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March 09 2009

Dollhouse continues with strong DVR numbers. "Week two of DVR data showed both "Dollhouse" and "Terminator" improved 29% from their original airings." And TV by the Numbers has the info too.

The Live Feed notes that the Dollhouse numbers roughly match the premiere episode's DVR gain, while Terminator numbers are down a little compared to the show's midseason debut.

I thought I'd mention I found this through Maureen Ryan's twitter so credit to her. :)
Some happy news, thanks :)
Great news! I am betting that next week will get more viewers, as it won't be competing with Watchmen.

Re: a user comment on that site - I don't know of any Whedon fans that have ever accused Terminator of bringing Dollhouse down.


I was just a little irritated by that.
Wicked sweet! I hope this trend continues.

And yeah, ShanshuBugaboo, I saw that user comment, too. *shrugs* Meh, what can ya do?
It irritated me too. But people say all kinds of stupid things online, you just have to over look these things.
Doesn't she realize that "Whedon fan boys" love Terminator, too? Hello to Summer Glau.
I know, I think I'm just in a mood today. Normally I wouldn't have said anything.

Oh wells.

Does anyone know what this puts the viewer share (is that the right term?) at? It's all too mathy for me.
Strong like an amazon!

(Hey, when else do I get to use that phrase?)
Thanks, hacksaway :)
Thanks for the numbers hackasway, I was surprised to see how close the numbers were for the DVR audience for both TSCC and Dollhouse, and that TSCC actually had a marginally higher DVR audience.
TSCC had a higher DVR audience in the first week too. I hope these numbers actually matter. When is Prison Break going to substitute TSCC as Dollhouse's lead-in?
When is Prison Break going to substitute TSCC as Dollhouse's lead-in?

April 17. Except now I notice that apparently Prison Break that week is two hours, from 8 to 10, which means no Dollhouse that week, unless they give it a one-week special other night. So that means the following Friday is when it starts as the lead-in.

[ edited by The One True b!X on 2009-03-10 06:18 ]
daniel, I imagine the numbers matter some, because someone mentioned in a previous thread that a significant percentage of DVR viewers watch the commercials. So perhaps the "actual" demo to think about should be somewhere between the Nielsen number and the Nielsen number + DVR?

Also, I'm thinking that, although the key Episode #6 is the same night as the BSG series finale, this doesn't necessarily hurt DH. For most folks, the two shows do not conflict in the same time slot, and such a historic television event should mean that more of the sci-fi crowd will be home watching TV, which might give Ep 6 a little boost.

Okay, pardon the geek in me: I went to and collected the Nielsen stats there. I was fascinated to see how volatile the Nielsen ratings were for Buffy from week to week.

Apparently, Buffy slipped in its first few episodes, stabilized, and it took time for Buffy to gain momentum over the summer and fall of 1997 as word-of-mouth spread.

The 12 episodes of Season #1:
3.4 [2 part pilot], 3.2, 2.0, 2.8, 2.4, 2.3, 2.3, 1.9, 2.5, 2.4, 2.3

The 22 episodes of Season 2:
2.9, 3.2, 3.4, 3.2, 3.5, 3.7, 3.4,
3.7, 3.5, 3.5, 3.9, 4.1, 4.4, 5.2 [these last two eps were the heavily-promoted Surprise/Innocence two-parter when Buffy moved from Monday to Tuesday nights]
4.9, 4.5, 4.3, 4.1 3.6, 3.6, 3.8, 4.2

[ edited by Ronald_SF on 2009-03-10 06:26 ]
No Dollhouse April 17?? OH God, that is sooooooo unfair!!!!!!

Ronald_SF, Buffy had a much smaller number of viewers but it was in a smaller network and it was drawing the exact demographic they wanted. If it weren't for Buffy, TheWB wouldn't have been the "teen net".

[ edited by danielgm86 on 2009-03-10 06:25 ]
Ronald_SF, as far as I know, BSG's two hour finale begins at 9:00 so it actually will conflict with Dollhouse.

[ edited by Rhodey on 2009-03-10 06:28 ]
Oh, I didn't mean to point out that Buffy's numbers were smaller than DH's - simply that one can read too much from week-to-week trends and that if a show creates buzz and reins in new fans (which DH has yet to do), it is possible to have a long-term gain.

Of course, if things stay low for several weeks longer then it's probably certain it will not be renewed. We'll see.
Rhodey, oh krikey.

