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Fox kicks Joss Whedon in the crotch… again

Fox

Fox

Sure, if you want to get all technical, the big story from the latest Fox press release is probably either 24 returning “with a vengeance” or the premiere date of American Idol. Screw that! If you really need to know, that info is after the jump, but the big story, as the post title alludes to, is the Fox network playing Lucy to Joss Whedon’s Charlie Brown. In it’s short existence, Dollhouse has already had quite a ride. It’s a ride you might think of like the teacups, because it’s just been filled with spin.

Remember back when we learned the show was getting bumped to mid-season? Don’t worry they said, that’s a good thing. The show can be paired with 24 and there will be ponies and rainbows all around. And then there was the issue with the network balking at the original pilot. Whedon himself came out and said it’s all fine. In fact, it will make the show even better. That was followed by the production shutdown, but it’s cool, nothing to worry about. As the craziest man in sports would say, “Not so fast, my friend.” How do you spin this? Dollhouse will be premiering FRIDAY February 13th. But wait, it gets even better….

And by better, I mean worse, unless you are actively rooting against Whedon, in which case it really is better. Not only is the show going to Friday, but it’s going to be following the relocated Terminator:The Sarah Connor Chronicles. I love me some crazy, time traveling robots, but this is the same Terminator:TSCC that can’t seem to muster 6 million viewers¬†on Mondays. Compared to those long lost prospects of a pairing with 24, that’s quite the kick to the crotch.

And really, fans of Terminator:TSCC should be tossing around a few WTFs as well. What kind of sick game are they playing with the show? Get your hopes up with the full season pickup, despite the struggling ratings, and then shuffle it off to Friday to die? I think someone in programming may have actually gone insane and is just trying to screw with people now.

Of course, you may counter with the idea that I have gone insane for that line of reasoning. Only my shrink and my imaginary friend Erasmus know for sure. But my idea would seem to be supported by the new Monday night. House at 8, leading in to 24. Because 24 needs the House lead in?

So, what of those other slots? Who benefits from the Whedon misfortune? Fringe, and Lie To Me. Fringe is staying put on Tuesday, and should be getting a healthy boost as it will now be following Idol. Lie To Me will enjoy the same cushy confines on Wednesday. The other interesting bit is the move of Bones to Thursday. Fox has had no answers for Thursday, and Bones might be just the show to make a stand.

The full rundown looks like this.

MONDAY24 kicks off with a four hour premiere event. Two hours on Sunday, Jan 11 and again on Monday, Jan 12. Beginning Jan 19 you’ll find House at 8, followed by 24.

TUESDAYAmerican Idol will have a two hour premiere on Jan 13. Beginning Jan 20 the Idol juggernaut will drop its hoards of fans off on the Fringe doorstep.

WEDNESDAY – Similar to Tuesday, Jan 14 will bring two hours of Idol. And on Jan 21 we’ll get our first look at Lie To Me and start trying to figure how this show beat out Dollhouse for the coveted post-Idol slot.

THURSDAYBones will make its Thursday at 8 premiere on Jan 15. Kitchen Nightmares will fill in for a couple weeks before Hell’s Kitchen premieres in the 9 p.m. slot on Jan 29.

FRIDAY – On Feb 13, we’ll get our first look at the new Fox Friday. Terminator:TSCC at 8, followed by Dollhouse. Son of a bitch.

Saturday and Sunday remain unchanged with Cops, America’s Most Wanted, and Animation Domination. If you are asking, “Hey, what about Prison Break?” The press release says it will return at “a later date.” Make of that what you will. And if you are asking, “Hey, what about ‘Til Death?”¬† I have to ask, “Really? ‘Til Death fan?” It’s also scheduled for a return at the mysterious later date.

Categories: | Bones | Clack | Features | Fringe | General | Hell's Kitchen | House | News | TV Shows |

18 Responses to “Fox kicks Joss Whedon in the crotch… again”

November 7, 2008 at 11:09 AM

I’m still wondering what possessed Whedon to work with Fox again after Firefly. I really had hopes for this show. And the promo for Dollhouse looks great.

But I swear Fox is doing everything it can to doom this show.

November 7, 2008 at 11:39 AM

Brett, I’m not sure I agree with you here…

Monday nights had to be shaken up. The networks have all screwed themselves stacking their Monday night schedules against each other. There are not enough eyeballs for all of these shows to succeed on Monday night, and I’ve been waiting to see which network would (smartly?) blink first.

While I agree with you that 24 -> House makes no sense (move House to Thursday, re-pairing it with Bones and Gordon Ramsey for a competitive Thursday night), I agree with moving T:SCC and Dollhouse to Fridays. Where else are you going to put them? Either Bones gets moved to Friday or the sci-fi shows get moved to Friday. Frankly, time has taught network suits that procedurals get consistent ratings, so not sacrificing one of the few procedurals you have, Bones, makes sense.

