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August 31 2009

T:TSCC's Thomas Dekker says "it really came down to Dollhouse or us". He says the reason Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles was canceled is that "Dollhouse was a lot cheaper".

Can, worms, everywhere! ;)
But we knew this already?
Yeah, I thought that too, gossi. :)

Now we have his word against Kevin Reilly's. This should be fun.
SCC did look like an extremely expensive show, what with all the terminator CGI, explosions, cars, location shoots, etc.
But we knew this already?

We knew about the cheapness-factor, sure, but it's still wildly speculated (admittedly more so between TSCC-fans) whether it actually was an "either-or" between these two shows. For a lot of people this question is crucial in determining whether they should hate Dollhouse or not. :)
TSCC telemovie possible? YES, PLEASE KTHXBAI. ;-)
Terminator was more expensive - naturally - had lost over half it's audience and some of the execs threw their weight behind Joss Whedon on Dollhouse. That's ultimately what happened.

Doesn't mean Terminator was bad. I enjoyed it.
. For a lot of people this question is crucial in determining whether they should hate Dollhouse or not. :)


Fox isn't a charity.
Fox isn't a charity.


Did I imply that? Sorry, I might not understand what you mean by that.
This is one young actor's take on it, as well. Not sure I believe his any more than anyone else's.
Sorry, I might not understand what you mean by that.


Nothing to do with you, it's me commenting on the naive attitude that some fans have when it comes to a network airing a show. "Of course my show should get a new season despite its poor ratings and its massive costs".
There is still ill feeling between some of the Terminator fans about Dollhouse. But it happens, it happened with Dark Angel and Firefly.
This is one young actor's take on it, as well. Not sure I believe his any more than anyone else's.

Exactly. Well, I might believe Kevin Reilly a bit more, even though he was talking to the press and basically had to say it wasn't an "either-or", but still. :) In my mind, it cannot be an either-or between two shows, because every new pilot and every current show get taken into account when a new schedule is formed. TSCC "lost out" to Dollhouse the same way they "lost out" to Lie to Me, Fringe and say Human Target, yet nobody in the TSCC-fandom is dissing those shows.

[ edited by wiesengrund on 2009-08-31 16:43 ]
I loved T:SCC and wouldn't want to have to choose between it or Dollhouse since I also love that as well.It would be great if there was a TSCC T.V. movie to wrap it all up but like TD said,I'm not sure how likely that is since Terminator:Salvation came out this summer and from that last report from McG,they are moving forward with Teminator 5 even though Salvation didn't do well in the U.S. box office.I think it did better in the rest of the world.

From my understanding,the only reason T:SCC got a second season was because Warner Bros. agreed to lower the cost for renewal.And the only reason Warner Bros. did that was because they wanted to use the series to hype Terminator:Salvation.

[ edited by Buffyfantic on 2009-08-31 16:53 ]
A miscast Thomas Dekker was one of the major reasons TSCC did not have success in its first two seasons.
Dollhouse is a show that performed poorly in its freshman year. TSCC - on the other hand - was a show which performed poorly as a freshman show and a sophomore one - ie. it had developed a negative track record, and was consequently canned. If Dollhouse similarly continues to perform poorly, it will most likely suffer the same fate as tSCC did, and rightfully so.
I liked the show, but it was already on its third chance by the time Dollhouse came along. The pairing was supposed to help both shows, but it didn't happen. Don't they think Fox would have liked to have a block of shows that complement each other? SCC had been seen by 18 million viewers and only 2 stuck aroud. Dollhouse hasn't been given that chance. It's a shame that some are holding a grudge.
Plus TSCC was given more hype in its first season (Deputy Vice President of fox Joe Early called it the "biggest campaign for a new mid-season show in years.") and a better night.
lets just hope TSCC fans don't get too upset over these comments. I have both seasons on blu ray, but in the end, both shows should be considered independent.
What's the problem here? We won! Now let's kill off the stragglers. Rarr.
I think we won by default, doesn't help when the management shoots the other team. Also we weren't really in competition with each other in the first place.
Where is it popular overseas? It's not in the UK, neither is Dollhouse to be fair.
I think it's doing pretty fine in Germany.
We terminated them. They won't be back.
...doesn't help when the management shoots the other team.

It helps if you're not them ;).

