Exclusive: Fox to bench 'Dollhouse' during sweeps

dollhouse_lThis isn’t a good sign: Sources confirm to me exclusively that Fox has decided to pull Dollhouse off the schedule during November sweeps. Joss Whedon’s ratings-challenged drama is expected to return in December and air back-to-back episodes on Friday night.

Bottom line: Barring a ratings miracle, Dollhouse will be shut down for good after it completes its current 13-episode order.


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  • Adam

    Why does Fox constantly insist on breaking my heart?

    • Jane

      More importantly, why does Joss keep working with Fox when they keep pulling his shows? He can do better than that.

      • Samantha

        Eliza approached him about doing a show with her. She already had a contract with Fox. I’m betting he will probably steer clear of Fox in the future.

      • DW

        More importantly, why didn’t Joss make a good show that people actually wanted to watch?

      • michael

        Fox did not do a disservice to this show in any way. In fact, renewing it for a second season was borderline idiotic, considering the ratings from last season. I’ll admit that they effed up Firefly, but the failure of Dollhouse had nothing to do with Fox. It was a bad show and lost ratings as a result. Even though it’s much improved, it took too long to get there.

      • Luis PJ

        Most of his shows and movies are with Fox and or 20th Century FOX…must be a work contract…and here I thought it was because it was baseball

    • gia

      You kind of get what you deserve if you’re a fan of this stinker of a show!

      • Anonymous

        It is actually a great show if you give it a chance. The actor who plays Victor is AMAZING. Any the premise is very unique unlike most of the shows on TV. It is just on at a very BAD night.

      • Tamarron

        Really? Just pointless insults that you’re not even backing up? Grow up.

      • CGB

        Sorry, but this one needs to go. I’m the worlds biggest browncoat, loved Buffy, but this is just a waste of time this season. Sorry Joss. Gotta go!

      • Nadine

        It’s a fascinating show. Rich premise, provocative, intelligent, endless character exploration potential and funny too at times. What, not enough fighting and car chases for you?

      • Nicole

        Everybody has their own likes and dislikes, and for someone to refer negatively to another individual’s preference(s) is a sign of their own idiocy.

    • KG

      Good riddance to an awful show!!!

      • Nicole

        If you consider an interesting idea and great actors the basis of an awful show, then you need to reevaluate your way of thinking.

      • Will

        It was awful to be truthful, I watched all the episodes, and only one episode was good and that’s the one that wasn’t aired. The rest, awful.

    • RJ

      I was encouraged that FOX renewed it for a second season, but once they decided to keep it on Friday nights, I realized it was on borrowed time…

    • Luke

      When will Joss learn? Stay the hell off of Fox.

  • aesayers

    You’d think Joss would have learned not to work with FOX after the Firefly debacle. This stinks; I was just starting to get into this show.

  • Eve

    NOOOOOO!!!!!!! WHY!!!!!!!????????

    • Andy G

      Because its ratings are terrible because nobody it watching it?

      • Q

        …Because everyone knows Fox is going to cancel it anyways and don’t want to waste their time watching a show only to be left with a cliff-hanger? People want beginnings, middles and ends. When you tell them (either explicitly or by being Fox) that you’re going to get a promising start and a middle, but no end, they don’t tune in.

      • Anonymous

        The ratings are bad because it is on Friday night at 9, when most of the age demographic that will watch it is out…

      • Quirky

        Is there such thing as a Friday night show with good ratings?

      • gigi

        @Quirky…I think Friday night shows with good ratings went away with Full House and Family Matters. *sigh* Those were the days…

      • Mike

        There sure seems to be alot of comments for a show that nobody is watching”. Fox never wanted to keep it otherwise why would they put it on Friday nights? They just set it up to fail, just like Firefly.

  • BERE

    REALLY fox…really WTF

    • kate

      To be fair on fox its not their fault the show isnt getting the ratubngs, you can say o well they moved it to a friday night but if people really wanted to watch it they would tune in on the friday nigt, the problem is dollhouse has a bigger international following then an american one but fox unfortunatly for the fans cant take that into consideration! I persoanlly think fox were nice to pick it up for a second season in the first place their ratings last year were terrible as well, they did that to please the fans!

      • Nancy

        Yeah, you can blame Fox. They do no publicity, cut the budget and expect miracles. Had they at least publicized the show, I wouldn’t blame Fox but the execs set this show up to die.

      • SKR

        You can totally blame fox! First a lot of people dont even know the show is still on because of the poor marketing and you say if people really wanted to watch it they would tune in…no…people are not going to change their weekend plans for one show…so the blame can fall sqaurely on fox.

      • gia

        The show did get promoted. The initial ratings weren’t too bad, but the audience mostly disappeared. So viewers checked it out, mostly held their noses while turning the channel, and didn’t come back. Fox is not to blame for anything except the decision to pick up this sexist POS in the first place, and to renew it despite the putrid ratings.

