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April 17 2009

"Joss Whedon: What it will take for Dollhouse to Survive". Sci Fi Wire interview: "Basically, we've got a few more times up at bat. It's going to be up to the fans to be vocal in their own community to make sure people are watching...".

It's going to be up to the fans to be vocal in their own community to make sure people are watching


We would need to learn from what happened with the fan efforts to promote Serenity. Wouldn't want history repeating itself.
How did that go?
Well we're were not discussing how good Serenity 2 was.
I think the sentence before what's quoted is reasonably important.
Well, yeah. So people did something crazy?

(I know fandom can be crazy. I'm in the SPN one. But yeah, something insane?)

I didn't really pay attention to that stuff a few years ago. lol. Unless it was Alias related. lol.
Hehe, I live on the outer borders of the Supernatural fandom. Absolutely love the show but the Dean and Sam girls freak me out.

I know this might be the stupid question but could there not be some sort of... I don't know... controlled and sensible fandom effort that wouldn't be a repeat of the Serenity situation. One that wouldn't make those involved look like crazy people and actually scare people away from the show?

Asking too much?
Well, yeah. So people did something crazy?


There were incidents of teh crazy but it was more the fan perception of "we are mighty and can make a difference". Don't get me wrong, there was some wonderfully inspired fan art and ideas that went in to promoting the movie but in the end it didn't make a difference cause we were so few in numbers. The opening box office numbers were a huge shock to many of us (including myself).


I think the sentence before what's quoted is reasonably important.


I'm assuming he means that he has three more chances. Which means if the fandom is going to make a united effort to save promote the show, then we have very little time to do so. Better get cracking then.
It sounds like, overall, Joss is suggesting that if Dollhouse just holds steady it may have a chance at being renewed.

Obviously, there has to be a number we reach that is viable for them economically or it would be senseless for them, unless they were insane fans like me. But they get it. They get the show, and they get what works. So they're anxious for it to stay at a level where they can justify throwing down some more. Hopefully that'll happen.
...
I don't think it's a "Save Dollhouse" campaign. Basically, we've got a few more times up at bat. It's going to be up to the fans to be vocal in their own community to make sure people are watching, that we get those DVR numbers, that they don't slip. If they want to cold call executives, that's good too, I guess. Or Twitter. A lotta people are Twittering. Ultimately, it's just holding the course, because I honestly began to think that we were dead in the water, and the people at Fox made a point of calling me to say, "That's not the case. We're still working it out. We're fans. We want this to work."


I know that's probably wishful, selective reading, but that's what it looks like he's saying to me.

(It will be interesting to see what Prison Break's numbers are like tonight!)
I think he means 'don't do it, Jim'. Because we're all called Jim. In reference to sending things to the network and all that joy.

One of the biggest things people could do, in actual fact, is pre-order the DVD on Amazon. They feed the number of preorders back to 20th.
@gossi: Done!
And as an aside to non-North American readers: it can't hurt to pre-order at Amazon.com and then cancel your order if a better deal turns up in your own country.
Ah ha. Thanks, Simon.

I wish I could pre-order online, or just order online period. XD

(Highlander: I'm maybe what you'd call a Dean girl, but I promise I'm not crazy like that. ;))
Hehe, I live on the outer borders of the Supernatural fandom. Absolutely love the show but the Dean and Sam girls freak me out.


Definitely. I check things out every so often, but it's not exactly safe to jump into the deep end, ya know? ;)

There were incidents of teh crazy but it was more the fan perception of "we are mighty and can make a difference". Don't get me wrong, there was some wonderfully inspired fan art and ideas that went in to promoting the movie but in the end it didn't make a difference cause we were so few in numbers.


It's funny, when I first started taking part in fandom, it was not long after Serenity was released on DVD. It was really easy to get swept up in the tide of excitement (and craziness). After being around for a few years though, one starts to mellow out (and perhaps become slightly jaded). Still, there's hope for a fan campaign that doesn't get too out of control. Back when the strike was going on, I thought people did pretty well about staying focused on what's important.
I still say we should start a rumor that Brad Pitt is Alpha.
I'm gonna be watching and telling everyone I know to watch the last few eps. I've also had everyone I know with a DVR box doing the whole series, even those that won't watch it. Maybe I'll tweet about it as well.
Gossi may have a point...from the TV By The Numbers article on the DVR numbers (don't mind their usual negativity):
So barring an astronomically good forecast for Dollhouse DVD sales by FOX’s studio division to the point where it’s so heavily discounted that the FOX broadcast network simply can’t refuse it — and that seems very unlikely to me — or, roughly a 25% improvement to Dollhouse’s Live+SD 18-49 ratings(that would result in similar increases to its Live+7 ratings), I don’t see any way this show is coming back.


I think if there's any one thing that Whedon fans are good at, it's buying DVD's...