T:TSCC was a good show that had moments that raised it well above the network TV bar but also made some mis-steps IMO. Still, I don't see how anyone can claim they weren't given a chance (pretty much the same slightly surprising chance 'Dollhouse' is now getting for a second season). I wanted it to continue but the fact is the ratings didn't justify it and whereas the end of season buzz was on the way up for Dollhouse, for T:TSCC not so much. Add to that Joss' track record of making 20th money and it seems reasonable they'd be more willing to take a punt on him.

That aside, it never was an "us vs them" thing and it never will be for me since I enjoyed both shows. Never have understood that whole "I hope this show is cancelled" thing, if you don't like it don't watch it, simple as that.
It got silly. I stopped watching it. Other people loved it, obviously not enough, subjectivity and all that. I'm not crying it got cancelled.
TSCC had already been given several chances. Fox would have loved to have had both shows be a hit, how can anyone seriously doubt that? One was failing and had already been given a couple of chances. One was new and deserved the same chances that TSCC got.
If Dollhouse didn't exist I still think Fox would have cancelled TSCC.

IMHO having several episodes with hardly any Cameron in them was what did the damage in the shows momentum. The ratings dropped and never recovered from there. The most interesting storyline and you ignore it for a few weeks? I thought at the time that we'd hear that Summer was unavailable for some reason and that's why they had to do it but it really looks like they actually decided that"Cameron is boring. Lets focus on something else!"
Well, in fairness, they focused more on Sarah and that's not entirely unreasonable given that it wasn't the Cameron Baum Chronicles (I didn't think too much of those eps either but I can understand the rationale).

Commercially/ratings wise it didn't make too much sense though, totally agree (especially when, judging by links on here anyway, it seemed like a lot of the promotional stuff centred around Summer/Cameron - if you sell a show partly on "Hot Terminator Kicks Ass" then you better have the hot Terminator on the show when people tune in).
I agree with pretty much everything Saje, zz9 and others along the same line are saying. I enjoyed TSCC and am sorry that there will not be a season 3, but there certainly was a point in S2 when I said,"What are they doing?" I kept watching and it got more interesting again, but I'm guessing that is where they lost a lot of viewers.

Resenting Dollhouse for staying while TSCC is leaving does not make a lot of sense. I'm guessing some of the same people will resent Summer's appearance on Dollhouse as well, no matter how illogical.
Great, just what we need, another group unfairly blaming a Joss show for a cancellation. Though in this case, TSCC was awesome, and obviously deserved to continue along with Dollhouse. I really don't see how it is fair claiming it was due to Dollhouse, since it was losing a lot of viewers (for some insane reason, because it was awesome) before Dollhouse came around.

Saje, it should have been the Cameron Baum Chronicles (or the title I always though it should be, The Adventures of John and Cameron). The ones that focused on her (and her relationship with John) were way better than the ones with Sarah. She was easily the weakest link of the show. She wasn't bad, but compared to the rest of the cast and characters...
I'm guessing some of the same people will resent Summer's appearance on Dollhouse as well, no matter how illogical.


Much in the same way that some people resented James Marsters for guesting on The WB show "The Mountain" after Angel got cancelled. That storm in a teacup lasted about five minutes and then we all got on with our lives.
The trouble the show had when it came to focusing on Sarah was that her life was almost entirely dictated by the forces around her. (My entry into the poster contest was about exactly that.) There really isn't much to Sarah Connor except her son John and the Skynet/Terminator threat.

IMHO, when they tried to tell stories that attempted to add something to that, it tended to not quite work right. She was always the most interesting to me when she was written as being the product of that one job: Protect her son, at the expense of everything else.
Overall, I enjoyed S1 of TSCC much more than Dollhouse S1, so I was not surprised by it receiving a second season. However, mid-season when things were getting vastly better on Dollhouse, TSCC was focusing on the "does Sarah have cancer" and "girlfriends about to betray everyone" plots and less on the more interesting "what's up with Catherine Weaver and John Henry" plots. They went from a mostly-action show to an mostly-emo show with only a bit of terminator stuff (obviously a budget saving move). Unfortunately, they lost a lot of viewers who didn't bother to stick it out until they got the balance right again. I know I had less interest in watching during those episodes, and timeshifted my viewing.

I get that the die-hard TSCC fans are crushed about it's fate, but I'm really tired of the Dollhouse bashing as a result. I fully expect that if Dollhouse doesn't live up to the quality of the end of S1 and hold/increase its viewers, that it too will get the ax.
Facepalm/headdesk combo.

