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April 10 2009

(SPOILER) Maureen Ryan on "what Whedon should do next". The Chicago Tribune's Maureen Ryan puts her two cents in on the finale confusion, and adds her thoughts on what Joss Whedon should do if Dollhouse is not renewed. Pictures containing casting spoilers.

"I would like to see what kind of wonderfully dense, risk-taking project Whedon would come up with when he is not hampered by the current conservative climate at the networks ..."

"My point is this: Whedon needs to make his next show on cable. End of story."

Yes, as she also put it, "for the love of all that is holy," Joss Whedon should move to cable. Yes, yes, and more yes. Yes!
Might want to toss a spoiler tag on this because of the second picture.

/what a day
Sorry. Spoiler tag attached. Having been unspoiled myself, I somehow managed not to notice.
I'm so spoiled, I didn't even think about it until the second time I read the article. No worries. :)
I'd love to see Joss move the show, if he was permitted, to FX. Better yet, get on USA and have it follow Burn Notice. That would be a dynamite pairing!
Yes. FX. Why not? Figure out a way to cut the budget and move the thing. I know, easy for me to say.
Does Joss need a big budget to tell the sorts of stories he wants to tell? I honestly don't know the answer to that; anyone else have any opinions?

We know Dr. H was low budget by the usual standards, but (IIRC) that was mostly from calling in favours. Joss can obviously do wonders with a big budget, but I don't know if it's actually required. I imagine if Buffy were made now, a lot of the effects would be an order of magnitude cheaper to pull off -- I remember hearing in one of the commentaries how even over the lifetime of the show, the cost of the "dusting" effect had decreased dramatically.

I wonder how things would change content-wise too. I don't know how Joss feels about swearing on-screen, for example, because that would make it feel very different from other Joss shows (personally I'm all for it as a way of increasing realism, as long as it's not over the top).

[ edited by MattK on 2009-04-10 02:21 ]
Yes, I'm all for Joss moving to Cable. I wonder what he thinks about that though.

Some of the best dramas are on cable right now, but I'm drawing a blank for such quality shows that also have a tendency to use SFX. Because Joss + SFX seems almost necessary for the stories he likes to tell.
If Nip/Tuck wasn't over, it'd be a good pair on FX. I don't think the writer was thinking of trying to move Dollhouse, though, which I'd find unlikely -- I am still hoping/guessing it gets a second season on a different night. I think she was talking about some subsequent Whedon show.

There are some effects-heavy cable shows (Burn Notice, BSG, True Blood) and also just generally expensive shows because of locations and so on.

Maybe we can combine a couple fantasies -- scrapping "Y: The Last Man" as a movie, making it an HBO series co-exec-produced by Joss and Brian K. Vaughan :)

[ edited by KingofCretins on 2009-04-10 02:34 ]
Emmie: True Blood.
I don't think the problem is so much the budget as much as it is the content. Cable really does have more leeway to do certain things, so it would be nice to see what Joss would come up with if a cable network came up to him, handed him however much money he wanted (not that he ever needs all that much considering how well he's done with how little he's been given at times) and the ability to do whatever he wanted.

Of course, in my fantasy world, Joss would have his own channel with nothing but his own programming. And, y'know, programming from all cast and crew related to him... hmm. WhedonesqueTV?
Anybody else a little wary and curious at the idea of Joss-on-cable? We saw (some happily, some unhappily) the excesses to which he was inclined from a special effects standpoint when he moved to the budgetless environment of Season 8 Buffy after having been limited on TV... would Joss go for the porny/sweaty/sexy/cussy excesses if he was suddenly answering only to HBO?
KoC, we can only hope and pray that he would!
Right King, I wasn't saying move Dollhouse to cable, but move Joss to cable.
I was just remembering some scenes from "True Blood" and imagining how different other episodes of "Buffy" might have gone...
On the cable/network divide in terms of "adult content," I always find it slightly surreal to hear all the swearing in Speed or Alien: Resurrection after getting to know Joss' voice so well through his (non R-rated) TV work.

I especially like the lines "she is severely fuckable, isn't she?" and "I am not the man with whom to fuck," both from A:R.
I wasn't sure how much of "Speed" was really him, so I didn't presume on it. And I typically don't go in for discussin "Alien: Resurrection" at all since it's... bad. Cameron set a standard that nobody came close to afterward, unfortunately.

That would be the all-time fanfic project -- re-write the entire "Buffy" series as if it had been on HBO :)
Joss. Cable. A world of yes.

But then, I think he's always pretty much known that that's where his fans would love him to be. Maybe, one day, it'll happen.

That would be the all-time fanfic project -- re-write the entire "Buffy" series as if it had been on HBO :)


Heh. You just know there's someone out there reading this, thinking "ooh, I could totally do that ;)
KoC - The credited writer on Speed said in an interview that Joss wrote ninety percent of the dialogue. And when the guy who essentially denied Joss a credit still admits he wrote ninety percent of the dialogue, he probably wrote closer to, well, all of it.

