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May 18 2009

FOX's official fall schedule. The Live Report says Dollhouse will still be on Fridays. But Human Target won't be its lead-in; rather, two comedies--Brothers and 'Til Death--will ring in the new season.

This also confirms Terminator is dead, 'cos the midseason schedule is also out there.
Why is Dollhouse listed on the fall and spring schedules? Either good news or very weird scheduling...
Maybe there is an option for another 9 episodes to make it a full season? Or there could be a lot of breaks because of fox sports.
Well, DH has the option of the back 9, so FOX is probably working from the assumption that it will be back. Since assuming they're going to cancel it doesn't looks so good to the public.

EDIT: Also, I'm gonna take all the credit for the DH renewal news, since this is the official word. Sure, Joss posted, Maurissa tweeted, blah blah blah. But what does any of that mean? ;)

[ edited by Jobo on 2009-05-18 16:41 ]
But Lie to Me is not on the spring schedule. And the other shows that got 13-episode orders are midseason replacements....

Never mind, gossi said on End of Show that it's just the 13-episode order still.

[ edited by jkalderash on 2009-05-18 16:45 ]
I was just saying in the other thread that it's a bit strange too have comedies as the lead in isn't it? Arguably not the same audience

And doesn't Til Death have absolutely dire ratings?
I also thought it was kind of strange. And my understanding is that 'Til Death was a somewhat-surprise renewal as well (but was apparently super-cheap to produce, hence keeping it). So yeah. But it's not exactly like we can accuse FOX of trying to bury Dollhouse anymore, is it? :p

Still, wondering about how the whole tone thing is gonna affect viewership. "Let's have a laugh this Friday, babe! Hah! Oh, compromised Paul, you dog!"

[ edited by Jobo on 2009-05-18 16:45 ]
Til Death has the poorest ratings for any show, before it disappeared ages ago. No lie: that will be brutal, and it's an odd pairing.

Ultimately, what FOX are saying is this: we believe Dollhouse can survive regardless of the lead ins.
So they're making a tv show out of the awesome comic, Human Target?? Cool.

Now if they could just make a Madrox show, my evil plan will be complete.
As long as Dollhouse isn't scheduled against Chuck, I don't care what it is paired with.
Yeah, I think you're right gossi. They clearly have a reasonable amount of faith in the show to succeed. But expecting it to succeed with a really poorly rated half hour comedy as a lead in is brave / crazy. Still, I'll wait and see - FOX really deserves benefit of the doubt now
Any idea what DH would need to do to stay on the air? Obviously, nobody can know for sure, as this renewal pretty much proved. But... let's say it stayed at 3 mil. viewers, consistently, never dipped below but never really got higher. Is it done for? Is FOX renewing it on the basis of probable growth, or because it's still technically profitable as-is?
Yeah, I've been wondering the same thing. If it just needs to hold steady then I reckon we're good for a few more seasons
I thought many of the arguments about why they renewed it (other thread) had to do with how people watch programs now (Hulu, DVD, etc). If that is the case, why should it matter what the lead-in is?
I think you get the point baxter, but still, seems harsh to me :)
Hulu and DVD accounts for less than 10% of the revenue for a normal show, baxter. Admittedly, Dollhouse is not a normal show, but still. Ratings do matter. Proof: Terminator.
I suspect that Dollhouse is going to be treated the same way as Terminator was in its second season: picked up for a second season despite steady ratings declines over its initial run, with the added stipulations of a slashed budget and a partial season run that could be extended to a full season depending on how well it does. Lets just hope it can make a better use of its time than Terminator ended up doing.
baxter, the vast majority of the money comes from advertising revenue from live viewing (and, to a lesser extent, DVR viewing). Some have suggested that part of the reason Dollhouse was renewed was because of Hulu, DVD sales etc and while I have no idea whether that's true or not I think we can pretty safely say that those things would at most have just tipped the scale in favour of renewal. On their own they just don't bring in enough money and if Dollhouse continues to fall in the ratings (which I doubt will happen) then they wouldn't be enough to save it

ETA: i.e. what gossi said in fewer words

[ edited by Let Down on 2009-05-18 16:59 ]
Sit-com lead-ins?

