It's the day denizens of the Whedonverse have been expecting and dreading since at least last spring (or possibly even since the show was originally announced).
As first reported by The Hollywood Reporter
, FOX has formally decided not to extend "Dollhouse
" beyond its 13-episode initial order, effectively canceling the second-year show.
FOX insiders tell HitFix that "Dollhouse," currently at work on its 11th episode, will its 13 episodes, which will give Joss Whedon
and company the chance to retrofit a series finale, if they weren't already planning such a move.
Already low-rated in its first season, "Dollhouse" received a not-unsurprising renewal in May, in no small part due to the dedication of Whedon's fanbase and the sense that audiences were watching the show in non-traditional settings, including streaming on the Internet and downloaded off of Hulu. The renewal came after a half-dozen cancellation
rumors, several stemming from the episode "Epitaph One," which was shot for 20th Century Fox, but never aired on the network.
Ratings for "Dollhouse" were no better, though, when the show returned to its difficult Friday time slot for a second season ("gifted" with a lead-in of "Brothers" and "'Til Death"), the show began its season with a string of series-low audiences, falling to an audience of under 2.1 million viewers and a 0.8 rating in the 18-49 demographic. Given those numbers, it was no surprise when FOX yanked the show for November sweeps.
Although FOX pulled "Dollhouse" from November, the network previously announced plans to air double-doses of "Dollhouse" in December (perhaps due to its alliterative merits). As of now, that plan remains intact, with the finale tentatively scheduled for Jan. 22.
That current plan for the remaining "Dollhouse" episodes:
Dec. 4 - 8:00PM-10:00PM (Episodes 5 & 6)
Dec. 11 - 8:00PM-10:00PM (Episodes 7 & 8)
Dec. 18 - 8:00PM-10:00PM (Episodes 9 & 10)
Jan. 8 - 9:00PM-10:00PM (Episode 11)
Jan. 15 - 9:00PM-10:00PM (Episode 12)
Jan. 22 - 9:00PM-10:00PM (Episode 13 / Series Finale)
As he's wont to do, Whedon took to the Whedonesque message boards to give his own take on the news.
"I don't have a lot to say. I'm extremely proud of the people I've worked with: my star, my staff, my cast, my crew. I feel the show is getting better pretty much every week, and I think you'll agree in the coming months. I'm grateful that we got to put it on, and then come back and put it on again," Whedon posts.
He continues, "I'm off to pursue internet ventures/binge drinking. Possibly that relaxation thing I've read so much about. By the time the last episode airs, you'll know what my next project is. But for now there's a lot of work still to be done, and disappointment to bear."