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October 01 2009

All new Dollhouse season two advert. Since Dollhouse goes up against Stargate Universe and Ugly Betty tomorrow, FOX continues its multimedia campaign to tell people about Dollhouse with this trailer. (Which appears to be the only one aired all week).

Did they make a Friday Night Lights pun? That's kinda cute. Unless I misheard.

Anyway, it's nice to hear them call Dollhouse "the main event" but it still doesn't fit even a little with the other two previews.
You have got to be kidding me.
Cheers, b!X. I've edited it to Youtube.
Oh. My God. What are they doing? Trying to cut costs is one thing but that was just nonsenical.

Guess it's time to give up the idea of additional episodes. :(
Oh. My. God.

God they suck. Why don't they just hire fans to make the trailers or even let Joss do it? How can these people be paid to screw up so badly?
My pitch remains just airing 15 or 30 second scenes from the upcoming episode as ads. If FOX doesn't know how to sell the show, just let it sell itself.
That was hilarious! We're a weird species.

Guess it's time to give up the idea of additional episodes. :(

Are we there already? Isn't it just a really bad ad? Or should I be feeling grumpier about it?
It's mainly just a really bad ad. But it certainly doesn't help draw anyone in. Anyone it does draw in will just be pissed off at the bait and switch.
Not only is it a bad advert, I do believe it's one of the only ones to have aired this week? Or possibly the only one?
The only one reported so far, at least anywhere I've seen.
Who thinks up this shit?

Someone please uncouple the "Dollhouse" promos from whatever those shows are airing before it. They are clearly targeting a different audience.

I'm glad the FOX executives "appear" to understand and support "Dollhouse," but I sure wish they'd clue in their PR department. And their scheduling department.

Pickles, anyone?
Last season someone here mentioned that Eliza's contract with Fox went thru August 2009. Since we're now past that, could she & Joss move the show to a new network if Fox doesn't renew it?
Saw two ads for Dollhouse during Fringe tonight in my area.
Were they different, Anonymous1? Tell me there's been some proper advertising somewhere tonight. Cheer a guy up.
Has FOX sent our further screeners? If the episodes coming up really are that great, get some buzz out there and show that in the ads.
Steve, yes, in theory 20th could sell it to some other network. Just spectacularly unlikely that any other network would pick it up unless 20th subsidised the cost hugely or someone thought they could really do far better marketing it. Can't see it happening. (20th would very likely still make it, just sell it to another channel, like Buffy moving from The WB to CW)

Of course, we're nowhere near Fox cancelling it yet! Lets at least see how the ratings trend before writing the obituary....
The only thing I'm going to say about the ratings is they're going to be TERRIBLE for tomorrow, FOX will lose the entire week for its key demos (and by lose, I mean come last), and the media will more than likely blame Joss Whedon.

Also, none of that is a joke.

These promos are, however, a joke. From a business point view, the thing is pretty incredible. Somebody from the studio needs to run across the lot and tell the network people they actually like the show.

Are there even plans to do so?
Exactly what gossi said.
I seriously thought it was a prank ad. Now I'm sad to read that it was for real. Come on Fox, pick up your game
Yeah, I saw this ad during Bones tonight and it was heartbreaking, because at first it made me super excited and then it made me feel... worried. I understand why they felt they had to cancel Terminator, but it was such a good match with Dollhouse. I don't know who thought these shows would flow well. I guess they just threw together all the leftovers, which is the most depressing part of all. Dollhouse should never be considered leftovers.
The only thing I'm going to say about the ratings is they're going to be TERRIBLE for tomorrow, FOX will lose the entire week for its key demos (and by lose, I mean come last), and the media will more than likely blame Joss Whedon.

So basically the show is doomed. Good to know.
Thanks zz9. Yeah, I agree with the let's-be-positive philosophy. My question was out of curiosity, not pessimism. Thanks.
While I doubt any other network would ever, ever buy Dollhouse right now... it'd be kinda nice to see it on some network like the CW. Except, a version of the CW that's not in the toilet.

Basically, I just want the halcyon days of Buffy-on-WB to return. But with Dollhouse.
That's so Fox.
lol! Hacksaway wins the thread.
Sarcasm doesn't always come over that well in writing. And we'd prefer it if Whedonesque link titles weren't quite so scathing. (Comments? Different matter, of course). So, edited.
Yep. That was pretty bad.
And yeah, Hacksaway wins the thread. =P

I can't get the youtube to work past 15 seconds. I remember She has been programmed to be a Mom or something like that. Was that in the youtube?
I don't remember anything about Friday Night Fights being mentioned.
I'm sorry... that just made me laugh. I just have this vision of 2 million really misinformed comedy viewers turning on Dollhouse and going "... the hell?"

Then again, I'm not sure there are that many comedy viewers for those two shows.
I hope FOX has told Joss flat out that they can't afford to promote Dollhouse, because I'd hate to know he's like us, sitting on a couch somewhere saying WTF?!
I've decided not to watch the preview.

I've also decided to be really excited about every episode of Dollhouse we see, and rewatch the DVDs a lot.