Honestly, one of the best signs for hope is the fact that Fox made a point of calling Joss and letting him know they really did want to figure out a way to make it financially viable to renew. There's no way they'd do that if they were leaning towards cancellation. Knowing that they want the show to succeed as well is a really great sign.
I still am skeptical about the import of the phone call to Joss. It strikes me that it could definitely be a "we want Joss to talk it up so that we get as many people watching the last episodes of this season as possible" kind of thing, whether they really intend to renew it or not.
Definitely. I check things out every so often, but it's not exactly safe to jump into the deep end, ya know? ;)


Promise we don't bite hard. :D Well, at least not in my part of the fandom. Unless you want to be bitten, I guess. But yeah, the wank. Oh the wank. I try and stay clear of that stuff. XD

After being around for a few years though, one starts to mellow out (and perhaps become slightly jaded).


So true. *Sigh*
Unfortunately I cant preorder Dollhouse. Or, I could, but unless I went and bought a multiregion dvd player it would be pretty useless.

The article has a fairly optimistic feel overall. And if FOX are calling Joss and saying they're fans then maybe they're willing to renew Dollhouse in a better timeslot.
Good interview
Damn, bugger, blast! I feel so useless, as I can't watch it to keep ratings up (damn my continental displacement!) and I'm still in debate whether to take it on faith (heretical thinking towards Whedonism, I know) that I will enjoy Dollhouse and pre-order the DVD's... I guess I'll go and find out the price before whining to Whedonesque.
I'm not suggesting that Dollhouse fans should flood Amazon with false pre-orders. But if you genuinely think that you'll probably want to buy the DVD, there's little harm in pre-ordering it. You can cancel it later (before it is shipped) if you change your mind.
Have we seen any of those commercials saying,"If you haven't been watching Dollhouse, now is the time to jump back in!! And if you've never seen the show, this is your chance to see what all the fan buzz is about..."

I've purchased comics with real cash money b/c the cover literally said, "The start of a new arc--this is the time to jump on board!" With the way people watch television these days, I think its important for people to know they are not investing themselves in a show that will not be able to finish its story. If people know they are going to get a complete tale (even without the promise of another), I think they will tune in.
Question: since there is no link here to the Dollhouse DVD on Amazon, does Whedonesque still get credit if we follow, say, the Dr. Horrible link and switch to Dollhouse? Anybody know? (Alternatively, could a link be established from here?)
Perhaps this has been discussed at length before, but could someone please explain what impact hulu has, if any, on the show's future? My understanding is that hulu began as a joint venture between nbc and fox, so A) some advertising profits from hulu are likely fox bound, and B) fox must be able to directly track the numbers. For those of us without DVRs, can we do our part by watching Dollhouse, not just online, but on hulu?
The Fox ads are still a bit off. When "Alias" was on ABC, they might have pushed the idea of Garner in sexy outfits, but they still made it clear that it was a spy thriller. Fox shows Eliza being reprogrammed, but it would help if they pointed out that this is a criminal organization, with unknown people running it for mysterious purposes, in conflict with the FBI (Ballard) and the NSA, with the programmed people (Eliza) increasingly deviating from the programming. Push the drama and the spy tension, not how neat it is to see Engagements.
Caeli, the Hulu numbers/revenue ARE received and known by Fox. So, they do factor into the decision.

The conventional wisdom has it that those numbers/revenue are way lower than the traditional watching numbers/revenue so they may not be weighed very highly by Fox. (Typically, I think, they are not considered a real revenue stream so much as an indication of overall interest and, maybe therefore, of how the show might do on a different night.)
What FOX ads? I think the last time I actually saw a commercial for DH was 10 mins before it aired during T:SCC.
I will reiterate my comment in this more-appropriate thread that someone should put to gether a Facebook quiz called "What kind of Doll do you need?"

What are you looking for?
(a) I'm just looking for a good time.
(b) I've got some unresolved issues to work out.
(c) I've got a problem, the kind you need to shoot at.
(d) I've got a problem, the kind you need a specialist for.

etc.

ETA: Actually, the quiz should be called "The Dollhouse Confessional," and should feature legalistic language about how it's all confidential and discreet. And, perhaps a slightly jokey disclaimer about actives going off-mission.

[ edited by Septimus on 2009-04-17 15:46 ]
That quiz would weird me out.
For those who weren't involved in the fandom when Serenity opened...

Yeah, the thing with Serenity. We all got swept up in trying to make Serenity a hit in the run up to the opening and in the following months (and years for a few fans). But some people got really obnoxiously annoying by spamming various message boards with GO SEE SERENITY! JOSS IS TEH AWESOME! and flooding anyone who gave a less than stellar review of the movie with hate mail. It wasn't many, but god they were vocal. It's from these actions that we experienced the Browncoat backlash. All Joss fans were painted with the brush of being culty Koolaid drinkers. Certain websites devoted articles to how our evangelizing was to blame for Serenity's failure to produce better revenue. It was common to read postings on message boards saying, "I'm not going to see Serenity because of all those damn Browncoats pushing it!" It's a reputation our fandom has yet to live down in some quarters, and you'll can still see a bit of knee-jerk hate in certain circles for anything Joss does and anyone who tries to promote his work.

So the lesson is, don't be obnoxious. Don't preach. Don't spam message boards. Don't argue with people who say they have no interest in the show. Promote the show amongst friends and family, but don't be pushy about it. I know to the vast majority of fans, this is common sense, but I also know it's all too easy to get carried away, especially now that Joss is directing the fans to be vocal. All it takes is for a couple of people to get carried away, and *bam* we'll have a backlash.

