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March 17 2009

Dollhouse continues to impress with DVR. TV by the Numbers has the data for "Stage Fright".

#19 in total viewers.
#3 in % viewed.

5.28 million viewers. :)
Seems pretty steady. About an additional million viewers and .6 demo every week.
Am I insane to get my hopes up? Seriously, am I?
Look, I'm not that bright. Can someone just explain what all these numbers mean to me. Really.
They mean quite a few people are recording 'Dollhouse' and then watching it later. If Fox care about these numbers then it's cause for a more positive outlook than one based solely on the live viewing figures.

Am I insane to get my hopes up? Seriously, am I?

Well, the DVR numbers have been at this level pretty much all along so I guess nothing's really changed since two weeks ago. How were your hopes then embers ? ;)
Good to know that the numbers are still fairly consistent.
This is important. Why? Remote free TV. That's why Fox should care about these numbers
To be honest Saje, I've kind of accepted that all I'll ever get are these 13 episodes. I didn't think that Joss believed that the show would be renewed. Then I see what looks like strong numbers and I find myself afraid to hope....
It is a little like when I was afraid to trust the good poll numbers in the last election, because I thought that the voter suppression & problems with voting machines would give us a different result on Nov. 4th of last year.

[ edited by embers on 2009-03-17 21:42 ]
Consistency is not a human virtue so I'm thrilled that the numbers have been maintained.

I think this might be proof that some of America still likes to think about their entertainment. I think it would be interesting to see what other shows a typical Dollhouse viewer watches. For example, BSG is mentioned a lot lately (I dont watch it but I know there's a 2 hr. finale coming up on Friday) here on Whedonesque in reference to "stealing" viewers from DH. But I thought BSG doesn't do huge numbers by the big networks' standards...like 1 million or less per episode. (Is that right?) So I doubt it has a HUGE impact on the viewer numbers...unless every single BSG viewer plans to watch DH via DVR later.

So I wonder, is there any way to see Nielson numbers indicating what other shows viewers of a particular show watch? I'm sure it's fairly predictable that people who watch sci-fi shows tend to watch several and people that watch crime drama's watch several crime dramas. But is it really a valid prediction? I'm sure one of you much more knowledgeable about TV people will be able to help me out.

And a quick comment on Fox's "remote free tv"; it's lost on me. I haven't watched a live show on tv since last weeks dollhouse. But before that, it was YEARS since I've watched commercials on a live broadcast. (Even my daily baseball games are recorded and watched with about a 30 minute time delay to weed out commercials)
Can someone just explain what all these numbers mean to me.


What it means is that we have two ratings threads for Dollhouse each week rather than one (like when Buffy and Angel were on the air). And at the end of the day we're really none the wiser as we don't run Fox.
Yeah, well, you can prove anything with facts ;).

I've kind of accepted that all I'll ever get are these 13 episodes. I didn't think that Joss believed that the show would be renewed. Then I see what looks like strong numbers and I find myself afraid to hope....

Yeah, know what you mean embers. There's always hope of course (if you can stand the emotional roller-coaster ;) but to be realistic, it's probably worth remembering that these numbers are a strong percentage improvement on what was, unfortunately, not a huge number of viewers to begin with.

But as Andy Dufresne implies, 'Dollhouse' apparently has good C3 numbers (i.e. a lot of people are watching the adverts) so there's some reason to believe that Fox may not discount DVR viewers as much as they might for other shows. But it's all dead speculative, only Fox really know (and even they may not yet).
Yeah, well, you can prove anything with facts ;).

Actually you can't. Which is why so much of our political discourse continues to be fact-free.
I hope Fox is also (correctly) thinking this:

"People want to watch Dollhouse but aren't available at its current Friday 9 p.m. timeslot. That's why the DVR numbers are so good. Once we move it to a better timeslot during Season 2 all those viewers will watch 'live', adding to our Nielson ratings and our ability to capture advertising dollars."
Nicely done, Simon.
What it means is that we have two ratings threads for Dollhouse each week rather than one (like when Buffy and Angel were on the air). And at the end of the day we're really none the wiser as we don't run Fox.


Just chiming in to say that was good!
To be honest Saje, I've kind of accepted that all I'll ever get are these 13 episodes. I didn't think that Joss believed that the show would be renewed.


I agree with this. Joss has said they roll out things much quicker than they were originally planning to - stuff that was in the plan for the first few YEARS is crammed in to these 13 episodes. I truly believe that's because Joss doesn't think they'll be renewed and he wanted to tell as much of the story as possible. If they are lucky enough to get a second series then they can think up new ideas, but if not they are left with a complete story that asks and answers the questions it needs to.
Actually you can't. Which is why so much of our political discourse continues to be fact-free.

Heh, well we can make it make sense to us by adding "[on your side]" to the end but that's actually a quote barboo, from the first "proper" comedian I ever saw live, Stewart Lee (that set looks fairly recent but the line's kinda old ;).
This numbers matter nothing to the network in terms of renewal.

I'm not being pessimistic but don't get your hopes up.
flu, I don't think you're far wrong. Either is Simon. Fox are still on the fence, and so are the ratings.
Rikardo, I don't know where you get your information, and I'm not saying you're wrong, but without backing it up, it's just an opinion... and it IS a pessimistic one. If you believe that it doesn't matter, that's fine, but don't claim you're not being pessimistic. That's exactly what you're being.
To the continuing disappointment of everyone except mathematicians, you can only prove true things with facts. To prove things that aren't true, you need what we in the business call lies.

