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March 20 2009

Sci Fi Channel to show Dollhouse in the UK. Thus putting an end to speculation that Sky One or the BBC would buy the show.

"The special effects in both series are genuinely show-stopping and likely to be the subject of many water-cooler moments for fans."

Eh?

Ah crap. This means a tiny audience for the show. And shows that start out with a niche audience rarely break out into the big time.
IMHO.
Well they did show Firefly first. But yes it would have been nice if it had been on the BBC like Buffy was. And let's not think about the disaster Angel had with Channel 4.
"Eliza's outfits are genuinely show-stopping and likely to be the subject of many water-cooler moments for fans."


Fixed that for you Simon.
And it really hurts to see Dollhouse lumped together with Knight Rider.

That's my point Simon, Firefly never broke out into the mass audience. Look at Seinfeld in the UK. Aired at around midnight on Tuesdays on BBC2, and even that changed from week to week. In the US it was one of the biggest shows around, here it's hardly remembered.

It seems that once a show gets "Classified" as a niche show then no one, stations or viewers, will ever give it a chance. It will remain a minority, niche show forever.

It would have been better, long term, for Fox to give season 1 to the BBC for free on condition they air it in primetime. Then (assuming they make more seasons) they will get much more for the rest of the series.

[ edited by zz9 on 2009-03-20 16:03 ]
So this is better than no channel showing it, but not a good setup for finding a UK audience?

And yeah I wouldn't consider the special effects to be a highlight of the show. I don't dislike them but they are exactly where I like them-- supporting the action onscreen and not drawing attention to themselves as awesome effects.
Actually surprised FX didn't get it. Still, not the worst of channels.

That's my point Simon, Firefly never broke out into the mass audience.


I know :(. And to think Buffy was bigger here in the UK than it was in the States. We had Buffy easter eggs and advent calendars and all that jazz.
So this is better than no channel showing it, but not a good setup for finding a UK audience?

Well, put it this way Sunfire: BBC1 has, on average, something like a 20% share of the viewing audience, BBC2 has about 8% and Sci-Fi has ... wait for it ... 0.2%. Not saying it can't build an audience but Buffy figures of 3-4 million per week (as on BBC2) are completely impossible.

That said, FX has 0.1% so Sci-Fi is at least a bigger channel than that one (in the UK) and they're at least not looking for huge numbers to keep it on. It's also true that a terrestrial channel (like BBC1 or 2) will often buy shows that have first appeared on a pay channel ('Heroes' was originally on Sci-Fi first for intance, now BBC2 has it).


ETA: 'Heroes' went from about 450,000 viewers on Sci-Fi UK (still a record for them, according to Wikipedia it's 4 times more than any other show on the channel) to 3.7 million when series 2 started on BBC2.

[ edited by Saje on 2009-03-20 16:23 ]
In Brazil, the biggest tv (Tv Globo) gets the rights in 02/13 - buying, for the first time, an inedited show. However, this isn't so good, since, usually, they broadcast USA shows around 01:00 am.
Yay. Ok, so it's going to get a tiny audience but the longer it was taking to get to UK TV the more I began to doubt that it would ever come over here - or at least any time soon. I wonder when they'll start showing it.

ETA: Clearly I fail at reading. Yay again, 'spring'!

[ edited by Leaf on 2009-03-20 16:29 ]
Sci-Fi eh? Where all the new short run shows go to die. Oh well....:0
Well that's better than no-one showing it in the UK. Personally would have preferred BBC (any of them) or Sky but ho hum.
Pants. That's the end of that then! Sorry, I'm a bit grumpy about as I wanted Sky to pick it up.

This means that once again I can't talk to anyone about it, unless I show it to them!
This doesn't bother me. I'm just happy to finally get some news for us UKers, it seems like we've been waiting for a very long time.

Part of the Spring schedule? That's definitely Spring 2009 then? ;-)
SciFi could do a Joss evening, they own the rights to Angel as well. So...

Angel (best of) 7pm
Firefly 8pm
Dollhouse 9pm
That's very true Simon. I do watch SciFi, not religiously though. Will be nice to see the promos.
Finally! Yaaay! I don't really mind what channel it's on as long as we get to see it here in the UK. When does it start though? I don't want the UK to be really far behind the US.
Well, today is the first day of spring (so Google tells me via a hungry caterpilla) and it's in the spring line-up so assuming they don't mean next year I'm gonna guess at.. mid-April?

[ edited by Leaf on 2009-03-20 18:07 ]
Hey bubblecat, you can talk to us about it! I don't know anyone else who watches the Sci-Fi channel either.
Thanks twinkle! Much as I see this as a good thing, i.e. it's been picked up. It won't enter the UK mind-set this way. Not like Buffy did on BBC2 and then to Sky (responsible for quite a lot of Sky pick up back in the day as I remember it).

