In a surprising move, Fox has reportedly renewed the ailing freshman show Dollhouse for a second season, surprising many outlets who had previously written it off as a lost cause.
As with NBC’s renewal of Chuck, there are a number of conditions attached. The series only has a 13-episode order for now, its budget has been reduced, and the length of each episode cut to the standard 42 minutes rather than its previous 50, a product of Fox’s failed strategy to forgo advertisement to a certain extent during its programming. The budget issue may not be as severe as on other shows however, due to the fact that the show was greenlighted straight to series, and as a result able to construct its elaborate set for the titular Dollhouse using the money that would have been spent on a pilot.
The show, created by Joss Whedon (Firefly, Buffy The Vampire Slayer), had been in a ratings freefall practically since its debut episode after the midseason hiatus, however its DVR audience was strong, and as a science fiction show with a built-in fanbase thanks to Whedon’s credit, Fox likely predicts that it will do well on DVD and Blu-ray sales, at least to the point where a second season is attractive.