Joss Whedon's 'Dollhouse' w/ Eliza Dushku on FOX - Page 4 - AVS Forum
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post #91 of 2557 Old 02-13-2009, 08:48 AM
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Originally Posted by GrouchoDude View Post

I think one look at that huge, intricate set they built - the Dollhouse itself - will show you why that couldn't happen. 'Sanctuary' did it all with green screen.

Of course that begs the question, did they do it because they had to or because they could?

I'm sure they could have done the show with a much cheaper budget if they had to.
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post #92 of 2557 Old 02-13-2009, 08:58 AM
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Originally Posted by rebkell View Post

Of course that begs the question, did they do it because they had to or because they could?

I'm sure they could have done the show with a much cheaper budget if they had to.

Exactly.

When a show has a big budget, it tends to make use of it, either through bigger name talent, bigger FX or better sets.

However, shows like The Shield, Monk and BSG have show that careful use of set design, known (but not necessarily big name) talent and (in the case of BSG) a sprinkling of just enough FX to sell the scene can make the show just as compelling on a lower budget.

Heck, look at the three Law and Order dramas: two on broadcast TV and one on cable, yet they all seem to have the same production value. The "C" in "Cable" doesn't necessarily mean "Compromise".


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post #93 of 2557 Old 02-13-2009, 09:37 AM
 
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Originally Posted by rebkell View Post

Of course that begs the question, did they do it because they had to or because they could?

I'm sure they could have done the show with a much cheaper budget if they had to.

Well, I think the answer to that question is "both". Whedon's doing a sci-fi show for broadcast TV and the production values have to reflect that. The sets they built for 'Firefly' were uber-spectacular (and spectacularly expensive) and arguably necessary since the Serenity was essentially a character as well. Same with the Dollhouse. It has to look spectacular and they're going to be spending a lot of time there. If the show's successful, there will be plenty of time to amortise those costs. I appreciate FOX (gee, don't get to write that very often) for taking the risk.

Of course they could have done it cheaper (and would have if the show had been done for a cablenet). But would we have wanted them to?
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post #94 of 2557 Old 02-13-2009, 09:58 AM
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Originally Posted by GrouchoDude View Post

Of course they could have done it cheaper (and would have if the show had been done for a cablenet). But would we have wanted them to?

Yes I would want it cheaper if the story is there. The most expensive shows get cut first if the numbers slip. That was one of the reasons they canceled Las Vegas. The sets were too expensive and took up a lot of space.
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post #95 of 2557 Old 02-13-2009, 10:02 AM
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I have tried to stay as far way from spoilers, plot summaries, cast announcements and other revealing information about Dollhouse as much as I can (like the rest of this thread that I haven't read)...can't wait for tonight...can't wait to see what Joss has created this time...

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post #96 of 2557 Old 02-13-2009, 10:59 AM
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Originally Posted by lax01 View Post

I have tried to stay as far way from spoilers, plot summaries, cast announcements and other revealing information about Dollhouse as much as I can (like the rest of this thread that I haven't read)...can't wait for tonight...can't wait to see what Joss has created this time...

Oh, you're gonna love the climatic, mind blowing scene where...



...just kidding...


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post #97 of 2557 Old 02-13-2009, 11:17 AM
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Yes I would want it cheaper if the story is there. The most expensive shows get cut first if the numbers slip.

If the story is there, the story is there, and the people that appreciate it will stick around even if the production values are a touch low. BUT there are a lot of people that want the shiny (as Joss might say) and will tune out if Eliza isn't looking great kicking ass all over an amazing set. First impressions, blah blah blah...if the show looks cheap it won't hold a mainstream audience and then it'll be canceled no matter how good the story is.

Groucho makes a solid point that the Dollhouse will almost be a character in and of itself (like Serenity). Gotta put the money into it. Also, having a cool set they can build once and use extensively cuts down on the need for auxiliary one-off sets that they'd need for variety if the 'house was lame.

Anyway, I'm really jazzed for this premier since I've really liked all of Whedon's work (although I never got into Angel). I'm not counting on it lasting more than a season or two, but it should be a fun ride.
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post #98 of 2557 Old 02-13-2009, 11:22 AM
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For Immediate Release:
Associated Net Press, FEB 2009: New Fox Comedy Fridays: - The hijinks ensue when 3 20'something rejects from an MTV dating program all decide to give up wearing shoes! When they are offered a job by some nerdy date nite chapparones, they jump at the chance, since it comes with free room and board in a "Beauty & the Geek" style Mansion, complete with a Runway for future challenges!
Although the job requires talents far beyond what their "chicken of the sea" minds & toothpick arms are capable of, they're willing to fake it! Get in on the laughs, tonight on Fox!"