Maybe they're changing the show more than we thought!?

Seriously, I wonder if this indicates an expected increase in the funny...
Personally, I'd like to see it get decent viewership, instead of just struggling towards adequate. With this lead-in, it's almost certain we're going to be panicking over the back 9 pick-up and a second season.

Don't get me wrong, it's amazing-awesome-fantastic that Dollhouse got renewed. That amazing-awesome-fantastic news makes all things better, but if we *ignore* that news, it's not good to have a lead-in with such terrible ratings.

There's still a while until the fall season, though. Who knows what the schedule will actually look like by then?
*** friday night's graveyard shift is now known as the friday night's graveyard shift of the living dead
I'm a little concerned about the Til Death lead-in. It's good to know that Fox has faith in Dollhouse and thinks that it has the potential to survive regardless of that, though. Still, I was hoping they'd consider SYTYCD as a lead-in.
So, here's an awesome dilemma we could face: Cabin comes out on a Friday. Oh, or maybe it's a Thursday. Point is, it comes out right before the weekend. Does Joss's entire Nielsen-viewing fanbase get pulled away if DH gets the back-9? Interesting.

[ edited by Jobo on 2009-05-18 17:02 ]
Sit-com lead-ins?

Maybe they're changing the show more than we thought!?

Seriously, I wonder if this indicates an expected increase in the funny...


Yeah, I was joking in the other thread that Joss's season 2 pitch must have been to turn it into a half-hour sitcom. Could be good
OK, then I think it seems to have been a very poor lead-in choice. I would agree that the audiences for the 8 and 9 slots would seem to be very different.
I'm not going to worry over the ratings this season. Why? Hello last year.
How do those two shows do on Hulu and iTunes and stuff? Maybe Fox is using Fridays to air stuff that they expect to monetize more online or elsewhere?
Til Death hasn't even been on the air since... erm, I can't even remember. They took it off air 'cos it was so low rated. I can't imagine it being a big online show. Sony cut them a deal to make sure it reached syndication. That show really is being burned off.
Any idea how many episodes it has to go? Is it just starting a new season now? If not, maybe FOX just wants to get rid of the final episodes and then give Dollhouse a better lead in
Maybe FOX have just accepted that the normal rules don't have to apply for a Friday night and, as gossi suggests, they don't feel the need for the 8pm and 9pm offerings to really connect. The TSCC/Dollhouse pairing would, on paper, seem like a match made in heaven but that didn't really work out so why not try the opposite approach and let the two timeslots fend for themselves, as Dollhouse did even when paired with Prison Break.

I'm not basing this opinion on anything more than pure speculation but seems to me like they know they will never have a hit on a Friday night and especially in the 8pm slot so what's the harm in filling it up with cheap sitcom programming. Terrible ratings at 8pm might even lead to Dollhouse looking all the more impressive at 9.

This is me looking for that half full glass option, as you may have guessed.
Til Death aired its last episode in October, as far as I remember. Pretty long hiatus.
A hiatus of almost a year. LOL.
as Dollhouse did even when paired with Prison Break.

Dollhouse's ratings plummeted even further when it was paired with PB

Terrible ratings at 8pm might even lead to Dollhouse looking all the more impressive at 9.

But the question is whether Dollhouse is profitable, not whether it looks good compared to a cheap sitcom which FOX got a good deal on.

Still, the people at FOX must think this won't destroy Dollhouse. They're not going to order 13 new episodes and then do something they think will kill it
I've seen an episode of 'Til death, and I wouldn't worry about too big a shift of tone leading into Dollhouse. Anyone watching Til Death, I can guarantee, will not only not be laughing, but will know what it feels like to have their personality sucked out by an evil soulless vapid corporate creation.
I'm not sure how many people thought this, but when DH went on hiatus for the 2 hr PB airing, I know alot of people who didn't find out DH hadn't been cancelled until they saw the eps on Hulu. I think the hiatus is what hurt more than the PB pairing. IMHO.
I see you guys are puzzled by the Friday schedule, too. Comedy followed by sci-fi? Do they think a Brad Garrett comedy will attract sci-fi fans? Also, why three hours of "So You Think You Can Dance"? Idol isn't THAT annoying. Let's hope DH's high DVR numbers trump everything and keep it viable.
In an accompanying press release today, FOX specifically touts Dollhouse's "+40% increase from Live + Same Day to Live + 7 Day, making it the #1 most time-shifted show on network television". (See below for the other things FOX touted about the show.)

