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October 25 2010

"And I think hell would have to freeze over before he would step back in Fox." New Eliza Dushku interview with TV Squad, reflecting on Joss vs Fox, Dollhouse, comedy, and Dancing With the Stars.

'Dancing' would not be something I would do, I'd be too terrified.

Wow. This reminded me that everyone has their fears, even the last person on earth you would imagine.

Eliza seems like she flings herself full-force into whatever she wants to, guns a'blazing - so if she's not just yanking our chains here, this is surprising. But I guess I don't know how much performing she's done in front of a live audience, and it is a whole 'nother scary bag.

Hee - "... hell would have to freeze over" and "that kind of torture" made me laugh... but I'm sure it's true, and maybe not so funny...
There's a web series in my brain called "Joss Whedon's Network Notes". It's funny. For us.
He'd better bring a sled if he ever went back then.
The Bonnie and Clyde picture is indeed fierce.
1) I am sure she is referring to the Fox network and not the studio.

2) I don't think the show was treated that badly at all.

The fact is this show belonged on Showtime or HBO.
@JDL - I agree 100% with everything you just said. People tend to forget (or aren't at all aware of) the difference between studio and network, and how one has very, very little to do with the other. It's why Tim Minear keeps renewing his contracts with the studio, because 20th Century Fox is actually very good to him. Having said that, I think Joss should pass on network TV altogether and just try for cable, as his content makes the most sense there.

@gossi - Keeping that in your brain is selfish and unproductive. You've got to let it out. :)
2) I don't think the show was treated that badly at all.


The advertising for the second season was at best amateurish and at worst incompetent. Wrong airdates on ads and press packs? I mean really, it was pathetic.
The show was (accidentially?) chucked off a cliff for season two. Still, glad (and oddly puzzled) they made it.
[deleted, inappropriate]

[ edited by Caroline on 2010-10-26 13:27 ]
Yeah. Why isn't Joss on HBO?
hence, what're you on about ? That was random. Didn't see any mentions of Astroglide in the article (unless there's a revolving ad on there), so whaaa ?

While I always appreciate folks being candid, celebrity or otherwise, is Eliza's opinion about Joss' relationship with the Fox network really something you air out in public ? I thought Hollywood business types were all about keeping the facade of civility (usually), in case people have to work together again.
Hey Kris, don't mind me too much. Or you're welcome to. I'm embracing the random over here and it's very liberating.
Hence, I suggest you "embrace the random" elsewhere and focus on staying on topic and less offensive here. Consider it a warning.
After ep 5 of the first season, I was hooked on the series and thought it got better each ep in S2. I don't want Joss to get on one of the movie channels, then I would have to wait for the DVD to come out.lol Maybe try USA, TNT, FX or as a last choice Syfy.
Simon said:

The advertising for the second season was at best amateurish and at worst incompetent. Wrong airdates on ads and press packs? I mean really, it was pathetic.


These things happen. They can usually be attributed to technical malfunctions, or the like as a result of human error. I'm sure that who ever was responsible was properly reprimanded or even fired. The important thing to remember is that it's not exclusive to Fox and it's also not personal.

Human Target was all set to return for a second season, but on the night of the premiere (commercials had been showing that day), an episode of House came on, instead. The show had to be pushed to November at the last minute because of rescheduling brought on by the cancellation of Lone Star. Yes, this is also on the Fox network, but it's the most recent example I could think of.

Personally, I take all that stuff in stride. I chalk it up to an unfortunate side effect of the fast-paced business of TV. As such, I try to keep tabs on shows I watch (all of them, not just Fox), so I know what's coming on where and when.

Not once, did I have a problem keeping up with Dollhouse and its schedule. They never really changed all that much. Sure, once or twice, an air date would be inaccurate, but for the most part, Dollhouse always came on Fridays at 8pm Central. The few times it didn't, I would just say, "Oh. I guess it's not on this week. No problem. I'll just tune in back here next week". I never missed an episode.
Why does everyone always forget AMC? This will be the first network to air a show about zombies. I think Joss and AMC would be a perfect fit.

[ edited by electricspacegirl on 2010-10-26 19:21 ]
They can usually be attributed to technical malfunctions, or the like as a result of human error.


