Is It Time to Start the Dollhouse Death Clock?

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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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.
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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.
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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.
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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!
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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. ;)
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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.
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"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
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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
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Ooops, I meant *leave me this one, not this me this one.
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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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Super bummed Dollhouse will probably get canceled. Holy crap there are more ppl actually watching Brothers? WOW I watched 5 mins of that awful awful show, my soul was beaten.
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Okay, for all who want it canceled now, fine, bring back Tru Calling and Firefly, and Terminator Sarah Connor.
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Dollhouse is not a bad show at all - I would have watched it but Friday night is full of other good shows, so it got crowded out.
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As a few other people have said I think this show has great potential but they need to get rid of the one-off episodes and make it into a continuing plot line towards what happens in Epitaph One and maybe even beyond. Some of my favorite shows are post-apocalyptic like Jericho and Jeremiah and I think Dollhouse could go a long way if they focused the show more around Epitaph One, it was BY FAR my favorite episode so far and it's a shame it didn't air I really think it would have helped the ratings, it brought me into the show big time! I thought the show was only ok until I saw that episode and it is the main reason why I am still watching, I'm just hoping the show will move toward Epitaph One and if other people got to see it they still might be watching the show but to see it you have to watch the DVD (BAD IDEA WHOEVER CAME UP WITH THAT!!!!!) just seeing the first 12 episodes I wouldn't want to buy the First season at all (I watched it through rentals), I would buy it several years down the road if the show heads in the direction I've been talking about just to see where it all starts but if this shows is mainly going to be one parters then I won't wait around forever, but I am willing to wait around for some time to see where it goes and I urge others who are on the fence about whether they want to keep on watching to indeed keep watching for a while longer to give FOX the ratings it needs to keep the show alive and give the people behind the show the time to take it in the right direction because if done right this show could be really great and I think could be a real hit for FOX possibly even long term. I just love post-apocalyptic TV Shows and movies and think they can move in alot of very cool directions. And Dollhouse has a very unique story to tell, they have had plenty of Virus, Zombie, Meteor, and Nuclear Chaos Tv Shows and Movies but I think people getting thier mind wiped and fighting each other is really cool, the world they show in Epitaph One would be really scarry. They could go at if from a few differnt ways. Focus one people just trying to live and others tracking down the safe haven that Alpha built that they heard of in rumors or shows the Haven trying to make it through everyday life while looking for a solution to the problom or a combination, they could take it in some very cool directions, I would watch the show EVERY week if it was like that, and I even wouldn't mind watching a season or 2 of events leading to this as long as they kept up the pace, I would like to see how the wiping weapon was created and where it all went wrong that would be great to watch. This show has great potential so to the people behind the show - please get it together and make this show into the great show I know that it can be and Fox please give them a chance, please don't cancel this yet, too many shows have been canceled before they are truely able to bloom please don't make that mistake, at least give it 1 more season maybe 2 and if it doesn't do good by then, fine cancel it but atleast it will have had a fair chance.
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It would be a shame if Dollhouse were to go off the air in the middle of this kind of arc, but I agree that the writing is just not that solid right now. Last week's episode was really pretty bad, and unlike last season However, I do still watch the episodes every week (on hulu, which I'm assuming helps the ratings since the show itself advertises for it). That's another thing the producers should be looking at - things like TV.com ratings, where people are still rating Dollhouse pretty highly. Clearly there's a fanbase, even if some of them are streaming the show.

And as for the "dressing up as their favorite Active", well -- yes, as the girl who was Willow to her two best friends' Xander and Buffy back in high school -- I can say I was seriously considering teaming up with a friend to be a doll/Active (hired to be ME - extra creepy appeal) and Handler this Halloween.
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It would be a shame if Dollhouse were to go off the air in the middle of this kind of arc, but I agree that the writing is just not that solid right now. Last week's episode was really pretty bad, and unlike last season However, I do still watch the episodes every week (on hulu, which I'm assuming helps the ratings since the show itself advertises for it). That's another thing the producers should be looking at - things like TV.com ratings, where people are still rating Dollhouse pretty highly. Clearly there's a fanbase, even if some of them are streaming the show.

