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For our friends at Whedonesque.com (and everywhere else, too)

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Written By

March 2nd, 2009

dollhouse2

Hi.  We're definitely not out to get Dollhouse, Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles, or any other show.   We're not out to get the fans of any show either.  But when we look at the numbers, we don't analyze them with what we hope will happen.  We analyze them in a way that tries to predict what will actually happen.

I think there may be some confusion about our current views on Dollhouse, where some people are interpreting our take on Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles as the same as our take on Dollhouse.

In the case of Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles, what the fans of that show hope will happen is that it will get renewed for a third season.  What the numbers indicate will happen is very much out of sync with those fans' hopes.  There is no chance Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicle's gets renewed by FOX.

How well the Terminator: Salvation movie does at the box office after TSCC ends its run will not have any bearing on that. Further, it seems doubtful that TSCC would wind up on any other network.  There is no chance with its numbers on FOX that it would wind up on The CW, and there seems very little chance that it would wind up on SciFi.  But for those who like to latch on to the tiniest little sliver of hope, little chance is more of a chance than no chance at all.   Probably not much more.  But definitely more.

We understand we can't convince anyone who will not accept the numerical analysis that a show will be canceled, and won't accept it until it's no longer on the air and to quote Bill Gorman, who I run the site with:

if I have learned anything from the experience on this site, it is that hope does indeed spring eternal. There is no chance TSCC survives, but nothing I can say, and no numbers you will read will convince you of that so I'll not try.

This is my experience as well and whether it be Jericho, Dirty Sexy Money, or Lipstick Jungle, (canceled, canceled, and canceled) or several other shows,  people who don't want to buy the analysis simply won't buy it.  That's OK with us.

Our current take on Dollhouse is a different story than Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles.   The numbers for Dollhouse haven't been great, the question is, are they good enough?   When factoring in the Live+7  DVR viewing numbers, the numbers for the premiere were actually good among 18-49 year olds, at least for a Friday.

I know people want to cling to the increases in live+7 18-49 viewing.  But here's the deal:  we saw those sorts of huge increases to Lipstick Jungle's 18-49 numbers.  No, Lipstick Jungle hasn't been officially canceled. It's just no longer on the air, no longer in production and two of the lead actresses have signed on with other show pilots. I don't need the official press release.

While these 18-49 number increases due to DVR viewing can't hurt any, I'm not optimistic they'll help  much either.  They certainly won't save Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles.  But, we have a couple of weeks of additional data.  Dollhouse dropped from a 2.0 LIVE+SD (live viewing and DVR viewing the same night the show aired) 18-49 rating in its premiere episode to a 1.6 (if that holds up in the final numbers) last Friday.   Even if Dollhouse kept all of its DVR viewers, it's Live+7 rating will still shrink by .4.

I am not tremendously optimistic about Dollhouse's survival chances for a second season.  The trend isn't good, the question is whether it's good enough for Fridays.  My sense is that Dollhouse will get to air all 13 of its episodes and then be done.  But while we're ready to say there's no chance that Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles will be renewed,  we're not ready to say the same thing about Dollhouse.

One final note.  The rascally rabble rouser who appears in our comments who goes by the moniker of Nick C is not affiliated with TVbytheNumbers.   He is a sometimes frequent participant in the comments and we love him because really, love him or hate him, he's always bound to stir up a discussion.  I don't always agree with Nick, but whenever he's posted any actual data, the data has been true.

Because he has access to more inside information than we do, he hears things that we don't hear.  My sense is that hearing things we don't hear is a good news/bad news situation.  The good news is he has access to information that we don't.  And when he shares it, we get to hear it too.  The bad news is that 18+ months of experience running this site has led me to believe we're better off just sticking with analyzing the numbers rather than listening to what anyone at the networks may be saying.

I'm sure there will be a case where there's a benefit to listening to the chatter, and perhaps Dollhouse will be that case. Right now Nick is much more optimistic for Dollhouse season two based on what he hears than I am based on what I see.

 
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