      • Amanda

        Yeah, it got promoted some before the series premiere, but after that…not so much. And for having so much faith in Joss like they said they did when they renewed it, they certainly haven’t shown that at all. “Yeah, let’s give this show another shot, but leave it in the Friday death slot, and not promote it at all.” In what way does that say they care about Joss or this show? Also, had Fox not butted in where they didn’t belong during the first half of season one, those viewers who did check it out in the beginning, would’ve stayed. The show got remarkably better after they decided to step aside. So yeah, I say we can absolutely blame Fox.

      • Julie

        Alas, I’m a fan of the show. But when a commercial for Instinct came on in my dorm’s common room, everyone in the room exchanged weird glances except for me (who buried my face in my hands and asked “Why, Fox? Why must you kill it?” Even trying to explain that it’s a good show after some of the advertising is no use.

      • Tamarron

        Is gia a troll or someut? I don’t think I’ve every heard anyone call Whedon sexist before.


      • Xanderharris

        Whedon a sexist!! HAHAHAHAHA. Right.

      • Brian

        Friday night death slot? I will admit, I don’t know about how ratings are calculated these days, but don’t all of you have DVRs? I’ve seen every episode of this show (and I think that this season has been really bad so far), but I’ve rarely actually watched it on Friday nights. Tivo to the rescue.

  • Dani

    Darn you, Fox. It was actually better this season >_<

  • BERE

    we just get FOXKS!! AGAIN

  • Austin

    I hate being upset with Fox after they surprisingly renewed Dollhouse last spring, but they’ve mostly treated the show like crap since day 1. Thank you Joss for giving us two seasons of a show that truly challenged viewers. I look forward to the rest of this season.

  • Alex

    Would you look at that, my DVR suddenly stopped recording on Fox during that time slot. Good DVR! I’ll find another treat for you to take in as a replacement.

    • Jess

      Try White Collar premiering tonight USA. I’m very excited about this one!

  • Mad Men

    Not surprising after they put it on Friday nights; but VERY disappointing. Fox just keeps chucking good shows out and keeps the crap stuff on.

  • J


  • Laura

    Well, at least it’s going to be a cheap DVD set. Sad, because over-all, it’s a good show and is certainly more intelligent than most of the tripe that’s on Fox or the other netowrks.

  • Jack Me Off

    this show should of been off the air last year and terminator sarah connor chronicles should been picked up dollhouse SUCKS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • Tarc

      TSCC was tired and boring, killed by a limited premise and lazy, lazy, lazy writing. I cancelled it early on. Dollhouse has always been far more interesting, complex sci-fi.

      • Jason1

        Dollhouse was boring for the first 5 episodes, wtf is that?

      • Tom

        Claps. So true, DH has problems, but it’s the West Wing compared to TSCC.

    • Q

      Both shows should’ve been picked up. Ditching T:SCC shattered any faith that people had in Fox staying with quality, not-appreciated-by-Nielsen-family shows.

    • KateTheGreat

      WOW JACK-ME-OFF, nice NAME. Show is a GREAT SHOW. And for those of you who don’t think its intelligent, what do you watch it on MUTE to just stare at Eliza??? The entire story is Smart, which makes it WAYYYY different compared to the CRAP on TV. Reality shows, American Idol, all this garbage can continue for YEARS on top of years and yet a LEGEND like Joss Whedon can’t get a season without gossip of cancellation??? RIDICULOUS. Fox is just plain stupid and Joss would’ve NEVERRRRR went back to them if it wasn’t for Eliza who is STUCK in a contract with them and wanted to work with him. And because of all this crap we will most likely NEVER see another tv series created by this amazing guy. He will probably stick to the internet, and i don’t blame him.

      • Andy Bleubear

        Just because something is different, does not make it better. This show is ok, but then again, I always thought Joss’ shows were overrated. Buffy seasons 1-3 were good, Angel was ok, and Firefly was crap.

      • Anonymous

        I would hate to see what shows you like to watch Andy… Joss Whedon is amazing, and Firefly was his bet show. The stories were great and the writing was hysterical

      • P

        Andy Bluebar, I usually like to respect people’s opinion on these forums, but honestly you are must have watched these shows on mute.

    • llh4810

      I totally agree. I couldn’t belive they renewed this crap and cancelled Sarah Connor Chronicles

      • lenguamor

        JMO, but T:SCC was simply TOO unrelentingly dark. A story arc has to have at least the possibility of something good on the other side of the darkness to keep an audience’s interest; otherwise, it’s just real life. As for Dollhouse…Joss kind of dug its grave himself when he let the writing go for those few episodes last season. When you’re only making 13 damn episodes per season, you’d better damn well make them ALL at least GOOD. Great premise, fine actors – poor execution by Whedon. This one’s on him.

    • Terminator should BE BACK!

      I was so ticked the canceled SCC so DH could continue> Just because they replaced terminator with dollhouse i swore i would never watch it.
      At least terminator has\had a cult following.