To that end, I'm trying to drum up interest amongst the college students I work with, along with co-workers (family and friends are taken care of already). And I've pre-ordered the DVDs.

I'm also thinking of buying tickets for an entire theater and showing episodes of Dollhouse to to the mostly empty seats.*

*joking

ETA: sorry if this is all blindingly obvious or if I'm coming across as an arrogant old timer. I don't mean it to. It's just that I get twitchy when I catch the scent of fan campaigns on the wind.

[ edited by Dizzy on 2009-04-17 16:03 ]
That quiz would weird me out.

I'd be OK with it so long as there was an "All of the Above" option.


Kidding ;-). Well, more or less.
That quiz would weird me out.

Well, yeah. Doesn't the show?
Dizzy: Eeek. Yeah, I see. I can see how that would get you backlash.

Thanks for the explanation. :)
Is it just me, or didn't he say the same with Firefly?
That quiz would weird me out.

Well, yeah. Doesn't the show?


Yes, and as a consequence the last thing that would be "fun" would be to think of myself as a client.
If anybody wants a morbid laugh, go to September 2002 in the Whedonesque archives. One day, there's a Joss interview where he says he feels confident the show will stay on the air. The very next day, it's officially cancelled.

Admittedly, it wasn't funny back then.
You're welcome, druzilla. :)

In the defense of the fans who went overboard, I should mention that Universal encouraged us to do such things. They figured they had thousands of people to do free advertising for them, so they pushed us to do whatever promotions we could dream up. There were contests on the official website to come up with promotional flyers and bumper stickers, and they tried to organize us into street teams (that never really gelled). There was much talk about guerrilla marketing. Obviously, it didn't work at all and ended up backfiring on the fandom.

Ah the good ol' days, hee.
Joss: They're all gonna ask about season 2 you know...

Fox: And you'll tell them everthing's fiiiine, and then we'll put you back in your box.

Joss: You're a piece of work.

FOX: So I've been told.

[ edited by Jes on 2009-04-17 16:22 ]
Wasn't there also legal trouble a few years later where Universal or FOX (I don't remember how those rights work) sent C&D letters to fans selling Serenity-based fan art stuff?
Yes indeed, to 11th Hour among others.

At the time it felt a little bit like they were fine with unlicenced fan art etc. when it suited their purposes, afterwards ? Not so much.

[ edited by Saje on 2009-04-17 16:31 ]
Way I see it, Foz gets numbers for Hulu, FoD, and iTunes. It's a real shame those numbers don't get released, but we know they're at least as good as any other show, if not better. They're lesser income than live, and much smaller numbers, but surely they're worth more than DVR?
Just pre-ordered the DVD, via the Amazon app on my iPod because I'm still in bed.
Yep Sunfire. I remember how pissed I was that 11th Hour was one of the people targeted. She was one of the first people out there trying to save Firefly through guerrilla marketing, and she not only created some of the most beautiful posters promoting Firefly and Serenity (as well as kickass, llama-free covers for the Serenity DVD), but was also doing art for the role playing game. So they targeted someone who was actually doing official art, and someone who was one of the founders of the guerrilla marketing movement that Universal co-opted to promote Serenity. Angered up the blood, that did.

opps, I type slower than Saje, hehe.

[ edited by Dizzy on 2009-04-17 16:40 ]
May I take this time to giggle like a school girl? Stop it already, my face is starting to hurt from all the smiling! :)
The legal trouble with all the C&D came almost exactly a year after the film was released, during the exact same time that I had launched a "Thank You" campaign, sending thousands of e-mails and letters of gratitude to Universal for making the Film!

-That, my friends, is my personal definition of Irony.
Re: Amazon Store/Whedonesque: I believe that you can go to here and search for things not directly linked or use this for the Dollhouse DVD and this for Blu Ray.
The Serenity licensing fiasco lead to the funniest, most spot on website I've ever seen in fandom - the Browncoat Bill. It absolutely nailed the point and I'm pretty sure caused Universal to back off.
Yeah, that was good stuff :).
Dizzy: Ah. I see. That's kinda annoying. Sounds like it.

Hehe. Yeah, sometimes I'm all oh for the old Alias days. XD
Thanks, zeitgeist.
Maybe it's a good idea to have this link you just gave on the front page? Obviously Fox would love to see good pre-order numbers.
The Browncoat Invoice site is offline (and redirects to something else now), but you can see an archive of it if you missed it.
List Price: $49.98
Price: $44.99


I didn't misremember! Or I did misremember and someone liked my $50 price better.
Hehe, I loved The Browncoat Invoice. It was the perfect answer to the nonsense Universal was heaping on 11th at the time.
Unless the writing gets to the average level of "Angel", Topher dies/fired, and there is a composer change, I cant' see my way into caring if it doesn't return.
J.I.G. - added DVD and BD links in the { shopping } section.
Does anyone get a sense of damage control here? I'm not getting "Dollhouse has a shot"; I'm getting "The Fox execs are not evil and when they inevitably cancel Dollhouse, at least they'll be sad." Which is a nice sentiment and all, but it doesn't make the show any less cancelled. I wish Joss wouldn't add to the false hope.

