I think it's a shame Dollhouse got cancelled. In my humble opinion, I felt it was really a good show...and it was only getting better in Season 2. Ah well
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I saw it coming when FOX cancelled The Sarah Connor Chronicles last season.
Don't green it unless you mean it.
There are my dogs!
If you had to chose, die or watch the world die, what would you pick?"
Don't get why Joss still works with FOX after everything that's happened. I guess he wants exposure for his shows and in order to mainstream them he needs a big network. Although in this case can't really blame FOX. Dollhouse never seemed to gather as much support as Firefly.
In its first season, MASH wasn't that well received and finished at 47 overall, yet in its series finale remains the highest rated in history.
You also have nearsighted executives who don't consider the big picture. Case in point, NBC canceled Star Trek after three seasons and only later learned that while it never peaked higher then number 52, it consistently won the 16 to 39 demographic.
The executives have their own jobs to worry about. It's not like television shows are cheap. We're talking at the very least $2 to $3 million per episode for an one hour primetime show. If you're investing $30+ million, don't you want to see some results as soon as possible? Not to mention the fact that they're not really using their own money, they have investors to worry about too. Don't forget the little problem with the screen actor's guild that almost ended up in a strike and oh yeah, the economic recession.
Also, I find it unlikely that a show like Dollhouse is running $2-$3 million per episode. Stark Trek:TNG ran $1M in 1987 dollars which is roughly $1.8 in 2008 dollars. Yes there's not that much difference between $1.8 M and $2M but Dollhouse is not a CGI heavy show plus costs associated with CGI have come down as well.
$2 to $3 million per episode for Dollhouse is a low ball estimate. Also, it's not the CGI that's expensive, CGI is actually a lot cheaper now. However, the cost of practical effects like car crashes, fist fights, gunfire, explosions, etc., haven't changed and Dollhouse use a lot of those. There's also the locations, props, sets, training for actors, insurance, etc. I doubt the actors in M*A*S*H had to learn martial arts and they probably didn't have to be insured against injuries resulting from stunts like concussions and broken bones. In action heavy shows, insurance can cost up to 5% of the total budget.
Also there's this:
MGM and Sci Fi loved the spinoff idea but weren't willing to end "SG-1," which was garnering more than 2 million viewers during its Friday-night time slot. Instead, the movie idea was rewritten as the finale of Season 6, and "Stargate Atlantis" launched in 2004 as its own show. In order to keep costs down -- two-thirds of "SG-1's" $2.2 million-per-episode budget is covered by MGM, with the remainder picked up by Sci Fi -- "Atlantis" and "SG-1" share soundstages and production crew.
Cable shows are generally a lot cheaper than network shows and SG1's production cost was $2.2 million in 2006 when the article was written.
Last edited by Giantevilhead; December 14th, 2009 at 12:48 PM.
It would be like if your boss told you that he's going to cut your salary to almost nothing for the next three years but after that he'll double it for as long as you work for him. That may sound like a good deal but what are you going to do for those three years where your salary is cut? It's not like you can just forget about food, shelter, health care, and family for those three years.
Then there's the added problem that network executives aren't just using their own money, they have investors to worry about. The more you borrow, the harder it is to hold off your creditors. Just try going to a bank, borrow $20,000 and when they ask you to pay you back, tell them that you'll pay them back in 3 years with triple the interest but for now you need an additional $20,000 every year until then. See how fast they send the repo squad after you.
Furthermore, the $60M-$70M isn't blown because you have to factor in ad revenue from the advertisers. Yes, ratings directly impact rates for a show, but you will not find a network that gives away 100% of the available time. The network may not make a killing on the show, but they're certainly not loosing their shirts.
Last edited by HAL2100; December 14th, 2009 at 07:19 PM.
They clearly aren't making the money back from ad revenue nor are they getting much from DVD sales. Dollhouse obviously won't bankrupt Fox. Heck, 20th Century Fox Television earns about $1 billion per year, the company probably won't blink over those losses. However, the executives who made those decisions are going out the door fast. Just because a company is big and can absorb big losses with no trouble doesn't mean it's willing to accept those losses.
The thing you have to get straight here is that the Fox company is not some monolithic entity that makes every decision about every show. It's beholden to its investors. The reason why Fox was willing to take risks back when it first came on was because there was a much smaller number of investors who knew that putting money in this brand new network to compete against ABC, CBS, and NBC was a risk. Now that it is one of the big networks, it has a lot more investors, most of whom do not want the company to take too many risks. They are not acceptable of losses and any executive who can't make back their investment is getting the boot unless that executive is extremely trustworthy and has been able to produce hits. Not to mention the fact that getting a show to syndication generally requires some long term planning. Just look at what they're doing with "Til Death," that show's ratings were always low but it was decided pretty early on that they were going to let it run its course so it could get into syndication.
I am so very bummed that Dollhouse got cancelled. I really thought that the show was even better this season, and I loved season 1. But I suppose I shouldn't be surprised...it is Fox.
I'm glad that they're still playing out all the episodes, since we'll have to no doubt wait forever before it's released on DVD. Hopefully there will be some excellent special features.
Joss needs to experiment with cable....or NBC.
Joss needs to get his next show on a premium channel. His fan base is simply not big enough to support a primetime network show. However, those fans are probably dedicated enough to subscribe to HBO or Showtime for a Whedon show. The 2 to 2.5 million fans may not be enough for network TV but 2 to 2.5 million new subscriptions for a premium channel is a lot. Also, premium channels give their shows much more creative freedom and they don't have censors.