Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Dollhouse - Save the Show Started 6 Months Before Air Date

What do you think: was the campaign to save Dollhouse, which, incredibly, began six months before the show first aired, started too early, or just in time?

Joss Whedon fans have been burned before by having their favorite shows cancelled after a few episodes. The perfect is example is Firefly, cancelled after a handfull of episodes. Invariably, the cancellation sparks a 'Save the Show' campaign, which must be stated never works. Once a network has decided to cancel a show, they don't reverse themelves.

With this in mind, seriously dedicated Whedon fans began a campaign to save Dollhouse (probably slightly mis-titled) six months before the first show aired. The problem is, it is terribly difficult to talk up and promote a show when no one has seen anything except a short trailer. Still, fans at DollhouseForums.com encouraged other fans to watch the trailer (we assume over and over), get viewing parties ready for 'opening night', buy merchandise, and create fan sites.

However, other fans at DollhouseForums.com worried that too much hype could turn away non-Whedonites and become a self-fulfilling prophesy. It is true that some people, upon hearing that a show is in perceived danger of being cancelled, may decide that this reflects on the quality of the show, and/or may not want to invest their time in following character arcs that are going to end abruptly and without resolution.

No one is sure if Dollhouse will succeed. After three episodes, its viewer numbers are moderate at best. Opinion varies on these viewer numbers, but they are generally considered just passable for a normally weak Friday night audience. Fox initially liked what they saw and upped their original order from 8 episodes to 13. If Firefly is any litmus test, however, there's no guarantee that all episodes will get to air.

At Dollhouse TV Review Zoo, we are hoping that Fox boosts Dollhouse with a little mid-season promotion push, that Joss comes up with a dynamite standalone episode for sweeps week, and that people who are so far watching but unimpressed stick with the show long enough for it to hit stride (which we are told will happen at about episode six).

Can't view the trailer above? Click here

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