Do Your Part to Save Dollhouse

ASave Dollhousefter fighting an uphill battle all of its first season, Dollhouse was given the go-ahead for numero dos, even though it was still given the Friday Night Death Slot. And now, because Fox has no idea how to market anything that isn’t a medical drama or animated fart joke, there are rumors that Dollhouse is at real risk of being pulled off the air only two episodes into the second season.

This is an unforgiveable trespass, and it is in our hands—the fans—to keep our beloved series on the air, and it really isn’t even that hard or time-consuming. It just takes the desire to get the word out about what might be—or has the potential to be, at least—Joss Whedon’s finest series.

What We Can Do:

1.) Watch it. It’s that simple. Tune in (especially if you’re a Nielsen Household) and make Fox realize that people want it on the air. Admittedly, I’m an episode behind already, but I’m busy planning a wedding; it’s on my DVR, and I have every intention of watching it before Friday. I promise.

2.) DVR it. I’m not sure if non-Nielsen DVR ratings count, but it’s worth a shot. Even if you watch it live in the Friday Night Death Slot, keep the tape running. And if you are Nielsen equipped, then you should definitely be taping.

3.) For you Americans out there, keeps Dollhouse episodes for a while. Watch them. Multiple times. My strategy is this: even if I have no plans of watching the episode, I intend to keep a Hulu window up in the background with the volume muted, just running through episodes of Dollhouse, as I work on other things. Joss is huge on pushing the importance of online viewership, so it’s up to us to prove to Fox that it’s a viable transmission medium.

4.) Buy the Season One DVDs. There’s no better way to prove to Fox that Dollhouse is a profitable property than to put money in their pockets. If you don’t already own the season, I urge you to go out and buy it, if for no other reason than to see the spectacular “Epitaph One.” It’s majestic. And if you’re really feeling generous, don’t forget that the first season was also released on BluRay.

5.) Get the word out! Really, the best way to get people to watch Dollhouse is to get them interested in it. Tweet about it, Facebook status it up, blog about how awesome it is, do whatever it is that you do, but spread the love. And spread it often. If you know someone who might have even the slightest interest in the series, let them borrow the DVDs (which you’ll have for lending, if you have followed these steps!) or point the way to Hulu. Fox refuses to promote the series for reasons I’ll never fathom, so it’s up to us to virally market for them if we want to ever find out if Felicia Day and Itty Bitty Echo make it to Safe Haven.

If you have any other ideas for ways to promote Dollhouse and prove to Fox that it is worth keeping on the air, pass them along. I find it odd that even with a dramatically reduced budget (which they said would make up for poor ratings if they remained even close to what came in last season), Fox is not willing to give Dollhouse the attempt it deserves. It was because of their own executives sticking their influence where it didn’t belong that made the first season suffer, and now they refuse to realize that it takes time to build up a following for a new series that only had a really good half a season in the first place. Add to that the fact that the second episode—on which Fox is basing their numbers—aired against the Stargate Universe premiere, and we’ve got some serious work to do.

If our efforts fail and Dollhouse is pulled, SyFy could always pick it up. The odds are not in our favor for this, but they did that once when Showtime ditched Stargate SG-1, and it paid dividends. With Joss’ penchant for working on a tight budget and (I’m assuming) a desire to avoid another Firefly debacle, I’m really hoping that something works out for Dollhouse, even if that means switching networks.

But let’s hope it doesn’t get to that. If we do our part and push to save Dollhouse from the bigwigs at Fox, it won’t. But, in the end, all we can do is care enough to try.

UPDATE: Fox has committed to airing all of Season 2 and not overreacting by pulling it early.  This is fantastic news, but it also means that our job is not over.  The network also mentioned it would have to wait until “after [Dollhouse’s] current run” to make the decision on purchasing Season 3. We have to prove to Fox that the show is marketable and worth keeping on the air for a third season.  Yes, we’re a “small, rabid fanbase”, but we’ve got heart.  Let’s get those numbers up, people!

By B.J. Keeton

B.J. KEETON is a writer, teacher, and runner. When he isn't trying to think of a way to trick Fox into putting Firefly back on the air, he is either writing science fiction, watching an obscene amount of genre television, or looking for new ways to integrate fitness into his geektastic lifestyle. He is also the author of BIRTHRIGHT and co-author of NIMBUS. Both books are available for Amazon Kindle.


  1. I think FOX finds it difficult to market because it's not all-out action, but still retains a lot of sophistication. There are shows you watch for fun and there are show you watch because it makes you think. Dollhouse does a little of both, doesn't it?

    I will definitely do my part in saving show by watching it, writing about it and sharing it with my classmates. Hopefully it's enough, but you never know with these things.

  2. Not being an American, the only one of these things I can actually do is buy the DVD – which I was going to do anyway, but you make a good point about not postponing it any further. (The show actually started airing here, though, just yesterday I caught the second episode of season 1 on the second biggest Norwegian channel. I just don't think Norwegian ratings is going to help the show any in Fox' eyes…)

  3. I don’t know, Tempest. I just can’t bring myself to let go of one of the smartest shows I’ve seen in years.

    I just hope that if something does happen to Dollhouse this season, they get to finish out the contract and work a little resolution into the narrative.

  4. That really is a fantastic campaign, Jeffrey. I hope all the trouble so many people are going to is worth it.

  5. I really hope so. I never saw any solid numbers, but I did hear someone mention they “went up.” So maybe we are doing something for the show. Let’s hope it sticks, now.

  6. Sometimes I wonder if the networks pull early on purpose and make more money off the DVDs anyways, instead of having to deal with selling commercials. Seems like it could be a plausible strategy. Firefly DVDs were a top seller on Amazon for months if I remember correctly.

    1. I wouldn’t doubt this at all. I don’t think the Dollhouse S1 DVDs did so well, but that’s also because of pricing. The Firefly DVD set was just a great deal, and if the studio lowers the Dollhouse price by Christmas, I think there could be a surge there.

  7. Fox are idiots. Dollhouse is genius show. It’s awesome nad diferent. I hope some other TV to buy season 3. Good luck to my fav show

    1. I completely agree. I think Fox had something in for the show from the beginning because they had no idea how to market it. It wasn’t one of their traditional dramas, so it was crazy and they had to let it die.

      Unfortunately, no other network seems interested in Dollhouse thanks to the stigma Fox has placed on it. Even SyFy passed on it after it was announced as cancelled, and they were its best hope at being picked up. I do hope that someone else sees the potential, but as it stands, I don’t look for it happening. And that makes me really sad.

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