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post #99 of 2557 Old 02-13-2009, 11:24 AM
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Brutal.
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post #100 of 2557 Old 02-13-2009, 12:16 PM
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Wow... that is pretty nasty!
Thanks AP- just set my season pass for Dollhouse on the TiVo

"If we ain't outta here in ten minutes, we won't need no rocket to fly through space."
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post #101 of 2557 Old 02-13-2009, 12:55 PM
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Originally Posted by MeatChicken View Post

For Immediate Release:
Associated Net Press, FEB 2009: New Fox Comedy Fridays: - The hijinks ensue when 3 20'something rejects from an MTV dating program all decide to give up wearing shoes! When they are offered a job by some nerdy date nite chapparones, they jump at the chance, since it comes with free room and board in a "Beauty & the Geek" style Mansion, complete with a Runway for future challenges!
Although the job requires talents far beyond what their "chicken of the sea" minds & toothpick arms are capable of, they're willing to fake it! Get in on the laughs, tonight on Fox!"


That was My attempt at humor .. not an actual press release, for those Chicken of the sea -ers that didn't quite realize that!!
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post #102 of 2557 Old 02-13-2009, 01:41 PM
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I don't care if E.D. has a Chicken of the Sea mind and toothpick arms - I wouldn't want her for those things, anyway.
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post #103 of 2557 Old 02-13-2009, 02:05 PM
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Originally Posted by barth2k View Post

it's Joss Wheedon and Olivia Williams is in it. I'm watching no matter what until they cancel it, which may be next week.

That's how I feel about Amy Acker...She's one of the most beautiful women I've ever seen (even with the facial scars...)
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post #104 of 2557 Old 02-13-2009, 02:11 PM
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That's how I feel about Amy Acker...She's one of the most beautiful women I've ever seen (even with the facial scars...)

Y'know, somehow I haven't seen her in any of the promotional shots so far, I'm interested to see what she looks like with the scars. You'd think she'd eventually get tired of working with Joss, he can't seem to let her look normal. I mean, she was hot as Illyria (sp?) in the last half of Angel season 5, but the makeup, hair and outfit must have been a pain.

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post #105 of 2557 Old 02-13-2009, 06:23 PM
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Dammit....just realized this wasn't recording. Forgot to bump it up on my priority list and had 2 other conflicts. CURSES!

I think it'll show up on Hulu though.
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post #106 of 2557 Old 02-13-2009, 06:46 PM
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Turned this off after 20 minutes.. Too confusing and too much jumping all over the place . Pretty people but sucky plot and wasn't impressed .
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post #107 of 2557 Old 02-13-2009, 07:04 PM
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Turned this off after 20 minutes.. Too confusing and too much jumping all over the place . Pretty people but sucky plot and wasn't impressed .

Yeah I was zoning out. Seemed like a bad remake of Alias.

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post #108 of 2557 Old 02-13-2009, 07:21 PM
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Felt a bit like the now-defunct "My Own Worst Enemy", but only better. Just a little.

"I knew you'd say that"...*BLAM!*
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post #109 of 2557 Old 02-13-2009, 07:38 PM
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I liked it.

I thought it was an interesting first choice for Eliza's character. You expect an action hero, but they go for the exact opposite. And I didn't think she had sufficient range to pull off that character, but she did a good job.

Since Amy Acker was listed as a guest star, I hope she stays around long enough to explain the scars.

Oh, and I like shows that are a little confusing. It means I actually have to fire up a few brain cells to extrapolate what is really going on. Fun!

Duane
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post #110 of 2557 Old 02-13-2009, 07:40 PM
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Well, I thought it started off terrible, but it wasn't so bad the last 30 or 40 minutes, I'll be hanging in for the foreseeable future, it wasn't the travesty the critics made it out to be, at least not to me it wasn't.

My local station went to SD for about two minutes right after the show started, and I was peeved, it was one of those DTV announcement(but it took a minute before the message started), which seems kind of silly on the HD feed, if I didn't have digital I couldn't be watching it anyway.

It wasn't great, but it wasn't horrible, I thought Dushku pulled off her different personas pretty well, the worst one was the opener.
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post #111 of 2557 Old 02-13-2009, 08:17 PM
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Fox TV's Gamble: Fewer Ads in a Break, but Costing More

From The New York Times By BRIAN STELTER

Eight minutes into Fringe on Tuesday, right after a man suffocated on a city street, the hour's first commercial was prefaced by a reminder that the drama would return in 60 seconds.