Darn and also hurray!

siged,
Conflicted of Westbury.
Hopefully they'll show it on Sci-Fi (SyFy?) HD too - the regular channel doesn't even broadcast in widescreen yet in the UK...
So now can we hope for a deal to get it on iTunes UK?
By the way, this does not put on hold speculation that the BBC could pick up the show. The BBC (ITV, etc) can still air it, as only the 'pay TV' rights have been sold. The same thing happened with Heroes - Sci-Fi picked up on the show, then later on BBC picked it up and aired it. There was very little interest in Heroes when Sci-Fi showed it - as soon as the BBC showed it, however, it became (actual) 'water cooler' TV.
Digitalspy note that the deal also sees Sci-Fi renewing their repeat rights for Angel S1-5.
At least this means it is on iTunes, well hopefully.
Alas, alack.

(Of course, Sky has BSG and it hasn't reached terrestrial here at all, and might never. Neither has The Wire. Or, indeed, Firefly... They're all on high-street DVD shelves, but it's not the same.)
The Wire has now been picked up by BBC2.
This may be a dumb question, but how does iTunes know that you're not U.S.? Couldn't someone in the US set up an account for you? My account works in Europe, but if I was trying to get one now from here I couldn't.

Also, how long did it take for Heroes to get from Scifi to the BBC?
Intereting Gossi, so it could still end up in BBC land! I might start lobbying soon, lol.
dreamlogic, I think about a year for Heroes from Sci-Fi to the Beeb. If you want a US iTunes account, you just need to credit your account from a US credit card, or pick up US iTunes vouchers from eBay.

This doesn't (as I understand it) mean it will appear on iTunes UK. I don't think Sci-Fi has the media distribution rights. I could be wrong.
Any of the luminaries of how the biz works (I'm metaphorically looking at you, gossi) have any insight on how overseas sales in this day and age affect the liklihood of survival of a show? By now, it is old hat knowledge that some movies get funded with full expectation of relatively weak U.S. sales but big overseas profits. Is there any T.V. equivalent. And, yes, I am aware that producing studio not= network. Thinking more of an international model akin to what little I understand of what happened this season o Friday Night Lights: It became viable to have this season on the air because of the contribution of the other (directTV?) network -- can this work with a non-U.S. network in the role of the "other" funding network?
What is this mysterious "the UK" place of which you all speak? Am I pronouncing it wrong? It is "the uck", yes?
Yes B!x spot on - we are 'the uck'
Ah,I see. Thanks, gossi.

doubtful guest, I think even with co-funding, something as expensive as Dollhouse would need a broadcast or premium network.
The BBC (ITV, etc) can still air it, as only the 'pay TV' rights have been sold.


Yes but the chances of that happening are extremely small. Heroes was the exception rather than the rule.
I know little of the old industry, but from what I know: 20th Century Fox get an international licensing fee for Dollhouse from, for example, Globo and now Sci-Fi UK. If FOX is interested in a second season and the international sales were strong, 20th could opt to discount FOX's fee, figuring they will make the money up in international sales. However, somebody like Sci-Fi likely paid little money, as they have such a small audience.

Simon, correct. Heroes got picked up by the Beeb 'cos it was a hit TV show. Sky One picked up Lie To Me immediately 'cos it opened huge.
Sky are actually pretty indiscriminate in that regard, they also picked up 'Journeyman' IIRC, which was never a stellar ratings success.

I dunno Simon, as you say yourself the Whedon name arguably has more currency here than it does in the US and Buffy was very good to BBC2. I wouldn't be shocked, put it that way.

... even with co-funding, something as expensive as Dollhouse would need a broadcast or premium network.

I think it'd need at least Sky1 (who co-fund BSG), Sci-Fi UK probably isn't big enough. Course, NBC Universal probably are ;).

What is this mysterious "the UK" place of which you all speak? Am I pronouncing it wrong? It is "the uck", yes?

The 'U' and the 'K' are actually both silent. You only pronounce the full stops. Not the periods.
"The 'U' and the 'K' are actually both silent. You only pronounce the full stops. Not the periods."

The first rule of the special relationship: You don't talk about the special relationship. The second rule of the special relationship...
Y'know, people say 'special' but i've always seen it as more 'okay'. America hogs the duvet. It's a whole big thing. And we do not snore !
I think the recent awkward gift exchange speaks to all the specialness of the relationship. Especially the part where our guy gave your guy DVDs that don't play on your DVD players.
considering the other coy little phrase for u.s./u.k. relations is "our cousins across the pond," the relationship always had more than one odd implication.

eta: and the rumors are not true: we do not have 12 fingers!

