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August 06 2009

Fox's Kevin Reilly and Peter Rice talk Dollhouse at the TCA Press Tour. Kevin Reilly, Fox's Entertainment President, said "Joss is an incredible creator of TV shows and the show got better and better as the season went on". Peter Rice, Fox's Chairman, added "In the second half, he really found the show and started having fun with it... It's going to be much smoother sailing this year". iFMagazine indirectly quotes Reilly as saying the first season's numbers would "give him confidence to order the back nine [of season 2] and perhaps even a third season".

Premium Hollywood:
The renewal of “Dollhouse” for a second season was due to the die-hard Joss Whedon fans, but Reilly swears that “it didn’t factor in from a fear place. It was more from a positive place. Those fans were there every week, and they stuck with it in a way that a lot of television fans don’t.” Now that he’s worked out the hiccups in the show, the official mandate for Season 2 of “Dollhouse” is for Joss to keep doing what he does.
Emphasis added.
OK, so the network were also happy with the second half of the season (which was apparently "pure Joss"). That's a strange mix of reassuring and hella confusing given the apparent ructions over the first half.

Still, best to see it as a good thing I suppose.
Someone really should write a book about the story of Dollhouse. I'd buy it!
What's the point of hieing someone like Joss if you're going to micromanage him? If you wnat it done your way, then do it yourself!

There has been a big (in the industry anyway) fuss recently here about the BBCs drama development process, with accusations that numerous execs give out endless notes on a show, before passing the project up to the next commissioning level, who then come out with their notes and so on.

So it's not just Fox...
“I don’t think he was having any fun and we were a big part of that, and ultimately once he hit his stride, I don’t think we spoke,” says Reilly. “It was an ambitious show. It wasn’t a straight ahead linear concept. I felt that struggle and challenged him on some things and he completely engaged on it, gave it thought and attempted to address it. I think it did very well and it never came down to ‘you’re trying to make me do a show I don’t want to do.’ It never came to that place. I can’t say enough good things about him.”
Reilly says he would be happy with the same numbers from last year to give him confidence to order the back nine and perhaps even a third season.
"We want the same stability we had last year," says Reilly. "The same ratings would be just fine. We’re looking at the cume as well. I’d like to see it continue its creative consistency, which I believe it will and I want to see a show we can lock in to week in and week out."
Lots more at this link. Read.
Reilly says he would be happy with the same numbers from last year to give him confidence to order the back nine and perhaps even a third season.

My jaw has dropped down to the floor.
Reilly says he would be happy with the same numbers from last year to give him confidence to order the back nine and perhaps even a third season.

Was that actually said or is that what ifMagazine thought was said? But any road I've added it to the entry as it's bound to be picked up elsewhere.
Well, it does read to me like "The same ratings would be just fine" is pretty directly about a back nine. It's not written enough clearly to show us that it's also related to a season three, like the article claims. I'm trying to poke from iFMagazine people to see if there's a clearer exchange in the notes and/or recording, if there is one.
What Saje said, plus the fact that PR is PR is PR.

I am happy to hear anything positive about the life expectancy of Dollhouse.

Apropos of almost nothing at all, I had a dream this morning that Enver Gjokaj was helping me make the bed and spread out the handmade quilt - which surprised the hell out of me, since I... well, since I've never seen Enver make a bed.

I can't think what it might mean.
I can't think what it might mean.

Yeah, a real mystery there.
I may regret this but I'll state that it's my belief that Dollhouse will have Fringe levels of success this season and will be a breakout hit for Fox. Course I may look a complete twit when the show gets axed after 4 episodes but I really do think it's going wow the critics and the audience. And do really well (for a Friday night anyhow).

I can't think what it might mean.

You need your sheets changed?
There's no way it can be a breakout hit as it's on Friday night before two half hour comedies, one not shown for 18 months.