And as for the "dressing up as their favorite Active", well -- yes, as the girl who was Willow to her two best friends' Xander and Buffy back in high school -- I can say I was seriously considering teaming up with a friend to be a doll/Active (hired to be ME - extra creepy appeal) and Handler this Halloween.
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It would be a shame if Dollhouse were to go off the air in the middle of this kind of arc, but I agree that the writing is just not that solid right now. Last week's episode was really pretty bad, and unlike last season However, I do still watch the episodes every week (on hulu, which I'm assuming helps the ratings since the show itself advertises for it). That's another thing the producers should be looking at - things like TV.com ratings, where people are still rating Dollhouse pretty highly. Clearly there's a fanbase, even if some of them are streaming the show.

And as for the "dressing up as their favorite Active", well -- yes, as the girl who was Willow to her two best friends' Xander and Buffy back in high school -- I can say I was seriously considering teaming up with a friend to be a doll/Active (hired to be ME - extra creepy appeal) and Handler this Halloween.
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I think stargate universe is what sucked a lot of the viewers. But that was because the premier ran a hour over into Dollhouse. I bet you (and seriously hope) the ratings will rise. Plus why doesn't Fox understand that their target audience is usually out on Friday nights or at least not watching TV?
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I have seen EVERY episodes of DOLLHOUSE. I must say the show's not getting better, it's weird, going nowhere, i don't even know why i watch it, maybe i want to know if THIS will be THE episode that changes everthing.

