Cancellation Buzz: Dollhouse BOMBS in Friday's Ratings - Featured

Some bad news for you Dollhouse fans (myself included).



Friday night's season premiere - after its surprise renewal following its low-rated first season - debuted to an abysmal 2.56 million viewers - the lowest-ever rated episode for the series. (As a point of reference, the season 1 premiere had 4.7 million viewers, which while low, looks pretty good by comparison).


The only consolation? Pretty much all of Friday's TV bombed. Also on FOX, the series premiere of the much maligned Brothers grabbed an also pathetic 2.82 million viewers (though, you might notice, still managed to beat Dollhouse, which makes me cry inside).


Smallville was also waaaay down on The CW (and its new Friday timeslot) with just 2.5 million viewers (though the CW points out that this is still an improvement over their previous Friday night lineup) as was Law & Order on NBC, with just 6.29 million viewers.


CBS won the night with its crime lineup of Ghost Whisperer, the newly acquired Medium (from NBC) and Numb3rs. These received 8.58, 8.78 and 7.92 million viewers, respectively.


You may recall that Fox initially renewed Dollhouse on the strength of its DVR numbers, but frankly, even with those, the series is still likely in trouble. Better start that "Save Dollhouse" campaign back up pronto...


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Feb 22, 2016 12:23PM EST

Totally DVR'd Dollhouse this past week. I think a 30second catchup on the show at the beginning would have been helpful. Glad to hear the CW take on Smallville which was a stinkin good episode to start the season off. Have to wonder a bit if Dollhouse would have better success on on Scyfy channel since I think the majority of its audience is into that genre.

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Sep 27, 2009 8:38PM EDT

Ouch! That's pretty brutal that the throwaway Friday newbie of Brothers beat Dollhouse. I'm really hoping that can improve since I worry it won't get another renewal based on hope for ratings improvement as I feel this season renewal is all about. I'm thinking if things don't improve, we'll see Dollhouse in big trouble for a 3rd season, and may be hearing this is Smallville's final season.

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Sep 27, 2009 9:14PM EDT

Both smallville and Dollhouse need to be canceled. Smallville has been going on for too long (nine years really?!) and Dollhouse should have never been renewed! I mean they choose Dollhouse over Terminator! Horrible, Horrible choice.

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Sep 27, 2009 9:59PM EDT

Nothing does good on fridays. Fridays should only worry about DVR's not actually viewers cause the majority of the tv viewership go out or do something else on friday nights. Plus the fact that the weather is still nice, so even the people who may tend to stay in more will be out during this part of the year, wait til it gets really cold outside, those rating should go up. But for shows like Smallville and Dollhouse, more things need to be taken into account, like the fact that their DVD sales should be better than most based on their genre and dedicated viewers. And didnt smallville already get the go ahead for season 10? I know I read something about Welling and Durance already signed on for 10 but Allison Mack hadn't?
Fox really doomed Dollhouse from the start though, no show that premieres on a friday and continues on fridays is going to be very successful, hopefully after Fox has fully screwed over the Dollhouse someone else like Scifi(I refuse to use ScyFy), USA or FX would take a chance on it.

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Sep 28, 2009 12:04AM EDT

Oh god, is Smallville STILL on television? I hate to de-age myself like this, but I was a kid when that show started. (And it was never all that good, which is why I don't watch it anymore.) As for Dollhouse...saaaaaaaaad days. It was screwed over by being put on Fridays. Plus it has the blessing/curse of being Joss Whedon produced, making it genius but also not necessarily interesting to a wide audience. I hate to condemn any show to SyFy, but if that would save the show, I vote yes!

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Sep 28, 2009 1:28AM EDT

i dont understand why shows that networks are banking on are put on on fridays ..... dont they realize that people go out on fridays and do things because they cant druring the week...............unless their banking on 10 million people in the country being socially akward and watching instead of doing anything fun.....

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Sep 28, 2009 4:27AM EDT

it's a shame networks cant take viewing figures from other countrys iam not saying that dollhouse will do any better with figures taken from other countrys but they seem to forget that other countrys buy shows up only to be told oh theres only so many episodes of that show as it's been axed so what's the point in selling it to other country'sso it looks like it's r.i.p dollhouse then

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Sep 28, 2009 11:35AM EDT

Sorry folks, but for those of you who persist in believing that people don't watch TV on Friday night, you are wrong ! Check out the viewing audience for "Ghost Whisper", "Medium" and "Numbers" !Dollhouse has been trashed by too many for too long and it is now only a matter of time before it to goes by the canceled wayside.I must admit that I do feel a bit sorry for Wheaton fans and fans of the show because the premiere episode for this season was probably the best one that has been aired..... too little-too late.