And then there’s the sci-fi angle. I doubt the sci-fi crowd makes a lot of waves in the Nielsens, but pairing T:SCC and Dollhouse is a good move, I think.

In the end, I’m not sure FOX has a lot of good options, as their schedule is pretty darned full in the winter/spring season due to the fantastic success of 24 and AI and Animation Domination. I’m guessing other network’s executives wish they had the same scheduling dilemmas FOX does.

November 7, 2008 at 12:42 PM

The problem I have here is that it’s not even trying. You make a good point about the schedule being tight. If there really isn’t room though, why greenlight all of the shows. They are setting Dollhouse up for failure.

There is the argument that a Sci-Fi pairing on Friday night could work. I think it’s a weak argument, but we’ll go with it. Even if that is the case, where is the sense in making that attempt anchored by the worst performing scripted hour on the network? If this was an honest go at building a new Friday night presence, they would at least give Fringe/Dollhouse a try.

It’s still not clear how much Fringe owes to House for its numbers. But it is clear that Terminator is not succeeding leading off the night. Perhaps that could change with the move to Friday, but history, particularly the Fox history, suggests that it won’t.

November 7, 2008 at 12:08 PM

This is what he gets for deciding to work at FOX again. Even with FOX sticking with the horrid SCC and the ludicrous Fringe, you just know Dollhouse will be screwed.

November 7, 2008 at 12:11 PM

When I spoke to Whedon at ComicCon this year, he said that Dushku had a deal with Fox, and he decided to help her. This wasn’t his choice.

November 7, 2008 at 12:16 PM

Name dropper. ;-)

November 7, 2008 at 1:25 PM

Not his choice? You make it sound like he was forced to help Dushku out.

He could have said “Darling, I would love to help you out and help you on a cool show, but you have signed a deal with satan and thats not something I can do again” But no, he chose to work with them again.

November 7, 2008 at 2:47 PM

I meant he couldn’t tell Dushku to leave Fox — she had a deal. Joss initially wasn’t going to go back to TV, but apparently he likes Eliza too much not to help her out (I mean, she is hot — I met her at ComicCon too.)

– Keith the name dropper

November 7, 2008 at 12:13 PM

Whedon (and Minear interestingly enough) seem to be the battered wife who keeps going back to the abusive husband. “I know he beats me, but deep down inside I know he loves me. If I can just prove myself to him enough he will love me back.”

November 7, 2008 at 12:49 PM

The Minear part of this just adds to the crazy. Look at his IMDB profile. He really needs to get away from Fox. How much more can something not work?

November 7, 2008 at 12:23 PM

Lots of Sci-fi in one night. TSSC, Dollhouse, then BSG on the Sci-Fi channel.

November 7, 2008 at 12:27 PM

That should be TSCC.

November 7, 2008 at 2:54 PM

Okay – here is what I am wondering. Perhaps they are hoping to help keep the shows around by allowing them only “modest” success on Friday’s instead of expecting them to knock it out of the park on another night. Friday’s allow for an automatic lowering of expectations.

Ghost Whisperer is THE SHOW to watch on Fridays (and it used to be paired with Moonlight). Perhaps they are trying to reach and conquer whatever audience is watching that (I am) and in doing so, they will have a success on Friday’s instead of a failure on another night. Now, I also know it is not only the sci-fi portion of the show that appeals to GW watchers; it’s the romance. They are going to battle that around a bit tonight, so perhaps they are expecting viewership to drop and for those viewers to be willing to give Dollhouse a try. Mind you, the talk about whether or not you have a soul and the Dolls’ feelings will have to come into play in great proportions to be able to capture that crowd.

However, in a year where I have pretty much determined I have not one, NOT ONE, thing to be optimistic about, I am going to put this positive spin on the Dollhouse schedule. How did I do???

November 7, 2008 at 3:04 PM

I don’t know if your argument is sound, but I give you a heart felt amen regarding the drought in optimism :)

November 7, 2008 at 6:31 PM

LOL – at least I can win at something! Wheee! They just better not screw with my Eliza Dushku fix. I’ve been lacking.

November 7, 2008 at 7:42 PM

Personally, I think Fox needs to start scheduling shows for the 10pm hour.

November 7, 2008 at 9:09 PM

Why doesn’t Fox put House and Bones on Thursdays, Hell’s Kitchen on Fridays, Dollhouse on Wednesday, and keep Term to die on Mondays?

Oh yeah Fox…

November 16, 2008 at 7:34 AM

they should have a dollhouse/bones crossover episode so that joss, eliza and david boreanaz will be reunited lol

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