April 9 2009

Rumors Of Dollhouse’s Cancellation Are Greatly Exaggerated

dollhouseRumors of problems with Dollhouse have been all over the Internet today, but what is and isn’t true?

Hold on to your hats every one, there has been a ton of confusion about what is going on with Dollhouse, and if it has already been canceled or not.  It all stems from the unaired pilot, and how it effects how many episodes will be aired.  As this was a mid-season replacement, that usually means 13 episodes, but it seems Fox will only be airing 12 episodes, and this is leading to people thinking that the show is dead.

Okay, try to follow along:

– Fox Television Network ordered, produced and paid for 13 episodes.  This includes the pilot and 12 normal episodes.  The pilot was trashed, and parts of it reused.

– Fox Television Studio (different than the network) needs 13 episodes for the DVD release, so they commissioned a stand-alone episode entitled “Epitaph One”.  This brings the total number of episodes produced to 14.

– Fox Television Network has no interest in “Epitaph One” as it is stand alone and they did not commission it.  They are under no obligation to air the episode, although people would like to see them do so.

– Fox Television Studio will put “Epitaph One” on the DVD release for season one regardless if it airs on television or not.

This now “lost” episode is where people got all uptight that this meant the series was axed, but Fox is assuring viewers they have not yet made a decision on the fate of the second season.  To confirm this, Tim Minear posted on Whedonesque to clarify what is going on.

Okay. So maybe I can help clarify this somewhat. Because we scrapped the original pilot — and in fact cannibalized some of its parts for other eps — we really ended up with 12 episodes. But the studio makes DVD and other deals based on the original 13 number. So we created a standalone kind of coda episode. Which is the mythical new episode 13. The network had already paid for 13 episodes, and this included the one they agreed to let us scrap for parts. It does not include the one we made to bring the number back up to 13 for the studio side and its obligations. We always knew it would be for the DVD for sure, but we also think Fox should air it because it’s awesome.

So, in short, yes, there is a “missing/lost” episode floating around there, it does not affect the outcome of the season, and if it doesn’t air we will see it on the DVD. And, no, this does not mean the series is canceled.

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