[ edited by doubtful guest on 2009-03-20 20:50 ]
Think I first came across the 'cousins' thing in one of Le Carré's Smiley books so to me it's always been this weird combination of incredibly twee, old colonial euphemism AND incredibly cool spy stuff at the same time (I always loved his jargon, it's got the ring of truth to it).

I think the recent awkward gift exchange speaks to all the specialness of the relationship.

Oh gods, tell me about it. It's just embarrassing how our leaders rush to get their snout in the trough, vying for 'special fag' to America's Head Boy. At least Obama apparently has the grace and wit to be embarrassed by it himself. Though I must admit, Bush's openly smug superiority towards Blair was at least refreshingly candid.
Mind you, the cheese-eating surrender-monkeys did give them the Statue Of Liberty. Though that was some time ago.
Je porte le fromage, le fromage ne me porte pas!
Isn't it 'freedom-monkeys' now ?
The French did give us that nice statue. But it was so long ago we've almost forgotten and now we hate them for being fancypants.

The British are more accommodating when we want to play cowboys and Indians. Plus they have hobbits, which are neat. I love wildlife!
Yeah so long as we can borrow some bows and arrows.
doubtful guest said:

and the rumors are not true: we do not have 12 fingers!

We have! And 8 more, unless our president who lost one.

Yeah, these champangne drinkers like to build sculptures,. They helped with Christ one.
Think I first came across the 'cousins' thing in one of Le 's Smiley books

So, on MI-5, when they call the CIA the "cousins," did they learn that from Le Carré or from reality?
Bit of both in general I suspect jcs but probably reality in that specific instance (it tallies with non-fiction i've read about the intelligence services as does the way they use terms like 'section', 'desk', 'legend', 'rolled-up' etc.). My favourite "Smileyism" is probably "stinks and bangs" which I haven't heard come up in 'Spooks' (as we know it) yet (i'll cheer if I do ;). It's a very off-hand, disparaging term for the toys that're so important to the "bigger" spy fiction (Bond etc.), exactly as you'd expect from people for whom 'intelligence' is all about thinking - to them if you're having to run around blowing things up you've already lost in a sense.

So it's hard to say for sure BUT 'Spooks' is very much in Smiley's world IMO, albeit with a slicker, more international look (in later series there's even an older analyst called Connie who seems a clear shout-out to the character of that name in the Smiley books - well, up to a point anyway). The corruption of the individual in service to the state is spot on though.
MI-5/Spooks, Smiley, Sandbaggers...how come you guys get all the good spy stories? Very suspicious.
For the question of whether Dollhouse will ever make it to BBC or ITV it all rests on ratings and (more importantly IMO) whether it gets renewed - those channels want something that has a future. I think the chances of it getting on to the BBC are slim to none and have done since the first ratings in the US came in. Of course I will enjoy eating crow when S2's ratings soar.

I wonder what Sci-Fi will do about the extra minutes, I'm slightly worried they might edit the episodes down.
Cousins... Hence the very old term "kissing cousins". Enter a lot of Southern jokes here.

A few American examples of "kissing cousins": Franklin Delano Roosevelt/Eleanor Roosevelt Roosevelt (yes, that was her maiden name) were 6th cousins who met at a family reunion (no joke), Jerry Lee Lewis/Myra Gale Brown Lewis were 2nd cousins twice removed and Edgar Allan Poe/Virginia Clemm Poe were 1st cousins. Myra and Virginia were also thirteen years old.

It was actually you bloody Brits that killed the Killer's career with the Jerry Lee/Myra scandal blowing up.

Well, we're still not as bad as Pharaonic Egypt (brother/sister marriages galore) or European royalty with all their Hemophilia and Hapsburg Lip (Prognathism) traits. The Hapsburg motto of conquering by breeding all over Europe certainly spread that trait... which had its worst effects in Spain when King Carlos II had mental retardation.

Well, us righties have certainly warmed up to France with Sarkozy. We've cut out most of our French jokes and embraced their role in our American Revolution and Statue of Liberty once again after they got rid of Chirac.

-----------------------------

Well, one thing I'll say for Sci-Fi and TNT (in the U.S.)--they stuck with airing AtS reruns a lot longer than FX did for BtVS in the U.S. Maybe a more dedicated but smaller network will at least ensure the shows will be aired on reruns longer.

[ edited by NileQT87 on 2009-03-21 08:38 ]
The Sci-Fi channel home page says:

'Dollhouse comes to Sci Fi channel May'

for anyone who was wondering when it was going to be shown. Looks like they're waiting until it finishes in the US.
NileQT87, FX is still airing Buffy reruns.
FX hasn't been airing them daily here for years... Unless it is on the weekend (is that so?). Nonetheless, it certainly isn't daily in the U.S. AtS still is on weekdays with TNT (though at ungodly hours of the morning).

[ edited by NileQT87 on 2009-03-22 06:28 ]

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