This site will work and look better in a browser that supports web standards, but it is accessible to any browser or Internet device.

Whedonesque - a community weblog about Joss Whedon
"Are there any friends of yours left you haven't tried to kill?"
11945 members | you are not logged in | 23 October 2014




Tweet







October 03 2009

Ratings for Dollhouse episode 2x02 "Instinct". The first report on ratings for last night's episode is in. They're at about what many expected them to be (but very few hoped.) Update with more info - THR has more.

Damn, beat me by seconds

http://www.thrfeed.com/2009/10/cbs-sinks-dollhouse-punches-through-bottom.html
I tend to do that to people. Sorry.
So, they're definitely going to film all 13 episodes right? even if they don't show them all on tv, they're locked in to filming them all?
Pifeedback.com have the half hours and it's not pretty:

Time Rating 18-49 Viewers
9:00 FOX 1.4/3 0.9/3 2,193,000 DOLLHOUSE
9:30 FOX 1.3/2 0.8/3 1,991,000 DOLLHOUSE

It was down from its lead in and dropped at the half hour and while it did better than a repeat of America's Next Top Model on the CW it did worse than Smallville had done the hour earlier.
They will almost certainly film all 13 regardless. There will probably be an option to shut down production early, but it's expensive and slightly stupid. DVD $$$$$.
They should put a repeat of Fringe on at 8. Better lead-in potential than two awful sitcoms, better match in genre, cheaper, get more people watching a show that could be swallowed up amongst the Thursday night minefield. I'm sure there are plenty of cons, but really, would that be worse than what they're doing now? *sigh*
They should put a repeat of Fringe on at 8. Better lead-in potential than two awful sitcoms, better match in genre, cheaper, get more people watching a show that could be swallowed up amongst the Thursday night minefield. I'm sure there are plenty of cons, but really, would that be worse than what they're doing now? *sigh*


maybe people should start sending fox emails with these sorts of suggestions... don't go all nutty and say that you'll tie them up and make them eat hair if they cancel dollhouse.

Just given them some suggestions to get dollhouse out to a bigger audience.
And the two posts run neck and neck with comments. Which will be removed?
I don't think Fox are going to suddenly cancel two sitcoms because I email them, but it's a nice thought :-D

Really, this is something they should've been done from the start of the season, probably too late now.
righto... how about we just tie them up and make them eat hair?

[ edited by mortimer on 2009-10-03 17:08 ]
maybe people should start sending fox emails with these sorts of suggestions... don't go all nutty and say that you'll tie them up and make them eat hair if they cancel dollhouse.

Just given them some suggestions to get dollhouse out to a bigger audience.


Of course, it would also help if Dollhouse showed some signs (any signs!) that it's capable of getting returning viewers - let alone new ones - to stick around.


And the two posts run neck and neck with comments. Which will be removed?

Why settle for one when you can have two? Weee!

[ edited by brinderwalt on 2009-10-03 16:59 ]
I'm basically to the point where I'll just be happy if 13 episodes get produced and make the dvd, even if they don't all air.

[ edited by SteveJ2008 on 2009-10-03 17:11 ]
Dollhouse may yet beat Smallville when the finals come out as Smallville was pre-empted in the New York market. This is about as positive as it gets this week.
Aha, one thread.

The ratings are exactly where I said here and to the network they would be both weeks. I think next week it will be into the upper 1 million, 0.7 or so in the demo. They only need to lose a tenth next week and they'll be behind The CW.

If anybody has any suggestions, bung them in the thread here. I'll collate up ones I think are reasonable and bundle them over to the powers that be.

To the person who posted in the other topic asking if it was time to throw in the towel as a fan, hell nah. The network has created the problem. With a break for baseball coming up and UGLY BETTY (ABC pushed it back) FOX basically has two choices at this point:

- Change tactic completely and throw resources at Friday night.
- Drive their Friday night into a wall optionally. (I mean, even more).

[ edited by gossi on 2009-10-03 17:09 ]
exactly Gossi... this is the time to give them suggestions, they know their tactics aren't working. so,they may be open to some fan led ideas.
of course, having said that, I've got nothing
The best suggestion I have is for them to produce some kick ass trailers, and AIR THEM. On TV. During the baseball break week, and the week before the return for ep 4. And put them online. And let us plaster them everywhere.

They need to invest in the promo for a few weeks so people actually even know the show is on.
I still don't see how Fox could have expected anything resembling decent numbers for this show with the horrible lead-ins they've given it. You can't air a sci-fi/genre show after two unfunny and horribly rated sitcoms and expect anything positive to happen.
Are we guaranteed 13 episodes this year or can they still cut the season short?
The sitcoms are incredibly cheap to produce. I doubt anybody cares if they rate badly, because of the cheapness. 'Til Death' in particular was almost free, 'cos the studio want to get it to syndication. The gamble, as I see it, was that millions of Joss fans would turn up to see Dollhouse with little promotion, 'cos we're Joss fans. That gamble was never going to work, was my opinion.

stuffy, I answered that up thread. They aren't forced to air them all if things go souther, but I'd wager my left hand they will film them all.
Given the lead-in and the promotion, this was pretty inevitable. Why bother renewing Dollhouse to then consign it to this fate? The ratings at the end of last season were poor - it was obvious then that Fox needed to step up their game for the new season. Obviously they haven't.