Okay, well good thing there's Hulu! And I'm not too worried about one week, that is unless the network makes its decisions really soon after. (Which I don't know if they do.)
I'm hopeful the last 8 episodes will be as great as Eliza says and hook people up. I love Dollhouse, eventhough it's still a little struggley.

I think they will only make a decision around episode 10, they will probably wait out most of the 13 episodes to announce anything.

[ edited by danielgm86 on 2009-03-10 06:32 ]
Added hacksaway's link to the title.
So, whatever Dollhouse episode won't air on April 17 because of Prison Break, I suggest they show to us at PaleyFest on April 15. (That is, unless FOX corrected their earlier "typo" on that YouTube page with a completely new one, because now it specifically says two-hour return.)

[ edited by The One True b!X on 2009-03-10 06:37 ]
I don't see why there's so much focus comparing this week's DVR "gain" to last week's. If the Nielsen rating went down, that means it went down in DVR views as well.

Still, it's good that it's at least steady in the "gain" department. And it makes the Nielsen numbers look less dire.
daniel, that sounds right to me. If the episodes step up in quality and are consistently good after episode 6, they will want to look very closely at the ratings trend for some weeks after, before they make their decision.
Yay. I think the show is getting stronger each week and I'm hoping the good dvr numbers translate to the suits upstairs.
Cool. These DVR numbers certainly can't hurt. So here's hoping Fox is paying attention to them. I know we've been saying here that a large amount of DVR viewers also watch commercials, or at least retain brand information while skipping and that these numbers may even be higher for Dollhouse because of the shorter add breaks, so here's hoping that's true.
b!X, they corrected that video because me and THR asked FOX about it (that video in particular).
Yes. But I'm saying that the correction isn't to "Prison Break at 8, Dollhouse at 9". It's to "Prison Break returns Friday 4/17 for a special 2 Hour episode at 8/7c", which means no Dollhouse that day.
I know. Something is wrong.
Doh! Sorry for not adding tags. I knew something was was missing. ><
Re: a user comment on that site - I don't know of any Whedon fans that have ever accused Terminator of bringing Dollhouse down.

I think they're referring to how people have been saying that Dollhouse would have had better ratings with a stronger lead-in such as American Idol or Prison Break.
A few people on TvByTheNumbers have been calling for Terminator to be removed as they feel it's affecting Dollhouse's numbers. Not, by the way, me.
I think that, if anything, 'Dollhouse' is somewhat propping up T:SCC. Summer Glau or not, I think that a lot more viewers would have given up watching it by now, but have hung in there specifically as they were planning to tune into 'Dollhouse' afterwards anyway.

But I'm doubtful that T:SCC is actually 'bringing 'Dollhouse' down', since every fan I know would have tuned in anyway, no matter what slot it was given.

Despite what may be 'awesome' for us as Joss fans, 'Dollhouse' IS a niche show. Better to give it a chance to grow an audience than have to sink or swim after AI.

But I guess we'll get more of an idea of T:SCC's influence when 'Prison Break' becomes the lead in, huh?

[ edited by missb on 2009-03-10 09:39 ]
I get a seriously, seriously bad feeling about FOX taking Dollhouse off air April1 17th. You don't replace a new TV series with one which is already cancelled. I'm going to check with FOX to see if they have an actual plan or not.
Oh, please do update, gossi.
Gossi, are you suggesting it's time to picnic??!
It should be noted that the same source for the April 17 two-hour premiere of Prison Break does also then reference the Prison Break/Dollhouse lineup, which suggests therefore only a single-week break. Still seems a weird thing to do, but it's not like the info is saying Dollhouse doesn't resume.
I'm not suggesting the show won't return either, it just seems like a weird thing to do unless they pair it with something else that week.

[ edited by gossi on 2009-03-10 10:17 ]
Well still seem to think DH will be on on the 17th and the week after too
"Prison Break returns Friday 4/17 for a special 2 Hour episode at 8/7c." - FOX Broadcasting.
I'm getting confused by how many episode PB has left to air. If it's 4+2 (which I always assumed), then it makes sense for Fox to make one PB-week, so it can finish it's run at the same time as DH and make for one big, epic season/series finale event.
Yep, they have 6 episodes wiesen. That makes sense.
Can we have a second season now please?
If they air the last four eps uninterrupted from Apr 24 on, the finale will be on May 15, 2009. Exactly one year after the upfronts and the first trailer hit the interweb. :)
So, DVR percentages roughly comparable to the DVR percentages from the first episode? So, that means still a decline in total viewers, right? I know that's not necessarily cause for panic and that all shows typically decrease on the second episode. I just wanted to point it out, since we keep throwing around the word "increase" and that's just an increase in total viewers compared to the live number, not compared to the first episode.
Yeah, you're right, Septimus, all in all "The Target" lost viewers compared to "Ghost". The only real increase I can think of is the increase of the demo-increase. :) (From 29% to 32.3%)