I stopped watching TSCC around the time MizBehavin1 is referring to because the plot was dragging on and not getting anywhere. After a good first year and a decent premise for a second season, I expected more. I never stopped watching Dollhouse and felt rewarded by the second half of its first season. So while I understand the way fans feel about TSCC getting the ax, I wish they would stop demonizing our show.

I loved Dead Like Me but didn't trash talk Weeds when it joined Showtime's lineup as a replacement.
What happened to TSCC should be cautionary note for DH. We shall see.
TSCC had about a three-Episode stretch in the second season, where someone decided they should actually concentrate on the Sarah Connor character. Looked good on paper, but unfortunately, Sarah Connor wasn't the character folks were interested in. Summer's Cameron character had just come into her own, and Dekker's character had been breaking loose from the shadow of his Mom. Just a bad move, really. Their viewer numbers tumbled over 50% by the time that story arc was done.

And they never recovered.
I can't agree with people criticizing Season 2. I really liked some of the darker, more personal direction that some of the episodes were going in... the last two episodes were incredible, especially with the really wham character deaths.

But TDBrown is right, those three episodes were the ones that bothered me the most, way more than the stuff about Riley (who I didn't like, but I really liked John's reaction to her and... the person from BSG, whose name I can't remember). That to me was the main problem, not changing from action to so called emo. I loved the darker, more personal stories... as long as they were about John and Cameron, or even Derek, not Sarah.
It should probably be mentioned that the famous three Sarah-centric episodes in the middle of S2 that lost so much viewers were the first three episodes after the move from Monday to Friday.
Indeed. The network should have veto'ed those episodes, or worked with the producers to say 'Hey, you're moving to Friday night...'
I just didn't like the way those middle episodes didn't go anywhere and seemed random and off topic.
They seemed to be trying to humanise Sarah which is fine except a big part of the premise going in was about how close Sarah is to a Terminator and whether she can hold on to her humanity and still guide John Connor to become The John Connor, it was one of the elements of suspense of the show. When you humanise her you blow a big part of the show's raison d'etre (at least if you're still claiming it's The Sarah Connor Chronicles - it'd be like Buffy subverting Slayerdom mid-season 3 instead of right near the end).

Riley was fine IMO, the character offered ways to watch John's response vs Cameron's response as well as conflict between pure moral pragmatism vs personal happiness, she was "ought vs is" writ large IMO and it could've been handled as a nice parallel to how Sarah trains John, could've asked questions about how far she should be going in her quest to save humanity by proxy vs staying true to her love for her son. And I also very much liked Stephanie Jacobsen's character, particularly how she was allowed to actually be Australian in some of her responses, rather than just an American with a funny voice, felt like they could've done more with her.
I hope this doesn't transform into some kind of Dollhouse vs SCC tribalism...
A little late on that hope. It did that the moment TSCC was canceled.
I lost interest in TSCC after about the fourth episode in a row that centered around a new character with an interesting story that just got dropped at the end of the episode.

Also, I got completely lost in the whole "bloody prophecies on the basement wall" thing. I never could seem to nail down who wrote on the wall, where the wall actually was, or why it was important.
Even if that were true, which I believe is only a fraction of the story, someone in the biz should have sense enough not to state it.

Regardless I never loved T:SCC. I watched every episode almost, it had it's moments but they got fewer and far between till it felt like a chore I had to get through to watch Dollhouse until I quit the last few episodes. That night we got news Dollhouse was renewed was all I needed because to me T:SCC had become inconsequential. I'm sorry for you fans all the same as we can all relate to shows we love ending before we believe they should.
It is probably just a fraction of the story, though a fraction from one of the 3 main cast members of TSCC who one would think would have a decently close inkling of SOME of what was going on between Fox TV, Warner Bros. and the Friedman-Middleton combo re: the show's Status McFuture.

Should TSCC fans blame Dollhouse? Nope. Should they blame Fox? Sort of...they're a business and they had a property that cost a decent wad of cash for licencing fees, special and practical effects, and other major expenditures. A property that started off with good ratings but bled them off over "2" (1.5 technically) seasons through choices over episode content, reduced episode budgets and the issues related to having a TV series that would be great for pushing the then-upcoming Terminator: Salvation...if the projects had been able to be linked in a synergeous manner. There's lots of reasons for why TSCC got cancelled and Dollhouse got the return nod, reasons few people really know in any collective way.