Not that all the blame lies with Fox. Dollhouse has lost the viewers it had on a week-to-week basis.
Aye. Poor fitting lead-ins + which are shit + little promo money = fail.

I don't blame Fox for what happened last season. I think a lot of that came down to the show. I think this season, though, it just ain't gonna work. They need to have a think about what to do with Dollhouse. I know a bunch of people are working really hard to do things like get Eliza on talk shows and such, and I love them for it. They know who they are. But... seriously... shake it up. Get screeners out there for episode 4. Get promos all over the airwaves after the baseball. Good ones. With the right dates and times on. No comedy voiceovers. Throw some more money at it for promotional purposes. I'm enormously grateful the show came back, but I don't really see the point* if Peter Rice and friends don't throw their weight behind it.

* Unless the point was to amuse me via BitTorrent, in which case epic win!
Not that all the blame lies with Fox. Dollhouse has lost the viewers it had on a week-to-week basis.


The way I see it, it's Fox's job to get people to tune in and Dollhouse's job to get them to stick around. So far the situation looks terrible on both accounts.
Obviously Dollhouse needs a better lead-in. Terminator wasn't a great lead-in last season because it didn't bring many viewers. But at least the viewers Terminator brought were likely to stick around for Dollhouse because the shows weren't too different thematically. And Terminator had more viewers then Prison Break/Brothers/Lie To Me. Combined with the viewers that tuned in for Dollhouse the show managed to improve on the lead-in. The current lead-ins obviously cater to a completely different audience as evidenced by the half-hour drop-off. The question is if Fox could get a better fitting lead-in on the air soon (if they even wanted to make a change).

As far as trailers for Dollhouse are concerned, I think it is important that the trailers actually represent the content of the show they are promoting. The Grindhouse and Fight Night trailers were trying to sell a completely different show. Even if they are successful at bringing viewers to the show, the viewers won't stick around because the trailers promised a different kind of show.

Unfortunately I think the bad ratings are likely to dominate the public perception of Dollhouse. Ever since the critical and fan response to the show improved the ratings were slipping. Normally the great critical response should bring viewers to the show, but it looks like not many people are giving the show a chance because they perceive it as being dead. I don't know if there is a way to reverse this trend.

I'm not nearly as hopeful for a full season as I was for a second season. But at least I'll get to watch 11 more episodes. And if there should be more, that would be a great bonus. So far the season is great and I won't let a possible cancellation ruin my enjoyment of Dollhouse.
The show clearly needs an Eliza scandal in real life to boost ratings.

Kidding.

I would say to release some free eps on iTunes like Glee did. I know my friends and I are usually keen to download the featured freebies of the week and make our own judgements. Also, syndicating S1 eps on Saturday afternoon or evening might help gain more viewers in terms of those who still haven't caught on from the beginning.
Aye. I still think - I've always said this - they should take a good upcoming episode and put it on Hulu free of charge for streaming. Then let people go and embed it in their Facebooks, Livejournals, link it on Twitter etc.

I still think there's a lot of milage Fox can get from properly embracing Twitter for Dollhouse, too. I'd be happy to do that for them if they can't afford it. When I look at the official Twitter account it just makes me sad. I'd love to do things like build Twitter applications for what-DH-character-are-you-based-on-your-tweets etc too, and embedded Facebook streaming of full episodes via Hulu, too, which you can send to friends. It is annoying, at times, to be sat on the outside.
Lets mount a coup and put gossi in charge of Dollhouse's marketing ;).
gossi in charge of Fox would be even better ;)
I can't even tie my shoe laces, that's probably a bad idea. Although if I got a receiptionist called Pam I'd totally be there!
As far as trailers for Dollhouse are concerned, I think it is important that the trailers actually represent the content of the show they are promoting. The Grindhouse and Fight Night trailers were trying to sell a completely different show. Even if they are successful at bringing viewers to the show, the viewers won't stick around because the trailers promised a different kind of show.


Speaking as a viewer, if something catches my eye that I never would've considered watching before and it turns out to have been totally miss-represented to me marketing wise, and yet, I find it compelling - regardless of the ultimate reason, I keep watching.

Obviously it makes more sense to target your ads at the sector of the viewing spectrum (which is not already watching your show) that would seem most likely to find it interesting. Unfortunately in Dollhouse's case such an untapped group of viewers doesn't seem to exist (a possible reality Joss was one to bring up himself during the lead-up to the show's premiere) - hence the previously noted stabs in the dark* in terms of advertising. When you're at your wits' end as to who best to target your product towards, pursuing strategies - including ones that ultimately don't work (ex. happy-go-lucky, knife-wielding-mommy comedy hour) - is far better than the alternative.

* Edited to acknowledge bad, unintentional pun.

