a star at all. Mostly that show is shot hand held.

And the shaky style of shooting was popular before BSG and even Firefly. It's Docu-style. "Cinema Verite" Cop shows were already doing it, 24 had done it already. Firefly was, what, the first show set in space to do it? So?

< /camera_geek >
It's not the style, it's adapting the style for cgi effects shots, that's at issue.
Which isn't adapting, it's just using the style for the the effects shots, which is only logical if that's the style of the show/movie/etc... And more power to them for technical achievement! But if they hadn't done that for the effects shots it would have been noticeably absent and disappointing. So I'm not impressed visually. In my high respect of the technical challenges of matching hand held live action to a composited CG element I am very impressed. Also done before (but not much).
I was simply trying to point out another Firefly myth (that it pioneered this).
Steadicam has been popular long before Joss ever used it, but maybe that was part of the point of the comment. BTW, thanks for spelling it correctly.

Yeah that was the point. :P

And you're right, BSG uses handheld. I was just making fun of the general assumption that some people have over film styles being created with the things they like.
Come on, stay on topic people. Dollhouse. Say it. Its fun to say. Dollhouse, Dollhouse, Dollhouse.

Can I ask a bunch of rookie Qs about these so-called +7 numbers people keep talking about? Are they just the regular numbers with the DVR people added in? Why does it take so long to count the DVR people? Is there any reason to think that this number will significantly boost our chances for a second season? I must have a second season.
Could somebody explain those numbers. "4.1 million, 1.6/5" 4.1 million watched - 1.6 is the share? What's the 5 for ?
Number 5 is alive!
I was told by an non-FOX-Network exec that the call will come in March or April.

It's another reason to get the DVD out early. And, yes, the DVD is coming out very soon, along with Blu-Ray on the same day.


Gossi, I'm a bit confused. If the renewal / cancellation decision is likely to be made in March or April how could the DVD sales have any impact on the decision? Presumably they won't release the DVD before all the episodes have aired
I think Gossi's point was that they are unrelated, even though the DVD is coming out soon.

My guess is that the DVD might actually be delayed (until right before the second season) if the show is renewed.
Can I ask a bunch of rookie Qs about these so-called +7 numbers people keep talking about? Are they just the regular numbers with the DVR people added in? Why does it take so long to count the DVR people?

The +7 number is the number of people who watched the show live plus the number who watched on DVR within 7 days of the broadcast. As a result the numbers take longer to get as by definition you have to wait 7 days. Last I heard the numbers the advertisers are most interested in are the Live +3 which include more info on ad specific ratings and as a result tend to take longer to compile and are rarely released publicly.
Hey, that's service. Thanks for schoolin me helcat.
Actually, the networks and the advertisers care bout C3 ratings, that's commercial viewings (plus 3 days of DVR-commercial viewing), not Live+3. Unfortunately, C3 ratings are not released to the public.

And Hunted wanted to know:

Could somebody explain those numbers. "4.1 million, 1.6/5" 4.1 million watched - 1.6 is the share? What's the 5 for ?


1.6 is the rating in the 18-49 demographic. That means 1.6 percent of the 18-49 TV-watching population in the US watched the show. The 5 represents the share: 5 percent of all 18-49 people that had their TV on during that particular hour watched Dollhouse.
Thanks wiesengrund, but i'm still confused, So 1.6 is of all people regardless of if they are watching or not, and share are the part of those who are watching television but may have chosen something else?
Yes, exactly, 1.6 percent of all 18-49 TV viewers have watched "Stage Fright" that night (regardless of whether they were actually watching TV or even at home). Of all those 18-49 people that were actually watching TV on Friday 9/8c and therefore had to chose a thing to watch, 5 percent chose Dollhouse.
"Stage Fright" showed an decrease in torrent-Downloads: It went down to 330.000 but up to the 7th place for the week.

ETA: And according to the final ratings, "Stage Fright" got 4.181 million viewers and 2.7/5 (rating/share) - not 2.6/5 like the overnight numbers said.

[ edited by wiesengrund on 2009-03-07 13:38 ]

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