This big news flying around today that it’s official – Dollhouse has been renewed for a 2nd season! It begins production in July, and should be back on air in the Autumn with 13 episode on Fox in the US. There’s also an option to pick up more episodes and extend its run.
A number of things helped the renewal happen and convinced Fox that Dollhouse was worth keeping around (despite some shaky official ratings in places). They’ve cut back the budget, however Joss is brilliant at making shows work with very little money. This happened pretty much every season on Angel as far as i can remember, and Joss aways found a way to make it work without compromising the quality. In fact Joss has already helped prove this to Fox with an unaired 13th episode ‘Epitaph One’, which was shot on a shoestring budget to go on the Dollhouse DVD release. A note for UK viewers: Thanks to the lovely folk at Sci Fi UK, we’re getting all 13 episodes as part of the season one run (thank you Sci Fi UK!) :)
Fox have also done a deal so 20th TV are shouldering more of the cost making it less of a risk for Fox. Plus they’ve finally started to realise the US ratings system isn’t the only thing that points at you if a show can be profitable, and have been taking looking at DVR recordings and potential DVD sales… if only they’d done that with Firefly!
Another change is the episode running time.Â Fox had been experimenting on a couple of shows (Dollhouse being one) with a 50min show time and reduced advertising slots, but ultimately decided it wasn’t working. No real harm there, it just means it goes back to being standard 42(ish)min length as most other hour long shows.
Season 2 also brings a ‘shift in creative direction’ for the show, but then that’s kinda par for the course with a Whedon series. Just think how Buffy evolved over the years. With with characters situations changing, story arc’s ending and new ones starting, Joss’s shows have always shifted direction from season to season.
I’ll leave the final words to Joss himself from his post over on Whedonesque:
“Anything that reunites me with my stunning cast and my crazy staff (or “room fulla Tophers”, as I call them) is nothing short of a gift. Heady times, indeed. We’re two weeks away from finishing “Cabin” and now it looks like no summer vacation after all. But oh, the terrible things my brain is brewing… Just wait. We’ll make it worth it.”
Dollhouse premieres in the UK on Tuesday, 19th May 2009 at 9pm on Sci Fi UK (channel 129)