[ edited by brinderwalt on 2009-10-03 19:25 ]
If anybody is wondering, STARGATE got 2.3 million on Syfy.
Is it completely unlikely at this point to try and convince the network to air Dollhouse on a different night? I really do feel this Friday night timeslot business is the worst possible place for it to be on the schedule. It maybe wouldn't pull in phenomenal ratings during the week but if the show aired on a random Monday, Tuesday or Wednesday night, it might at least attract a few new eyeballs. Even if it was an encore airing of one of the show's best episodes or something that they promoted the heck out of.
Fox needs to use those budget cuts and spend them on advertising.
Now surprised. The wonky marketing is once again part of the issue. Putting out kick-ass promos during baseball breaks seems like the ideal strategy to go.
And we're competing against the heavy hitter franchise from Syfy, which did promote the hell all of it, to get people who get it to watch it.
Don't rely solely on the name of Joss. They should just stick that silly tag of the Same producers of Buffy, if they can.

Getting better lead ins would help. Just throw these silly sitcoms to the summer backburner, cause they're not helping. They should be trhying to get the audience who is watching Smallville at CW, to watch FOX, instead of expecting that they'll just switch channels. Make Lead-In actually mean something.

And they really need to stick a previously on Dollhouse segment at the beginning of each episode. As we get into more of the serialized aspect of the show, which is actually our greatest strength, they'll be useful. What's adding another 30 seconds to each episode, we already lost the extra time we had last season during the remote-free experiment, just give as back 30 seconds, for the recap, and get people who might be switching channels to stick around, cause they might be interested by the randomness of the recap.
I told myself I wasn't even going to look at the numbers, but I'm just a glutton for punishment. *sigh*

I don't want to give up on the show, I just wish there was something we could actually do to fix this. I'm pretty sure Fox doesn't care about us or our suggestions. And yet, what was the point of renewing the show for a second season to just sit back and let it die?

Putting it on another night is probably a bad idea, because then they will expect much, much better numbers, but having a better show as a lead in might help. Even a repeat of some show that people actually watch.

Any chance they can just move the show over to SyFy where low ratings are expected?
I wonder what sort of ratings Firefly would garner if Fox put it on the air and advertised for it like it was a new show (with, you know, ads that represent the show and have no mention of space hookers or a girl in a box). 'Cause that's a show that sells itself if it isn't screwed with. But I'm fairly certain Fox could manage to muck it up again.

I'm really NOT impressed with any of the various ads I've seen for Dollhouse over this season or the last. It wouldn't even cross my mind to watch a show with those sorts of ads. And it's exceedingly difficult to try to bring in new viewers when they are required to get through so many episodes of season one before the show improves. If I hadn't had faith in Joss's ability, I would have lost interest after the third ep (if not sooner). So people hear some positive buzz and Netflix/rent/download the show and probably don't get very far.

Fringe would definitely be a much better and appropriate lead-in for the show; however, no lead-in is going to help if the marketing department doesn't get the slightest hint of a clue.
FWIW, non-DVR Nielsen ratings aside, I know we're only two episodes in, but unlike last season, where every episode -- including Epitaph One -- appeared on the iTunes Top Ten TV charts, I haven't seen the same thing happen for either of the season two episodes. It seems a drop off to me, although I realize that we're only the next day for episode two. (I don't know how close the episodes are coming to the top ten; in iTunes new setup, I can't figure out how to drill down beyond the top ten of anything.) The Dollhouse season two pass did well, I realize.

At least both season two Dollhouse episodes that have aired have shot up to the top (or near the top) of Hulu.

Again, FWIW. Which may be nothing.
I don't know that Stargate will keep it's viewers though. I'm sure most people will disagree, but one BSG was enough for me. I don't think I can take the Stargate premise shoehorned into a BSG format. Especially since the writing doesn't appear to be on the same level, and all except one character appears to be devoid of an interesting sense of humor.

The pilot was fair, but it didn't grab me and hold me glued to the TV like BSG. It will be interesting to see what Dollhouse ratings do after the premier.
I see the new Stargate as a cross between Voyager and Big Brother... Now if only we could vote off the characters we dont find interesting. Oh well... One could hope for better ratings, but I guess we should all be greatful for a second season, a chance for Joss to show us his vision for the show.
The way I see it, it's Fox's job to get people to tune in and Dollhouse's job to get them to stick around. So far the situation looks terrible on both accounts.


To me FOX seems far more eager to make Dollhouse work than it ever did with Firefly. I think it's fair to say a large part of the problem lies with the show this time.

My brother, who is a huge Buffy/Angel/Firefly and Dr. Horrible fan, to my surprise (I am to much of a Joss fanboy to even imagine not watching his shows), was very much on the fence about watching Dollhouse's second season premiere and I made sure he was very well aware of both its airdate and this season's great collection of guest stars. He's a huge Dexter and Twin Peaks fan too - watched Reaper longer than I did and watched Housewives sometimes for Kyle Maclachlan - but even with the promise of Ray Wise and Keith Carradine, I still don't think he was particularly eager after "Vows" to watch the rest of the season.

Dollhouse is not my favourite show either, but the Joss fanatic that I'm, I'll go watch s02e02 now.

Oh, and is Stargate Universe any good? I never was that much of a fan of the franchise (though I liked the main cast) but I've heard some midly positive things about this new series.

Stargate as a cross between Voyager and Big Brother


LOL that's a great pitch for the worst tv-show ever.
Well. So much for the midly positive reception :).

