DOLLHOUSE

FOX knows what it is doing? I think not.

POSTED BY: HAKEN
UPDATED: Monday, May 18, 2009 04:30
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VIEWED: 2064
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Monday, April 20, 2009 1:19 AM

HAKEN

Likes to mess with stuffs.


It's no surprise, but in a Wizard Universe interview with Joss Whedon, he describes how tough it was for FOX executives to give him story notes for 'Dollhouse.'

I'm sure someone will point out that hindsight is 20/20, but still...to the FOX execs' credit, all the necessary pain and suffering just so that Joss can end up making the series he wants on the verge of it being canceled is really stupid.

FOX should have just left Joss alone. Anyway, read for yourself.

Quote:


When executives give you story notes at this point in your career, do you ever feel like saying, "I'm Joss Whedon, dude. Trust me, it'll all make sense before you know it.

You know, it is tougher [to have changes dictated by Fox], particularly this year because I had a 45-minute note session that was followed by an executive telling me how much he loved "Dr. Horrible" [Whedon's online musical parody] which was obviously made without the benefit of network notes. And then I had "Cabin in the Woods" greenlit at MGM with no notes, which was rare for a movie, so I've been in this wonderful rarified position. But, having said that, I also, always, have to go in there knowing that their priorities may not be mine but their perspective is valid. If they know what they're doing, and I think these guys do, they're worth listening to. And even somebody who doesn't necessarily get what you're doing might be the one to say, "Hey, look, the emperor's naked." ...When I pitched it, I gave them a six-year plan with a lot of leeway for change. But what I really mapped out was the first 13, and even though we start in a different place than I had originally intended, we end up exactly where I'd intended in the 12th episode. Then, in the 13th episode, things just get stranger. There's some twisted shit coming."




Full article with some other tidbits is here:
http://www.wizarduniverse.com/041709whedon.html

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Monday, April 20, 2009 2:02 AM

BIGRICHARD


Quote:


and even though we start in a different place than I had originally intended, we end up exactly where I'd intended in the 12th episode. Then, in the 13th episode, things just get stranger. There's some twisted shit coming.




I cannot believe we don't get to see 13 (until the DVD/Blu of course). I just can't wait to see where this is all going. If Fox cancels this, I will be extremely distraught. Honestly, there could be tears.

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Monday, April 20, 2009 5:29 AM

ZEEK


My impression is that Joss is politicking here. He's not going to say "yeah those execs really effed things up early on" in the press then turn around and beg for renewal. He's going to say "these guys are great and they really helped blah blah smooch smooch". I can't imagine that he thinks those first 5 episodes were gold.

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Monday, April 20, 2009 5:46 AM

BIGRICHARD


Yeah, definitely agree with you there Zeek. A man's gotta do what a man's gotta do.

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Monday, April 20, 2009 5:55 AM

KWICKO

"We'll know our disinformation program is complete when everything the American public believes is false." -- William Casey, Reagan's presidential campaign manager & CIA Director (from first staff meeting in 1981)


Quote:

Originally posted by BigRichard:
Quote:


and even though we start in a different place than I had originally intended, we end up exactly where I'd intended in the 12th episode. Then, in the 13th episode, things just get stranger. There's some twisted shit coming.




I cannot believe we don't get to see 13 (until the DVD/Blu of course). I just can't wait to see where this is all going. If Fox cancels this, I will be extremely distraught. Honestly, there could be tears.



But seriously, when Joss is involved, did you expect there NOT to be tears?



Here's hoping Fox lets him go where he wants to go with Dollhouse. So far, it's not really my kind of ride, but I'm recording it and watching it just the same, and I think if Fox loosens the reins a bit, Joss will shine through. He hasn't let me down in any of his previous series...

Mike

Build a man a fire and he'll be warm for a day...
Set a man on fire and he'll be warm for the rest of his life.