Or maybe I'm just being Debbie Downer.
Just pre-ordered my season one! I sincerely hope this helps.
I'd preorder the DVD, but I need all the money I have right now... unless they charge you only once it comes out. Then I'd do it.
Grr. I can't see that archive thing because for some weird reason it's blocked.

*Sigh*
They only charge when they ship it. And I would think the price would go back to $35 or whatever it was before. They usually put a 30% discount.
Amazon charges at shipping time for pre-orders.

jkalderash - I'm getting the feeling that Joss was hearing a lot of "uh oh" from fans and critics and was genuinely buoyed by the call from Fox networks. I remain optimistic that if Reilly sincerely likes it, even with soft numbers, then it will be back next year.
I remain optimistic that if Reilly sincerely likes it, even with soft numbers, then it will be back next year.

Oddly, I've been feeling that way for the past two weeks, in the midst of the thickest "it's toast" gesticulating by fandom and press alike.
Should we be mobilizing on Twitter and blogs and such today, given the there's no episode tonight? I'm sure the world at large will again jump to conclusion it's been cancelled if they tune in tonight and find a lack of Dollhouse. I know a lot of people tweeted about this after the EO PR fiasco, but might it not be a good idea to remind folks that yes, this week's break was planned and it will be back again next week?

[ edited by Dizzy on 2009-04-17 18:41 ]
Hopeful is how I'd describe Joss (and it's the word he used). I don't think that was fake or trying to get people to just hang out until the end.

Keep watching, just spread word of mouth without being the creepy fanboy/girl, and keep reminding people of when it's on (like it's not on tonight).
Oddly, I've been feeling that way for the past two weeks, in the midst of the thickest "it's toast" gesticulating by fandom and press alike.


I know I'm a damned broken record on this subject, but Kevin Reilly is the reason we get to enjoy 30 Rock and The Office every week and he's the reason Friday Night Lights stayed on the air in S1 and then got a second season (and slightly less directly, its recent deal for a two more seasons, ordered upfront). He enjoys good TV and likes to nurture shows that have potential, which is at odds with the way a lot of these execs work in an era of "show me and show me now or you're cancelled".
jkalderash - I'm getting the feeling that Joss was hearing a lot of "uh oh" from fans and critics and was genuinely buoyed by the call from Fox networks. I remain optimistic that if Reilly sincerely likes it, even with soft numbers, then it will be back next year.
zeitgeist | April 17, 18:35 CET



I was just reading the X Files wikapedia page.. apparently it got horrible ratings in it's first season (also from being shown on friday night), but Fox saw it's potential and decided to give it another chance.

Maybe they'll make the same leap of faith with dollhouse in the hopes that the move will pay off big time down the road (as it did with The X files).
But Kevin Reily did cancel Aaron Sorkin's "Studio 60 on the sunset strip" in favour of the lower rated and comparitivly lower quality "30 rock".

[ edited by eyeboogers on 2009-04-17 18:50 ]
Should we be mobilizing on Twitter and blogs and such today, given the there's no episode tonight?

Some of us already are (and, actually, have been since last week sometime). My standard tweet:
Reminder: Tonight's preemption of Dollhouse was *planned in advance*. It is *not* cancelled and returns next Friday, 4/24.

Ah, I'm out of the loop. This is what I get for following Shaq instead of any Whedonesquers, heh. Good to know people are on the ball.
But Kevin Reily did cancel Aaron Sorkin's "Studio 60 on the sunset strip" in favour of the lower rated and comparitivly lower quality "30 rock".


That's entirely a matter of opinion. Here's mine: Studio 60 was by far the worst work of a great screenwriter and Sorkin should send whoever called its time of death a big bunch of flowers. 30 Rock is comic genius.

ETA - Studio 60 premiered at 13M viewers and by the end of the season was barely getting 4M. 30 Rock averaged 5.8M over it s first season and is averaging 7.64M in its 3rd (this season's premiere pulled about 8.5M). I think he made the right call.
Should we be mobilizing on Twitter and blogs and such today, given the there's no episode tonight?


I did it thirty-five minutes five hours ago.

http://twitter.com/whedonesque/status/1541713664
So it seems like being proactive right now is encouraging fans (people who are already fans, not just everybody out there who's never even heard of Dollhouse) to pre-order the DVD's. So who plans on being the cheerleader for the spending cause?


ETA: zeitgeist, word. 30 Rock is amazing.

[ edited by Emmie on 2009-04-17 18:59 ]
If Dollhouse isn't renewed, I full expect to see comments such as Dollhouse was by far the worst work of a great writer and Whedon should send whoever called its time of death a big bunch of flowers. Buffy is genius. I'll disagree, of course.
Studio 60 was by far the worst work of a great screenwriter


Back when we stood on the brink a few episodes ago, I was wondering if Dollhouse would turn out to be Whedon's Studio 60. Fortunately that doesn't seem to be the case.
LOL @ Sunfire - you can go back and find me saying so re: S60 during its run (no doubt while "STANDING IN THE MIDDLE OF AFGHANISTAN!!!!"). Dollhouse had a rocky start, but the last batch of episodes has blown me away. I wanted to love S60 and I gave it every chance as it marched steadily downward.
Oh I don't think you'd be one of the ones saying it. I just think opinion on the show is rather mixed, even now.
Definitely, though I'm somewhat perplexed by people who hated any ep since Man on the Street.
I've liked the show from the first scene and have loved it since "Man On The Street" (minus "Echoes" which was both good and fun but not, in my opinion, made of solid win). "But I understand how it's something some people really don't care for at all.

