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Joss Whedon: 'I would have put "Dollhouse" on Fridays too'

WhedonThere was an outcry heard 'round the Web among Joss Whedon devotees after Fox announced it was sending his heavily anticipated TV series "Dollhouse" to Friday nights.

But in an interview Wednesday morning, Whedon said that Fridays are "a better fit" for the show.

"It's not a slam dunk, 'We love everything you're doing' slot. Everybody knows that," he said. "Dollhouse" will air Fridays after new episodes of the similarly sci-fi-themed drama "Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles." Whedon says he trusts the network. "The executives I’m dealing with are canny guys."

By canny, does he mean Fox has given him assurances that it will be patient with the show? More or less. "They’re bringing down expectations regarding how big of an audience they think it will bring in the beginning, and then as the show progresses. They need to do that."

“Dollhouse” revolves around a team of programmable people — or dolls — with various skills and abilities rented out for assignments by high-paying clients. Early on, one of the dolls, Echo (Eliza Dushku), begins to become self-aware.

The show's troubled production has already branded it as perhaps an overly complicated project, which may have sent it to Friday nights. Whedon admitted the show "is not simple" but added "we're not trying to lecture or bore people either. It's fun. It's designed to entertain, but in a way that plays on a lot of levels."

That said, Whedon says he anticipated the Friday move — and not as a bad thing. "If I were an executive, I would have put it on Friday too, honestly, and not as a dig. The people who want this will find it, and hopefully more will as well. Fox is aware that TV just doesn’t exist the same way. People watch it online, on DVD, on their TiVos. It’s not the end of the world, but of course everyone's been predicting the end of the world for 'Dollhouse' since it was announced."

Whedon also noted that while Fox executives will likely have to wait patiently for building returns on the show, he hopes fans will be just as patient with the story line. "We’re trying to create something that’s more than the sum of its parts. And not just in an 'Oooh, we’re heavy with mythology' way. Dare I say we're reaching for something more philosophical? Am I allowed to say philosophical? Or does that just mean my show will fail?"

"Dollhouse" premieres Feb. 13 at 9 p.m. on Fox.

— Denise Martin

Photo: Joss Whedon  Credit: Annie Wells / Los Angeles Times

Comments () | Archives (7)

Joss is an amazingly gifted writer and director. We still mourn Buffy & Angel cancellations from tv. HOPE Fox gives his new series a real chance. Joss's writing style is incredibly entertaining and intelligent. Surely there still places in television for a quality show? Its getting hard to know for sure, due to the flood of staged but still lamo, "reality show" garbage.

I miss having Joss Whedon anything on the air, so I'm looking forward to "Dollhouse". However, I remember what happened to "Firefly" all too well. I'm trying not to worry.

Good luck, Joss!!!

If I remember correctly, The X-Flies started on Fridays at Fox, before moving to the Sunday time slot.

I think it can succeed. As was eluded to in the article, we're living in a world of online episodes and DVRs. Friday night may not mean doom anymore, like it has in the past for so many great shows - Firefly, Wonderfalls, Millennium, Dark Angel, The Lone Gunmen - just to name a few. I'm hopeful anyway. I know that I almost never watch a show in the timeslot in which it originally airs anymore. Lets hope this proves true, and that Joss gets his chance to get this show up and running.

Oh please. This is obviously Joss's way of lowering everyone's expectations because he knows the show is crap. If he believed in it he would be furious over its timeslot and talking up what a great show it is. This has flop written all over it.

It's wonderful that he still keeps coming out with new shows. Despite the cancellations, his work (along with his team) is great and I'll always be watching.

I was devastated when I heard the new time slot.. it means I won't be able to watch it live.. I had to beg a friend to set their vcr to record it for me since I work friday nights... and I will have to continue to beg every week...


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