In one of the bigger surprises of the season, FOX’s Dollhouse will return for a second year.
The latest Joss Whedon show was initially highly-touted by the network but was then saddled with a Friday night timeslot. The hope was that Dollhouse could help struggling Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles. Unfortunately, Sarah Connor proved to be a poor lead-in for Eliza Dushku, Harry Lennix, Fran Kranz, Olivia Williams, and company and both shows suffered. Once Sarah Connor finished, Prison Break returned and as a lead-in, it was even worse.
Based on the TV ratings alone, Dollhouse would be headed for the attic but it seems that FOX is looking at the big picture — including numbers for DVR and online streaming. As a result, the network has renewed Dollhouse for a second season of 13 episodes.
Part of the deciding factor was that the show’s budget would need to be trimmed and Whedon proved that he could do it. Apparently the unseen 13th episode of this season, the one that will show up on the season one DVD set, was shot on a shoestring budget and still looks impressive.
In these lean times, all of the studios seem to be open to making financial deals. Dollhouse’s studio, 20th Century Fox TV, will be taking on some of the financial risk of season two but ultimately Whedon series have a track record of selling lots and lots of DVDs.
FOX officially announces its schedule on Monday.
Image courtesy FOX.