Friday, October 23, 2009

Dollhouse Taking a Break, then Back with a Vengence

There's been a lot of scheduling news about Dollhouse lately:
  • Joss Whedon's thought-provoking and deliciously creepy but ratings-challenged series will be off the air for the entirety of November's sweeps period. That means tonight's episode examining Sierra's backstory is the last you'll see for a month.
  • By contrast, when the show returns in December, beginning with Summer Glau's first show, we'll be presented with two eps each Friday. At that rate, we'll be up to episode 10 by the end of the year, leaving only 3 eps of the 13-show order for 2010.

This news is clearly worrisome for anyone hoping the show will be renewed for a third season, or even that all of the second season will air. If Fox benches the series for a whole month, I wouldn't be surprised if they never put it back on air, despite their earlier claim that they will broadcast the entire season. And, even if Double-Duty December does happen, that scheduling makes it seem like the network is trying to burn through the eps it's already purchased in order to make room for new properties in the coming year. Sigh.


  1. I think Fox will go ahead and air the whole series. It does crap ratings live, but its DVR numbers aren't nearly as bad. Plus, it will have spent all of its energy on November sweeps, so Dollhouse will be just about the only new programming it has in the can.

    I do think that they're just burning off eps they've already paid for, though. The series was renewed to sell DVDs, I think. There may only be a couple of million people watching it every week, but I bet that double-digits fractions of that audience will be buying the DVDs. It's ratings are just too low to keep on with this, though, and I expect that it will be quietly cancelled.

    Part of me thinks the show would be better suited to SyFy (sigh) rather than a broadcast newtork, so I wonder if they might try to sell it there. Heck, if they're already employing half of BSG's cast, they might as well move to their old network, right?

  2. I did love the most recent episode. It hit at the core creepiness in the series more than other eps, although perhaps it should have pointed out more vividly that, by setting up an even more abusive and disturbing situation, it almost had the audience rooting for the (completely morally repugnant) Dollhouse status quo. The effect was not unlike what often happens in Dexter.

    I also think it went a little light on the fundamental evil that the Dollhouse perpetrated by taking in Sierra; she was (abundantly) non compos mentis, and absolutely could not consent to what was done to her. It's fascinating watching Topher develop a stunted, warped little conscience, but perhaps someone (the absent Ballard?) should have pointed out that his "helping" her into a life of personality-less sexual servitude was only marginally less repugnant than what the good doctor did to put her in such a state.