[ edited by wiesengrund on 2009-03-10 13:05 ]
I've put the question to someone at Fox, waiting for the West Coast to wake up.
The only real increase I can think of is the increase of the demo-increase. :) (From 29% to 32.3%)

Which is more to do with a relatively smaller loss of demo viewers in the DVR vs the live viewers so isn't really an increase either.
Though generally DVR numbers doesn't matter, since the assumptions is that people just skip the commercials. Its generally not a selling point to say "hey, but a million more skipped your commercials!"
Well, as mentioned many times, the research is showing that only half do skip and that people who fast forward still retain the brand name recognition at the same rate as those who don't. That may not hold up to further study, or the advertisers may not care, but what matters is what the ad folks and the network folks think, so... we'll see, I guess.
Yes but if the DVR numbers stay good then there is a chance that if there is actual good buzz for the last half of the season the actual ratings could go up. There is also some retention when watching fast foreword the commercials. Much more the going to the bathroom during them I would think. Also perhaps Fox talk Joss into product placement for a second season. I'd forced myself to watch the actives drinking diet coke at dinner and one active eating lunch at McDonald's(or where ever) because some rich kid wants to live a normal life and pretend they are visiting a Mommy or daddy on the weekend and eating at a place real kids like eat at. Anything for Joss&Eliza to keep the show on so I can watch it.

[ edited by beckyboo on 2009-03-10 16:35 ]
We've seen Live and DVR numbers, but what about Internet numbers? That's the 'Demographic' I am part of as I no longer have Cable TV, just Cable Internet.
Fox sez:

After airing 9 original episodes in a row, Dollhouse will have its one scheduled pre-empted on Friday, April 17. Prison Break will have a 2 hour return that evening with the 8-9PM hour an encore of PB's fall finale from December and the 9-10PM hour one week only will be an all new episode of PB. The following week, beginning April 24, Prison break will air original episodes in its regular time period of 8-9PM followed by original episodes of Dollhouse in its regular time period of 9-10PM. Hope this helps clarify any confusion.

Ahhh. There is nothing more relaxing than waking up to a picnic.

gossi, for a guy who doesn't like rumors, you sure do like to cause them. If I shipped you some chill pills, would you take them? I say this with love an affection, but seriously, dude. Why start the picnics if that's not what the weather is saying?

Thanks, zeitgeist, for clearing that up for us.
While I don't know how Prison Break in its own right will do, I think the pre-emption of Dollhouse for the two hour Prison Break re-introduction is likely slightly good for both: the two hour PB allows it to re-capture whatever fan base it has and be as strong as it has any chance of being in the following weeks. And anything that strengthens Dollhouse's lead-in show SHOULD have at least a small benefit for Dollhouse. What I don't know is if, by that time (five remaining weeks of episodes) the decision whether to cancel will have already been made. Since someone on one of these threads mentioned Dollhouse, if continued, was possibly being thought of as a January 2010 start, does this allow this decision to be delayed longer than normal?
Er, korkster, I said exactly what zeitgeist said. I even posted what FOX clarified on Dollverse before they put together the statement.

To clarify, I still have a seriously bad feeling about the way things are going, but that's by the by. Taking off your new TV series and putting on something you've already cancelled instead is never a good sign of faith.
The networks can know when you skip comercials in DVDr/Tivo ?
It give me creeps.

I think another way to they take some merchandising money is put the promos below the screen, like in Supernatural.
I do wonder about the info that one hour of PB on Apr 17 will be a rerun. That means they still have one hour more to air than DH.

And I think helping PB recover is not a bad thing necessarily. They've seen with TSCC how damaging a move to Friday can be to an established series. They want the last episodes to do well, for advertising, and also to help Dollhouse. Better PB numbers are a better lead-in than bad PB numbers. An PB's winter-break has been quite long, especially for a highly serialized show.
Much as I despise the idea, BCM, if it'd keep Dollhouse around... sigh.
I didn't mean offense, gossi. But you do wear the doom & gloom vibe. And I'm not saying that that isn't warranted, but this particular 2 hour special (I believe) has more to do with re-introducing Prison Break than it has to do with yanking Dollhouse off the air.

you: I get a seriously, seriously bad feeling about FOX taking Dollhouse off air April1 17th. You don't replace a new TV series with one which is already cancelled. I'm going to check with FOX to see if they have an actual plan or not.

you: "Prison Break returns Friday 4/17 for a special 2 Hour episode at 8/7c." - FOX Broadcasting.