"Needs" and "Spy In The House Of Love" were so good they hurt. Like a fist. A narrative fist.

[ edited by Sunfire on 2009-04-17 19:12 ]
I have to admit mid-Dollhouse I was beginning to think it was very car-crashy for me, as it was wobbly as hell.

I haven't been particularly down on Dollhouse's renewal chances lately. Whilst the ratings are - frankly - bad, the reason I've not been down on it is simple: Reilly wants to keep DH, believe it or not, and 20th are chomping at the bit to keep it for all manner of reasons (international sales, DVD, online etc). I don't know if it'll pan out, but the fact they're negging with a view to keepig it instead of looking to cancel it suggests the ratings data isn't telling the whole story at all.

Also, The Office and 30 Rock were and continue to be the two most watched shows -- literally number 1 and 2 -- with households with incomes over $100k. The ratings for those shows may be relatively small, but the advertising bucks aren't.
Definitely, though I'm somewhat perplexed by people who hated any ep since Man on the Street.


It's not easy to change your tune once you've proclaimed loudly and vocally right from the start that Dollhouse is the worst thing ever. I suspect there will be those quietly backing down from such statements by the end of the season.
Well, there's also the aspect of DH isn't for everybody, and not everybody will like episodes equally. I still hate Echoes.
Zeitgeist, about the studio 60 numbers, remember there was a break of several months befor the last 5 eps aired, everyone thought it was cancelled. I'd always heard that 30 Rocks average viewership was much smaller. And yes ofcourse it's a matter of taste which is better, I personally think Studio 60 is the best thing Sorkin has produced so far, it was groundbreaking television that had something to say, and i don't find that in 30 Rock. I did only watch the first 3 eps of that though, if it's gotten a lot better since I'll give it another shot.?
This is only a side comment, but it seems to me that both Dollhouse and Sarah Connor were set up to fail. These are shows that appeal to younger viewers, and yet Fox programmed the shows to appear on Friday night, the time when young people are away from their televisions. Yes, they'll TIVO and record the shows to watch later, but they'll skip through the commercials. Programs are designed to draw viewers to advertised products, but if people are not watching the commercials, advertisers will take their money elsewhere. Very strange programming, imo.
Remember that besides Hulu, you can watch Dollhouse on Amazon.com for $1.99 for the latest episode (which becomes available the day after the broadcast date). I suppose using either of these authorized ways to watch will count more than downloading off Pirate Bay, so, maybe all parrot-owners should go legit this weekend, to give the network a more accurate head count.
You're right, Peanut Noir. I think Fox was "swinging for the fences" or "throwing the hail mary pass" (sports metaphors aren't my thing). They were hoping to make "destination TV," a night where watching TV would be the thing that the young people did for fun (kind of like BSG parties). It was a gamble that did not pay off, but if they're smart they'll recognize tht and think about the evident DVR popularity of the show when renewing.

EDIT: As for the Studio 60 / 30 Rock debate. I don't know that it had to be an either/or thing. Studio 60 was good and so was 30 Rock. 30 Rock did better in the numbers, and is probalby cheaper to produce. I liked them both and would have liked to see them both continue. Now, I really love 30 Rock, actually.

[ edited by Septimus on 2009-04-17 19:39 ]
Zietgest: And don't forget how many Emmy's and other major awards 30 Rock has won. :)
Eyeboogers: The show has gotten a lot better than its first three episodes, and you should definitely give it another try.
Zeitgeist, about the studio 60 numbers, remember there was a break of several months befor the last 5 eps aired, everyone thought it was cancelled. I'd always heard that 30 Rocks average viewership was much smaller... I did only watch the first 3 eps of that though, if it's gotten a lot better since I'll give it another shot.?


They were down by a bit, but not hideously out of sync with the trend. I'll lay it out:

Pre-break: 13.14, 10.82, 8.85, 8.66, 7.74, 7.72, 7.67, 7.58, 7.17, 7.27, 7.33, 7.25, 6.86, 7.0, 6.39, 6.10
Post-break: 3.90, 4.08, 4.35, 4.25, 4.42, 4.20

Its totally a matter of taste, which is why I encourage people to say "in my opinion" as it is subjective. Tell ya the truth, I almost gave up on 30 Rock after the first three eps, but it found its stride and now kicks butt week in and week out. Its also important to note that when I say what I do about S60 that I do so as a huge fan of Sports Night and West Wing; I probably hold the man to an unfair standard. S60's reach just always exceeded its grasp for my money and it wasn't an issue of finding its footing. I watched it to the bitter end.
I normally refuse to say "in my opinion", as I expect people to be bright enough to understand that it is. ;)
Spend some time moderating and you'll learn that what people assume is that people mean "this is a personal attack on you, and it should be read as fact - p.s. your mother/father/pet goat is a *****" :).
I have the exact same opinion. People always tell me "Well that's you're opinion". Well yeah, that's why I'm saying it.
zeitgeist, where you been hiding? I was about ready to start beating the bushes!
Oh, I've just been lurking, though I've been pretty active the past few weeks. Lots going on in Real Lifetm.
Well, that's just, like, your opinion, man.
We need a Twitter hashtag. Seriously. It is what unified all that (misguided) Amazonfail stuff last weekend. Something like #watchdollhouse.
I don't need to moderate to know that's what people assume, zeitgeist. ;)
Something like #watchdollhouse.

