Say Goodbye to Dollhouse, part II: The DVR numbers won't matter

Categories: Broadcast TV

Written By

October 3rd, 2009

Dollhouse-Dushku

Will Dollhouse be pulled off the air before all 13 episodes ordered air?  At the beginning of the season I wouldn't have thought there was much chance of that.  But now it has to be in the realm of possibility.

One thing I'm sure of though is that it's not getting a back 9, won't be renewed for an additional order of 13, won't be saved by Syfy, and won't be saved by DirecTV.   13 episodes have been ordered, two have aired. Either all 13 episodes air or not, but you won't see more Dollhouse after that.

I don't hate the show (and unlike some people, I actually thought last night's episode was OK!).  But I didn't hate the show when I wrote "Say Goodbye to Dollhouse".  What I hated was its numbers.  Its numbers were bad.  Bad even for a Friday.

I went into more detailed projections of the DVR numbers for last week's premiere.  But the thing with last night is even if it increases the live+SD adults 18-49 rating of 0.8 by 50%, and even if those DVR numbers even matter a little absent "remote free limited commercial interruptions", that still only gets it to a 1.2.

We wrote that the show should not have been renewed because the numbers didn't paint a pretty picture.  I was actually thrilled FOX renewed it, if for no other reason that it was such a surprise, you really could take a step back and say "wow, that's different!"

But different isn't necessarily better.  Some have asked why FOX renewed the show at all.  And I can only speculate there.  What I speculate is 1.) FOX was really enamored with Whedushku, 2.) the numbers, outside the last 3 or 4 episodes were in an acceptable range for FOX, 3.) FOX chalked up the poor ratings for the last few episodes, especially the last two to it being late spring, longer days, more people out on Friday and thought, "It will do better in the fall."

It didn't do  better in the fall.

Now the only questions are: 1.) will it air all its episodes as  planned;  2.) will they be burned off in some other fashion or 3.) will some episodes be held back for the DVD.

No matter how good the DVR viewing is on a percentage basis -- and on a percentage basis you can count on it being pretty good -- it won't matter.  But, because of Nielsen processing, the DVR numbers for last week's premiere won't even be available until a week from Monday (10/12 - last night's numbers will be available 10/19).

 
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