It could be that to some extent they at this point simply don't see the lead-in as particularly relevant. Rather, perhaps they're hoping that over time viewers will transition from DVR to live.
* DOLLHOUSE ranks #1 in its Friday 9pm time period among Adults 18-34 and Men 18-34 and #2 with Adults 18-49, Adults 25-54, Women 18-34, and Men 18-49/25-54.

* DOLLHOUSE delivered FOX’s highest-rated Friday series premiere in over four years (since 1/14/05) among Adults 18-49 and Adults 18-34.

* DOLLHOUSE delivers an educated audience, surpassing its Total U.S Adults 18-49 average in “Adults 18-49 with 4+ Years of College.”

* DOLLHOUSE averages a +40% increase from Live + Same Day to Live + 7 Day, making it the #1 most time-shifted show on network television.

b!X looks like Fox is starting to "get it" or maybe they've just invested more in their spin department. Also, televisionary gives us a little bit more info than is in the source article:
Fox Upfronts Report
* DOLLHOUSE delivers an educated audience, surpassing its Total U.S Adults 18-49 average in “Adults 18-49 with 4+ Years of College.”


I was going to say "Gosh, really?" but then I realised it didn't surprise me at all. This is definitely a smart fandom, I guess because intelligent writing attracts an intelligent audience.
That sitcom is going to kill Dollhouse. Why can't they put Dollhouse on a decent night?
"Friday is going to kill Dollhouse."

"Prison Break is going to kill Dollhouse."

"That sitcom is going to kill Dollhouse."

Just sayin'.

[ edited by The One True b!X on 2009-05-18 17:40 ]
Also, won't Dollhouse have a sort of not-really lead-in with Chuck? Yes, a different network, but I imagine there must be many Chuck fans who have yet to check out Dollhouse and vice-versa.
If Dollhouse is going to survive for the long-haul it needs to start attracting an audience in its own right instead of relying on a good lead-in.
I'm no expert by a long shot, but the return to Fridays does puzzle me.

Surely the fact that there's such a huge timeshift in viewing with DVR, Hulu, iTunes etc. should be telling them that the numbers would go up in a better timeslot?
I'm going to kill Dollhouse. I promise I'll be quick about it.
How much difference do lead-ins make? Do people not own remote controls?
I still think Fringe and Dollhouse look pretty together. Not that either would really work at 8PM.
Well they're already putting Fringe in a delicate make or break situation here, maybe they're trying not to take too much risk, not that Dollhouse would kill it, but they don't have the same moneymaking ambition

I'm happy with dollhouse returning, now let's do our job with mouth to ear, bluray orders and so, we have much time, and even if people in tvbtn comments already declare the show dead (again), let's show Fox they made the right shot
* DOLLHOUSE delivers an educated audience, surpassing its Total U.S Adults 18-49 average in “Adults 18-49 with 4+ Years of College.”

And that's why all the commercial breaks and many of the promos had a scantily-clad Eliza?
Hey - maybe they'll think twice about the promos this time? Also, maybe they'll get different advertisers this time too - considering those stats :D.
Why is Dollhouse still on Friday?
FOX give it a second chance only to put it back in the death slot?
* DOLLHOUSE delivers an educated audience, surpassing its Total U.S Adults 18-49 average in “Adults 18-49 with 4+ Years of College.”

Haha, to think that when I suggested the exact same thing I was criticized so very much...

This schedule is baffling to me, but I figure that Fox has earned enough goodwill for now for me to accept it.
FOX give it a second chance only to put it back in the death slot?

