Dollhouse fans can breathe easier: Fox will air all 13 episodes.
On the heels of impressive DVR data for last month’s Dollhouse premiere, network executives say they will run each produced hour of the show’s current order despite the Friday drama’s modest overall ratings.
“We’re going to run all the episodes,” Fox scheduling chief Preston Beckman said. “We’re not saying we’re happy with those numbers, or accept them, but we don’t have to overreact. During [November] sweeps we might have to jack up the numbers a little [with other programming], but we plan on completing the order for this show.
As for ordering additional episodes, or a third season, Fox says they will make that decision after the current run.
The news represents a relief to Dollhouse fans that the current season won’t be cut short, yet also suggests a full-season order is unlikely. Waiting until all 13 episodes have aired before making a decision generally means allowing production on the show to shut down for the season.
Reached by phone, Joss Whedon (who has a terrible-sounding cold — feel better!) said he’s writing the 13th hour to give fans a degree of closure.
“We’ll definitely have closure, but will leave some doors open,” said Whedon, who’s currently shooting the eighth episode. “When we got our first numbers, which were bad, the first thing [Fox president of entertainment] Kevin Reilly said was, ‘You’ll have all 13,’ which was great. They’re not going to pull the rug out from under us.”
Beckman said DVR results have played a role in the show’s fate, though wasn’t surprised by today’s results.
“It’s one of the reasons that we brought it back; we knew it was DVR friendly,” Beckman said. “We expected to see this, and hopefully we’ll see [the overnight ratings] increase from week to week … with some shows, you have to look at the bigger picture.”
Beckman also humorously characterized deciding the show’s fate as a bit of no-win situation when it comes to dealing with Whedon’s passionate fans.
“If you cancel it, you’re an asshole; if you renew it and then don’t put it back on, you’re an asshole,” he said. “I’m still paying for Terminator. Dollhouse has a small rabid fan base that in the world of social media seems bigger than it is. We gave them another season knowing full well we were going to burn in hell if we pulled it.”