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'Chuck' and 'Dollhouse' renewed

Posted by Matthew Gilbert  May 18, 2009 05:27 AM

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A surprise and a shocker!

After some indecision, NBC is definitely bringing back the beloved but middling-rated "Chuck." And, against all odds, Fox is keeping Joss Whedon's "Dollhouse" alive for another 13 episodes, despite its extremely low ratings (about 2.8 million viewers). "Dollhouse" seemed to have no chance of survival.

NBC announced the return of a number of series a few weeks ago, including "Southland," "Heroes," "Law & Order: SVU," "Friday Night Lights," and "Parks and Recreation," but the fate of "Chuck" was hanging in the balance. With every night at 10 about to go to Jay Leno, a not-so-sure bet like "Chuck" might not find a slot.

But NBC has bought 13 more episodes of the Josh Schwartz series, albeit with budget concessions. According to Michael Ausiello at EW, "Chuck" will return with supporting cast members in fewer episodes, two fewer staff writers, and possibly the elimination of one actor altogether. Now the Save "Chuck" campaigners can stop pigging out on sub sandwiches.

The return of "Dollhouse," starring Eliza Dushku, was considered highly unlikely, and, according to the Live Feed, it may be "the lowest-rated in-season scripted drama to ever get a renewal on a major broadcast network." But the show's DVR viewing is strong, and the online streaming numbers are high. These days, it seems, a small but passionate fan base may be enough to tip the scales for renewal. Nielsen numbers are no longer the be all and end all.

Might you be pleased?

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58 comments so far...
  1. Wooohooo Chuck. Especially after the great season finally.

    Posted by feech May 18, 09 07:11 AM
  1. Yes! I'm so psyched for Chuck. It's the best show nobody's watching. But I'm a little concerned with only 13 episodes. Not really enough to get a following to stick with it. Hopefully, they'll put it in a time slot that will actually benefit it.

    Posted by LostFan789 May 18, 09 07:19 AM
  1. Wow. Fox renewed a Joss Whedon show. Did Hell freeze over?

    So excited about the return of these two shows (though, I do have some episodes to catch up on through Hulu).

    Posted by Elly May 18, 09 07:26 AM
  1. Great! I love both shows. If only Pushing Daisies had had similar success...

    Posted by Simonde May 18, 09 07:37 AM
  1. I like Dollhouse. I think it would pull in much higher numbers if it wasn't on the Friday night schedule. That's why the DVR numbers are probably high.

    Posted by George May 18, 09 07:49 AM
  1. in typical wheadon fashion, dollhouse started slow and on friday nights? unless you are a hardcore joss fan and/or DVRd it, it would be hard to give it a chance. i made that mistake with firefly and learned my lesson when i got the season on DVD. around the 6th episode, dollhouse started picking up speed and with the season finale ... well ... i am soooo excited they renewed it and can't wait for next season!

    Posted by s May 18, 09 08:03 AM
  1. I'm shocked and pleased at both those shows being renewed. And I'm not even a 20-something gamer living in my mom's basement.
    I'm a woman over 30 who appreciates creative, quirky, fresh shows like these. The sitch with these shows is also a great example of why networks have to find a way to evaluate ratings other than the primitive Nielsen way. Dollhouse gets an enormous kick, sometimes almost 50%, in viewership once you count DVR and streaming, because most folks that would watch it (18-49) actually have plans on a Friday night. The networks deserve kudos for not canceling these weak-rated shows and filling the slots with more mind-numbing so-called reality programming.

    Posted by My2Cents May 18, 09 08:10 AM
  1. Yes to Dolhouse season 2. Honestly can't understand all the negativity surrounding the show - the first 4 episodes were weak but once the arc kicked in it's clearly the best action/drama 18-35 currently airing. Obviously competition isn't strong but Dollhouse >> Heroes >> Prison Break (thank god that's over).
    And I dont' even LIKE Eliza Dushku.