And if the show does get an order for more episodes, there will be a lot of partying.
Eliza's gonna be on Loveline tonite....someone should call in and ask her WTF is up with this.

Oh well, an ad is an ad.
I wouldn't ask Eliza about it. The advertising (or lack of) isn't her fault, and she is unlikely to rage about things in public (the "Thomas Dekker" effect as I now call it) as she's smarter than that.

I think the problem may actually be from the top down (at the network). I call it the "Millions of fans" effect. When Universal started advertising Serenity, they talked about millions of fans (the first trailer mentioned them, in fact). I remember Simon asking where these millions of fans are, and people seemed to think he was joking. He wasn't. You can't have a new Joss Whedon property and expect millions of people to turn up. He doesn't have millions of fans. His shows do.

[ edited by gossi on 2009-10-02 05:03 ]
Well, one good thing that may help is that Eliza is gonna be on Letterman and Jimmy Fallon next week with some pretty popular fellow guests (KISS is gonna be on Letterman and Fallon is gonna have Chevy Chase and Lenny Kravitz on the days Eliza's on.)
To quote a wise man about Fox's idea of promotion...
they just didn't care.
I bet since the show is on for three weeks, then gets a break for baseball, they don't have to promote it seriously until November.
I have a better idea...get another show that's compatible with Dollhouse, like Human Target. Sitcoms as a lead-in just won't work, and we'll find that out very soon.

[ edited by impalergeneral on 2009-10-02 05:28 ]
Aye, it's a credit to the publicity team for organising all the placements of Eliza on these shows. There's been some pretty neat ones.

(And yes, for the record -

I would move Human Target forward ASAP. Get Brothers and Til Death off the air, because it's made of fail. Then I would use the Human Target budget to advertise both shows, and really push it on air for a week or two. That would give you a Friday night audience again, and keep both shows alive).

[ edited by gossi on 2009-10-02 05:28 ]
Much better ad aired during the final ad break of Fringe. Basically a 15-second version of the preview.
One of us (with editing skills) should make a cool promo, and we can retweet it all over twitter! Just an idea :P

ETA: I realize it's a bit late now for tomorrow's episode...but maybe future episodes?

[ edited by ShanshuBugaboo on 2009-10-02 06:17 ]
The problem is that only FOX has episode-specific assets. Fans don't. If a fan wanted to promote a specific episode, all they'd have is the tease at the end of the previous episode.
Why is that almost everyone but FOX can advertise the show well enough? Some of the promotional trailers worldwide(Australia in particular) have been fantastic.
b!x, that is true I guess :/ With some creativity it could work though...just using the trailers that are shown at the end of the episodes with maybe some previous footage.
I was waiting for Cookie Monster to chime in: One of these things is not like the others, one of these things doesn't belong...
Honestly, given that FOX itself seems uninterested in actually releasing to YouTube the previews and ads they *do* make, I think they should release assets for each next episode online and *encourage* fans to make real fan trailers. WTF do they have to lose?

But at least the second, and Dollhouse-only, ad that aired around 9:50 PM or so was fine.

[ edited by The One True b!X on 2009-10-02 06:33 ]
What you'all have said about this... clueless promo.

I just found the Israeli Yes Stars Action general Dollhouse trailer which I think does a nifty job.
Weird, I thought I'd linked that after I tweeted it. Guess not.
Hey, I missed yer tweet, but ya know, great minds...

I was rootling around at youtube trying to find Dollhouse stuff that was good and was thrilled to see this. It's got a certain Dollhouse-y zing.
I had to Google just to figure out it was from Israel.
See, the FOX trailer peeps can be pretty cool - go back and check the season one online trailers and featurettes. The one explaining the Dollhouse concept from last year was great, as were the episode by episode catchups.

I'm not saying do episode catchups and stuff this year. Too expensive. But get those girls'n'guys back on Dollhouse before Friday nosedives off a cliff, please.
That was kinda terrible.
But the Israeli one was genius.
gossi, the season one recap was made by the same guy on Twitter who works on promos this year. (No idea if he was involved in the Friday Night Fights debacle.) I'm fairly certain the preview for "Instinct" at the end of "Vows" is his. I presume all those episode-ending previews are. The problem is FOX isn't putting them online.

They do, inevitably, end up online anyway. But the fact that we have to wait for fans to capture and upload them is nonsensical.

[ edited by The One True b!X on 2009-10-02 08:53 ]
When does Dollhouse premiere in Israel?
Ok, I've not seen the two programs that are on before Dollhouse, but looking at the ad they just look awful, and the vibe the ad gives out just say to me - we only put the crap and the programs were going to cancel on a friday.

Hopefully they don't cancel Dollhouse but thats the vibe the ad's is giving out. I don't know about the rest of you but I'd be more content if they even just put a couple of random Simpsons episodes before it, at least that way we'd know there's a program with quality on before Dollhouse.
I haven't heard much about Stargate Universe, but it's a shame that's who we're up against. Reminds me of the BSG thing last year.
I went to the STARGATE UNIVERSE launch party in San Diego. It was on a rooftop, there was free drink, cakes and a pool, and I kissed a girl. I don't remember anything about the show, mind.
Stargate Universe is getting the crap promoted out of it.
How is it that SyFy understands the value of advertising and Fox doesn't?
Chiming in about the Stargate Universe competition. I don't know about cable, but satellite doesn't adjust their schedules across time zones.
So here in Hawaii with my satellite service, the first showing of Stargate Universe is at 3 PM.