[ edited by the Groosalugg on 2009-10-03 21:58 ]
I'm really NOT impressed with any of the various ads I've seen for Dollhouse over this season or the last. It wouldn't even cross my mind to watch a show with those sorts of ads.

I agree totally - I'm not a comedic slasher fan, nor am I into the Grindhouse style apparently - but that's kind of missing the whole point of advertising: These ads aren't - and shouldn't - be made to appeal to the interests of people like you or me who are already viewers. It's the non-viewers you want your ads to target - whoever or wherever they may be.
as someone who obsessively loves both SG-1 and atlantis, i was profoundly disappointed in SG:U. i explained to a friend that it was the first time watching a stargate show where both 1) i did not feel an attachment to any character - from the start i loved both casts from the previous shows and 2) i openly disliked a character, several actually, but the eli guy is just beyond annoying. it's like they tried to make mckay fat and more obnoxious, leaving out the wit, charm, intelligence and occasional heroism that david hewlett brought to mckay. the only parts of the show i actually enjoyed were getting to see RDA, amanda tapping and michael shanks again.
It is the lead-in, it is the marketing, it is the day it is broadcast, it is the fact that the DVR ratings are not included, it is the quality of the ads that have been run, it is that Fox does not know what to do with the show, it is the trailer, it is the baseball scheduling conflict, in fact it is everything but the show that is at fault for the ratings. This is not an argument I think is a winning one.
Works for me. Too many good shows have gone the way of the dodo due to external circumstances.
They need to put Fringe as a lead in.
Anyway, it's not doing great on the overcrowded Thursday, so why don't take the risk?
Of course it's also the show, Dana. I mean, the premiere lost 500,000 viewers in the first 15 minutes (the Nielsen breakdowns are out for it). BUT the reason the show is in the situation it's in - which is potentially quite a bad one - is because of the promotion. If it had opened a bit bigger, a 20% drop off from the first week wouldn't be a problem.

[ edited by gossi on 2009-10-03 22:12 ]
gossi, if it had opened bigger, all we would be talking about is how horrible the drop off was. :) IJS.
Well, it DID open a bit bigger, in Season 1, and has lost viewership ever since. I will continue to watch, even though my love is much weaker than for every other Whedon show, and hope that somehow it breaks through to find new viewers.
They didn't promote it well. That said, I didn't really like either episode so far outside of some specific scenes. If I was a casual viewer or this was a different series I probably would've changed channels midway through myself. Seems to me they've got a whole suite of problems to contend with. Some in their control, some not. A small starting audience isn't just an indication of poor promotion-- even the people who watched it last season haven't stuck around. The drop-off mid-episode is particularly telling.

I think it'll pick up and regain the sense of intrigue that I really enjoyed during the later part of last season once certain plot elements () really get going. But in the meantime, I'm not surprised the ratings are bad. I thought they'd found the show toward the end of last season, but I'm not seeing that right now.
Perhaps the scenes of the politician plotting the downfall of the Dollhouse is just too similar to the third season of Heroes with the politician plotting the downfall of the Heroes.
Agreed that the ads shouldn't be geared to attract "us." But at the same time, the ads can't mislead someone as to the style of show. That leads to confusion on the new viewers part and probably a general sense of being lied to which doesn't bode well for objective viewing. Honest ads about what the show is during Fox's more established shows might help spread the word. Remember the Australian Dollhouse promo? It was exciting, sold the premise, and honestly could have aired after any show. Some would have been interested, some would not, but no one would have felt confused when if they sat down to watch the series.

I think Ron Moore was quite correct when he observed that viewers will go anywhere you want to take them if you respect their intelligence. The point is to find pockets of "new" viewers who don't already have opinions on the show. NOT to trick viewers who aren't likely to enjoy it into watching an episode. And honestly, I think there are a lot of those people still out here. When I talk to non-Whedon fans (or are unaware of who Whedon is), many of them either haven't heard the name Dollhouse or know anything about it other than the name. I don't disagree that this is probably a difficult show to get, but if you're not ever selling the premise... how can you expect to succeed?

I think we're a bit biased as Whedon fans and people who have been exposed to people who consume everything on TV. Those people know what Dollhouse is. I'm not sure the one or two show a week TV watcher has any concept that this show exists... nor do I think they would as a group dislike the premise if they were exposed. They remain untapped.

[ edited by azzers on 2009-10-03 22:45 ]
Misleading advertising is going to cause a huge drop off during the show, no doubt about it. A show, no matter how great, that is one genre but marketed as a different genre or premise will get viewers who will watch a few minutes and then think "This isn't what I wanted" and switch off.

This is no different to the Serenity trailers that made the movie look like a comedy or even a spoof (And I've met people who thought both). Problem being that if you think it's a comedy then you think "Well it's not that funny. Won't bother going to see it."
Tamara, WE would, but the network wouldn't. 20% drop off is average from first episode. THR even pointed that out first 1x02 when it aired. The problem this time is because it opened so low, everybody - including I fear the network - will now spaztastic out.
Misleading advertising is going to cause a huge drop off during the show, no doubt about it. A show, no matter how great, that is one genre but marketed as a different genre or premise will get viewers who will watch a few minutes and then think "This isn't what I wanted" and switch off.