Sadly, while we're inundated with information on Dollhouse's ratings, we have very little reliable information on Fox's expectations and what they consider necessary for renewal. I can't help but get the feeling that some of the public statements we've seen in relation to how Dollhouse is doing in their eyes might be considered less than strictly factual.

Still, here's hoping they think this looks as good as we do.
I may not be an insider, but I know many things from experience and research information. I visit a lot of ratings sites and I understand the numbers a bit.

I don't need backing up the information. Sorry if you're one of those that need everything confirmed officially. It is a generally accepted opinion, a generalization. I can explain why if you want: the networks just didn't find a way of profiting from DVR viewers. That doesn't mean they won't in the future, but the truth is they don't. So, DVR viewers don't count for renewal prospects. Experience, from other shows, tells me the same thing.

Experts agree with me.

Many people believe DVR viewers count, time has proved them wrong.

I am not being pessimistic. I am being realistic. You want to believe that, that's fine, but it's not right.

Still, it's a good thing to have DVR viewers. Maybe many of them will tune in live when the show starts getting better.
I agree with this. Joss has said they roll out things much quicker than they were originally planning to - stuff that was in the plan for the first few YEARS is crammed in to these 13 episodes. I truly believe that's because Joss doesn't think they'll be renewed and he wanted to tell as much of the story as possible.

Firefly and Serenity, anyone? Originally meant to run as a series. A series with a multitude of episodes, possibly spanning years. As we all know, elements of Serenity's storyline were meant to be told over a few seasons.
Heh, well we can make it make sense to us by adding "[on your side]" to the end but that's actually a quote barboo, from the first "proper" comedian I ever saw live, Stewart Lee (that set looks fairly recent but the line's kinda old ;).

I like it, Saje. And I'll see your comedian with one from our side of the pond Stephan (not a factonista) Colbert. They make a good pair.
Fruan: but does common usage suggest that "to prove" is used non-factively? I'm not sure. A verb is factive if its object must be something which is the case. So "to see", "to remember", "to regret" and "to know" are all factive. You can't see something which isn't there, you can't remember or regret something that didn't happen, and you can't know something which isn't the case, even though you may very well think that you see something which isn't there, remember or regret something which didn't happen, or know something which isn't the case.

Logicians tend to talk in terms of valid and sound inferences. An inference is valid if its conclusion follows from its premises, regardless of the truth of either, e.g. "All men are Martians. Archibald is a man. Therefore Archibald is a Martian." An inference is sound if it is valid and its premises are true, e.g. "All men are mortal. Archibald is a man. Therefore Archibald is mortal."

Mathematicians may very well use "to prove" non-factively, I honestly don't know. But I suspect that if a scientist said something along the lines of "I can prove that the HIV virus is caused by reading in the dark. Only, you know, it isn't", or a lawyer said in court, "On the night in question, I will prove that such-and-such happened, even though it didn't", they would be met with total incomprehension.

Not that this has anything to do with the subject matter at hand, I'm just a recovering philosopher and your comment made me fall off the wagon big time.
Should be interesting to see the numbers for episode 4 with the overnights for that episode being so down.

TvByTheNumbers have Dollhouse as 0.01 less likely to be renewed on their renew/cancellation index.
Experience, from other shows, tells me the same thing.

That's an interesting point. What shows are you referring to?
"True Believer" is currently the 12th most viewed in the Drama category on Amazon Video on Demand.
So we have for consecutive ratings total numbers for anyone who cares for them (Live, DVR, Total, Live 18-49, Total 18-49) rounded to the nearest 0.0x

Ep 1 - Ghost: 4.76m, 1.6m, 5.8m, 2.0, 2.6
Ep 2 - Target: 4.25m, 1.46m, 5.25m, 1.67, 2.21
Ep 3 - Stage Fright: 4.18m, 1.7m, 5.28m, 1.61, 2.19
Ep 4 - Gray Hour: 3.57m, xxxx, xxxx, 1.5, xx
Ep 5 - True Believer: 4.26m,xxxx,xxxx, 1.6, xx

I'm really interested in the next 2 weeks worth of DVR data. Could prove very interesting, and useful. If DVR numbers are down on Gray Hour I'd put most of that on the cringe factor induced by much of the episode that was Stage Fright, and a little on people forgetting to set their DVRs before going out to see Watchmen.
If True Believer numbers are also up, it will reflect highly on the fact that Gray Hour was a rather cool episode, methinks, it will also help cement the idea in Fox's brain that the show is starting to grow an audience.

What we really need is for Man on the Street to gain in numbers, or at least hold steady against the BSG final, That will speak volumes as to the growth viability of the show, in terms of audience.
Looking at Ivaline's numbers I just noticed something that other paying more attention have probably noticed. Last week's gain can't purely be the 'Watchmen fans came back' effect because the number of viewers were higher than those 'Stage Fright' had. Even if we say Watchmen cost Dollhouse .21 million viewers and they all returned for True Believer, Dollhouse still increased its viewing numbers for the first time yet. Not terrible news

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