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'American Idol?' It's all about 'Dollhouse'


Say this out loud, to the tune of "Marcia, Marcia, Marcia:" "Dollhouse, Dollhouse, Dollhouse."

Fox's top brass held a conference call with reporters on Monday to announce next season's schedule. You'd think Adam Lambert or Kara DioGuardi or just the words, "American Idol,"  would have come up frequently in the discussion. Or maybe Jack Bauer and "24," which concludes tonight in an exciting two-hour finale.


The press, largely in like with Joss Whedon, was fixated on "Dollhouse."  Word had already gotten out over the weekend that Fox was renewing the low-rated series that premiered with high expectations, but reporters wanted to know what factors persuaded Fox President of Entertainment Kevin Reilly to take another chance on it.

Reilly, who has always been open about his admiration for the popular TV scribe and director, said simply:  "This is a bet on Joss Whedon."

The series, Reilly noted, may not be a hit, but it is one of the top shows viewed by DVR users, and executives find that encouraging.

"It’s a bet on creativity," Reilly added. "You know how inspired Joss Whedon is, and it’s a bet on Joss. . . . That was a pattern for us that we liked, betting on Joss, and I think we’ll continue to see it grow into next season."

Eight weeks into his new job, Fox Entertainment Chairman Peter Rice agreed: 

"We think we can grow the show," Rice said. "The show became much stronger creatively during the course of the season. Joss feels very energized about it, and we believe in him as a creator. We feel he can build the show and grow in the new season and that Friday is a good place for it to do that."

So did Jon Nesvig, Fox's president of sales, who said that advertisers "love" "Dollhouse" and "we love having a scripted Friday night."

Reilly said that for him it was never a choice between "Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles," which was canceled, and "Dollhouse." He also didn't want to create a completely new lineup for Friday nights in the fall.

"I’d venture to say that if we put on new shows on Friday night in particular there would be a lot of cynicism — well, wait you’re creating an entire new night of television?" Reilly said. "Not to mention, if we had canceled Joss’ show, I’d probably have 110 million e-mails this morning. So if you have something that has a core that you believe is working, it’s better than taking a wild play."

--Maria Elena Fernandez

--Photo: Eliza Dushku Credit: David Strick/Los Angeles Times


Comments () | Archives (29)

Too bad Fox didn't have this attitude when they axed Arrested Development...the BEST SHOW that's ever aired on their network.

Crazy how Fox will keep Dollhouse and then cancel Sarah Connor Chronicles. Dollhouse has to be one of the worst shows ever. And the promotions for the show are disturbing. They are shoving this broad down our throats, in these outfits to try to make her appear sexy. She's not sexy, she's just an average looking girl, "cute" at best, not "sexy" by any means.

While I admit the Dollhouse isn't having the best first season, it has gotten better. Plus, Joss is a genius storyteller. Does any one remember season 6 of Buffy the Vampire Slayer?

Dollhouse is amazing and it definitely deserved a renewal over Terminator.

How about the 110 million emails they've gotten from Sarah Connor fans? Weren't Dollhouse's numbers lower than Terminator's?

Wow, huge disappointment. I tried to watch Dollhouse. I wanted to like it. I couldn't. I gave up with at least 4 episodes unwatched on my TiVo. I was expecting and looking forward to it being cancelled.

Terminator, on the other hand, I liked. In my opinion they had a good story going and I was looking forward to next seaon. With the new Terminator movie coming out soon I would have thought this might have given the series a boost for next season. So sad to see it go.

It irritates me that Fox is willing to take a chance on this garbage show, but they didn't bet on Joss Whedon's Firefly series, which was infinitely times more entertaining the Dollhouse.

I love Dollhouse. I think it is a great show

Its sad that at the end of the season, Terminator had better ratings then Dollhouse, yet Dollhouse gets renewed... on top of that T4 comes out this week which would have only served to boost interest in the show. Bad decision on Foxs part. Dollhouse will never survive a Friday line up without Terminator. Goodbye Dollhouse! (which didnt deserve a new season over TSCC anyway)

I can tell you that the forums and chat over at http://terminatorwiki.fox.com/ is full of hundreds if not thousands of fans vowing never to watch another Fox show due to this

@ Svale_Steve

Too bad you didn't wait until episode 6. Fox execs interfered with the first 5 episodes, and this has been acknowledged. Suits should never try and interfere in any creative process whatsoever. It's also been noted that from episode 6 on, Joss Whedon finally had full control of the series, and it showed. If you don't know what the line "There are three flowers in a vase..." is and how it changed the show, you missed a hell of a lot!

I have to say I'm glad to see Terminator going and not Dollhouse. Joss Whedons shows are always amazing and have such imagination in them. I watched 1 episode of Terminator and just couldn't get into it. Joss Whedon is definitely a genius when it comes to episodic television series. His ideas may be obscure, but always have many many levels of depth. I for one am glad Dollhouse is staying on. And for the guy that said the Eliza Dushku isn't sexy, what crack are you smoking?

Terminator, yes. Dollhouse, not!

Dollhouse is a great show, and I'm glad to hear it was renewed. There was a time that I would have been disappointed that Terminator was cancelled, but this last season was not good.

Terminator stumbled a bit in the second season but there's no way they should have renewed Dollhouse over it. What a terrible decision

Dollhouse over TSCC? What are they thinking? HIgher rated. About to be boosted by the Terminator movie. Better cast. A storyline with much more room to grow creatively. Bigger fan base.

Dollhouse over TSCC? What are they thinking? HIgher rated. About to be boosted by the Terminator movie. Better cast. A storyline with much more room to grow creatively. Bigger fan base.

Agreed, never watched Dollhouse, the ads made it look like stupid peep show.
Chronicle I watched religiously and am very disappointed its gone. Better than Fringe which I recently stopped watching as the episodes starting stretching for theme.

The last few episodes of Dollhouse were insanely great - so I am delighted to see this show get a chance.

They renew this show and not terminator? Wtf is wrong with these people............. /sigh

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