'Dollhouse' debut gets decent ratings

More than a fair share of Joss Whedon fans tuned in Friday to see the premiere of Fox’s Dollhouse. The mythological drama starring Eliza Dushku attracted 4.7 million viewers — a pretty decent jump over the eyeball levels for The Sarah Connor Chronicles at 8 p.m. (which lured a mere 3.7 million), according to fast national ratings. In fact, Dollhouse helped Fox double its viewership levels among women versus Chronicles and helped the net finish in second place among adults 18-34 and in first place across key male demos for the night.

So what does this mean for Dollhouse’s long-term prospects? Although 4.7 million isn’t that great — Fox typically averages 5.5 million on Fridays — the Whedon drama has a better chance of making it over the long haul if it stays put on the night. In fact, network insiders have long cautioned that if the series were scheduled earlier in the week and ended up attracting these kind of (low) viewership levels, it would have been axed by its second or third airing. So relax, Whedonites — Dushku and Co. appear safe for now.

Chronicles will remain as Dollhouse’s lead-in until Fox runs out of episodes; later, the Terminator franchise will be replaced by Prison Break for its final six episodes.

More Dollhouse and sci-fi:
Dollhouse snap judgment: Barbie or bad ass?
Ken Tucker on Dollhouse: Did I underestimate it?
Dollhouse: Pros and cons of a Friday time slot
TV recaps: A landmark Galactica
Sarah Connor Chronicles: Any fans left out there?

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Comments (62 total) Add your comment
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  • Lucas

    given that it was only a so-so start that high is really awesome. we’ll see if that many folks stick around next week. and if the show gets better once they get the ‘gotta get all the back story out there’ out of their systems.

  • sammy

    Really loved the show!

  • T

    they should replace TSCC by PB immediately TSCC is killing dollhouse
    plus since prison break now has 8 episodes left and they wouldnt want to air the 2 hour backdoor Gretchen spinoff pilot in June (they’ve been casting for episode 23 / 24 and they’re set in a womens prison with Gretchen back)

  • diane

    I watched the Dollhouse and enjoyed about 85% of it. The parts with the female who runs the center were the weakest part to me.

  • JasonKillya

    FLOP!4.7?
    BOMBED!

  • DW

    I think we need to see how well it does next week before we pop open any champagne. The numbers are bound to drop off by at least a million or so.

  • AAR

    It wasn’t the best start, but I trust Whedon and will stick around for a while. The stuff with the mission was the weakest part for me. I want to know more about Amy Acker’s face and Echo’s handler. The ending scene and the idea of a rouge whatever-they’re-called was also intriguing.

  • Peter S.

    That’s just terrible news for Terminator. It’s probably the smartest, best written show on a major network out there right now. I really hope the ratings improve before it’s too late.

  • dan o

    thought the show has alot of potential..had some slow moments but It seems like it can be a pretty great show…hopefully some of the actors from FIREFLY will make appearances!

  • Sharlin

    Ghost Whisperer attracts about 10 million viewers. I give the series about 2 seasons. It is better suited for FX.

  • John

    It has a lot of potential. I’ll be back next week, with my non-Nielsen acknowledged online viewing.

  • daisy adair

    DOLLHOUSE IS ACTUALLY GOOD! Keep it on the air people. If the schlocky “True Blood” can earn a 2nd season, this show deserves a decent run.

  • Anonymous

    I have nothing to add here. I’m just posting because it’s nice to see an item on EW.com that has nothing to do with “Twilight” for a change.

  • ccross

    The numbers obviously don’t include subsequent viewings online, etc–airings should include numbers for several days, much like movie numbers for an opening weekend, to get more accurate counts. Especially since it’s so bloody easy to count viewings on the internet.
    All in all, while the pilot wasn’t quite as clean as the one for Firefly, it was still beautifully acted, written and directed. No one tells a story quite like Joss, so I’m looking forward to each new episode (online).
    Here’s to hoping each new eppy is equally or more awesome with an extra side of awesome sauce . . . buuuuuuuttt not so much as it gets cancelled after eleven eps.
    Sorry, Fox, but unless you bite the bullet and let this show ride at its fullest potention whilst giving Joss absolute creative control, you don’t deserve to live the dual fiascos of Firely and Drive down. Let’s let bygones be bygones, shall we?

  • Russ Benson

    Howard Stern had Eliza Dushku on earlier this week…He has 20 Million + faithful listeners. Bet it helped!
    Baba Booey!!! Baba Booey!!! Baba Booey!!!

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