Yes, the death slot that resulted in... renewal. If this is death, I can't wait for it to die again next year.
Ha! And I was told I couldn't do anything with my degree!

I can watch DOLLHOUSE.

Take that you academic advisor!
I'd like to say I'll ignore the ratings next year, but I think the only way I could really manage that is by ceasing to visit Whedonesque. And I just can't do that. And as long as I know the ratings, I will worry about them.
I have to say it was my first year watching Whedon and seeing the ratings. It obviously wasn't that happy an experience, but I do now know a tiny little bit about American TV. Now, I have nothing to do with that sparce knowledge, but hey, maybe it'll come up in a pub quiz!

I'm very happy for everyone involved and the support of Kevin and Paul and edcsLover9 - that's exactly what I've done with my degree :D.
I think I'm more concerned about Fringe now than I am about Dollhouse. I can't see Fringe doing very well on Thursdays against Grey's Anatomy.
Oh, look.

The bees are gone.
Ameer, do you think/believe/know there are a lot of "Grey's Anatomy" fans who also like "Fringe"? They seem like two very different audiences to me. Just sayin'.
So, is there any way that we can encourage Fox to keep up more (all?) of the episodes on Hulu throughout the summer? They only have the five most recent up, but it would be nice to get the second half of the season ont here from "Man on the Street" forward. That would definitely help in the recruiting drive, and can't imagine it would hurt DVD sales much.
Did you see this quote from the Fox head:

""We did see it trailing off a bit, and ultimately we made the bet on Dollhouse. That's it for Terminator. If we canceled Joss Whedon's show I would have got 110 million emails from his fans today."

Hee.
Eh, I still don't think this is a good sign of confidence in Dollhouse by Fox. I preferred the previously rumored pairing of Human Target with Dollhouse but now scheduling two sitcoms, one of which might actually had a lower rating than Dollhouse's infamous 1.0 for season finale, as the lead-in, makes it seem like Friday is their burn-off day. At least with the previous DH/TSCC pairing they were trying for a sci-fi night concept which showed some thought to the pairing. It'd the same for a Human Target/DH pairing. Anyhow I'm going to keep my expectations low for S2 like I did for S1 and be pleasantly surprised if S2 can somehow get a back 9 order for Spring '10.

[ edited by spiralout9 on 2009-05-18 19:06 ]
Eh, I still don't think this is a good sign of confidence in Dollhouse by Fox.

OMG, you're right! Renewing it despite it's ratings issues is a total dis! They've ruined it forever!

[ edited by The One True b!X on 2009-05-18 19:07 ]
I still believe the Human Target pairing may happen. Notice Human Target is completely missing from that schedule. I'm willing to bet a tenner if those comedies tank, HT gets rolled out to replace them.

[ edited by gossi on 2009-05-18 19:09 ]
HT isn't missing from the mid-season schedule, just the fall schedule. It's after Idol in the mid-season schedule I saw somewhere.
"Dollhouse's ratings plummeted even further when it was paired with PB."

That wasn't really my point, Let Down. What I was saying was that Prison Break was clearly never intended to be a good match for Dollhouse and that FOX can't have imagined that it would be popular enough to help boost Dollhouse's ratings, therefore that Dollhouse was fending for itself even then, same as it will be with these sitcoms acting as lead in.

"But the question is whether Dollhouse is profitable, not whether it looks good compared to a cheap sitcom which FOX got a good deal on."

True enough, for the most part, but Dollhouse has to prove profitable regardless of the show or shows that happen to be on before. However, and again this is far from being a scientific opinion and more one to do with basic human common sense, if all the other shows on the same channel and the same night as Dollhouse do significantly worse than Dollhouse happens to do then surely that can't hurt it's cause. Assuming the show is making a reasonable profit then being a hit in comparison to anything else they have on offer that night can't exactly be a bad thing, right?
Dollhouse had a 12-week first season run on Friday nights and still got picked up. If the DVR numbers and live viewer grow a little during the second year it´s likely they´ll order the other 9 episodes. I´d rather have Dollhouse safe on Fridays than competing with other high-profile shows during the week.
Ameer, do you think/believe/know there are a lot of "Grey's Anatomy" fans who also like "Fringe"? They seem like two very different audiences to me. Just sayin'.


