Fox will air all thirteen planned episodes of the second season of the struggling sci-fi action drama Dollhouse thanks in part to a spike in DVR viewership.
Despite favorable reactions from viewers and critics, Dollhouse continues to struggle in its prime-time slot on Fridays airing opposite CW’s Smallville in a race for viewers in the vaunted 18-49 male demographic. The show is also squaring off against the new cable series Stargate Universe which has an average viewership of 2.4 million and has increased viewership even after its debut.
Dollhouse viewership has dropped from a lackluster 3.4 million viewer average to around 2.2 million per episode. The show also scored a weak 1.0 share for the series’ season premiere. The figure was bolstered by DVR viewers to 1.5, but despite the raise, Whedon’s show, starring Eliza Dushku, remains one of the least watched shows in prime time.
While Fox will air the rest of the show’s second season, the network has no promises on carrying Dollhouse for a third round of shows. In preparation of a cancellation, Joss Whedon, who is currently filming the show’s eighth episode, will write the season finale as a series finale but will allow the door to be open for a third season. “We’ll definitely have closure but will leave some doors open,” Whedon told The Hollywood Reporter. Fox’s airing of the final thirteen episodes could run concurrently or break the series and return in January or February.
Dollhouse revolves around a secret lab that conditions women to become a paying customer’s fantasy or job. From a simple date to rich socialite or trained mercenary, “dolls” can handle any and every situation. At the end of each job, the doll’s memory is erased. Dushku plays Echo, an active doll who is showing signs of self-awareness despite attempts to erase her mind. Dushku, who also starred in Buffy and Tru Calling, will be joined this season by former Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles gal Summer Glau who will play another member of the secret Dollhouse. Glau was also in the feature-length feature of Whendon’s Firefly movie entitled Serenity.
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