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Monday, April 20, 2009 6:12 AM

TWO

The Joss Whedon script for Serenity, where Wash lives, is Serenity-190pages.pdf at www.mediafire.com/folder/1uwh75oa407q8/Firefly


Every show that FOX puts on Friday nights, like Dollhouse, has not been renewed for next season. The exception to the rule is “X-Files”. If there are other exceptions, put the show name in the comments. And “X-Files” got moved to Sunday.

I've heard claims that networks decide which shows to cancel based upon audience numbers. That may be true for networks other than FOX but it does not explain why Firefly and Dollhouse debuted in the infamous Fox Friday night death slot. Both shows had no audience numbers before they were assigned to Friday.

FOX decided before Firefly debuted to hamstring it by showing episodes out of order and preempting it for baseball and showing the strongest episode, the pilot, after the show was not renewed and not showing all the episodes. Nowadays, FOX is more sophisticated and subtle about sabotaging Dollhouse, almost as if FOX is more mature, less petty and vindictive than in the year Firefly debuted. But see Joss Whedon's above comments about working for FOX. On the other hand, Dollhouse still premiered in the Friday night death slot, just like Firefly. And the 13th Dollhouse episode will not be shown, just like Firefly.

I'm predicting that Dollhouse will be dead soon. I could be wrong, but only if some show other than “X-Files” survived Friday night at FOX. Maybe Dollhouse will be the miraculous exception to the rule? FOX will blame the cancellation on low ratings, which makes it seem so neutral, rational and impersonal, but I think it will be because the mean spirit of Rupert Murdoch guides FOX. Murdoch's minions are not so busy counting money that they can't have fun harassing Joss Whedon, justifying their wacko notes to Joss by saying they are "improving" the show, making it "easier to understand" for the audience.

What they were really doing is screwing up a show that they intended to kill, which is why it premiered on Friday night. Eventually they got bored with bullying Joss and he made the later episodes of the show the way he wanted. Joss said in the interview "When I pitched it, I gave them a six-year plan with a lot of leeway for change. But what I really mapped out was the first 13 [episodes]..." FOX had to interfere with Joss's careful plans that he told them before he signed his employment contract. The sociopaths at FOX couldn't control themselves. They are undisciplined, in the clinical sense of sociopaths who are cool, calculating, glib, easily able to read people and ingratiate themselves to others.

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Monday, May 18, 2009 4:30 AM

TWO

The Joss Whedon script for Serenity, where Wash lives, is Serenity-190pages.pdf at www.mediafire.com/folder/1uwh75oa407q8/Firefly


Quote:

Originally posted by two:
I'm predicting that Dollhouse will be dead soon. I could be wrong, but only if some show other than “X-Files” survived Friday night at FOX. Maybe Dollhouse will be the miraculous exception to the rule?



Why did Dollhouse survive? The answer is here, where it mentions that sociopath "Pete 1.0" of FOX finally got fired:
http://nickctv.wordpress.com/2009/05/23/dollhouse-season-2-or-why-fox-
did-it
/
and also here:
Fox Execs Keep Playing With 'Dollhouse'
http://voices.washingtonpost.com/tvblog/2009/05/fox_execs_keep_playing
_with_do.html

The Reporters Who Cover Television were shocked right down to their ganglions late last week when Fox renewed its ratings-starved "Dollhouse" for next season.

"What the heck?!" they said in overwrought features, columns/blogs/tweets. "Joss Whedon's latest exercise in ultra-feminist heinie-kicking-and-tight-tank-top-wearing didn't even cop 3 million viewers the other day! That's not even a decent FX number -- much less an acceptable return for a show airing on the country's No. 1-ranked broadcast network and home of 'American Idol'!"

But, of course, "Dollhouse" is produced by 20th Century Fox TV, which is owned by NewsCorporation, which also owns the Fox broadcast network. While "Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles," for instance, is not.