I know that Hawaii doesn't exist, ratings wise. But the time difference with Pacific Daylight Time is three hours, so the first PDT airing of SU should be at 6 PM, and over before Dollhouse.
There are a lot of viewers on PDT - plus, Tivo/DVR ?? No panicking for me, it's a waste of energy.
The main page of IMDB has a big Dollhouse photo at the moment, alongside Toy Story 3D. A little Whedon connection there, and a bit of publicity for the show.

Staying with Toy Story, IMDB has a link to a Empire Online slideshow about the history of CGI and Toy Story, with a nice mention of Joss on page 10.

[ edited by zz9 on 2009-10-02 13:10 ]
Wow... that Israeli promo is how you promote a show like Dollhouse well. I'd almost forgotten what good promos look like! So, they should actually have relevance to what they are trying to promote, and appeal to the audience that would be most likely to tune in? Someone should clue Fox PR in before it's too late.

Personally, I'm not going to picnic this year. Season 2 is a gift. I'm so happy to have 13 more episodes of such great quality. Dollhouse season 1 started weak, then got really great and started to show a LOT of promise. I'm glad we'll get to see that promise fulfilled with this new season now. If there is no more, at least we'll have that.
I was thinking, "So Fox... So true."

I figured it would be like this. They don't understand it, so they try to make it appear to be something else. It's comparable to the "Black Hole Sun" and "Stand by for Warp Speed!" Firefly Ads. -Ads that caused me to NOT watch Firefly in it's initial run, by the way.
I have no problems whatsoever with this ad.

I think it is an admirable attempt on Fox PR's part to get viewers of the network's previous two shows - who I'd say are most certainly not already Dollhouse viewers - to stick around and see what's on next. After all - isn't that what good marketing in this context is all about? Getting more viewers to at least tune in, regardless of where in the viewing spectrum they come from?

And who's to say exactly what kind of audience Dollhouse is or isn't bound to appeal to? If the show itself is truly as great as its fans make it out to be and it successfully manages to deal with such broad, visceral themes as the very nature of human identity, shouldn't the show be more capable of appealing to a broader swath of the viewing spectrum than what's typically on the boob tube these days?

I say the more ads designed to appeal to viewers of other stripes the better.
Uh, one advert advertising Echo stealing a baby and waving a knife as a comedy and two 15 second slots for the entire week ain't advertising. In my book.

Who's Echo gonna stab, the baby, herself or the guy? Hoheehar!
From the ad I would assume Echo will be wrestling someone. The perfect mother part is just confusing.
I feel like I'm on a crazy Dollhouse roller coaster. Just a week ago, I was excited and hopeful about Dollhouse's chances, what with all the "it only has to maintain the (dismal) audience of viewers from last season" talk. Things looked good. Now there's all this doom and gloom talk about ratings and about the utterly crappy advertising. I applaud the determined non-picnic'ers, but I can't help packing my picnic basket. Maybe I should just avoid threads having to do with ratings and advertising (or lack thereof). Sigh.
Here's how I would have advertised "Instinct".
Can an imprint go too deep? (Relevant clips.)

Is the government closing in? (Relevant clips.)

And is there life after the Dollhouse? (Relevant clips.)

This Friday, the co-creators of Reaper ask these questions and more on an all-new Dollhouse.

9/8c on FOX.
The first comment below the Israeli trailer contains a translation of the captions. The captions ably summarize the premise of the show in about a dozen words; Hebrew is a succinct language. I'd paste the entire translation in here but I'm not sure whether that would be copyright infringement.
I feel like I'm on a crazy Dollhouse roller coaster. Just a week ago, I was excited and hopeful about Dollhouse's chances, what with all the "it only has to maintain the (dismal) audience of viewers from last season" talk. Things looked good. Now there's all this doom and gloom talk about ratings and about the utterly crappy advertising. I applaud the determined non-picnic'ers, but I can't help packing my picnic basket. Maybe I should just avoid threads having to do with ratings and advertising (or lack thereof). Sigh.

I agree completely. It's exactly what happened last year, all the doom and gloom and negative talk, whether about the ratings or the network or whatever else, really dampened my excitement for even watching the show in some respects, which is sad.

When the show was renewed, I was just so happy it was coming back I determined to not let that happen again this year but here we are again, discussing the same things and getting back in the same "picnic" mode.

There comes a point where we all should just sit back, enjoy however many episodes we end up getting, and let whatever happens happen. Otherwise, the drama becomes the experience rather than the excitement of the show itself.
I don't entirely disagree. But hey. At the end of the day, if the ratings topics get people down, don't read 'em.

The thing about the first weeks ratings -- and, frankly, tonights -- is that they aren't worth feeling sad about. It's not like people are judging the show as not worth sticking with. It's that people didn't even know it was back on.

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