With television schedules becoming year-round events, Fox has gotten an early jump on the network competition by announcing their mid-season lineup… and if you’re a fan of Joss Whedon, prepare to be disappointed. Mr. Whedon’s latest series, the Elisha Dushku-starring spy-thriller Dollhouse, has been stranded on Friday nights at 9 p.m. If that time slot sounds familiar to you, that’s probably because it’s where shows generally go to die (just ask CBS’ The Ex-List) and where Mr. Whedon saw his last Fox venture, Firefly, meet an early grave.
Dollhouse has been a cursed endeavor for a while now. The pilot had to be reshot and production was shutdown for two weeks to allow for some script rewrites. According to the producer/director, via his blog: "Basically, the Network and I had different ideas about what the tone of the show would be. They bought something somewhat different than what I was selling them, which is not that uncommon in this business." Uh-oh.
Adding insult to injury, Fox is placing the sputtering Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles on Fridays at 8 p.m. as a lackluster lead-in for Dollhouse. All of this spells predictable doom, which is a shame since the recently released trailer for Dollhouse makes the show look pretty good; a deft mix of Alias, the Bourne movies and James Cameron’s Dark Angel series. Needless to say, "Save Dollhouse" fan campaigns are already underway.
As for the rest of the Fox lineup, House fans take note; starting on January 19th your favorite cantankerous doctor is moving to Mondays at 8 p.m. ahead of the seventh season of 24. Fringe will stay put on Tuesdays at 9 p.m. following American Idol, meaning the J.J. Abrams thriller is sure to retain its strong Fall ratings. And the new Tim Roth series Lie to Me, where Mr. Roth plays a "human lie detector" (seriously, who are the execs who green light these shows?), will air on Wednesdays at 9 p.m. in another plush post-American Idol time slot. Set your DVRs accordingly.