The Hollywood Reporter has the breaking news that Fox has canceled "Dollhouse," the Eliza Dushku-starring series created by Whedon. The article notes that despite a DVR-induced ratings bump, "Dollhouse" just couldn't cut it by the network's standards. As a result, the series will be put out to pasture after the 13th episode of the second season. Episode 11 is currently filming.
If the ratings and the mixed reaction from fans and reviewers weren't proof enough that "Dollhouse" was in trouble, the very fact that Fox pulled the series from November sweeps was a clear indicator of the show's impending cancellation.
Now, it appears that Fox won't even wait on the performance of the previously announced "Dollhouse" doubleheaders set to air throughout December. In fact, according to THR, it's unclear whether the remaining episodes — which include the debut of "Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles" star Summer Glau — will even air at all.
To be honest, I'm torn about the news. "Dollhouse" has been a mixed bag since its initial episodes, but when it's on, it's really on. The first year's final string of episodes paved the way for a stronger, more mythologically-focused second season, but that potential hasn't been realized yet. Echo's story continues to be a slow burn, even if it is admittedly faster than last year. The assignment-of-the-week formula remains in place, even though this season was well-positioned to pursue overarching story elements. Two of the show's most prized actors — Alan Tudyk and Amy Acker — are rarely if ever seen these days, admittedly due to forces beyond Whedon's control.
Fans might blame the death of "Dollhouse" on Fox given the network's premature cancellation of Whedon's "Firefly," but that seems misplaced to me. Could Fox have had more patience and faith in Whedon's vision for the series? Absolutely. But Whedon and his writers had to work with what they could — and the results, this year at least, are speaking for themselves right now.
Hopefully the final run of episodes lives up to the hype promised in "Epitaph One." With two episodes yet to be filmed, I still have hope that "Dollhouse" can go out with a creative bang, if not a commercial one.
What do you make of the "Dollhouse" cancellation? Let us know in the comments or on Twitter!