Dollhouse: FOX Cancels Joss Whedon Series; No Season Three

DollhouseWith such low ratings, it had to happen eventually. The Dollhouse is closing after two seasons on FOX.

From the mind of Joss Whedon, Dollhouse revolves around a group of people whose minds are wiped of their own identities and implanted with temporary memories for jobs-for-hire. The cast includes Eliza Dushku, Harry Lennix, Fran Kranz, Tahmoh Penikett, Enver Gjokaj, Dichen Lachman, Olivia Williams, Amy Acker, Reed Diamond, and Miracle Laurie.

Though loved by many fans, the series has been ratings-challenged from the start. Surprisingly, Dollhouse received a second season order last May, despite low ratings. The second season’s ratings have been even worse but FOX publicly committed to at least produce and air all of the 13 ordered episodes.

While it looked highly unlikely that Dollhouse would be given a full season or be renewed for a third year, many fans have been hoping that it would still happen. After all, conventional wisdom indicated that the series shouldn’t have been renewed last year.

FOX has now officially cancelled the series. Production is currently underway on episode 11 and all 13 installments will be completed.

Whedon had previously said that he was planning to include some amount of closure in the last episode of the season. The FOX announcement is likely timed so that he can give the show a more definitive ending.

Dollhouse is currently on hiatus. It’s expected to return to FOX on December 4th and begin burning off the remaining nine episodes of the season in double installments.

What do you think? Are you surprised by the cancellation or were you reconciled that it was going to happen? How would you like to see it end?

68 Comments · Read them below or add one

  1. says

    How about a better time slot? Thursday evening maybe? Heroes seems to be burning fast, why not next to them. Eliza can play so many characters. This season has gotten better and better. You’re justr learning about everybody. Of course, perfect time to end it. At least make it a movie. What a waste of a great show. Bad idea fox.

  2. Dan Slask says

    This one of the best shows on TV. FOX is nuts and need to let the show grow or some other station needs to pick this up. The show is full of twists and turns and is only getting better show after show. All I can say is WOW. It always seems the shows that are really good get canceled before they have a chance. If FOX wanted the show to be a success it seems they should be looking at their advertising people and not the show itself because it is excellent and should not be canceled.

  3. Rob says

    I have to say, I am so glad this show was finally put out of it’s misery. Given the fact Joss Whedon created one of my favorite shows of all time, Firefly, when I heard he was doing a new show, I was genuinely excited. After seeing the show however, I could not have been more dissapointed. It was like going to see what you thought would be an amazing movie and then realizing Keanu Reeves was the main star. I shouldn’t have even finished the first episode as the concept was ridiculous and the acting performance by Eliza Dushku was something that reminded me of one of those straight to DVD movies. I’m sorry folks but that woman simply cannot act, unless she decides to play a ***** in every role she takes because that seems about all she is capable of. Even when she tries to play someone nice, she comes off as a ***** and isn’t any fun to watch unless you just think she his hot and thats all you need.

    Shame on you Joss….there is no way you can tell me that this show was 100% your idea. You are far too creative to be the only driving force behind this crap. My guess is that after Fox burned you when you gave them your heart and soul with Firefly, you decided to make a show you thought would make the network happy by filling it with eye candy and hoping that would be enough. Never sacrifice your art for the networks because as this should indicate to you, that isn’t always the best course of action to take and is by no means a guarantee of success.

    Lets hope you have learned from this experience and give people something unique and creative next time. Just make sure the marketing and promotion is adequate because thats what killed Firefly before it eventually soared to success via DVD sales.

    • ido says

      Uh, Firefly.. honestly, I’ve seen it, and the movie, and I barely remember it.

      For me that show was very much a waste of time without any real depth or intelligent message, unlike the fantastic character development you can see in Dollhouse combined with some intriguing soon-to-be-post-apocalyptic-future as well as more philosophical questions.

      But I do agree that the first five, or so, episodes during the first season of the Dollhouse wasn’t very impressive.

      • Rob says

        Firefly and Dollhouse aren’t even comparable, unless you are just looking at the fact they were both created by Joss Whedon.

        For one, the acting in Firefly far surpasses anything brought to the table in Dollhouse, especially when it comes to Eliza Dushku. Each character in Firefly was unique and added their own piece to the overall puzzle.

        As far as the sci-fi genre is concerned, it is most likely the most accessible show for overall viewers, with something to offer for almost any age group. I know people who hate sci fi but love Firefly as well as big sci fans who love it just the same. It takes a very well written story line and interesting concept for a show to have that kind of wide range audience appeal. I have never personally met anyone who has seen Firefly and hasn’t enjoyed it. Never. I have met a bunch of people who don’t care for Dollhouse though.

        Dollhouse just doesn’t have that same appeal. The concept of the show is ridiculous at best and unless you are into hot girls kicking peoples butts with a small bit of plot thrown in, Dollhouse just doesnt interest most people.

        Now, both Firefly and Dollhouse were cancelled before they could really take off but lets see how the dollhouse DVD sales do compared to Firefly. Firefly holds a record for DVD’s sold that has yet to be surpassed in the Sci Fi genre.