I second the motion.
Why not just #dollhouse? (I may not be fully understanding the usefulness of a hashtag, but isn't that the natural one to use for dolhouse-relted stuff? Or would this be more for organizational tweeting?)
Things can be tagged #dollhouse, but generally people say the name Dollhouse anyway, and that trends, so it becomes semi-redundant. The idea would be to have something specifically geared towards a "watch this show" campaign.

Arguably, it shouldn't necessarily be called attention to directly. Like, maybe it's not about tweeting "OMG WATCH THIS SHOW SO IT STAYS! #watchdollhouse", but more just appending it to other related tweets -- like my sample one about the preemption this week, or a tweet about pre-ordering the DVDs.

ETA: Or, you know, this one.

[ edited by The One True b!X on 2009-04-17 20:40 ]
I don't need to moderate to know that's what people assume, zeitgeist. ;)


I suspected not ;)- it was really more a peek at why I really brought it up, which is just to make moderating easier.
ETA: Never mind. Wat b1X said.

[ edited by Caroline on 2009-04-17 20:42 ]
zeitgeist:
Spend some time moderating and you'll learn that what people assume is that people mean "this is a personal attack on you, and it should be read as fact

Heh. Well, yeah, but in all fairness, that's in large part due to so many people proclaiming their opinions on a subject (especially TV shows) as if they are, in fact, fact. Which I, in fact, would never do... (*ahem!*)
Oooh, that's neat. Never seen that before.
Eh...whatever.

Anyhoo, I'm thinking "Dollhouse" will see a second season regardless of the doubters in the room. Have faith in Joss.

Hi Caroline!
will.bueche wrote:


Remember that besides Hulu, you can watch Dollhouse on Amazon.com for $1.99 for the latest episode (which becomes available the day after the broadcast date). I suppose using either of these authorized ways to watch will count more than downloading off Pirate Bay, so, maybe all parrot-owners should go legit this weekend, to give the network a more accurate head count.


I would pay for anything really, if there is an international payment standard which is not PayPal or credit-cards, like our iDeal system in Holland (it's an electronic banking method in conjunction with the banks, every payment is realtime, and secure, and the goods are usually delivered the next day)

I have PayPal and WireCard, but it scares me to actually use it.

Ok, I have a solution, release dvd's worldwide regardless of regioncodes :P And don't go syndication on me, thats getting very old.
What about a promotional clip that sums up the episodes so far???

I haven't seen a single Dollhouse video that nicely sums up what's going on in the verse so far. Sure, I've seen ones of the first 3 episodes... but nothing really up-to-date. And, knowing what we know now about those episodes then sheds a whole new light on how to market this puppy.

I would love to e-mail all of my friends and say "Ya gotta see this!", send them the clip, they will love it, and will click (which we will provide), to Hulu/Fox to watch the episodes, & get caught up. AND, there will also be the "watch time" on it for them to tune in. As not-Echo said, "Show don't tell."

I know that's how my friends roll- they love watching clips on YouTube. We get a GOOD one up there that sums up everything, and that'll help.

So... who's going to make the clip? I have no understanding of such things.
I said something very similar the other day, korkster (and I picked the idea up from someone who said it earlier). We need a good "catch up on dollhouse" video to show folks.

(Sadly, my similar post also said the part about having no understanding of such things...)
Yeah, but we gotta exist somewhere here. I mean, check out all of those Buffy videos and Angel dedications. And if I could count all of the Firefly tributes I've seen... I don't have enough digits (fingers-wise).

Also, the last two weeks on Bones I've noticed that they do a "if you're just now tuning in, here's what you missed so far clip". I'm interested to know if that's working. I don't think that should be played with Dollhouse (it takes us out of the world), but it would be great for on-line usage.
I've been thinking about how they could make more money...Dollhouse doesn't really lend itself to merchandising the way Buffy and Firefly did. What are they going to sell? "I gave up 5 years of my life and all I got was this lousy t-shirt"? Or maybe a playset of Topher's lab with your very own imprint chair? C'mon Joss, at least give us a logo for Rossum.
What about a t-shirt, Echo was my Doll? or November was my Doll?
If we're gonna preorder the DVD, they need to let us know about episode 13 airing or not. Just cause it's something I want to know.

I still think the rating system is antiquated. Clearly, Hulu and Itunes and DVR is giving a pretty decent boost to the ratings, so why is the show still in limbo?
Krusher I think Dollhouse T-shirts could be awesome!