Sure enough, after ads for Listerine and the BlackBerry Curve, the paranormal investigations resumed on Fox.

Fringe, which had its premiere in September, was the first test of Fox's fewer-commercials strategy, which the network calls Remote-Free TV. Each episode of Fringe includes about 10 minutes of commercials, four to six minutes fewer than the typical hourlong show.

Fox has charged movie studios, wireless companies and retailers a premium price for commercials on the program to partly compensate Fox for a lighter commercial load.

On Friday, the format will be extended to a second Fox drama, Dollhouse, which stars Eliza Dushku as a secret agent who becomes aware that her memory has been repeatedly erased.

But has the commercial format worked? Fox says the shorter commercial breaks keep viewers more engaged and improve brand recall for advertisers. Viewers are also less likely to change the channel or fast-forward past the ads but not to the degree that Fox would have liked. Perhaps more important, the network does not appear to be recouping all the costs of the experiment. It is unclear whether Remote-Free TV will be back next season.

For decades, programmers have shown fondness for fewer commercial interruptions, especially for specials or other event-style shows. Many of these have had a single sponsor. The network evening newscasts have had occasional single-sponsor days and weeks, with one long commercial halfway through the half-hour program.

The Fox format is different. It includes several advertisers in each hour but limits the total number of commercials. When Fox pitched the strategy to advertisers last May, Peter Liguori, the Fox entertainment chairman, said that fewer commercials would present fewer reasons for viewers to to grab the remote and change the channel. Mr. Liguori said the format could potentially redefine the viewing experience.

Some advertisers have lauded Fox for taking a step toward reducing commercial clutter. But others have expressed skepticism that companies experience sufficient benefits in exchange for the premium price that is being charged.

Fox has received 40 to 50 percent premiums for the advertising sold for Fringe, according to executives and media buyers. Advertising Age, in its annual survey of TV ad pricing, found last fall that an average 30-second commercial on Fringe cost $343,000, making it the most expensive show on Tuesdays by far, even surpassing its highly rated fall lead-in, House.

Jon Nesvig, the president of sales for Fox Broadcasting, said last week that the format has worked reasonably well for Fringe.

It is commonly accepted, he said, that the first position in a commercial pod is the most effective one for advertisers. The second most effective position is the last commercial before the program resumes. Presumably viewers who are changing the channel, fast-forwarding the digital video recorder or taking a break are exposed to the bookends of the commercial break.

By shortening the commercial breaks, you basically have all first and last positions and you have lower clutter, Mr. Nesvig said. With less clutter, there's better recall, and that's what part of the objective is.

He said the commercial orders for Fringe have been full all along, owing in part to the support of movie companies like Sony Pictures, Warner Brothers and Universal. Other advertisers have included American Express, Apple, Verizon Wireless and Wal-Mart.

Last fall Nielsen IAG, an ad research company, analyzed the effect of fewer commercials and found that brand recall was 22 percent higher for Fringe than for prime time's most involving dramas.

Shorter breaks are also resulting in somewhat less skipping of commercials, according to Nielsen.

It's better than other shows, Mr. Nesvig said, but it hasn't been as great as we were hoping.

For Fox to break even on the format, the premium pricing for the ads has to outweigh the revenue that is lost by showing fewer commercials. Asked whether that was happening, Mr. Nesvig said the jury is still out on the economics.

Regardless, Mr. Nesvig calls the changes to the commercial load on Fringe successful.

Even if it wasn't an absolutely positive financial success, it was definitely a worthwhile experiment and something that I am glad we have attempted and will continue to work on, he said.

Dollhouse will have its premiere in the Friday 9 p.m. time slot, generally not one of the most popular times of the week for viewers or advertisers. Mr. Nesvig said that Fox is surprisingly well-stocked Monday through Thursday this spring, giving the network an opportunity to extend that beachhead into Friday night. And he hopes the Remote-Free TV format will act as a hook, creating appointment viewing on a night that consumers are more likely to go out with friends or see a movie.

Dollhouse may be a somewhat harder sell to advertisers, in part because of the Friday night slot. We'll still have some movie companies on Friday night, but not nearly as many as on Tuesday, Mr. Nesvig said.

In describing the pricing for the premium spots, he compared the dramas to the Super Bowl. The Super Bowl is obviously not hard to sell in and of itself, he said. It's hard to sell at $3 million a unit. (NBC announced it had sold the last 30-second positions for this month's game one day before kickoff.) Similarly, spots would sell more swiftly if we went out and sold Fringe' for a 10 or 15 percent premium, he said.