I would gladly watch new season of REAPER instead of DOLLHOUSE, i think i only watch it for Eliza Dushku, because she's hotter than hell.
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Even if it was the best written show with major stars, ratings like the ones it's currently getting are going to get it canceled.
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Smallville had its run and I was surprised they haven't cancelled it long time ago. I used to love the show. Season 1 was the best. Dollhouse is watchable but let's face it - not all that.
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Be glad it's on Friday, it's the only reason the show's still on. It would get slaughtered if they moved it anywhere else and gave it some real competition.
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one more comment from me - like most of the others I agree on moving it to any night but Tuesday - would not miss NCIS for Dollhouse
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I loved the first season, but I agree that opening was a real letdown! Had been looking forward, now I am wondering? Sure hope they do something, lets keep the action going!!!!
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I really had hope for this series because I am a fan of Whedon and of Eliza Dushku. I do, however, admit that the storylines are just not that interesting.
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I absolutely agree with boomgone : Eliza Dushku is annoying. I hated her in Buffy and cannot understand why they chose her for Dollhouse. She has really no talent and this show should have been cancelled a long time ago. When I see that Pushing Daisies was cancelled when it was one of the best shows ever, I just don't understand the decision makers.
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I wish they would spend more time with Victor and Sierra...and introduce some other actives. All we ever see is Echo, Echo, Echo... What assignments do the others have? Are they glitching too? Just because Echo is the star doesn't mean she has the only one with storylines. The real star is the Dollhouse, right?
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Cancel it! I thought that it was a joke last year after the first couple of episodes and then it got a touch better but....to me it has become a nightmare.
Fox deserves this for keeping this show and canceling Terminator:The Sarah Connor Chronicles,which actually was a great show and getting better all the time.
Personally speaking:Eliza Dushku is the reason I am starting to hate this show. She is the star and I am more interested in almost all of the other cast members.
She was ok in Buffy but is no leading lady. Now....if Summer Glau was the lead...maybe.
Get rid of it!!
Eliza Dushku is awful
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why dont they put the show on wednsday at 7 when there is nothing else on. what moron decided friday after two really horrible comedies was a good idea. after watching brothers and til death i wanted to never watch fox again. i love this show and have faith in joss whedon that it will work if they just let him do his thing.
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It would be a shame to cancel this show. In Season 1 I think the writing was tighter and now they seem to be all over with same story lines as other shows. This could be a stand out show, if someone took the reins,revamped it and shot to the top. I think it could be bigger than Buffy if given the attention it needs.Don't give up on it Fox, it could surprise you, with the proper treatment.
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Personally i really enjoy the show. The storylines allow the viewer to adapt to and believe what they are watching. I'm actually couldnt help but notice that the show was getting bad rating before it even aired. What is the deal with that? If i judged this show by the rating people put up i wouldnt have bothered watching it. But i am glad that i did watch it cause now i look forward to the next episode, and i think it needs to lose the weight of negative reviews and it will be a hi flyer. And the last part of this very long comment haha how many people didnt and dont watch the show because of un-necessary reviews, by which i mean revies posted before the show even began. believe me there were a few. that will be all haha
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Prior to Season 1 I could hardly wait to see Eliza Dushko in anything. Well I soon revised that "anything" to anything except Dollhouse. I tried several shows season 1 and then tried season 2. No good at all. I would watch at least give anything with her in a chance but this show is over. I couldn't believe that they brought it back for season 2. I wish it gone.
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Dollhouse shouldn't have come back. I stopped watching midway through last season. If FOX needs a good show to replace it, BRING BACK FIREFLY!!
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Dollhouse shouldn't have come back. I stopped watching midway through last season. If FOX needs a good show to replace it, BRING BACK FIREFLY!!
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I want to see how much damage Echo can do to the Dollhouse.
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I gotta say that I am nervous about the survival of this show unfortunately...I'll keep hanging on to see what happens.
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add a comment i really like dollhouse,i hope a second series is more popular, why not put it on a different channel
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I really like this show. True, it is not as good as Firefly or Buffy but it is a far cry better than most offerings on TV. It has potential although the current story line is more than a bit blah.
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Yeah, it's no Firefly, which was cancelled after airing 11 eps! While I, personally, think Firefly was the best of Joss' shows, Dollhouse was actually given a 2nd season. What do they expect when they put a show on Friday night?? Even I know that's a death slot for any show.
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It started out with so much promise but like the article said, there is a show in there somewhere bogged down by bad script choices. Too bad but maybe a writer might have a bad dream and come up with a better script to save the show...we can only hope.
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I'm glad. The show sucks.
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This is a tough sell. I really like the show (like many have mentioned it's no Buffy of Firefly) but the uneven scripts and Echo's adventures have become labored. I keep telling my friends to watch it and all I get back is , "it's okay..." Maybe that's the thing- it's just an average show. The show Fringe has really caught my interest again this year. I really have been pulling for it (even with Ballard in the dollhouse) but by watching Firefly I see how truly great that show was. Please Fox give Dollhouse a couple more weeks but I think they've already got the nails out for the coffin. Maybe this weeks episode will be an improvement over last weeks ...It's a great premise for a show, let's hope I don't have to buy the DVD set like all of the rest of my Fox series I now own.
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I love Dollhouse...Ok it's not like Buffy or Angel but it's like nothing on TV right now....It's different which is good considering all the c r a p that has been on TV this past few years.So please please do not cancel it!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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Let's see, anybody watching the second season of Buffy would have said the same thing, and FOX did cancel Firefly, before they completed the run of season one, so I have the feeling that even with poor numbers, FOX may go ahead, and keep Dollhouse, so as not to repeat their previous fiasco with a Mutant Zombie Production.
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Save Dollhouse!!!
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I agree with another viewer, they should have not cancelled the Terminator and kept Dollhouse. I watch the show but its like a chore to me. Im still trying to give it a chance but knowing Fox it will be gone in a few weeks. Sorry the truth hurts. They are always cancelling something.
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cancel it
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Mostly they put all the interesting shows (for me) on the same days. Monday House & Heroes, Friday Smallville, Medium, Dollhouse & Ghost Whisperer and the rest of the week crap (for me again). I do also watch Being Erica and Dexter but nothing else compete with them on these days (for me again). But you see what I mean: Friday Night is the Sci-fi/fanstatic shows night and all of them are packed there. Even if you can watch one and record another, you certainly can't watch them all at that night. It should be better to compete with other shows than those of the same type. I sure need something to watch on Tuesday, Wenesday and Thursday. Poor programming will only provide poor ratings.
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Dollhouse is a great show. My girlfriend and I watch it every week. It does run up against SyFy's Stargate Universe, which is a pain, but that's what the DVR is for. I like the direction the show is going, especially that they've included Ballard into the Dollhouse. Please keep the show.
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Maybe if Fox dropped a few reality crap shows they could have kept putting money into TSCC, but Fox is famous for dropping the ball. They could have also kept their noses out of Whedon's pre and post productions. But the biggest problem I see in network tv is the threshold for what is considered a show to cancel/keep, . . some strange brew of executives throwing their darts at a programming board, a Nielsen family kidnapped by the aliens on the back 40, advertisers not getting enough truck/car/soda time in the shows, our disdain for commercials and bad karma.
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