      • Whoami5423

        Same here. I tried DH when it first came out and didn’t care for it. I’ve heard it’s better now but I refuse to watch it since I was afraid it would see the same fate and TSCC. From the looks of this article – it’s looking like I made the right call!

        TSCC had a great story to it – especially the season 2 finale! FOX sure made a bad move canceling TSCC.

      • Gordy

        TSCC’s cancellation still hurts. That show ended extremely strong. Dollhouse is getting better, but, I DVR it every week. Not exactly must see TV IMO. Not like Terminator was.

  • I’m shocked!

    I wonder if Joss still feels good about his decision to return to Fox, and if he still believes that Fox is a different studio from the one that canceled Firefly.

  • Jen

    Why does everyone continually dog Fox? This isn’t the same network that screwed over Firefly and Arrested Development. There was no reason to give Sarah Connor Chronicles all the chances it got, and Dollhouse was given the benefit of the doubt, too. At the end of the day, the network has to make money so it can survive. It gave Dollhouse a chance, and DH isn’t performing. As much of a Joss fan as I am, I don’t fault the network.

    • Julie

      I have to agree with Jen here. It’s not the network. If you read all of the write ups out there – Fox has been generous with this show.

      It IS a good premise. The problem was and still is that the story is all over the board. It is as if the writers don’t even know where they want to go…and everyone has an opinion so now that the heat is on so is the pressure to cave in to opinions – FAN…AND NETWORK.

      It’s like Heroes – with the exception that Dollhouse didn’t have a breakout 1st season. But the writing is mediocre.

      I wasn’t wild on Firefly either. It was quirky. It was good. Buffy is the ultimate feather in Joss’ cap. Just remember – Buffy wasn’t on a major network (the WB and then UPN) and low viewership on those networks made it a #1 ranked show for THEM. If Buffy HAD been on Fox or NBC or CBS or ABC…it would have died a horrible death EARLY in its lifetime.

      Let Dollhouse go. Good premise. Absolutely terrible writing and a story that never really got off the ground. Fox gave it a chance this season and ALREADY its squandered it (and I’ve watched from Day 1).

      • Chaz Winterbottom

        Yeah, the problem isn’t the network, it’s the show. I love Whedon’s other shows and I gave Dollhouse a chance multiple times but when you get down to it the show simply isn’t very good. There were some nice elements to it, but it was hard to get attached to any of the characters and many of the stories were down right silly.

      • Grover

        “If Buffy HAD been on Fox or NBC or CBS or ABC…it would have died a horrible death EARLY in its lifetime.”

        That’s very true. And look at how much money Fox is STILL making from Buffy to this day from licensing merch, because the fan-base was allowed to grow to a level where they’ll support it indefinitely. Think about how much they’ve made on Firefly, and it never even had a full season on the air. That’s what I find so frustrating, is that they can’t seem to see the long term benefits of sticking with a long-tail show like Dollhouse, which will never have strong live air ratings, but creates a devoted fanbase that will follow you for decades.

      • The Truth

        DH would have been successful on the SYFY Channel, were a small core audience would be enough. But on a major network a show needs decent ratings to keep it going. Also some are comparing Buffy to DH if it were on FOX it would have also been canceled. I don’t think so, DH viewers are in the low 2’s at best. Buffy at its best was in the low 5’s and its worst the high 3’s (that was its first season only). Put it this way the first season is the only season were Buffy had less viewers than DH and TSCC combined, still think it would have been canceled?

      • Rachel

        Yeah… DH had some promise and a premise at least more interesting than a lot of random shows you see out there. The problem is, the premise is rarely lived up to.

        They sort of have the priorities backwards. The ‘A’ plot of most episodes is usually just a standalone ‘look! An excuse for Eliza Dushku to play another different character!’ and the ‘B’ plotline is usually something more interesting, generally involving Topher, Victor or Sierra.

        Interesting premise, good cast, bad execution. I like Joss Whedon’s work, but I can’t really blame FOX on this one.

        That said, I agree that this should would’ve survived on SYFY. I mean, DH is still better than Sanctuary, which should be killed just to rid us of the ear-bleeding horror that is Amanda Tapping — an otherwise good actress — trying to do a British accent and failing miserably.

    • Tom

      I kinda agree here, DH AND TSCC got plenty of chances. Saying the ratings are because the shows are on Friday night doesn’t work, compare them to the other shows on the other networks, they are not doing well.

      A long term view would be as you suggest to milk the DH fanbase via the DVD market, something TSCC didn’t have going for it as all DVD money goes to WB rather than FOX.

  • Linda

    Stupid Fox. They really can’t make up their own minds. Last I saw they were planning on airing it during sweeps. Sick of the back and forth.

    • Jess

      They were planning on airing it over sweeps. But considering what sweeps’ purpose is…you can’t leave in a show that is going to be detrimental to your ratings and the possible ad revenue that comes from it.

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