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Sep 28, 2009 1:18PM EDT

I hate to say it, but the opener of Dollhouse really wasn't good. The first season was much better, and I was really disappointed. Unless it gets better I know I for one won't continue to watch, despite how much I loved the first season. It was down on merit. :(

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Sep 28, 2009 1:30PM EDT

JPNS, you have to understand the shows and the networks your talking about Ghost Whisper, Medium, and Numbers are not young shows, they are not trying to capture the 18-35 like Dollhouse is. Plus its on CBS which usually skews older to begin with(expect for Mondays) so the older tv viewers that do watch tv on fridays are usually going straight to CBS for their programing.

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Sep 28, 2009 1:44PM EDT

How many Dollhouse fans even realized it was on, it's not like the network gave it much hype about the premiere!!! give the darn show a chance, don't assume the low numbers was because no one wanted to watch----I did!!! but it was a fluke I even realized it was going to be on.

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Sep 28, 2009 4:20PM EDT

Switchwiz, I know exactly what you mean! I didn't see a preview for Dollhouse until the week before the premiere. FOX needs to promote this show a lot better and get it out of the Friday death slot. If this great show gets canceled it will be because of FOX, not because it was a bad show. I for one thought the premiere was excellent!

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Sep 28, 2009 4:44PM EDT

For anyone who questions how good dollhouse is, or more importantly how good it could have been had Fox pissed all over it. Go watch the unaired episode that got added to the DVD release, it gives a better idea of what the idea behind Dollhouse is all about. The unaired episode is up on sidereel, its episode 13.

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Sep 28, 2009 7:51PM EDT

Shows like ghost whisperer, medium etc are aimed at more mature audiences. so yes, it's far more likely that those people will be at home than out partying on a Friday night...hence the reason smallville and dollhouse are slumping.Smallville is still good, but needs to end soon, otherwise it's just dragging on. And yep, i agree, Terminator beats Dollhouse (good, but not as good) any day - especially with the second season of TSCC being SOOO good in the last few episodes before being cancelled.

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Sep 28, 2009 11:17PM EDT

I still don't understand why networks don't understand that you only put shows on Fridays if they're geared to older audiences.. Only CBS seems to get this.. this is why I worry for Ugly Betty, its going to bomb on fridays cause the viewers will not be home. UGH! I haven't had time to watch the new Dollhouse episode, but I fell in love with the first season, even though I didn't think I would, I think it would be GREAT if they kept it going on SciFi, or usa or something..

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Sep 29, 2009 11:59AM EDT

P.S. Does FOX have something against Joss Whedon for some reason? First they totally screw over Firefly (which was an amazing show), and now they are doing little to get behind Dollhouse. I know they never directly offered him this job. Eliza Dushku actually secured the deal for a show, then she tracked down Joss because she loved working with him in Buffy and asked him to make a show for her. It's just a little sad that he's had much more success on networks such as The WB and UPN. His shows really aren't that hard to understand!

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Sep 29, 2009 8:10PM EDT

I thought that “Vows” was a great episode to kick off the season, and I didn’t think it was noticeable at all that they had budget cuts… its really discouraging to see that the ratings suffered again. Hopefully this show just slowly picks up steam, but I think Fox has just dropped the ball in promoting this show, and also has it in a bad time slot. Such a shame.
Also, I was really happy that they played the song “The World” by Earlimart at the end of the episode, just as Paul realizes that Echo is remembering more of her past than she should. Great song, and I thought it fit the scene real well, too. I actually posted a video clip of the scene on YouTube, but it got taken down for copyright violations, which is yet another sign that Fox doesn’t know what they’re doing when it comes to promoting the show – don’t they realize that it’s good for a show’s ratings to have YouTube popularity? Anyway, now it’s up on my own blog at :

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Oct 1, 2009 1:34AM EDT

Dollhouse and Smallville were both great! I'm a huge Eliza dushku fan but didnt watch it the night of because of school. It would SERIOUSLY suck if it got canceled. Don't cancel Dollhouse!!!!!
Eliza's acting in the debut was amazing!

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Oct 1, 2009 9:21AM EDT

I think that Fox has itself to blame: I watch Fox programs, so I see the commercials they air, and I didn't catch a single promo for dollhouse's premiere, so I missed the date, had to catch it on hulu. Fox has got to stop screwing over its own shows and then blaming the shows... They play episodes out of order(Firefly), they publish premiere dates and then premiere the show early(New Amsterdam), so anyone waiting for the original date gets the second or third episode... how can anyone be expected to watch a show if Fox makes it so damned hard to find? Last year I saw loads of promotional stuff for Dollhouse's premiere, this year: not a single commercial, clip, or poster in NYC.

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