Sunday, November 15, 2009

Sent to the Attic (without any supper)

So, as I suspected it would, Fox canceled Dollhouse this past week. So, as a result, I will be canceling Fox from my viewing activities.

Whining Fanboy you say? Over reacting? Well, maybe. But losing Dollhouse is really the final among many straws.

Dollhouse was not a perfect show. It took a few episodes to find its voice. Get its leggings. But this is true for every other Joss Whedon show, with the possible exception of Firefly, which I will get to in a minute.

Here's what Fox has/has not done, that has me deciding to tell them to go fuck themselves.

1-They put Dollhouse in exactly the same time slot where they put Firefly a few years ago. Friday nights...WHEN NO ONE IS WATCHING TV!

2-They barely promoted the show themselves. This year alone on Twitter we counted hundreds of official Fox tweets for Glee, a show that was already a hit, and about 20 for Dollhouse which was strugging ON FRIDAYS.

3-They then blamed poor ratings.

4-They promoted upcoming episodes coming in November, but only as coming soons, very rarely on other time-slots, then within days they pulled the show OFF November for sweeps, thus playing a sort of game with fans. They assured us that this was a way to keep the show safe and help their numbers (the replacement, re runs of House, garnered a tiny tiny teeny weency improvement for that slot. Why? BECAUSE NO ONE WATCHES TV ON FRIDAY NIGHTS for network broadcast numbers to be worth anything.

5-Then after a week they cancel the show, demonstrating that EVERYthing they said previously was flat out, in your face, bald faced bullshit.

They treated Dollhouse marginally better than they treated Firefly, which is to say that they treated it like less stinky shit, holding it 3 feet away from their noses instead of 4. And they spoke to fans in condescending and again, lieing tones.

What they should have done, if they really wanted the show to hit, if they really wanted to give it its best opportunity like they said they did, was keep Fringe on Tuesdays (I'll get to that in a minute too) and have Dollhouse follow, giving the show a significant and popular lead in. If Dollhouse failed to garner an audience then, the network would have had a legitimate case on its hands and would actually be able to honestly say they tried.

I've written about this before. Gone are the days that network executives gave shows time to find their audience. Time for their audience to find them. No more. Everything has to be Lost now. Everything has to be Desperate Housewives (I just vomited a little into my mouth). Everything has to be Glee.

BTW, I have nothing against Glee, it doesn't interest me, but it sounds like a good show IN A GOOD TIME SLOT.

Firefly was probably Whedon's greatest creation for television. It was mature, featured the strongest cast that's ever been on one of his shows and it had a great premise. Sales of its DVDs continue to sell brilliantly. Fox claimed to learn a lesson from that. Their actions proved that to be bullshit. They did absolutely nothing for this show.

The pulled this same kind of half hearted nonsense on Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles too. I wasn't a fan of the show for a number of reasons. But it clearly had a loyal base and its ratings on say FX (which Fox owns) or SyFy (Which Fox doesn't, and God I hate writing "SyFy", so fucking stupid)would have made it a smash. Given that Dollhouse's ratings were even better, that same action would have been even more successful

And finally.

I love Fringe too. It's on Fox so my giving up on Fox means I am giving up on Fringe (yes there are ways to watch it under the radar, I'm not going to advocate that). But they are doing it to Fringe too.

It was a hit on Tuesdays last year. It started slow and built really well. So what did Fox do? They moved it to Thursdays...OPPOSITE CSI AND GRAY'S ANATOMY. Two huge ratings giants. What the fuck did they think was going to happen?!!!

And now they are saying that they are unsure of the ratings and we will see about renewal.

And then of course there's Arrested Development. A brilliant show that yes, they stuck with but never did a single thing to improve its ratings. They played the martyr with it and also fucked with its fans.

Well guess what? FUCK YOU FOX. FUCK YOUR DISDAIN FOR GENRE TELEVISION and FUCK YOU FOR TELLING ME FUCK YOU. The Simpsons is boring now and you have nothing on that interests me. Much as I like Seth MacFarlane I have yet to get a single good laugh out of Family Guy (I know, I know....I just don't think its that good). I'll watch the remaining 7 episodes and then I'm done with you. Oh, and if I haven't said it enough already, FUCK YOU.

(Monday update) I forgot to mention that I think web shows are the future anyway. Like Dr. Horrible or The Guild. I don't think it's a bad idea to begin making clear to networks, both broadcast and cable that they are moving into irrelevancy as far as we are concerned.

I encourage you to join me in my boycott if you've had enough.


Stacia said...

This is the perfect expression of feelings to match those of a very good friend of mine... must send him a link to this! He is very upset that Dollhouse was canceled. Sadly, I never became a viewer because of the wretched time slot. He is the one who introduced me to Firefly, and I now have the entire DVD set. I have attended the local once a year screening of Serenity at the movie house nearby... and hope to attend one again in December. I absolutely love Arrested Development as well, definitely one of the top TV shows to be on in many years. I feel your pain and F-you sentiment to Fox! (I found your blog through Waiting for the Click; we are old pals from Junior High School.)

By the Seat said...

I totally agree. Fox has done this for years and years, with many shows that had great potential. I stopped watching Fox years ago. Even when I see a promo for a show that would interest me, I know it will never stick around.

Wendy Han said...

And I thought we had problems in the UK with pay-tv Sky and the petty squablings of ITV and the BBC!. But I agree there is a shift away from the small screen to a different way of viewing content. Suppose the conglomorates will always try and have a manipulative and manouvering hand over creative content if it is of interest to them (so thats a given then) - but I see the public led immeadiacy with online creativity as a sort of very broad public version of the Arts Council - keeping the big wigs at arms length from too much medling - there is a shift and I hope quality doesn't get lost in the mix.

Opinionated Gifts said...

Hi Stacia and thanks for following me.

Have your friend show you the Season 1 DVDs. I'm sure he's got them.

Hi Wendy, yeah I've heard about the issues over there in the UK, but overall your country is much nicer to Genre TV than here. sexy beast. Glad you're around. And I'm glad to know I am part of a growing club.

Major Bedhead said...

Since I watch 99.9% of my shows online, I'm not sure if I can boycott Fox. And I love House and Glee and will continue to watch them, although not thru Hulu, so they won't get the boost. But yeah, this pisses me off no end. It also makes me wonder why Joss Whedon continues to make deals with the devil when he seems to continuously lose.

Opinionated Gifts said...

That actually has to do with Dushku's development contract with Fox. I think Whedon is free from them, as he used to have a similar contract with them, but not her.

Anonymous said...

Just want to say that Firefly is the best TV show I've ever seen. The fact that if got canceled caused me to loose more faith in humanity than any other single event. Sometimes, when I want to either depress myself or enrage myself, I will watch all the Firefly episodes, followed by Serenity. The fact that it's over-there are no more episodes, no sequels, breaks my heart and/or enrages me, depending on my mood.

"Someone ever tries to kill you, you try to kill 'em right back!" ~ Mal Reynolds, "Our Mrs. Reynolds"

Best quote from a show...ever.