Also, read through these and tell me you can't see a LOT of Joss: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0111257/quotes

Alien 4 isn't good, but it's a source of endless fascination to me for what it could have been, for various reasons. And parts of it are very entertaining in a guilty pleasure-ish way.

[ edited by bonzob on 2009-04-10 03:13 ]
Cable? Abso-frackkin'-lutely!
I might have written here that I wished Dollhouse'd been on FX, on at 10pm. Or HBO. I mean, come on. Can you imagine?
And if not cable, then he should take his talents to the internet.
There is so much potential to go straight to the 'net...and still make a profit. It was prooved with Dr. Horrible, and Sanctuary (which got picked up by SciFi Channel!).
No more of this dealing Standards & Practices crap. Joss needs to be set free to do stories for grown-ups.
Free Joss!
Bonzob, the WGA decide credit when there is more then one writer on a script, it's not up to the writers. And for some insane reason they do not think dialogue is important. If I wrote a "Two people on stage talking" script that was two hours of solid dialogue and you added "Character A sits down" as an action line in the middle the WGA would give you full credit since you wrote "All the action".
Right, I wasn't saying the guy said "no credit for you!" But I believe during arbitration he would have had the ability to speak on Joss' behalf, no? Or offer Joss a credit himself? Or is it really just the WGA rules?

Found this old interview where Joss touches on it: http://www.avclub.com/articles/joss-whedon,13730/
I believe they present their drafts and the WGA make the decision, I don't believe they get to argue anything other than who wrote what. Seems bizarre but that's the way it is.
Didn't Joss say that Dollhouse was his last TV show? Not that I blame him, what with how ridiculous this whole thing has been.
I totally agree. If Fox cancels Dollhouse, Joss should take the series to cable and build an audience there.
Um, Eliza has a Fox contract. He can't just relocate Dollhouse.
"a standalone kind of coda episode".

I don't wear the cheese, the cheese wears me.

With two whole unseen episodes, the DVD will be great value for money.
I totally agree. If Fox cancels Dollhouse, Joss should take the series to cable and build an audience there.

filmtx | April 10, 04:42 CET

Um, Eliza has a Fox contract. He can't just relocate Dollhouse.


Also it's not his show right ? AFAIK it belongs entirely to (20th Century) Fox, they own it and all properties associated with it regardless of Eliza's contractual situation.

As to cable, sure, let's see what he does with a lower budget BUT a more or less guaranteed run of 12 or so episodes (course, you could make a case that he did that with Dollhouse, just with the different standards and practices of network TV).

Bit crazy to me to worry about what a Whedon cable series might look like, i'd rather have the pleasant prospect of crossing that bridge when we get to it.


ETA: a bit less strident certainty ;)

[ edited by Saje on 2009-04-10 10:01 ]
Um, Eliza has a Fox contract. He can't just relocate Dollhouse.




Isn't FX somehow affiliated with Fox though? Same parent company or something? Why couldn't they work out an agreement to move it to FX? Not saying it'll happen but I'd think it would be a possibility they could look at.
Even cable can break your heart, though. I'm still bitter about the premature cancellations of Deadwood and Carnivale. But it sure would be nice to give Joss some creative breathing room on a cable-y network.
Well, Deadwood got three seasons, WAY more than it would have gotten on network TV, and Carnivale had quite a chance, too.

Add me to the column that thinks that Dollhouse season 2 should be on FX.
Free Joss!

That needs to be a t-shirt. With a graphic using a stylized head shot. And maybe a tiny Numfar dancing in the background.

More seriously, why hasn't this happened? Are there separate cliques in the making a show industry - once you're on Big Time Tee Vee, the kids at the cable table won't sit with you? And while the anchor set has gotten steadily more up=scale with each show, Buffy - not so much. So, I suspect the point with budget is "enough."
Of course, in my fantasy world, Joss would have his own channel with nothing but his own programming. And, y'know, programming from all cast and crew related to him... hmm. WhedonesqueTV?

Yes! I hope I live long enough to see this!

Um, Eliza has a Fox contract. He can't just relocate Dollhouse.

Also it's not his show right ? AFAIK it belongs entirely to (20th Century) Fox, they own it and all properties associated with it regardless of Eliza's contractual situation.


Now have a strange image of Joss trying to steal the Dollhouse set. Where's he going to hide it? In his coat??

Eh... I don't know if I want Joss to go to cable. I would much rather have him prove Fox wrong and make this series get "Lost" status on the networks. (Since we're wishing anyway.)

If he did go to cable, I'd want him to go because he wanted to, not because that was the only way his show would survive. Ya know?

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