Whedon, Dushku welcomed to the Dollhouse

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Praise the heavens, Joss Whedon is returning to television. The creator of cult favorite shows Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Firefly, and Angel has signed a new deal with Fox for a new action-drama series, reports TVWeek.com.

Titled Dollhouse, the show will star former Buffy player Eliza Dushku as a secret agent named Echo. However, she won't be simply flashing a badge and kicking criminals in the face. Each of the agents in Echo's group can have abilities and personalities uploaded into themselves for specific assignments; when they complete the assignment, the memories are wiped from their minds. Dushku's character eventually begins to figure out what is transpiring and realizes that she is being used.

"[Dollhouse] deals with our darkest impulses and our best ones," Whedon said. "It deals with all the things I like to deal with--strength, weakness, power, and corruption."

Dollhouse has been given a seven-episode commitment with Fox, and is expected to premiere sometime next year. The idea apparently came to Whedon over a recent lunch meeting with Dushku.

As for the tone of the show, Whedon thinks that Buffy fans will be pleased. "If [Buffy fans] could only see what's in my head right now... They should be [excited]," Whedon told TVWeek.

This marks Whedon's first return to running a television show since Buffy spinoff Angel went off the air in 2004. This also ends Whedon's standoff with Fox, which came about after the network canceled Firefly after only 11 episodes (which were shown out of order).

"It's a brand new day over [at Fox]," said Whedon. "It's a completely new bunch of people and they seem really intelligent and supportive."

Whedon is also working on Ripper, another Buffy spinoff, as well as taking the occasional guest directing spot on The Office.

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