After fighting an uphill battle all of its first season, Dollhouse was given the go-ahead for numero dos, even though it was still given the Friday Night Death Slot. And now, because Fox has no idea how to market anything that isn’t a medical drama or animated fart joke, there are rumors that Dollhouse is at real risk of being pulled off the air only two episodes into the second season.
This is an unforgiveable trespass, and it is in our hands—the fans—to keep our beloved series on the air, and it really isn’t even that hard or time-consuming. It just takes the desire to get the word out about what might be—or has the potential to be, at least—Joss Whedon’s finest series.
What We Can Do:
1.) Watch it. It’s that simple. Tune in (especially if you’re a Nielsen Household) and make Fox realize that people want it on the air. Admittedly, I’m an episode behind already, but I’m busy planning a wedding; it’s on my DVR, and I have every intention of watching it before Friday. I promise.
2.) DVR it. I’m not sure if non-Nielsen DVR ratings count, but it’s worth a shot. Even if you watch it live in the Friday Night Death Slot, keep the tape running. And if you are Nielsen equipped, then you should definitely be taping.
3.) For you Americans out there, Hulu.com keeps Dollhouse episodes for a while. Watch them. Multiple times. My strategy is this: even if I have no plans of watching the episode, I intend to keep a Hulu window up in the background with the volume muted, just running through episodes of Dollhouse, as I work on other things. Joss is huge on pushing the importance of online viewership, so it’s up to us to prove to Fox that it’s a viable transmission medium.
4.) Buy the Season One DVDs. There’s no better way to prove to Fox that Dollhouse is a profitable property than to put money in their pockets. If you don’t already own the season, I urge you to go out and buy it, if for no other reason than to see the spectacular “Epitaph One.” It’s majestic. And if you’re really feeling generous, don’t forget that the first season was also released on BluRay.
5.) Get the word out! Really, the best way to get people to watch Dollhouse is to get them interested in it. Tweet about it, Facebook status it up, blog about how awesome it is, do whatever it is that you do, but spread the love. And spread it often. If you know someone who might have even the slightest interest in the series, let them borrow the DVDs (which you’ll have for lending, if you have followed these steps!) or point the way to Hulu. Fox refuses to promote the series for reasons I’ll never fathom, so it’s up to us to virally market for them if we want to ever find out if Felicia Day and Itty Bitty Echo make it to Safe Haven.
If you have any other ideas for ways to promote Dollhouse and prove to Fox that it is worth keeping on the air, pass them along. I find it odd that even with a dramatically reduced budget (which they said would make up for poor ratings if they remained even close to what came in last season), Fox is not willing to give Dollhouse the attempt it deserves. It was because of their own executives sticking their influence where it didn’t belong that made the first season suffer, and now they refuse to realize that it takes time to build up a following for a new series that only had a really good half a season in the first place. Add to that the fact that the second episode—on which Fox is basing their numbers—aired against the Stargate Universe premiere, and we’ve got some serious work to do.
If our efforts fail and Dollhouse is pulled, SyFy could always pick it up. The odds are not in our favor for this, but they did that once when Showtime ditched Stargate SG-1, and it paid dividends. With Joss’ penchant for working on a tight budget and (I’m assuming) a desire to avoid another Firefly debacle, I’m really hoping that something works out for Dollhouse, even if that means switching networks.
But let’s hope it doesn’t get to that. If we do our part and push to save Dollhouse from the bigwigs at Fox, it won’t. But, in the end, all we can do is care enough to try.
UPDATE: Fox has committed to airing all of Season 2 and not overreacting by pulling it early. This is fantastic news, but it also means that our job is not over. The network also mentioned it would have to wait until “after [Dollhouse’s] current run” to make the decision on purchasing Season 3. We have to prove to Fox that the show is marketable and worth keeping on the air for a third season. Yes, we’re a “small, rabid fanbase”, but we’ve got heart. Let’s get those numbers up, people!