And then z posted the details to the response they gave you. From those details, it seems as if Fox wants to give Prison Break the good-bye it needs for its ratings. It hasn't been on the air for about half a season (since December), right? Well, I had plum forgot about it. And with Terminator finishing up its season... what else would they put there to replace it? I'm just glad they didn't opt for The Moment of Truth episodes that have been shelved. That wouldn't mesh well with our Dollhouse at all.

Maybe it's a bit different for me because I view your sources/hintings/whathaveyou as first hand knowledge. I don't know what connection you have to the Dollhouse, but you seem to be pretty well connected. And at the same time you're a fan with a bad feeling about how this is all going down (totally warranted). I guess it's just me that views your "bad news" as something that should be seriously considered... but in this case, it doesn't seem to be true.
Don't listen to anything I say, I'm just an idiot. If there's a reason to panic, I'll say. Although not actual panic, 'cos it's just a TV show.

[ edited by gossi on 2009-03-10 19:46 ]
And then z posted the details to the response they gave you.

Well, to be clear, I posted the details of the response that I got when I contacted Fox. I dunno what they told g-man or who he spoke with.
They told me precisely what they told zeitgeist. We probably got it from the same person, actually.
I just got an evil cackling laugh.

You probably got NPH or Alan Tudyk on the phone.
Haha! You didn't press one or say 'goats'.
I was just about what I was going to say Zeitgeist! Ah well, great minds and all that.

I'm glad the trend is still there. Still no way of knowing what Fox will do though imho. The world of the TV execs mind is a strange place. One thing does stand out to me though - that the C3 numbers really seem to work for the "ad-free" model that Fox has come up with. Good for them I suppose, but I don't know if it's enough to keep Dollhouse on the air.
Silver lining is that I think Prison Break will perform worse than TSCC and that will make Dollhouse look good in comparison. Big black cloud is, unless something changes pretty fast, I give Dollhouse a 25% chance at a second season. The networks do look at the DVR numbers and they do matter despite what some off the less informed posters here might think. The overall number may simply not be big enough to warrant a second season.

But then, NBC is rumored to be resurrecting FNL from certain death once again so anything is possible.

And yes, I am sick and cranky.
I don't know if Prison Break will perform worse than TSCC. What gives you that impression? In any case, I don't think it would be good for Dollhouse if its lead-in did even worse than it already is doing.

(Reall,y FNL getting a second reprieve? That would be stunningly cool.)
If FNL can get another season it suggests there is still hope for low rated quality TV. Sadly I think it is at least in part due to the awful season NBC are having, they can't junk all their failed shows so those with critical love and some alternate financing possibilities stand a better chance than on more successful networks.
I love FNL, but I kinda hope it ends here. It was a beautiful last shot--even though I wasn't nuts about some aspects of the finale--and I'm frankly a little scared for another season 2.

But if it comes back, I'll be there.

ETA that, er, I watched it on DTV, obviously. So, while I don't think this post is at all spoilery, someone please tell me if you disagree.

[ edited by Jobo on 2009-03-10 22:34 ]
Yeah, I think FNL is helped by being a critical darling and being cheap to begin with, plus DirecTV picking up half the bill. Cheap critics darling? Okay.
Although not actual panic, 'cos it's just a TV show.

It's a TV show that gets me through the week. It's sad, I know. But I gotta have something to look forward to. ;)

And you're not an idiot. That's why I listen to you. (Just so we're clear... the set is still standing, yes?)

zeitgeist, yes, that is what I meant. I was just trying to tie in what g had said. That doesn't take away from the "Fox sez" that you sed. ;)

How about them Yankees?


And just figuring out that the thread moved on while your precious behind was elsewhere? Priceless.
Prison Break was getting the same ratings that TSCC was before it went on hiatus (getting less in DVR viewing as well). It has been off the air longer. It is already a canceled show and everyone knows it. Prison Break is not scifi and I think much less of the PB viewers will stay home to watch it on Friday night or record it. It isn't must see tv.

That is why I think it will get worse ratings than TSCC and no, overall, this is not a good thing for Dollhouse.

Right now the best thing that could happen for Dollhouse is for it to be showcased on Oprah.
The thing that might help PB is that it's an ongoing story so it's audience may follow in order to see how it all ends up. I guess we'll find out soon enough.

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