    Posted by Nadz May 18, 09 08:10 AM
  1. Dollhouse was actually interesting. I watched it. It's a bit corny at times but it's got Eliza Dushku and that really makes up for it.

    The thing I like about Dollhouse is that every episode is a totally different situations so even if you do miss one episode, you are not completely confused(LOST :P).

    Fans of ye olde WB shows from the early 2000's will like Dollhouse. Hulu it if you can to get the idea behind the show.

    Posted by Active-Omega May 18, 09 08:13 AM
  1. Woohoo!! Dollhouse is a great show!! I watch all episodes on DVR, I'm happy to hear that it counts towards the ratings.

    Posted by Maria May 18, 09 08:28 AM
  1. Dollhouse renewed. They cancel every decent show Joss Weedon has created, yet they renew this turkey?! You gotta be kidding me. As much as I like Weedon's writting, this show is completely unwatchable.

    Posted by TrueFaith May 18, 09 08:38 AM
  1. Note that the "2.8 million" number for "Dollhouse" comes from the day that happened to be the first Friday "Star Trek" was in movie theatres. Gee, I wonder where the target demographic was that night? Though its numbers weren't THAT much higher on previous nights, they tended to score consistently over 3 mill with a higher demo share before that point. The 2.8 is neither typical nor even median, and with as popular as the show was on sites like Hulu, unlikely to be a fair representation of the fandom (even if the fandom is still "cult" size). Hopefully the renewal will come with a better time slot.

    Posted by DQ May 18, 09 08:46 AM
  1. I'm glad they're giving Dollhouse some more time. I'm one of the aforementioned DVR viewers of it, and have really enjoyed the progression they've been doing. Joss Whedon shows generally take some time to develop and premature cancellation sometimes looks foolish in retrospect (a la Firefly).

    Posted by Joss Fan May 18, 09 08:59 AM
  1. I actually like Doll house - its different! and entertaining!

    Posted by Meme May 18, 09 09:01 AM
  1. I'm psyched about both!! I DVR both of them. It's nice for a network to recognize that just because someone isn't home to watch the show doesn't mean that it's not being watched!

    Posted by Maisie May 18, 09 09:04 AM
  1. "Chuck" did seem to have pretty great production values -- mostly indoor shots, but still plenty of outdoor ones -- probably pretty expensive in the long run -- it always had a great look to it. Maybe they'll drop Chuck's sister Ellie and "Awesome", now that they're married; that plot line could most easily be excised to save money. Or maybe there'll be less "BuyMore" scenes, with less of that retail cast, with more of a concentration on the "spy" aspects of the show -- especially since now Chuck has the new intersect in his brain and HE KNOWS KUNG FU!!!

    Posted by redglare2 May 18, 09 09:05 AM
  1. Yeah to Chuck!! Great news for an original and fun-for-all-ages show!! I will be there at show time per usual!

    Posted by Chuck Me May 18, 09 09:07 AM
  1. People actually watch "Chuck" ?? Never got into it. cheesy humor. The pilot for "The Office" was one of the worst perfoming pilots in NBC history... I dont know what I'd do without The Office!

    Posted by yikes22 May 18, 09 09:27 AM
  1. We need more shows like Chuck.....i am soooooooo sick of the reality shows.....they are so far from reality it isn't funny. Chuck is not reality and does not pretent to be and it is fun to watch.....

    Posted by Rebecca May 18, 09 09:40 AM
  1. Yay!! Both Chuck and Dollhouse are at the top of my favorite shows list. This is great news for me!

    Posted by Mike May 18, 09 09:48 AM
  1. Huge yay for Chuck.

    I also am an over-30 woman who loves that show. As #19 wrote, it's so far from reality tv, which is exactly what I'm looking for.

    I heard that Medium's fate was in the balance again. Hopefully they'll bring that show back as well...

    Posted by Lissa May 18, 09 09:52 AM
  1. yeah chuck!!! best show on monday, wish it was on tonight! who says cut the buy more scenes they where some of the funniest scenes! super show!!!!