I agree, the shows do have two very different audiences but I know quite a lot of people who're into both shows.
Or many guys who want to watch Fringe can't watch Fringe because their girlfriend controls the remote and wants to watch Grey's Anatomy instead. ;)
One more reason to be single. Or find a better girlfriend. ;)
I watch Fringe, Grey's and Supernatural. I'll have to make some hard choices this fall. Grey's will probably end up being a Hulu show for me, now that it will be available there.
"One more reason to be single. Or find a better girlfriend. ;)"

Absolutely! What would you be doing dating a girl that wanted to watch Grey's in the first place? That's just asking for boredom. ;)

[ edited by The Pagan on 2009-05-22 22:06 ]
If the DVR numbers and live viewer grow a little during the second year it´s likely they´ll order the other 9 episodes.


I think the question would be, grow from which number? Assuming total viewers doesn't matter at all and the 18-49 (and 18-34) male demos are most important, does Dollhouse need to get at least an average of 1.5 again? An average of 1.0 doesn't seem like a safe bet.

OMG, you're right! Renewing it despite it's ratings issues is a total dis! They've ruined it forever!


Heh actually I think getting a S2 is amazing enough. However, I'm trying to keep my expectations about Dollhouse getting more episodes than just the 13 rather low because, no, I don't feel Fox is 100% behind Dollhouse. To me, Fox seems a lot more confident and supportive of a higher tier of shows like Lie to Me and Glee, and DH is closer to the bottom of the tier along with Til Death and Brothers. That said, again, I feel getting a 13-ep S2 is a victory in itself and any extra episodes ordered after is a total bonus. And I'm not going to hate Fox if DH ends up not getting the back 9 if its ratings do suck again.

Re: Fringe - I am a little surprised by its new time slot too. Everyone keeps mentioning the Grey's Anatomy competition but did people forget The Office as well? The Office got 3.5 in its 18-49 demos which actually beat CSI's demos according to TVBYN. I assume The Office's demos are higher for males 18-34, the same with Fringe so that kind of direct competition would be very interesting to watch in the fall.
Hulu and DVD accounts for less than 10% of the revenue for a normal show, baxter. Admittedly, Dollhouse is not a normal show, but still. Ratings do matter. Proof: Terminator.

Terminator is produced by a different studio; DH is "in house". Therefore they can capture other revenue streams with DH better than for Terminator, and I'm pretty sure that's a big part of the difference.

The Friday night slot doesn't bother me. They are already using a more complex set of calculations than just "ratings must be x in order to continue". I'd guess that part of it is that they are actually going to target the audience that time shifts. It'd make sense to cede the stay-at-home-on-Friday-night audience to other networks, and try to own the time-shifting market for that night. Especially if they are able to capture alternate income streams (DVD sales, etc.) -- which in the case of DH, they are.

Think of it this way: there's a low opportunity cost on Friday nights. Ratings are already going to be low -- so you lose less by giving up a bit of audience on an underperforming night in order to gain the show that performs relatively more strongly with time shifting. You'd want to put shows that are relatively less time-shifted into slots where the stay-at-home audience is largest.
I think if Fox does a little advertising to make people realize Dollhouse is on Friday's at 9pm then perhaps people will know to turn the channel after Chuck or Ghost Whisperer. And of course Joss&Co need to make the best episodes they can. Those two factors will create buzz and buzz has the potential to get people watching. Getting people to watch will ensure a 3rd season.