"Team Alpha"
"I rent humans at the Dollhouse"
"My sleeping pod or yours?" (with the 5 bed star picture)
"Co-ed showers lead to man reactions"
Front: "Did I fall asleep?" Back: "Just for a little while"
"The attic isn't so bad...wait...what?"
I'm an editing nerd. Maybe if I have not-laziness I could do it. What would be good clips?
I could lay out some clip sequence ideas, if you want suggestions of a kind of narrative arc to follow. It'd have to be later tonight though.

[ edited by Sunfire on 2009-04-17 22:33 ]
Would it even be able to stay up on YouTube? They're usually removed within seconds due to copyright claims.
I have no knowledge of Twitter, other than Felicia Day uses it. But if there is a campaign (or whatever... Tweeting friends to make them watch it), tell me where to go and what to do and I do it.

[ edited by SteppeMerc on 2009-04-17 22:34 ]
Oh man, this thread has brought back some memories. I joined Whedonesque right in the thick of Universal's "THIS MOVIE IS GOING TO BE HUGE BECAUSE YOU'RE GOING TO MAKE IT BE HUGE!" campaign, and let me tell you, right up until the end of 2005, it was a crazy, crazy emotional rollercoaster. Like Simon, I still remember the shock of those first weekend numbers. I've still got a Serenity ad from my local newspaper up on my wall which touts it as "The Next Great Science Fiction Adventure." Nostalgia...

I also remember Studio 60; amazing pilot, lackluster everything else. I have never seen a show reduce in quality so drastically from its first episode. As for 30 Rock, I thought it was brilliant from the very first episode (and has remained so).

The thing with Dollhouse is that, since the opening episodes were iffy, it's going to take a hell of a lot to get people who weren't keen on it to give it another shot. I've learned not to judge something immediately, especially if it shows promise, or is from someone you know is capable of making something good. That's why I haven't dropped Parks and Recreation after two stunningly unfunny episodes; so many talented people are involved that it could get better.

And, oh yeah, I'll do the Twitter thing. I kind of hate Twitter, but I'll use it to do this.
Actually, alexreager
Front: "Did I fall asleep?" Back: "Just for a little while"

is a genius idea for a Dollhouse t-shirt.
It occurs to me that since the DVR & hulu numbers matter (albeit less than live nielsen numbers), it would be better for non-nielsen houses to watch it on dvr or hulu than to watch it live, correct? Non-Nielsen live viewing is essentially irrelevant to whether it's renewed. In fact, fans are arguably doing a disservice to the show's chances if they watch it live rather than online or dvr (unless of course they have a Nielsen box). Is this correct or am I missing something?
Wow I totally missed that boat didn't I? Thanks hacksaway.
Jobo & Sunfire that would be awesome if you could. I know I'd be forever in cookie debt. :D

Enisy, I just did a "dollhouse" search on YouTube, and while most of it is FoxBroadcasting stuff, there are also fanvids out there. If it became an "issue", maybe our tuna guy could seek out permission for it or something. *hint hint*
I could lay out some clip sequence ideas, if you want suggestions of a kind of narrative arc to follow. It'd have to be later tonight though.

Send me an email if you get time with some ideas. I'd be happy to get to work. As I said: nerd.

Actually, alexreager

Front: "Did I fall asleep?" Back: "Just for a little while"


is a genius idea for a Dollhouse t-shirt.


What dzr said. I would buy this in a heartbeat!

[ edited by rjl on 2009-04-18 03:39 ]
As has been said before by others, they really should have made ads, both for TV and the Web, using the news segments from "Man on the Street". Funny that I now have 13 such clips sitting in a folder on my laptop.

[ edited by The One True b!X on 2009-04-18 04:00 ]
"Needs" and "Spy In The House Of Love" were so good they hurt. Like a fist. A narrative fist.

Just wanted to repeat that.
I'm really enjoying Dollhouse after quite a lukewarm feeling about the first few eps. And I'm telling people so on a regular basis.

With respect to tweeting, though? Meatloaf said it for me. ;-)
bix, would it be wrong to release them from your laptop?
Not until I find a cleaner way to make what I'm doing work. (I'm not just pulling out those segments, I'm trying to put a unifying wrapper around each one. But I'd also rather have a "cleaner" copy of the episode.)
I made a "Studio 60" comparison early in this season, as a warning of what I thought Dollhouse should be. S60 shot itself in the foot with too many episodes that emphasized the on-air comedy show itself, which was painfully dull and unfunny. It shined when it stayed focused on what was going on backstage during the show. As someone pointed out, the pilot was brilliant, and had almost no in-show comedy skits. In the same way, "Dollhouse" was pedestrian when the episode is about an engagement (like Stage Fright), and magical when we see the machinations of the Dollhouse (like the last few episodes). It is unfortunate that the network specifically asked for the first few episodes to focus on the least interesting part of Dollhouse.
Fair enough bix. I tried to stretch my brain on this project, but was left with a headache. So with that, I leave it to others to do.
Well, I had nothing to contribute to the idea actually being discussed upthread. So I amused myself by putting these together. When they're actually ready, I'm going to need 13 people with accounts on video hosting sites (Youtube, Vimeo, whatever, even self-hosted would work).

Each will get one clip to upload to their account, and then tweet the URL (with some sort of minimalist text, including the #watchdollhouse tag). Those details I'll work out when I finish up the actual clips.