Drop off during the show, yes. But not drop off from episode to episode. Dollhouse (S1 and S2) suffers from the latter in spades.
But isn't poor advertising a partial cause of viewer drop off? Assume that every week, people aren't always going to tune in. That's a given. There is a reason that you see advertisements for House every week. It's not that the show is about to fail or needs to tap new markets.

A show's rating is going to be the composite of the number of new viewers and returning viewers minus the people who are done with the series and the people who simply aren't there that week.

Any show has control of two of those variables, returning and exiting viewers. The network nor the show has no control over those that are simply unavailable or want to try something else that week. It DOES however have control over the number of new viewers or "on the fence" viewers that need to be sold on the show again. However, if the network neglects that task, all you have is an ever-draining bucket.

It's not about absolving the show of its problems when we say that. It's simply acknowledging the reality of how viewership works. If shows didn't require advertising to refill the bucket, you wouldn't advertise American Idol, House, or CSI. You would make far more money by just sitting on the existing audience.

Perhaps a scarier question to ask is... IF they advertised, would it still be financially attractive. They haven't ever really advertised, so I don't know the answer and I doubt they do either.
Yeah, gossi. It's all about expectations isn't it? Too bad none of us really know what the network's actual expectations were/are. Even THR and TVbythenumbers are just guessing. Not arguing with you, just pointing out that none of us really know what we are talking about. Again. :)
The show desperately needs to get BIGGER. 2nd episode of a 13-ep order and we already have a filler? Yes, it was cute and all but seriously. If the show's going out...go out with a bang.
Yeah, gossi. It's all about expectations isn't it? Too bad none of us really know what the network's actual expectations were/are. Even THR and TVbythenumbers are just guessing. Not arguing with you, just pointing out that none of us really know what we are talking about. Again. :)


Except we do have a slight clue about the network's expectations, because Kevin Reilly told the press what they are. (Yes, he can tell all kinds of tales to the press. Of course we'll never really know... ;)
Right, wiesengrund. We have a vague idea, just most of us are out of the loop on all the factors that are taken into consideration.

I've really enjoyed the first two episodes, so I'll just keep doing that. :)
Gossi, you're more in the loop than anyone else, Is there any chance we can actually find out what the iTunes and Hulu numbers are? Or is there a legti, good, reason the networks are keeping them so secret?
But isn't poor advertising a partial cause of viewer drop off? Assume that every week, people aren't always going to tune in. That's a given. There is a reason that you see advertisements for House every week. It's not that the show is about to fail or needs to tap new markets.

A show's rating is going to be the composite of the number of new viewers and returning viewers minus the people who are done with the series and the people who simply aren't there that week.

Any show has control of two of those variables, returning and exiting viewers. The network nor the show has no control over those that are simply unavailable or want to try something else that week. It DOES however have control over the number of new viewers or "on the fence" viewers that need to be sold on the show again. However, if the network neglects that task, all you have is an ever-draining bucket.


You're essentially making the same point I made earlier in this thread:
The way I see it, it's Fox's job to get people to tune in and Dollhouse's job to get them to stick around. So far the situation looks terrible on both accounts.


Fox may be working on increasing its record in the field of PR ineptitude, but Dollhouse hasn't been doing itself any favors either.

[ edited by brinderwalt on 2009-10-04 00:30 ]
Ivalaine, ratings are public because advertisers want them to be public, and advertisers are the networks' customers. Hulu and iTunes aren't public because there either aren't advertisers or the advertisers involved aren't demanding the numbers to be public.
Ahh, only saw your latter quote.
There's no way the Hulu and iTunes figures would go public. Then everybody would have to be paid properly. (BURN!)

In truth is I'm as out of the loop as the rest of you, I'm basically starring into the goldfish bowl of the Dollhouse launch and thinking 'Oooooh, something moved! Oh, it's a pebble'. I have asked around a bit over the weekend and the signs aren't terribly positive. All I know right now is I hope they at least try to turn it around for the sake of both us fans and the people who work on the show. I spent a few hours on set and it's an honest-to-God brilliant bunch of people and they deserve to be working. If the show gets pulled off air over the next few weeks I'm going to be very pissed as that's got nothing to do with the show and everything to do with network politics.

But in terms of expectations for the numbers, I'm going by what the execs have said in public. I haven't a clue what they actually need for the show to turn a profit.
See, this was my point.. If the only reason to hide the numbers is to prevent people knowing they are not paying the correct royalties, then that should not be allowed. If they are hiding them because they don't want advertisers to know how few people are ACTUALLY watching the tv, then surely that too, should not be allowed.

I just see no reasonable reason they wouldn't want to share those numbers.

I also suppose we could say we might see a spike in DVR numbers for that episode. I know that if I were at home, I would likely have watched a premiere episode rather than an episode 2. But that's just pure conjecture.

[ edited by Ivalaine on 2009-10-04 01:12 ]
When will we find out the DVR numbers for last episode? Or have we already? Last season we found them out pretty soon after the episode had aired but so far this year we've heard nothing. I still want to know how well Vows did when we include DVR.
Joss's shows tend to appeal to those who need to watch and not to the general audience. Ratings will never be "Survivor"-esque because it takes a particular type of thinking fan to wrestle with this stuff. 6 1/2 years later we still have "Buffy" panels happening, still have scholarly analysis, still working out what all happened there, plus the continuation of the series in comic form.