    Posted by bchan89 May 18, 09 10:23 AM
  1. So happy Chuck is coming back. It is a fun show to watch and makes me laugh. Just what I need on a Monday night!

    Posted by SueB May 18, 09 11:07 AM
  1. I'm amazed that Fox renewed Dollhouse. I really like this show (and I didn't expect to--I originally tuned in out of fanboy loyalty). I rarely watch a show live anymore -- anything I really like is recorded by the DVR so I can view it at my leisure. Maybe Fox should take the next step and realize that even geeks have lives and try this show in a better timeslot. (I mean, seriously...they've been operating under this geeks=no Friday plans for too many years, starting way back with X-Files.)

    Posted by wicked May 18, 09 12:06 PM
  1. I'm pretty stoked about both these shows getting renewed. We got rid of cable about 6 months ago and watch things through the HD antenna when possible...but most of our viewing is through the laptop hooked up to the big screen. It's good to see that the networks take into account the numbers from internet viewing. If the networks were smart, they'd quit whoring their own shows during commercials on the internet, and actually show real commercials. They'd make a ton of money that way.

    Posted by Nic May 18, 09 12:13 PM
  1. Agree with #16 on production values. When I read "budget concessions" I began to worry that they will excise some of the qualities that made it worth watching. I hope not.

    I know the networks are in the business of making money - hence reality shows. But they don't have any staying power in terms anyone wanting to watch them again in syndication. Shows like Chuck are more likely to be viewed long after it is gone than any reality show.

    I also used DVR for Dollhouse - my middle aged memory is fading, but I think the reason I did was that they put it on at the same time Battlestar was on. Tough competition for anything else!

    Posted by Marie May 18, 09 12:36 PM
  1. Great news about Chuck! I'm surprised more people don't watch this show...there is nothing like it on TV. It has drama, action, and yes some cheeky comedy all thrown in together. Perfect blend. I am a little worried about the fact that there will only be 13 episodes and that the supporting actors may not be around as much. What would we do without Jeffster, Morgan, and Anna to keep us laughing while the world is being terrorized right under their noses??

    Posted by Dee May 18, 09 12:36 PM
  1. Yay for Chuck! I'm outside that demographic all together. Both my husband and I are in our 50's and Chuck is his favorite TV show. I am also a bit worried about the 13 episode limit. Hopefully it will be extended as 2010 gets nearer.

    As far as Dollhouse is concerned, I never really got into it. I DVRed the first episode, but gave up on it after that. Now that I've heard and read the good buzz about the final episode, I may try to watch it online over the summer.

    Posted by Mary May 18, 09 02:35 PM
  1. GREAT NEWS! Dollhouse is a very good show! Joss hit a home run with this show, even though it took a few episodes to get moving. It should be on a different day to keep its target audience watching when it's on TV. But with DVRs and full episodes posted online, us loyal viewers can watch it anytime. :-)

    Posted by Pete S. May 18, 09 03:01 PM
  1. I am very happy with the decision to renew Chuck.

    I have no opinion on any of the FOX shows since I do not support that network and haven't since Firefly.

    Yeah Chuck!

    Posted by Ron May 18, 09 03:15 PM
  1. I am very happy with the decision to renew Chuck.

    I have no opinion on any of the FOX shows since I do not support that network and haven't since Firefly.

    Yeah Chuck!

    Posted by Ron May 18, 09 03:22 PM
  1. Fox has finally gotten smart. They realized that the fan base and viewership is far more than captured by Nielsen ratings, and fan base means DVD sales, potential for feature movie, and word of mouth over the summer. They blew it with Firefly, getting only one season of DVD sales with a fabulous show. Glad they realized that there are many ways to watch a "TV" show these days.

    Posted by Mark May 18, 09 03:46 PM
  1. I am just diaapointed that they went with Doll House Over Sarah Connor, i thought it was a much better show. Glad Chuck is back, is one of those tv series that is still safe for the entire family, not filld with overt sexuality and language. (though Sarah in a Teddie in 3D.. wow)

    Posted by Paul May 18, 09 04:01 PM
  1. I LOVE DOLLHOUSE!! But seriously.. Friday night?!?!