[ edited by The One True b!X on 2009-04-18 05:53 ]
I know I'm a damned broken record on this subject, but Kevin Reilly is the reason we get to enjoy 30 Rock and The Office every week and he's the reason Friday Night Lights stayed on the air in S1 and then got a second season (and slightly less directly, its recent deal for a two more seasons, ordered upfront). He enjoys good TV and likes to nurture shows that have potential, which is at odds with the way a lot of these execs work in an era of "show me and show me now or you're cancelled".


This is exactly why I've never panicked about Dollhouse's success (other than the fact that I choose to be Zen and eat a lot of fruit).

Front: "Did I fall asleep?" Back: "Just for a little while"


I love that shirt! I'd buy one. But one tiny nitpick, it's "For a little while." There's no "Just".

[ edited by electricspacegirl on 2009-04-18 06:17 ]
Since we've been discussing the DVD here, this seems as good a place as any to mention that I just got an email from Amazon with an estimated delivery date of July 28th, and the price is currently down to $31.99.
Hrm. I haven't received that email.
Isn't this the first time fans/viewers have had the seemingly golden opportunity to influence the saving/success of a Joss series through DVD sales while the series is still on the air ? Angel doesn't count 'cause DVD sales for it wouldn't have saved it on The WB, us buying more DVDs wouldn't have lowered the licensing fees 20th Century Fox was asking and The WB wasn't willing to pony up. Also, was in its fifth season.

I know they're separate entities, but it seems like very strong DVD sales (or promising pre-orders, in this case, since we might need the support now if Dollhouse really is on the bubble) mean more this time because 20th seems to communicate with Fox The Network (Fox Broadcasting?), they're at least somewhat related and have converging interests moreso than 20th had with The WB. And also keeping in mind that yes, we are a small percentage of the overall [North] American viewing population, even so...isn't this a huge opportunity ?

I'm not betting on the DVD set selling as well as Firefly's, Dollhouse seems to have polarized Whedon fans even more than Firefly did in 2002 (like Firefly, it may be a different story after these 13 episodes are long since aired and word has spread, we'll see), plus Dollhouse doesn't have the advantage of the sometimes insane fervor that accompanies well-regarded space-set sci-fi. Then again, maybe it's more accessible to the mainstream viewer who doesn't like spaceships and future-set material.

Joss pretty much instructed/advised in that interview, as gently and diplomatically as possible, fans not to start up a "Save Dollhouse!" campaign. Should it be a "Buy Dollhouse!" campaign instead ?
The thing I like personally and subjectively about "Watch Dollhouse" is that is encompasses or can be comprised of all of it -- save it, buy it, it's back on 4/24, etc.

[ edited by The One True b!X on 2009-04-18 09:13 ]
B!X I have some accounts on hosting sites. You can mail me if you like.

I was also toying with the idea to doing a dollhouse 'recruiter' vidlet (it would be a bit of a rush job as I usually take a time to do vids) - a concern though is that I don't want to put people off .....
The Do That Girl, Do That!

Seriosuly, I think a recruiter vid could be really cool. Yeah, it would be creepy, but isn't that part of the idea of the show? I don't think it would turn people off.
Now that we know how horribly Prison Break is going to perform, let's hope it doesn't drag Dollhouse down any more. I hope DH can still hold it's numbers attached to dead weight.
It would have helped if Hulu had been allowed to have the entire season up, not just a handful of episodes, so that we could have spent the past week, and the next, encouraging people to catch up if they haven't. We could even have assigned each episode to one day, where we encouraged people to watch each one, day by day.
Septimus I meant a 'recruiter' to the show not for actives ;)

Although now you come to mention it, that is a seriously creepy idea and could work. Now if only I had 48hours in each day.
Someone brought up Dollhouse with me recently. Problem was, she was only on episode 2, and didn't realize Hulu takes down the older episodes. So there's an audience out there who are interested, but don't have the time or determination to watch it every Friday. Much like with Firefly.
Here's what using the MotS news segments looks like, in the form of the first of thirteen clips. (The rest, once I assemble some people with YouTube accounts to give one apiece to, will be uploaded out of order over the next several days. I'm writing up the instructions to make sure the YouTube info and the announcement tweets maintain the same format, etc.)
Is there someplace to let you know if we're willing to loan our YouTube accounts, bix?

Well. I will choose this place. I am willing to loan my YouTube account (sumogrip).
I have a YouTube account as well, if you still need volunteers.
Ah, yes, sorry. Email me via the address in my profile, if you would please, and when I've got a full list I'll start divvying up.
Prison Break did worse than both T:SCC and Dollhouse (with its demographic down 25% in rating below "Spy in the House of Love" last week from what I hear.) I might just be stupid, but I see this as extremely positive news. Prison Break has been a steady show, and I'm sure execs were planning on seeing a (slightly) better if not equal audience to Dollhouse. Could this be a big neon flashing sign that says, "It really is the night, not the show?" They haven't had an even remotely successful Friday night in years! As GOB from Arrested Development would say, "Come on!" I'm just worried that the week off might mean lower numbers for next week...

[ edited by marvelknight616 on 2009-04-20 07:33 ]

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