With an idea like the Dollhouse a lot of that that ought to be happening already, and that it mostly isn't says a lot about the comparative weakness of the show. It's not the time slot, it's not the lead-in, it's the show. (Of course, if "Dollhouse" was coming from just about any other group of creative people it would have a much smaller yardstick being used for the evaluation of its qualities, so we have to bear that in mind. In my mind, at least, "Dollhouse" has to vie for entry into the Valhalla that holds "Buffy," "Angel" and "Firefly"- and they, after all, are as gods.)

Last night's show seemed philosophically sort of intriguing but not compelling. The dialog was predictable and uninteresting. The surrogate mommy storyline went from cliche to cliche. The only interesting things were Ballard getting Melinda's take on the outcome of being a doll and the last few minutes of Echo and Ballard on the bench talking. The only scary thing was Topher's self-congratulation of being able to program dolls down to the "gandular level" to the point of causing Echo to lactate.

The only reason I watch is that I'm a Joss fan; were it not for that, I wouldn't still be watching. I was happy "Dollhouse" got renewed and keep hoping that it will get brilliant. I was delighted to see glimmers of that last season, but when I watch my DVDs of Firefly, Buffy, Angel and Dr. Horrible I see that Dollhouse has a very, very long way to go. I hope it gets there because TV is pretty much a wasteland right now- there are only three current productions I bother to watch ("Bones," "Fringe" and "Dollhouse," and "Fringe" is the only one I feel strongly about making sure to see).
DVR ratings always takes at least 2 weeks.
Wow Cunamara, you really need to broaden your horizons if you think TV is currently a wasteland.
Thanks TamaraC :)
I think the problem is that most of the American tv-addict public, that aren't internet junkies, have still never even heard of DH. Reason's are: Friday night slot, and lack of previews throughout the week that make viewers say "Ok yeah, must remember to check that show out, it's right up my alley."

Also, even when I'm home Friday night, it's rare that I can chill in front of the TV. A show like DH that requires your brain and attention to be switched on is a big ask for a Friday night.

Cunamara: Sounds like you need to get cable!

[ edited by NuVanessa on 2009-10-04 02:31 ]
Drop off during the show, yes. But not drop off from episode to episode. Dollhouse (S1 and S2) suffers from the latter in spades.



To be fair, most shows on the air right now have suffered signifigant continuing declines in ratings over the last couple years. Dollhouse's problem is that it started so small to begin with.
To be fair, most shows on the air right now have suffered signifigant continuing declines in ratings over the last couple years. Dollhouse's problem is that it started so small to begin with.

I think it's safe to say that Dollhouse's negative viewership curve goes a bit beyond the general trends we're seeing in television today.
I don't think its negative viewership goes "beyond general trends." It's just at such a small scale, that kind of decline is extremely noticeable, especially having started so low.
Sigh. It sucks that I actually thought the ratings would be in the 3 million range this season. I thought at the very least more folks would be checking the show out with the slew of awesome guest stars.

Oh false hope, I hate you.

[ edited by Rhodey on 2009-10-04 03:28 ]
I think it's safe to say that Dollhouse's negative viewership curve goes a bit beyond the general trends we're seeing in television today.


well dollhouse has only lost 2.5 million viewers (or so) since it's opening episode (about half it's viewership... whereas Terminator lost 14 million or so from it's opening episode. Unfortunately we never had the opportunity to either keep or lose that many viewers. in fact, if we'd lost half of our audience, but started with an awesome audience the situation would be a much brighter one.
well dollhouse has only lost 2.5 million viewers (or so) since it's opening episode (about half it's viewership... whereas Terminator lost 14 million or so from it's opening episode. Unfortunately we never had the opportunity to either keep or lose that many viewers. in fact, if we'd lost half of our audience, but started with an awesome audience the situation would be a much brighter one.


Interesting little ratings tidbit: If you go back and look at the rating trends of the first 14 episodes of the Sarah Connor Chronicles you'll find that 5 of those 14 episodes managed to build on the previous episode's audience numbers (36%).

14 episodes into Dollhouse's broadcast run, it's managed to do the same only 3 times (21%).

IMO it's not the numbers themselves that are important, but which way they are trending.
Statistically speaking brinderwalt, the distinction between 3 and 5 just means that the trend is noisy. If TSCC was dropping from 14 Million viewers to where it eventually settled, I would think that would be normal. One of the reasons I think TVBTN gets itself into trouble and can look foolish is that they are looking at one specific statistic and beating it to death. In fairness, it's the best statistic we have.

I don't think things are looking up for Dollhouse at this point. I do believe Reilly would stick with a 1.0 rating provided costs were stable and low. It can't keep sliding though. Even if he loves the show, he has to be able to build a business case or pull the plug.

-Added - Does anyone have link that has every episodes ratings? I'm a statistical nut and there's something I want to check.

[ edited by azzers on 2009-10-04 04:15 ]
...One of the reasons I think TVBTN gets itself into trouble and can look foolish is that they are looking at one specific statistic and beating it to death...