    I watch it religiously on Hulu... can't it get some credit for that/!?!?!

    Posted by Amanda G. May 18, 09 05:02 PM
  1. I hate to burst everyone's bubble, but I'm pretty sure Dollhouse's renewal had VERY little to nothing to do with loyal fandom--at least little to do with the fans crashing FOX's phone lines. Joss made huge budget cuts, the season was already only 13 episodes, they're probably losing Amy Acker (huge salary), and it is possible that in this economy FOX wanted to go with a show that had reasonable numbers (with hulu and dvr) thus at least a sort of hit rather than a new show that's a complete gamble. Although, high DVD presales also help which IS us fanboys and girls.

    Posted by Allie May 18, 09 05:07 PM
  1. Chuck = awesomeness
    simple as that...
    Dollhouse has avid supporters.. which will grow in no time.
    Good move by the network!

    Posted by Dean May 18, 09 05:47 PM
  1. That's great about "Dollhouse"! It got better and better. Glad FOX isn't pulling a "Firefly" on this one.

    Posted by fingerbo May 18, 09 05:56 PM
  1. I'm stoked about both, but especially Dollhouse! The last couple episodes were phenomenal. Chuck I'm not as passionate about, but it's solidly entertaining.

    And I exclusively watch my TV shows either on the networks' sites or on Hulu.

    Posted by Daniel May 18, 09 07:39 PM
  1. I AM pleased. Very pleased. Thank you, FOX. (Never thought I'd say THAT...) The show has incredible potential and should be treated as such. Now, how about moving it to a decent time slot???

    Posted by Jennie Sykes-Schwenk May 18, 09 09:59 PM
  1. From the FAQ files at the Nielsen Media Research web site, there are a sum total of only 26,000 Nielsen families (or 0.03% of US households). Comparing this to 75% of US households having broadband Internet access and 31% of US households having DVRs, one wonders why NMR has any statistical significance anymore. Networks can get a significantly larger sampling of US households from web site hits on their streaming content than can be provided by NMR.

    Posted by Mark May 18, 09 10:31 PM
  1. I LOVE DOLLHOUSE!!! I'm so happy they decided to renew it. I Love how they put it on hulu! I'm always working or busy when it's on and I always forget when my shows are on TV.....IT so convienet to be able to go online and watch your show when you have the time to sit down and pay attention with out distractions like a baby crying in the back ground or having to cook :)

    Posted by Oliegirl May 19, 09 12:11 AM
  1. fox and the rest of the tv world sooooo need to understand if they dont put it in a decent time slot then duh!!! the ratings will suck. if they put things like 24 and prison break at some silly hour like 3 am then of course i wont be watching but ill sure be buying the dvds or dvr the thing., put doll house and chuck at decent times on the popular days , an you just might be renewing again next year guys

    Posted by atlantis47 May 19, 09 10:59 AM
  1. Dollhouse is the best new show on TV (out of the mainstream Mentalist). I loved Buffy and Joss did not let me down. The suspense, the plot twist reveal of Alpha (the actual actor) was breathtaking. I love it. I stay home on Friday just to watch it live. It's Quantum Leap for the 2000s. I'm so glad we get to see more!

    Posted by Stephanie May 19, 09 02:12 PM
  1. Speaking of Dollhouse, our tower just have an evacuation exercise.

    It was surreal how it looked exacly like the scene in the 'Awakening' episode where all the Acitves were walking out the loading dock to the sunlight.

    Unlike the show, we didn't fall asleep a minute later. LOL

    With all the movies being shot in the hub, I wouldn't be surprised to find out they used the same location to shoot.

    Posted by D-house Fan May 20, 09 10:18 AM
  1. Yes!!!!
    So thought Dollhouse was a gonner! Glad to see that NBC are taking the worlwide Joss Whedon fanbase into account. Loving the show!!!

