I watched the double episode of Joss Whedon's Dollhouse last week, and it's taken me some time to cool off.
Fox TV really gets my blood boiling sometimes. Not only did they take Dollhouse off the air during November sweeps, but they're doubling up on episodes in the wasteland of December/early January television so they can let it die an unnatural death. Now they can blame the low numbers on the show, when in large part it's a time when people are distracted by the holidays (or in the case of students, exams).
Bad form, Fox. But hardly unprecedented. The Fox channel is notorious for snapping up high concept shows, hyping them until just before they premiere, and then abandoning them if they don't immediately become a hit. I don't know who I'm more annoyed with, Fox or Whedon, for yet again falling prey to Fox.
X-Files was lucky, with 9 seasons and 200 episodes, but it didn't start on top. Buffy: The Vampire Slayer was abandoned five seasons in when the numbers dropped from 4.4 to 4.2 million (thankfully UPN picked it up for two more seasons). After that, anything high concept seemed to be dropped quickly if it wasn't an immediate hit. Space: Above and Beyond only aired 23 episodes.and John Doe only 21. Don't even get me started on Firefly, another Whedon project, which not only had a truncated season of a mere 14 episodes, but Fox aired episode 11 first, ensuring it would be hard to follow.
While Dollhouse is as fortunate as Terminator: Sarah Connor Chronicles to even get a second season at all, It's an insult to Whedon and those who crave high concept stories.
So Joss, next time Fox wants to buy one of your shows, just say no.