Joss Whedon: ‘I would have put “Dollhouse” on Fridays too’
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There was an outcry heard ‘round the Web among Joss Whedon devotees after Fox announced it was sending his heavily anticipated TV series ‘Dollhouse’ to Friday nights.
But in an interview Wednesday morning, Whedon said that Fridays are ‘a better fit’ for the show.
‘It’s not a slam dunk, ‘We love everything you’re doing’ slot. Everybody knows that,’ he said. ‘Dollhouse’ will air Fridays after new episodes of the similarly sci-fi-themed drama ‘Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles.’ Whedon says he trusts the network. ‘The executives I’m dealing with are canny guys.’
By canny, does he mean Fox has given him assurances that it will be patient with the show? More or less. ‘They’re bringing down expectations regarding how big of an audience they think it will bring in the beginning, and then as the show progresses. They need to do that.’
“Dollhouse” revolves around a team of programmable people — or dolls — with various skills and abilities rented out for assignments by high-paying clients. Early on, one of the dolls, Echo (Eliza Dushku), begins to become self-aware.
The show’s troubled production has already branded it as perhaps an overly complicated project, which may have sent it to Friday nights. Whedon admitted the show ‘is not simple’ but added ‘we’re not trying to lecture or bore people either. It’s fun. It’s designed to entertain, but in a way that plays on a lot of levels.’
That said, Whedon says he anticipated the Friday move — and not as a bad thing. ‘If I were an executive, I would have put it on Friday too, honestly, and not as a dig. The people who want this will find it, and hopefully more will as well. Fox is aware that TV just doesn’t exist the same way. People watch it online, on DVD, on their TiVos. It’s not the end of the world, but of course everyone’s been predicting the end of the world for ‘Dollhouse’ since it was announced.’
Whedon also noted that while Fox executives will likely have to wait patiently for building returns on the show, he hopes fans will be just as patient with the story line. ‘We’re trying to create something that’s more than the sum of its parts. And not just in an ‘Oooh, we’re heavy with mythology’ way. Dare I say we’re reaching for something more philosophical? Am I allowed to say philosophical? Or does that just mean my show will fail?’
‘Dollhouse’ premieres Feb. 13 at 9 p.m. on Fox.
— Denise Martin