  4. says

    That’s total bullshot!!!! I ******* love this show… y is it ending? They should just put it on another channel like tnt cuz that ***** goin downhill… its a good ******* show… DOLLHOUSE FOREVER! It’s better than most of them shows like supernatural or smallvile… wtf man

  5. Bridgette says

    COME ON FOX. Now seeing the next episodes you can not cancel this show. The depth of this creation would be able to keep going for years. The fact that a viewer is given just a nibble every week is intrigueing and needed on TV today. Joss W. has a strong audience. His work goes beyond just the run of the mill SCIFI and makes it feel like it can truely be real when it is not. I have been waiting on something like this ever since the end of Buffy and Angel. Please do not deprive viewers that like to escape reallity when watching their weekly programs. Great story telling is not in a stupid reallity show.

  6. James says

    Typical, as soon as something decent comes on tv, stupid american networks cancel it. I said to a mate about this programme being good and he said “I’m not watching it then, there’s no point as it’ll get cancelled. Only crap shows stay on tv” and he was right. Things like Lost and Flashforward are extremely boring and mistake ‘irritating’ for ‘intrigue’. This, like Tru Calling (also with Eliza Dushku) and a few others were cancelled during a great run. It has NOTHING to do with the programme, it has to do with marketing. The time they show it, the day, what advertising there is. Crappy shows and the thousand detective programmes there are out there get good marketing and loads of advertising for weeks before it even starts. I’d never even heard of Dollhouse and came across it by chance. That’s why! American tv network executives can’t do their jobs properly. The cast were very dynamic and a pushed the stories along nicely. I just wanted to say to ‘Gadget Sleuth’ that the incredible hulk did get a definitive ending, he fell out of a helicopter and died. I don’t know how much more of a definitive ending you want than that really. I have got dvds of shows that finish mid series like a normal episode and some that end on huge cliff hangers. It should be written into contracts at the start that no matter what happens, the networks HAVE to give the show’s writers like three episodes notice to wrap it up properly. They have no respect for the viewers and from now on I’m not watching any new shows. Hear me tv executives?! You can go f*** yourselves! Dollhouse was different, exciting and seriously good to watch. You’ve just shot yourselves in the foot…idiots.

  7. Lindsey Lee says

    I am in agreement with others that are sad this show has been cancelled as always the amazing Joss Whedon once again deliverd an amazing concept and well made show.

    The idea behind Dollhouse is truly Whedon as no one else would be clever enough to envisage the show like he did. I love the idea of it and the fact that it can’t be done but they make it seem quite believable.

    I did love Eliza (whatever she does is amazing i’m still missing her in Tru calling) and Amy Acker was superb as always. Overall a good cast of people that acted well together and had good chemistry well as well as they could considering the Dolls sometimes knew who other people were and sometimes didn’t this will affect chemistry but it worked. Echos handler had great chemistry with Eliza

    I hope Joss has time to tie up the story for the season finale

  8. Joe Barry says

    I was very disappointed when I read the Doll House was being cancelled! I have to work every other Friday night and only on those nights I recorded on my DVR. However, I looked forward to watching the recording, sometimes at 2am when I got home. I never missed the show on the fridays I was home! Perhaps, a different night would have been better and maybe more people would have tuned in! I look forward to watching the remaining episodes and truely pray that “The Doll House” will somehow make it back on to regular programing! Don’t let this awesome show die! It’s one of the best SciFi shows and was just getting better every week!

  9. Carolyn says

    I enjoy Dollhouse, it’s one of the best shows on TV. It seems all the good shows get cancelled (another example Numbers). We have 3 CSI’s, 2 NCIS and I have lost count how many Law & Orders there are. And let’s not forget about the never ending reality shows. Dollhouse was different, I am very sad to see it go!

  10. Stephanie says

    I do not understand all the people saying good concept poor execution. I thought the idea ridiculous until I actually watched the show. And to those who say not interesting enough for a series, you didnt see how me and my husband anticipated every episode and we drive ourselves crazy speculating what will happen next and how they will wrap things up. At least they saw it coming in time to wrap things up at all , unlike kyle xy which still breaks our heart. Still having withdrawals from that one.

  11. Jeibrelle says

    This show was very indepth and had to have time to unfold. Being a Whedon FAN I knew this. His work has always been great and is not just another boring unoriginal story line. THIS SHOW WAS AWESOME AND SHOULD BE BROUGHT BACK. Echo was really about to start changing the environment of the Dollhouse and it was getting good!!!!

  12. says

    Good for TV that they’re giving series creators a heads up about the cancellation. Many a show has been tainted by last minute axeings where story lines never get resolved (the most obvious being The Incredible Hulk 70’s show).

  13. Cat says

    How typical.
    The only shows that seem to get ratings are the shows that have no depth.
    Shows like House, CSI and Bones where the same thing happens week after week – just different scenarios with the same format and similar endings, these are the shows the mainstream want to watch.
    I’m not saying these shows are bad but why is it that every time we get a show that dares to do things differently it gets canceled?
    Too bad for the rest of us eh?

  14. tereska says

    joss always has a bit of complexity in his story lines. it is a pity that any show which requires more than 3 brain cells to follow the plot has to die. there is money to be made from dvds etc. and network kudos should be a consideration. i am sure i am not the only viewer who watches the show in other modes than the tv airing. most people tape the shows and watch them when convenient. time to recognise this fact.

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