But Right now I'm going to enjoy looking forward to season 2!
I wonder if Fox couldn't make space (i.e., surrender commercial airtime) across its schedule to offer "Dollhouse Moments:" Short (one or two minute) snippets from the show that, even taken completely out of context, look amazing. Most of us here could draw up candidates for these clips in our sleep.
They could also take each of the interview bits from Man On The Street and use them as promos.
b!X, I think they already did that over at watchdollhouse.com... ;-)

But yeah, something other than smash-cut, 30-second blipverts that are so full of sound and fury they obliterate the "feel" of the show. Interview segments or selected unbroken scenes--either would be more effective at drawing new viewers. And LA freeway traffic flowing over a nekkid Eliza, while certainly arresting, tells a viewer nothing about the show.
Brilliant idea, b!X. That would absolutely work to drum up interest. Kind of like how Flash Forward is being advertised - although hopefully less WTF-y.
I hope that the loss of Remote-Free TV (that is gone, right?) and a second season mean that those bumpers before the ads with naked Eliza with freeway traffic on her will disappear. As a friend of mine said, "I love the show, but seeing those makes me feel like I'm watching a soft-core perfume ad."
Alan Sepinwall reports on the Fox conference call. I don't think it's anything new, but I figured I'd like it here.

[ edited by AnotherFireflyfan on 2009-05-18 21:13 ]
If the DVR numbers and live viewer grow a little during the second year it´s likely they´ll order the other 9 episodes.


But how much chance is there of that actually happening? I'm trying to look at this as positively as possible, especially considering how amazing it still is that the show is coming back at all, but I'm having a hard time seeing how Dollhouse's ratings could improve any with this scenario. If anything, having an even worse lead-in could conceivably drive the ratings down even further. For now, I will give Fox the benefit of the doubt seeing as they've earned it, but I can't help worrying a bit nonetheless.

I still haven't seen it discussed much what kind of ratings Dollhouse would need to have in season 2 to continue past these next 13 eps. Would it need to just stay steady where it has been, or are they expecting the ratings to improve to a signifigant degree?
I think theoretically, we should be able to take the average of S1's demos and if S2 gets about the same, then Fox may pick up the back 9. Since the budget is lower for S2 vs S1, then maybe DH can survive on slightly lower ratings. However, I agree with those that said DVR viewers doesn't help that much. It'll be important for DH to maintain live viewers.
No one knows what they are measuring and it is obvious that ratings are now only a portion of what is taken into consideration. The dynamics are changing and Nielsen is no longer the only arbiter of success. I think that is a good thing for a couple reasons, one of which is that amateur ratings analysis by every fanboy who can figure out a percentage no longer has any meaning and can now cease. :)

The rest of the data that is taken into account is blessedly not public and cannot be agonized over.
The rest of the data that is taken into account is blessedly not public and cannot be agonized over.

Like that's going to stop them? ;)
Well of course ;) . Actually all this mulling through ratings and numbers can be fun in a way. It's like fantasy sports. Instead of rooting for your favorite teams/players, you're rooting for TV shows instead. But it's all in good fun. It also helps to understand why your favorite shows get canceled and not freak out when they do.
The rest of the data that is taken into account is blessedly not public and cannot be agonized over.


Until it is made public of course, after which...
The point is that there is data which is never made public.
However, I agree with those that said DVR viewers doesn't help that much.

I think it's not bad to keep in mind a Kevin Reilly quote here:

The DVR numbers are a marker and it is a factor. We did see an uptick in ratings. We [went from a]1.5 to a 2 in the DVR plus 7 numbers. That was a pattern we liked."


He's talking about the seasonal average, I guess, which does clock in at 1.46 demo rating Live+SD and a 2.12 Live+7 (up till ep 9) as of now. Maybe we should keep an eye on that.
No one knows what they are measuring and it is obvious that ratings are now only a portion of what is taken into consideration. The dynamics are changing and Nielsen is no longer the only arbiter of success. I think that is a good thing for a couple reasons, one of which is that amateur ratings analysis by every fanboy who can figure out a percentage no longer has any meaning and can now cease. :)


I believe strongly in standing up for the right of myself and others to conduct "independent research and analysis" of tv ratings and publishing such speculations on the internet for the consideration of others. It's part of what makes the internet so great.

I am now stepping down from my soapbox.
Agreed Wiesengrund - it's interesting. They seem to be taking the demo as post Live +7.....
brinderwalt, of course you have the right to do it. It is just painfully obvious that it isn't as important anymore and is just marginally informative. Of course the Interwebs are full of silly stuff like that.
brinderwalt, of course you have the right to do it. It is just painfully obvious that it isn't as important anymore and is just marginally informative. Of course the Interwebs are full of silly stuff like that.