...I think people tend to forget the significance of their title - TV By The Numbers.


-Added - Does anyone have link that has every episodes ratings? I'm a statistical nut and there's something I want to check.

Here's as good a place to start as any.
LOL. No I get that. I'm just saying like any business... there are more numbers. Advertising rates per ratings point. Cost per Ratings point. Etc.

It's like if ESPN only watched the batting average of baseball players. Sure it's important, but if that's the only information you had... your ability to predict salaries, contracts, and promotions/demotions would be non-existent. You'd guess right a little better than half the time.

[ edited by azzers on 2009-10-04 04:36 ]
Forget about the ratings. How is this episode doing on iTunes? and hulu?
the season pass is #8 on itunes and ep 2 itself is #14.

it's 3rd on hulu for most popular videos for today.

[ edited by edcsLover9 on 2009-10-04 05:11 ]
(Coming in late with the Suggestion but...)

Ok, Gossi, my suggestion is FOX do with Dollhouse what ABC did with Lost...provide every episode from previous seasons Online. Dollhouse has one of the more complex premises of any show presently on TV...one that does not lend itself well to retaining viewers who stumble upon the show mid-second-season. Making every episode they've broadcast (and only those they've broadcast) available Online at Fox On Demand would do much to bring new viewers into the fold, to let them catch up with what's going on and get them invested in the show and in the characters.

I offer this suggestion up as one that has worked on me with Lost. I came to that series four seasons late. But because ABC made every episode available online I was able to catch up and keep up with the series and am now a fan of the Series. I believe that such a treatment could only help Dollhouse gain new fans and perhaps help retain the ones they have.

Plus there's the additional revenue to be had for the commercial breaks for either Fox On Demand or Hulu. I don't know about you, but I'd love to be able to point folks at Fox On Demand or Hulu.com for all their previous episodes of Dollhouse viewing needs.
I've decided I'm not going to completely freak out until we see what the DVR numbers are like. I expect a slip but I hope they add on some much needed numbers.
My suggestion is that since the lead-ins are crap, how about making Dollhouse lead-in *itself*? Put the prior week's episode in front of each week. Then you can miss a week without being lost and it's even cheaper to produce than the crap that's there right now.

I also agree with the "previously on Dollhouse" suggestion as well as the idea of making all the prior episodes available online.

... or, air Firefly repeats as lead-ins ;)
I second sab39's notion of leading in Dollhouse with Dollhouse, or at the very least tacking a "Previously on Dollhouse..." segment to the front of each episode. Complex shows need recap in order to become generally watchable. BSG was a complex show and even though I kept up with it week to week, I really kind of *needed* those recaps to keep everything straight at times.

Or just Dollhouse re-runs in general. Do they have them at all? If not, they should. To give new viewers who aren't likely to come looking for the show online or via the DVDs a chance to stumble upon it in a point in the plot they can understand.

Also, is there any way we can mobilize as fans? If FOX won't put together a decent promo, we probably could edit some together... and paste them everywhere: Tweet them, blog about them, link them to friends. Though I agree FOX itself needs to stop dropping the ball and actually advertise the show, and that the baseball week break would be an ideal time to do so.
Regarding Leadins: The first broadcast hour (8 p.m. eastern time)
is supposedly the "family hour". I don't think they can get away
with a show like DH at that hour because of its perceived sexual
content. Violence otoh is not a problem it appears. So 2 hr.s of
DH is not likely imo.

Actually the Fringe repeat would work if it were also relatively
sexless. But since I have only watched two of that show and
could finish neither (1st eps of each season) I can't comment
at all authoritatively on the possibility.

But I do feel that the increased competiton is a real problem.
Both Ugly Betty and Medium are nice shows with already existant
audiences. Medium especially is mining the same vein as DH as
far as audience is concerned to some extent. On any other night
this would not matter but on Friday, with its lower total
audience, it is.
-Added - Does anyone have link that has every episodes ratings? I'm a statistical nut and there's something I want to check.


Here you go. :)
wiesengrund, I remember you posting an analysis of where DH needed to place according to Reilly on here - do you have that kicking around? I can't find it.
It was putting together two Reilly quotes, basically saying that Fox would be happy with a 1.5 Live+SD demo rating going on 2.0 in Live+7 (which were the S1 averages).
Yeah, thought so.

I'm sat writing this on a laptop with an official DOLLHOUSE wallpaper on which says the show is on about 8pm. I really hope Joss sets up an Internet studio. I'll apply for a job if he does.
If he's after investors, what about the public? I'm sure many of us would be willing to donate to the cause... Especially if it meant more Joss on his own terms...

Could Whedonesque be an investor and ask for pledges? If they hit the target, people donate to that specific fund? Iono.

[ edited by Ivalaine on 2009-10-04 12:15 ]
That wouldn't work out financially, I suspect, Ivalaine.

Pre-Horrible I couldn't have imagined companies actually investing in something like Horrible, as it wasn't a proven business model (in fact, it was pretty much proven to fail - see also Quarterlife etc). Post-Horrible, though, I think that might have changed. There's an Emmy, and far more importantly for investors - profit. I absolutely think Joss and friends should keep doing TV and movies, 'cos they're a format which is very important and the money is good, but I also think there's a place on the landscape for Mutant Enemy Internet.