But I said to one of the cast members the other day - I think they will get the back 9 episode order. I also think they may get a season 3. It's a weird show in a commercial sense (come on, it's a Joss show, of course it is), but the key difference this season - and, you know, I've seen this with my own eyes - is everybody is much more confident about it creatively. Including the network. I think the big surprise will be the shift in Whedon fan response to the series.
Where do I hit the "like" button? Oh wait, this isn't Facebook. Darn.
Your word in Topher's ear, gossi . I need more Dollhouse. I am such a Joss addict, it's not funny anymore.
I think the big surprise will be the shift in Whedon fan response to the series.

I'm biting. What shift do you see in our future, gossi?
Love and pain, fan-friends.
Simon: You need your sheets changed?

Yes, by Enver, apparently. Who knew?
You know you're rich when you can get your housekeeper from the Dollhouse.
So that's the purpose of the Dollhouse?
Was Fox visited by 3 ghosts? I can't believe how rational and respectful they are being about the show. I almost feel on edge from such kindness but yay for realistic expectations! It's much more simple and fair that way.
I had the nicest experience at Comic-Con and in LA with Fox. I went to a screening of the 2nd episode of Glee -- which is brilliant and my new favourite show, by the way -- and I was sat right behind Pete Rice and Kevin Reilly. Who were at Comic-Con, in the audience of a random screening. They were clearly watching the crowd, listening to the Q&A portion and taking it on board. Everybody thinks execs are disconnected from their audience and shows; those guys aren't. Then I saw Rice on the set of Dollhouse wibbling away, then the two of them were at the TCA basically saying they believed they should order the back 9. So not all execs are Marcus Hamilton.
Reilly is the man. How can we not like this guy now? Not all suits are evil!
Back 9 for Season 2? Season 3? I'll believe it when it happens. And I was actually one of those sticking my hand onto Nu-Fox, and I'm still skeptic.
But I don't understand. I thought the ratings were abysmal - even considering 'new media'; am I missing something? I am delighted for the renewal, but don't see how they could actually have been satisfied with such a low level of 'viewer endorsement'. Or perhaps it is relative to FOX's other shows, not to the competition within the timeslot?
It's a combination of the timeslot, the cumulative ratings (DVR, etc), demographics, and general sense that Joss' shows have a value over time that many other alternatives do not.

[ edited by The One True b!X on 2009-08-07 02:10 ]
Dollhouse is also cheaper now than in season one to produce. Plus no building of the set, full casting etc to do. It lowers the ratings to profit ratio.
Plus we never get to see the Tivo and iTunes figures. They could have been a lot better than expected.
Plus, it's made by Fox Studios so there's no telling what kind of discount Fox network will get so that Fox Home Entertainment can release multiple season sets plus eventually a full season set and then the 20-year commemorative set plus ... well, you catch my drift. ;)
Reading these comments is kind of heartwarming. I've said it before and I'll say it again: zeitgeist really called it, when he kept reassuring people about Kevin Reilly last year. I think it's probably rare to get this much support from the execs. I'm starting to get an oddly positive feeling about the show's chances in season 2.

... So will this be when they pull the rug out from under us and kill off our favorite show when least expected? It'd be a move worthy of a Joss script, after all ;)
I hope they decide to license "Epitaph One" and run it as a special sometime. I think "post-apocalyptic struggle for survival" is a theme that connects with viewers more easily than the construction of personality, so it might draw new viewers. Plus a whole lot of scenes would lend themselves to a 30-second spot capable of kicking it.

Exits. Returns, after a pause, to say

"It" being "ass."
So is that ifMagazine article saying that Joss was offered a better timeslot but turned it down?
The bit I'm referring to is this (and now that I reread it I don't think it can really be taken any other way):

"As for the Friday time slot, Reilly says the low expectations on Friday night also factored into the second season renewal.

“There’s less pressure on it and when we told Joss what we were going to do, ‘we can give you better time slots, but you’re going to be under a lot of pressure’ I believe what he said to me, ‘I’m actually comfortable staying on, rather than having a bigger rating and the pressure of not being able to see the order through,’” adds Reilly."
If we get a back 9, I believe I may have to make a "I <3 Reilly" shirt.

