Dollhouse renewed amid Hulu audience size controversy
The show will return for 13 episodes, with an option for more episodes
if required. Return is seen likely for Fall. The show budget has been
slashed, however the show is moving from 50 minutes per episode to 42
minutes per ep, which should help bring down some production costs.
The move will also mark a shift in creative direction of the show.
Now, why was it renewed? The story is that the Fox execs were comparing Dollhouse to Firefly in terms of TV ratings
(i.e. pretty bad), but also took into account that Firefly sold a truckload of DVDs and turned into a movie that made
an okay profit, and apparently predict a similar trajectory for
But I suspect Fox is looking at other info, to wit, the numbers on Hulu. Nielsen claims that Hulu had 8.9 million unique visitors in March, but comScore estimated a drastically higher 42 million. The folks at Hulu aren’t making specific claims, but according to the New York Times, it’s unhappy with the Nielsen numbers. Fox, being a TV network, already knows how shoddy Nielsen numbers can be, and certainly has accurate numbers internally from Hulu, as Fox owns a large percentage of the company. So they know things that mere mortals don’t.
This also suggests why Fox is holding off on episode 13, “Epitath One”. They’re certainly holding it for the DVD to goose sales, but they may even hold it for Hulu just to prove a point to Nielsen.
Hat tip: Obsessable.