And NewsCorp. expects Dollhouse's first-season DVD sales to be strong, and overseas sales look good and some of those people who couldn't be bothered watching "Dollhouse" on Friday nights were instead watching on Hulu -- which, in one of those astounding coincidences which makes you feel certain life is just one darned unfathomable mystery after another, just happens to be co-owned by NewsCorporation.

And, of course, what with the threshhold for Brilliant Success Status on Hulu being so much lower than it is on broadcast TV (in much the same way that, say, 1 million CD sales takes you platinum but 1 million viewers gets you cancelled on broadcast TV) these "Dollhouse" viewers help made Hulu look like a success.

Oh, and Whedon has reportedly discovered a way to make episodes on the cheap --cheap for Whedon, anyway.

So Fox ordered a second season of "Dollhouse" which, some industry navel-gazers note, may be the lowest-rated series ever to get a renewal in the history of broadcast TV. They're probably right.

A case of the tail wagging the dog you say? (The Reporters Who Cover Television certainly did.)

Not at all. Because, starting this season: Broadcast TV is the new tail.

This season it's all about that "other stuff" that does so much to make a network's parent-company happy. Expect to see more "Dollhouse"-like announcements at the Broadcast Upfront Week presentations over the next few days -- headscratch-worthy show returns.

Of course, this only works if the company that owns the network also owns the series. Those unfortunate shows owned by studios that DON'T own the broadcast network on which they air -- a moment of silence for Warner Bros. and Sony series -- have been offering up pounds of flesh to their networks over the past couple weeks in order to secure renewals for next season. It's gotten pretty tragic in some cases and little rivulets of their blood will be trickling through the aisles at New York City Center, Lincoln Center's Avery Fisher Hall, Carnegie Hall and Madison Square Garden, where the broadcast networks will officially unveil their schedules over the next several days.

On a brighter note: also in store for you this week are announcements of shows that have been running on one network but will move to another. "Medium," for instance, has aired on NBC but CBS had been mulling a pickup -- easily explained once you know NBC talks had stalled and CBS is the company that makes the show. CBS would like to see more episodes made of "Medium" to enhance its viability in off-network syndication. NBC? -- couldn't care less.

Meanwhile, have you long wondered why Fox's fall schedule didn't look more like its January schedule - you know, the schedule with two nights of "American Idol" and millions more viewers?

Well, Fox is announcing its 2009-10 primetime scehdule today and -- turns out -- the very same thing had occurred to Fox suits.

And yet, while those same Fox execs worked so tirelessly this season to gum up "American Idol" -- what with judges vetoing viewer votes, Kara DioGuardi adding nothing but blah-blah-blah and a stage cluttered up with gaudy Stairways to Paradise and Leaning Towers of Idol -- the Fox braintrust is not quite ready yet to make the Ultimate American Idol Mistake and do a second run of the show in the fourth quarter.

So instead , Fox is going to add another edition of its summer reality series "So You Think You Can Dance," which will stand in for "Idol" in its Tuesday/Wednesday peformance show/results show configuration.

Other than that, don't expect to hear about wholesale change to the Fox slate for the 2009-10 TV season because, as Fox suits have been saying for weeks, this is not the year to blow up a primetime schedule -- it throws too many ad dollars into the air.

Skittish advertisers want to know exactly what they're getting next season. And that doesn't just mean plunking their dollars down for returning series they've come to love. It means plunking their dollars down for returning shows they've come to love -- broadcast in the same timeslots in which they've come to love them.

So expect to see grumpy-doc drama "House" to stick at 8 on Mondays; JJ Abrams's paranormal drama "Fringe," to follow "So You Think You Can Dance" Tuesdays; procedural crime dramedy "Bones" to kick off Thursdays; "Dollhouse" back on Fridays; "AMW" and "Cops" on Saturdays; and animation nation on Sundays.

And "Terminator: Sarah Connor Chronicles"? It's dead -- finally succumbing to a chronic condition of being produced at Warner Bros.

By Lisa de Moraes | May 18, 2009; 8:00 AM ET

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