I hope it comes true. How sweet would it be to have Joss on your TV for 5 more years??? *bliss*
You can borrow mine, kork!
Let Down, it kind of reads to me more like they had a conversation about why FOX wanted to stick with Fridays, and that Joss grokked it and agreed, rather than FOX having actually offered one.
Speaking of Dollhouse/Fox support shirts (yeah, check out that segue; that's some nice transitioning), I was watching the special features on the DVD today and one of the interviews has Joss wearing a zip-up hoodie with the Dollhouse-surrounded-by-pods logo on the... lapel? Anyway, are those commercially available? I want it so badly.

[ edited by Jobo on 2009-08-07 04:39 ]
I'm taking this as a positive sign on Fox's part. After all, it's quite clear "Dollhouse" took a creative turn for the better after the fifth episode and even they must have noticed the change. Joss knows how to tell a good story which tends to lead to people wanting more of the same. Eh, shame they didn't ask us first, we could've told them that to begin with.

Anyway, looking forward to "Dollhouse's" second season. You know, I think it's going to rock big time!
Thanks zeitgeist. ;)

Jobo, last time I checked I had only seen Dollhouse t-shirts. But my last time was pre-CC, so who knows.
You know you're rich when you can get your housekeeper from the Dollhouse.

I bet his hospital corners are amazing.

... it kind of reads to me more like they had a conversation about why FOX wanted to stick with Fridays, and that Joss grokked it and agreed ...

Yeah, I read that more as "we could offer you a new timeslot [but we think it'd be a bad idea]" and Joss agreeing.

Well, it seems like Fox are actually doing what we've hoped for all along - looking at the "long tail" of Joss' stuff and taking a risk on that basis. Turns out all that stuff Fox said about experimenting with new ways of doing things wasn't just marketing bollocks, who knew ? Anyone ? *ignores zeitgeist's hand in the air* Yeah, see, a complete surprise to us all.

(course, i'm still reserving judgment slightly - cos talkin' ain't doin' - but the signs look promising)
I'm happy. And I hope that *we* as Joss' fanbase & consumers, don't let either of them down. *heads off to budget 6 more Dollhouse DVDs* Come on, people. Time to wallet up.
Walleting up just for a copy for myself was irresponsible enough, that's all they get from me. ;)
I thought that was a rather droll (and appropriate) response about how there was a Save Dollhouse campaign before they actually got around to making it. Now granted it probably could have had a helping hand to make the handful of episodes at the beginning a bit better, in any case it's nice to see them even try to put a positive spin on fan reception that starts off demonizing them. (Sort of like that kerfluffle about the cast of Futurama possibly getting replaced but I think that was actually 20th century's fault.)
bix, I get ya. I was just so proud I remained within budget during CC. Granted those 6 more won't be bought in one fell swoop, but I think a bimonthly installment can be done. Already have a scheduled "loan" for someone to catch Epitaph One.

orangewaxlion, I think Reilly gave the Dollhouse campaigns too much positive credit, but I don't blame him for letting the the water go under the bridge. Personally, and I believe my initial reaction was also an added problem, is that it brought so much focus to the Dollhouse and their birthing-pains that it actually hurt the initial episodes... more than they deserve.

But now, that's all done with. And as I sit here, tattooing Fox to the inside of my left arm, I think we've all reached a *better* place, and because of that, Season 2 will blow us away.
Dear gossi if you're still in this thread: is there any chance you could invisi-text your spoilery posts on Dollverse or at least put spoiler warnings before them? By glancing at your site I just learned much more about Alexis Denisof's character than I wanted to know. It's your site and you can, of course, do as you please with it but I'd be surprised if I'm the only one who was accidentally spoiled reading it. Cheers
I was pleased with Kevin Reilly at NBC and I'm even more happy with having such an awesome guy as an exec. He sees the potential and critical/fan love towards certain shows and keeps them around because of it.

Currently got the same feeling I had the days before the Dollhouse renewal, with all the promising articles turning up. Hopeful!!!

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