Fox makes “Dollhouse” sit out sweeps


Well, crap. After reassuring fans that it would air all 13 second season episodes, Fox has decided to bench Dollhouse for all of November during the all-important sweeps month. The Eliza Dushku/Joss Whedon collaboration will then return with back-to-back episodes Fridays in December.

That’s quite a body blow to the series. Baring a ratings miracle, this means for all intents and purposes that the series will end for good after that 13th episode. Pulling the show for sweeps is a big deal and shows a total lack of confidence in its ability to bring in viewers. It will replace the show with reruns of House and Bones.

The thing that makes this news especially bittersweet is that the series was just getting good — really, really good. Last week’s episode, “Belle Chose,” was the best of the second season. And judging by early reviews, this Friday’s installment “Belonging” is even better.

The episode revolves around Sierra (played by the lovely Dichen Lachman) and gives us more of her backstory and the sad circumstances that led her to the Dollhouse. We already got a glimpse of Sierra’s troubled past last season. Maureen Ryan of the Chicago Tribune calls the episode “one of the most emotionally compelling hours the show has ever done.”

Well, we’d better enjoy that hour because we won’t see another fresh Dollhouse after that for 1,008 hours. The series will return with back-to-back shows Dec. 4, 11 and 18. We won’t see Summer Glau make her appearance on the show until its first episode back. No word yet on when the final three episodes would air after that.

If it’s any consolation, the terrible lead-ins Brothers and ‘Til Death will also be benched for sweeps. Of course why those two comedies (using that term in the loosest sense possible) were ever paired with Dollhouse is another question. Hey, Fox, you have a great show to pair Dollhouse with, it’s called Fringe. And don’t even get me started on the show’s banishment to Friday nights in the first place.

So what, if anything, can be done to unseal Dollhouse’s fate? Probably not too much. Bottom line, the show needs more viewers. Though, if it would help I would happily go along with renaming the series NCIS: Dollhouse. What? That show is doing gangbusters.

So what do you think? Is Dollhouse doomed? Was it ever even given a fair shot in the first place? Discuss while I go searching for Topher’s magic chair to forget I ever heard this news in the first place.

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