Is It Time to Start the Dollhouse Death Clock?

By Tim Surette

Oct 06, 2009

Fox took a leap of faith last year when it opted to keep the struggling Dollhouse on the air, despite the show's middling ratings. Show creator Joss Whedon pitched an overall vision of Season Two (and beyond) to executives, and they must've liked what they saw because Whedon still has a show. But there is no possible way they are liking what they see now.

The second episode of Dollhouse's second season checked in with a measly 2.1 million viewers and a 0.8 rating and 3 share among the all-important adult demographic. That. Is. Not. Good. It's a series low for a show that has already disappointed in the ratings -- and barring a real miracle (the return of the adorable Miracle Laurie didn't help), Fox will likely cut Dollhouse's run short.

Looking at the numbers, even an intern at Fox knows that by pulling in a smaller Friday audience than its agonizing lead-ins (sitcoms Brothers and 'Til Death), repeats on ABC, and the CW's Smallville, Dollhouse is looking cancellation in the eye.

The sad thing is, there's an interesting story somewhere in this series -- it's just being bogged down by the case-of-the-week storylines (last week's Lifetime movie special plot was particularly snoozeworthy). So will the show last long enough for us to see it?

Whedon has addressed the low-ratings issue before, insisting that DVD sales and other avenues of revenue (iTunes sales, etc.) are persuading execs to let the show live, but let's face it: Dollhouse is no Buffy, Angel or Firefly. I just don't see the fans having Dollhouse viewing parties or dressing up as their favorite Active like they do with Whedon's cult hits, let alone buying DVDs up like crazy.

The forecast is not looking good for Dollhouse. Let the Death Clock begin.

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  • akamidnight Oct 14, 2009

    This show is a joke. The Echo plotline has only just started rolling...What exactly was the point of season one? There's no need to kill it, it's already dead. Bury it and move on to something awesome, Whedon. The saddest part is that this show could have been great.

  • EverteMax Oct 14, 2009

    Fox was ready to ditch dollhouse when they put it on fridays. I didn't notice when it was returning until i was watching bones and fringe and they pop it up...and I was like...are they serious? Anyway, 2.1mil is REAL bad...FOX should reconsider that the time slot is REAL bad also...unless like what i mentioned, they were already thinking of ditching the show.

  • gothceltgirl Oct 13, 2009

    The only other criticism I agree with is that it should be more serial. Joss needs to follow his own pattern of tight serial plotlines. There is ongoing stuff, but it could be more serial. If I was watching this on TV, I'd be annoyed that its not following more of a sequential plotline.

  • gothceltgirl Oct 13, 2009

    Strange, I thought last ep. was one of the best so far. I wish they'd stop negative hyping things. Just give SciFi a chance. Hasn't everyone figured out by now that SciFi shows take longer to get into their groove than other shows. I feel this one has, Belle Chose was a great episode & I hope Dollhouse sticks around for a lot longer. Plus hello its in the Death time slot right now. I only watch TV online, but c'mon Fox!

  • nuwonda Oct 11, 2009

    What do you mean "is it time to start"...? It has been ticking all along. And all signs point towards cancellation after season 2. So my word of advice to Joss is to work on his formula and make something new for a change. ;)

  • minusTlMES Oct 10, 2009

    I tried to like the show, I really did, but then I realized that I was forcing myself to watch it because I couldn't allow myself to believe that Joss Whedon could strike out this badly. After the first two episodes of the current season, I'm ready to throw in the towel unless something spectacular happens tonight. Regardless, I would rather fox cancel it now when it's still practically unwatchable than to allow it to linger on and potentially turn things around only to be axed later.

  • ZekkJedi Oct 10, 2009

    "how bout FOX gives the show a decent time slot, who has time to watch t.v. on a friday. why don't they put their reality junk shows at that time" -seconded

  • HatesBadTV Oct 09, 2009

    how bout FOX gives the show a decent time slot, who has time to watch t.v. on a friday. why don't they put their reality junk shows at that time

  • Aryenta Oct 09, 2009

    Ooops, I meant *leave me this one, not this me this one.

  • Aryenta Oct 09, 2009

    LEAVE DOLL HOUSE ALONE!!!!! You guys cancel ALL my favorite shows; this me THIS ONE!!!!!!!! :'( Oh.. and Supernatural & House & Bones & Heroes & Smallville & NCIS & umm.. &... hmm, well I can't remember which others right now but just LEAVE THEM ALONE!!!!! NO CANCEL!! NO NO NO NO NO!!!!!!!!!!

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