Yes but that implies that you think it was anything more than marginally important or informative in the first place, about which I disagree. If anything, the emerging market demographics make an even more entertaining topic of discussion (see this thread for instance).

[ edited by brinderwalt on 2009-05-19 01:52 ]
Are we assuming that we'll get at least the full 13 ordered? True Calling was canceled early on in its second season, even though more eps had been scheduled. The remaining eps weren't filmed, IIRC.

How many eps will have been completed, usually, of a 13-ep order by the time the first couple have been aired? I'd like to think that we'd get at least the full 13 on DVD if the worst happens and ratings are terminally crappy. But hadn't ME only about half-finished filming when the first eps aired?

[ edited by shambleau on 2009-05-19 06:31 ]
shambleau, why are you planning on the cancellation for a show that we are celebrating being picked up? Can we worry about cancellation next fall? Please.
shambleau isn't planning on the show's cancellation, but merely trying to determine the worst case scenario possibe in the future. It's an entirely appropriate question given the core topic of this discussion thread: Fox's upcoming scheduling plans and their potential ramifications on Dollhouse.

I wouldn't expect Fox to produce any fewer than the 13 already promised. If they felt uncomfortable giving the show that long, I think they simply would have made the initial pickup fewer than 13.
I think the point some of us have is: Do we really need to be smacked in the face with "trying to determine the worst case scenario possibe in the future" right off the bat? Do we not get to enjoy the fact that all the previous dire predictions of doom and gloom did not, in fact, come to pass and in a few short months we get new Dollhouse?

That's a rhetorical question, obviously. ;)
It will be a topic of discussion sooner or later. I can totally understand why many would rather talk about it later, but at the same time why others would rather get it over with now. For myself, I fall somewhere in between.
Sorry. It didn't occur to me that I'd be bringing anyone down by that. Natural mode of thought for me. Please continue with your enjoyment and I'll just mutter to myself over in the corner. I can respect "sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof" thinking, even if I can't live by it myself.

[ edited by shambleau on 2009-05-19 04:16 ]
People just seem to be jumping the gun on Season 2 worries and predictions of doom, is all. Of course people are free to do that as part of civil discussion. But count me among the people finding it a bit off-putting. The show's got 13 more episodes ordered, a DVD coming out with a new ep at Comic-Con, and a possibility for a back 9. It's true that many things could go wrong there but I'm generally rather guarded in my optimism, and I think it's really good news.
Maybe we can defuse the worst case thing a little bit by saying that Friday obviously works differently. Tru Calling was competing in a timeslot where advertising meant much more than on Friday. Dropping from 2.5 to 1.9 can be (and was) interpreted as losing a lot of money which led Fox to believe that there's better money to be had with something different there. With Dollhouse being on Friday 9pm I don't see that scenario happening. It dropped to 1.0 and got renewed. I don't see anyone at Fox going after 3 episodes "Well, it dropped to 0.8, shut down production of this incredibly cheap show immediately, because I know we can et a 0.9 with a rerun and that's the money we are looking for!" I don't see it happen. Also, if something else fails on the schedule, I also don't see them going "Shut down Dollhouse, we better burn off the failing Lie to Me/Fringe/Human Target/Glee in that slot." Dollhouse is cheaper than all of these shows (guestimate). I think 13 episodes (plus "Epitaph One") will be aired in the fall, and the back 9 sound realistic to me.

I really think Dollhouse has found its niche in the Fox schedule, and looking at the claimed stability-theme Fox issued a few days ago, I think that's okay. If they don't care about a 1.0, I won't. If they don't care about a horrible lead-in, I won't. If they make "a bet on Joss Whedon" I take it not only to mean "We are having a conference call, so we can't say '"It was a screaming cheap deal!' so we gotta figure something else." I take it also to mean that they got some of his long term financial viability. I see this renewal as their first step in trying to create a stable franchise there.

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