Airlock Alpha [the former SyFy Portal] is reporting that news of Joss Whedon’s Dollhouse’s pick-up for a thirteen episode second season is being reported by trade publication TV Week’s columnist, Josef Adalian [try saying that three times fast!].
According to Adalian, “Many media types had written off the show for dead, since its ratings on Friday have been … suboptimal. And yet, insiders at the network have been cautioning for weeks that the show shouldn’t be cut out.” This coming well after an April 5th Airlock Alpha story headlined “Fox Leaning Toward Dollhouse Renewal”
The Airlock Alpha story said, among other things, “The move seems to be an easy one for Fox. While the audience hasn’t been as large as expected, it has instead remained stable. Other factors in favor of the show continuing is that it’s not as expensive as other Fox shows. Much of its upfront costs, including the construction of the elaborate set that is the dollhouse itself, were covered by funds that normally would’ve paid for a pilot (no pilot was made for ‘Dollhouse’). Also, while [Joss] Whedon’s Mutant Enemy Productions and star Eliza Dushku’s Boston Diva Productions are tied to the series, 20th Century Fox Television is still the primary production company involved, which means its licensing fee is not as steep as it would be if the show was produced by another studio.”
Apparently, Fox is willing to give the series an order for the back nine if ratings improve significantly. The move, which Adalian’s blog entry apparently described as the “nearly official word from Fox,” is at least partially the result of the way the show’s critical response improved – even as it’s audience dropped off. It remains to be seen if Fox will move Dollhouse from its current Friday night timeslot [Airlock Alpha’s sources seem to be pretty certain that such would be the case] but at least it’s coming back.