On the Internet, people have forever to find something. If it's good, it will find an audience with smart marketing and word of mouth (and they go hand in hand). On TV, people don't have forever to find your show. It doesn't matter if it's great.

[ edited by gossi on 2009-10-04 12:43 ]
When Dollhouse is cancelled it will be because viewers didn't want to see familiar characters scheming coldly to each other while complete strangers played out pointless melodramas.
When Dollhouse is cancelled it will be because viewers didn't want to see familiar characters scheming coldly to each other while complete strangers played out pointless melodramas.

I wouldn't quite go that far, but clearly Dollhouse's woes are far and away from just being the network's fault.
but clearly Dollhouse's woes are far and away from just being the network's fault.


Indeed, it stands out from the crowd which can cause all sorts of trouble. Be interesting to see how people will view it in 10 years time. Probably a lot more favourably.
I find it interesting that there are so many reasons put forth why this is not as successful as we all hoped it would be.
The acting, the writing, the premise itself, the viewers who don't recognize greatness when they see it, the time slot, the lead in show- all have been blamed.
I knew I forgot something!
I'm going to stop reading about the ratings because they are so depressing. If I just get the 13 episodes of Dollhouse, even if I have to wait for the DVD release, then that will be OK. I don't feel like there's anything I can do about the ratings so I'd prefer not to worry about them.

Would it be possible to request that the title and description of these threads every week do not say/hint at how good/bad the ratings are? That way those that want to avoid them can do so, and those that want to know can click on them.
Too bad about the ratings 'cause it's finally become a show I could watch every week.
I find it interesting that there are so many reasons put forth why this is not as successful as we all hoped it would be.
The acting, the writing, the premise itself, the viewers who don't recognize greatness when they see it, the time slot, the lead in show- all have been blamed.

Eh. Sometimes things just don't come together. That's life. The thing is, it's not like this creative outing is the be-all and end-all of everything Whedon. If this particular project only lasts two years (not at all a short time in tv land) I fully expect there to be others for me to enjoy down the road.
I still don't see how Fox could have expected anything resembling decent numbers for this show with the horrible lead-ins they've given it. You can't air a sci-fi/genre show after two unfunny and horribly rated sitcoms and expect anything positive to happen.


For god's sake, people.

Fox expect decent profit from Joss Whedon and Eliza Dushku. They care about nothing else; only a fool would believe otherwise. Unless the fans can produce more money, there's nothing they can do but whine; my suspicion is that most 'clever' ideas batted around by fans have already been considered by the suited philistines and for one or another (good or bad) reason rejected in turn as insufficiently profitable.

There's no evidence at all that any other criterion is used to evaluate network-TV-related schemes.

Remember that Dollhouse now shoots more quickly than ever, on video, with a largely no-name cast (yes, Alexis Denisof is no-name to the vast majority of the TV audience). The show's got a few things working for it moneywise, but many things working against it. Among them: statistically speaking, pretty much no one cares that exists.

If you are an obsessive Joss Whedon fan, your average financial outlay and ad-rate impact has already been taken into account by the Bosses. You wanna help the show? Convince friends to buy DVDs. Invent a god for people to pray to. ('Moloch' will do nicely for a name, BTW.)
I'm going to stop reading about the ratings because they are so depressing.


Yes. Most fans only damage their calm by reading entertainment business news; it's not worth it.
The finals for Friday are in and the 'good' news is that in the finals the 18-49 demo managed a 0.9 as opposed to 0.8. The revised viewer count was 2,049,000.

Despite not airing in NYC (the biggest TV market in the US) Smallville still managed to beat Dollhouse by ~190,000 total viewers and equalled it in the demo.

[ edited by helcat on 2009-10-05 23:04 ]
Awesome. That 0.9 is actually awesome, considering every other show except dateline was down 15-20% from Friday before.
Even after dropping 18% on the previous week frikkin' 'Smallville' is beating it. On The CW. Maybe 'awesome' is slightly too glass half-full ;).
Smallville isn't competing with it now, is it?

All I'm saying, is I guess general trends factor in for the network in terms of what they expect. When a whole night is down across all networks, a drop-off is expected. A small one is better than an average one.
It's competing with 'Smallville' on the night (where Fox are only very narrowly beating The CW). And surely there comes a point where the percentage drop week on week is less important because the absolute numbers are so low ?

In other words, if it stops falling right now and just holds firm where it is (just tipping 2 million and a 0.9) then it'll be canned within 2 weeks IMO. Pretty speculative and i'm very far from an expert (and i'd love to be wrong) but I just don't see 2 million viewers being enough for Fox, no matter how low their expectations.

(and dammit I wasn't getting involved in ratings this year, look what you've done wiesengrund ;)
It's not directly against Smallville, it's got a re-run of America's Next Top Model which it still beats. I quoted the Smallville result more to add some perspective. FOX is not looking to be on a par with a show on the CW - so yes ratings are down across the networks but the CW is beating FOX with its only original show of the night. This isn't a good thing.

You need to log in to be able to post comments.
About membership.



joss speaks back home back home back home back home back home