    Posted by Laurax452 May 20, 09 11:04 AM
  1. Joss has NEVER let me down. Networks? Every time.

    If you don't like Dollhouse, and you liked anything else Joss did, well, I propose you try it again. Joss will reward your patience.

    I'm not at all please by the cutbacks on Chuck, but I'll take it over losing it. My biggest problems with these shows are time slots. I may be in my 40's but even I get busy on Friday nights. Monday nights are just plain hard for me to get done with work and get dinner set before Chuck started.

    As a reward to the powers that be, I believe I will turn on a few folks to the DVD's of both shows.

    Posted by Casey May 21, 09 06:33 AM
  1. I am so glad Dollhouse is coming back! It's storyline is intriguing. Maybe I'm just too much of a SciFi geek, but the series gave me something to look forward to after the end of Battlestar Galactica.

    Posted by Lynn May 22, 09 06:50 PM
  1. I'm am excited!!!!! I LOVE CHUCK!!!! :)

    Posted by laura May 23, 09 12:29 AM
  1. YES YES YES!!!
    I'm watching both shows online from Holland, so I've got nothing whatsoever to say about the number of viewers and stuff. Sooooooooo glad they're renewed! :)

    Posted by Laura May 23, 09 12:42 PM
  1. I never knew about Dollhouse until I chanced upon it. I am a Joss Whedon fan and out of pure faith i tried it and never regreted. Iam glad Fox renewed Dollhouse and I think Eliza Dushku is great. She has to act so many different characters and she potrayed them fantastically.

    Posted by Randall May 24, 09 12:10 AM
  1. Given its post-cancellation success, why not bring back "Firefly"? The crew will be a little different--a couple of them died in the movie, and maybe a few of the other actors won't be available--but all that's really necessary is the captain. Well, also Jayne. And the doctor. And his sister. And that lady mechanic...

    Posted by David June 6, 09 09:55 PM
  1. Thank god Dollhouse is renewed!! Of course it has a high DVR and Hulu rating vs. Nielsen. It airs on Fri nights when a large majority of people are out enjoying the world! I fell in love with the show threw Hulu and once i caught up started DVRing the show. If the want better Neilsen rating they should switch the night it airs. Otherwise Welcome to the future of on-demand television.

    Posted by Lori H. June 17, 09 03:21 PM
  1. I'm glad to hear that Chuck and Dollhouse are coming back. I am one of those DVR afficionados since I work a lot of night shifts. If they moved it to a different timeslot, Dollhouse might get a higher rating. Both Chuck and Dollhouse has a different premise to what is out there. Both entertaining, one on a more serious note, the other with a touch of humor added.

    Posted by Mark Anthony July 25, 09 11:58 AM
  1. I am happy to see Dollhouse and Chuck are comeing back!!!
    They have a good show each, and both have a good fan base.

    Posted by Wayne Jones August 14, 09 04:59 PM
  1. doll house is tru calling retooled!

    Posted by Jason Steele August 21, 09 01:34 PM
  1. Dollhouse works, Tru Calling got repetitive after episode 3. DH has a good theme and the character development is excellent. FRIDAYs are a horrible night for TV shows - it would have done much better on Tuesdays or Wednesdays when there is nothing on - especially on SiFi.

    Chuck has always been entertaining - again another bad timeslot but more and more are tuning in.

    Posted by M Mars September 4, 09 03:35 PM
  1. Dollhouse is very excellent but complex, and you need to hulu it or buy the set and watch from the beginning to get it, cause you need to get it from the beginning. There are so many clues given in early episodes that are beginning to take shape in later.
    If you jump in mid season, chances are you would not get it at all. I know this sounds stupid, but if they started off each episode with a brief explanation of the premise of making dolls, it could grow a fan base. Until they figure that out, how to explain it to the masses, it's going to die on the vine.

    Posted by jk September 10, 09 07:13 AM
  1. yeah for dollhouse...I didn't know about the show until it was almost over. I loved it when I found it.

    Posted by M. K. September 21, 09 06:21 PM

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