On multiple occassions? Once the network PTB discovered what Dollhouse really was like, they gave it a nice slow death over two seasons so they be spared the embarrassment and media flak for cancelling yet another Joss Whedon show in its first season. They looked noble for giving the show another chance with a second season and saved money with the revamped 20th Century Fox deal. They came out of it smelling of roses but it was achieved through very cynical means.
Funny you should mention AMC's zombie show in this thread, esg. AMC's PR people did a silly zombie thing in DC today to promote the show. It reminded me not a little of FOX's PR for Dollhouse.
Sunfire, that is being staged in 27 cities across the globe today, spreading a zombie infestation across the world.

kungfubear, I'm not even going to wade into the Fox marketing thing for Dollhouse on a public forum. Some epic fails went down during season two within Fox.
I think she needs to be very careful what says on behalf of, or in general of Joss, and about FOX. While nothing legally negative, I got a feeling she's stepping a bit to far into their business, and it'll slap her back into Nowheresville; it may be something completely innocent she won't even realize at the time she says it.

Just gettin' a little too mouthy and opinion sharing. Wouldn't be the first actress/actor to make this mistake.


My two cents.
Sorry about that, Caroline. I'll have a bit of a writer break to collect my brains.
Simon said:

On multiple occassions?


Actually? Yeah. American television is an odd duck. In the case of Dollhouse, the second season came with a handicap, in that the network (Fox) asked the show to maintain an average of 3 million viewers on Friday nights (something that wouldn't fly with most other networks not called The CW). Dollhouse was unable to perform this modest task. As a result, the show had to be let go. Fox would not deliberately try to sabotage the success of a show they've paid money to air, lest they lose more money. Again, these things happen. I feel like Dollhouse was a hard sell for network TV and unlucky. I appreciate Fox for initially buying it anyway, and for continuing to support that investment with a season 2.

If I go to the pastry case in 7-Eleven, and they're out of donuts a lot, I'm not going to ever entertain the notion that a conspiracy has begun to get me to lose weight. That's silly, not to mention narcissistic. Sometimes, as they say, a cigar is just a cigar.
Not having any 'insider' knowledge (correct or otherwise), I would tend to side with kungfubear. It would be a truly silly business model to spend ANY money on a show you really want to kill except to 'save face' with some uncertain public/professional constituents. Should FOX think no show-runner will be interested in pitching to them again... hell no. While many people obviously loved DH passionately, not enough did to make it commercially viable. Off to smoke my cigar.
Sometimes, as they say, a cigar is just a cigar.
kungfubear | October 26, 23:01 CET

But if you market cigars as lollipops and mis-state when and where they will be on sale, you aren't likely to stoke much interest in your product.

Just gettin' a little too mouthy and opinion sharing.


And I say "go, Eliza". I always enjoy her interviews. If this kind of candor ruins careers and so should be avoided, I shudder to think of the Stepford people we'd be left with, in a supposedly creative medium.
@Shey - I very much agree with you about Eliza and her freedom/right to express an opinion. We should all strive for the confidence and conviction to be so honest. I'm reminded of this monologue from one of my favorite films.
Okay, now I am going to wade in.

Two points:

Of course FOX didn't try to kill Dollhouse. For a start, FOX isn't one person, and those people are trying to make money for the biz. I didn't speak to anybody there who dislikes Joss - in fact, they all kind of love him. It's creepy. Anyhoo - that doesn't mean the show wasn't problematic. The second season marketing was kinda lame, and the show got cancelled, I believe, because of that. That isn't because one person did something bad - it's because the overall thing fell to bits.

And with regards to Eliza, nothing she said here is something new. Joss himself publicly vowed never to work for FOX again.
I think there's another aspect to this whole "studio guys" thing worth suggesting: possible internal conflict. As has been pointed out, a studio is not one large, united entity, but a multi-faced entity, composed of divided loyalties, competing power brokers, manifestly differing tastes, abilities and intelligences, motivations and sub-motivations. While this is true of the world in general, it's pretty safe to say that it's particularly true of the entertainment business.

While obviously no sane, overall business plan would aim for a show to fail, that doesn't address the fact that it's most probable that various studio entities involved had vastly different ideas of what the show needed to be, how it needed to be represented in advertising, how best to achieve that, how much they wanted it to suceed, and differing abilities to help achieve any of that.

We forget how often most of what's really happening is below the surface, and prey to internecine struggles. As with government, I doubt most of us will ever really know the various forces that affected the nature and outcome of this show.

Just sayin'. ; >


ETF: a "thus" into a "this"

[ edited by QuoterGal on 2010-10-27 20:29 ]

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