Behold the power of social media. While not a full season commitment, Fox has publicly stated that
they will run each produced hour of the show’s current order
This announcement arrived on the heels of the news that Dollhouse is one of the largest benefactors of DVR ratings. The premiere’s numbers increase by 50% when including the seven days after original airing that viewers watch a recorded version of the show.
If the show runners really wanted to boost the total, they should lobby for inclusion of online viewing numbers, where Fox did pretty well, in addition to Hulu. Fox interactive has certain advantages over DVR and Hulu, from their perspective. Viewers:
- watch and potentially interact with the advertising
- can download a plug-in to watch in HD
- interact with the Fox site
Certainly there are plenty given the impact the online community had on getting Dollhouse renewed in the first place, in Fox scheduling chief Preston Beckman’s words
‘Dollhouse’ has a small rabid fan base that in the world of social media seems bigger than it is. We gave them another season knowing full well we were going to burn in hell if we pulled it.”
This is one of the major benefits to broadcasters in the Digital Age: almost immediate response from and to viewers. No longer does the community have to wait for the results of a letter campaign. All they have to do is get the right websites and bloggers involved and their voice will be heard.
But fans of Whedon’s work have been through this before, when similar challenges faced another of his projects, Buffy, the Vampire Slayer. Just like Buffy, Echo may find a second life in comic book form. What’s another persona for her at this point?