So yeah...I wish all and sunder from TSCC's cast and crew a hearty "Good luck!" in their future endeavours - Summer and her upcoming TV guest shots, Thomas' upcoming horror movie roles, etc. - and hope that a DTV/DTD project will be done if Battlestar Galactica: The Plan does well. The demise of TSCC was grave for a lot of fans and their desire to see more is heartening for those who invested time and effort into things, but those are the people who stayed the course...not the Joe Blows who Fox wanted to reel in to pad the numbers up and push product at every week.
I really don't believe it was an us vs. them in spite of what Dekker says here. T:SCC declined from 18 MILLION viewers at premiere to like a one share over the course of two seasons and it was impressive that they got a second season. I greatly enjoyed the show, but this kind of us vs. them splintering the fandoms nonsense is counterproductive, lazy, and lame. Rest of rant goes here. And... end scene.
I'm sick of TSCC fans blaming DH every chance they get though. It's almost guaranteed that any Dollhouse article will have at least one TSCC fan bitchin' bout the show in the comments. It's tiresome and childish and isnít going to bring their show back. So why bother? Of course itís probably just the loud-mouthed annoying fans ruining it for all the other TSCC fans who donít do this so I donít want to make sweeping statements about an entire fandom. After all, a lot of DH fans are Terminator fans and vice versa.

I tried to give TSCC a go (watched the 1st season and a couple episodes of the 2nd) but I just couldnít get into it.
I loved T:SCC, but I've also got a very soft spot for Shirley Manson so I probably would've loved it no matter what. I hope that Summer's guest spot on Dollhouse & whatever the rest of the cast does is so amazing that they decide to make a direct to DVD movie. And soonish.
Maybe I'm just dense, but I don't see all this fan hate everyone is talking about. In the article he said it came down to DH or TCCC, and in his opinion production costs made the choice. TSCC was absolutely a ratings failure, but if memory serves me DH wasn't exactly breaking records.... That FOX was willing to grant a reprieve to one underperforming show with cult potential is nothing short of miraculous. Hoping for both programs to be renewed was just too much!

TSCC was a good show that failed to find it's audience. On it's best days it rivalled anything in DH. On it's worst days, it far exceeded the most embarassingly bad moments of DH.

I really hope DH succeeds. I'm a pretty hardcore Whedonista, but to be honest Dollhouse has been 50/50 for me so far. If it continues to flounder in the ratings I won't be surprised if it doesn't get a full season, let alone a season 3....
Maybe I'm just dense, but I don't see all this fan hate everyone is talking about. In the article he said it came down to DH or TCCC, and in his opinion production costs made the choice.

No one said the hate was coming from Dekker. It's been spotted routinely since TSCC's cancellation, coming from a vocally immature segment its fandom.

[ edited by The One True b!X on 2009-09-01 04:04 ]
Yup! If you go onto Dollverse right now you can see that when they linked to Summer Glau appearing on DH, there's at least one TSCC fan on there complaining about his show being cancelled. Not only do the small portion of them complain but they actually go onto DH fan sites to do it. It's been going on since the day TSCC got axed.
I've read in a few places that the problems with season 2 are result of Fox meddling. They dictated that the show stop with all the arc storylines (which I thought were fantastic, loved John Henry) and attempt at more stand-alone episodes. The whole "blood wall" was supposed to lead to a new adventure/mystery every week.

Yay, my first post!
If anything shouldn't "Dollhouse" fans be mad at the TSCC community for the show being such a crappy lead-in and thusly hurting "Dollhouse" right out of the gate?
DH built at least a milliion viewers on T:SCC when that was their lead in. Alot of people said that PB was going to be a better lead in, but the DH ratings didn't dive until FOX gave that weird hiatus for the 2 hrs of PB that did terrible in the ratings anyways.

FOX claims that DH's lead-in doesn't matter. (As evidenced by their new lead-ins being sitcoms.)

[ edited by edcsLover9 on 2009-09-01 12:46 ]
I couldn't get over the 'Sarah Connor isn't played by Linda Hamilton' thing. And having met Linda on the weekend - I'm never gonna get over it. :)

I did see Thomas Dekker, though didn't speak to him. He's a cute little thing.

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