Mr. Nesvig suggested that Fox would be in a better position to sell premium ad time in the coming upfront advertising season. The Remote-Free TV plan was presented to media buyers last May without much preparation, he said. Regardless of whether the format returns next season, Fox executives say the experiments with the number of commercials shown in its programs will continue.

There will be ongoing attempts to keep commercial viewing as high as possible, Mr. Nesvig said, adding, It behooves all of us to keep changing the model.

'Better Living Through Modern, Expensive, Electronic Devices'

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post #112 of 2557 Old 02-13-2009, 08:27 PM
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Originally Posted by taffyrose View Post

Turned this off after 20 minutes.. Too confusing and too much jumping all over the place . Pretty people but sucky plot and wasn't impressed .

Give it 20 minutes of the first episode to come to a final conclusion?

WOW!

Talk about needing instant gratification!

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post #113 of 2557 Old 02-13-2009, 08:55 PM
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Oh, and I like shows that are a little confusing. It means I actually have to fire up a few brain cells to extrapolate what is really going on. Fun!

Duane

My thoughts exactly. Way too much instant gratification & mind numbing tv out there. No wonder critics & general public get 'confused', they shut their brains off on reflex when the blue light comes on.

I enjoyed it. Looking forward to next week.
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post #114 of 2557 Old 02-13-2009, 09:23 PM
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I thought it was a decent start. I haven't read, nor do I usually care much, about what the critics think. I think the premise is interesting, and I like the BSG FBI agent. We'll see if the execution of the premise carries forward. Hopefully there will be a fairly heavy serialized approach taken. I doubt that a bunch of stand-alone episodes would hold interest for long. In any case, I definitely enjoyed the pilot. I'll keep watching.

I am diggin' my new Sci-Fi Friday, by the way: Terminator, Dollhouse, BSG. Throw in FNL and Friday is getting to be my favorite TV night
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post #115 of 2557 Old 02-13-2009, 09:23 PM
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Thought it was okay, although not much of a strong hook for me for a premiere. Got better as it went along. Will give it at least two more episodes to get things established.
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post #116 of 2557 Old 02-13-2009, 09:40 PM
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It definitely was slow and confusing at first, but it really did pick up and start coming together by the end. I was really unsure about it in the beginning, but before it was over I was enjoying it. I'll definitely stick with it for a while.

But did anyone think the audio was atrocious? Way too low, I had to crank the volume to a record high. And I had just been thinking Terminator was doing much better on that issue tonight.
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post #117 of 2557 Old 02-13-2009, 10:18 PM
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Well I walked into it knowing nearly zero about what this show was about, simply because I was curious. I was definitely confused most of the way through the episode, but by the end I could definitely see the bits and pieces of a season-long plot the writers are putting together. They dropped hints about what to expect, so hopefully they can deliver. I've got it set to record, so we'll see what the rest of the season has in store for us. Plus, Eliza Dushku is easy on the eyes, and the producers know it, too

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post #118 of 2557 Old 02-13-2009, 10:23 PM
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Originally Posted by rebkell View Post

Well, I thought it started off terrible, but it wasn't so bad the last 30 or 40 minutes, I'll be hanging in for the foreseeable future, it wasn't the travesty the critics made it out to be, at least not to me it wasn't.

My local station went to SD for about two minutes right after the show started, and I was peeved, it was one of those DTV announcement(but it took a minute before the message started), which seems kind of silly on the HD feed, if I didn't have digital I couldn't be watching it anyway.

It wasn't great, but it wasn't horrible, I thought Dushku pulled off her different personas pretty well, the worst one was the opener.

Interesting, I thought her first character was the most believable while the rest of them I couldn't figure out if she was suppose to appear like she was acting, or just doing a bad job of acting the part. I came away from it thinking Dushku is not a very good actress at all.

I'll definitely be sticking around though to see how it develops.
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post #119 of 2557 Old 02-13-2009, 10:24 PM
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I enjoyed it and I'm in until it's cancelled...


next week.

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post #120 of 2557 Old 02-14-2009, 12:48 AM
 
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I enjoyed it! Eliza can pull this off based on what I've seen here, I'm pretty sure. Joss is no dummy. If he see's genius in his muse, then I'm at least going to see if he's acting on professional instinct or a more primitive compulsion. The whole show clearly hinges on her. They need to establish her comrades-in-arms and make them both compelling and the focus of stand-alone episodes or the premise will quickly wear thin. While I think Eliza can carry the majority of the heavy plotline lifting, she's going to need some help. I'll be here regardless, sink or swim - very impressive start.
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