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Welcome to the "Dollhouse": Joss Whedon Returns to Television

You read that headline correct. I think I just wet my pants with excitement.

Joss Whedon is making his return to network television, with an original drama series entitled Dollhouse. Series, which will reunite Whedon with former Buffy the Vampire Slayer co-star Eliza Dushku (who will star and produce Dollhouse), has received a seven episode commitment from FOX.

Dushku will star as Echo, a member of an elite team of secret agents each of whom, according to James Hibberd at TV Week, has "the ability to be imprinted with custom personalities and abilities for special assignments. When they return, their newly acquired memories are wiped. The show follows Echo as she takes on a variety of assignments—some romantic, some adventurous, some uplifting, some illegal—and gains awareness of her role and confinement."

The idea for the series was hatched by Whedon at a lunch with Dushku, who was allegedly instrumental in bringing Whedon back to network television. The series concept was sold to FOX a week later.

For an interview with Whedon, check out Hibberd's Q&A at TV Week, in which the auteur talks about the potential WGA strike, returning to FOX, the future of that Ripper spin-off, and whether Nathan Fillion will pop up on Dollhouse.

More details emerging about Dollhouse, this time from Variety:

"Beyond Dushku's character, the show will also revolve around the people who run the mysterious "dollhouse" [the lab] and two other "dolls," a man and woman who are friendly with Echo. Then there's the federal agent who has heard an urban myth about the dolls, and is trying to investigate their existence.

Whedon admitted there's a little dose of The Matrix in the plot -- "I do have that entire movie tattooed on my brain" -- and said Dollhouse will enable him and Dushku to explore some political and social issues."

Dollhouse is expected to launch sometime in 2008, with production beginning as early as the spring, thanks to in-depth episodic outlines for all seven episodes written by Whedon.

A little Halloween treat for you all. Me, I'm already drooling with anticipation.

What's On Tonight

8 pm: Survivor: China (CBS); My Name is Earl (NBC); Smallville (CW); Ugly Betty (ABC); Are You Smarter Than a Fifth Grader? (FOX; 8-10 pm)

9 pm: CSI: Crime Scene Investigation (CBS); The Office/Scrubs (NBC); Supernatural (CW); Grey's Anatomy (ABC)

10 pm: Without a Trace (CBS); ER (NBC); Big Shots (ABC)

What I'll Be Watching

8 pm: Ugly Betty.

On tonight's episode ("Something Wicked This Way Comes"): Henry and Betty plan a secret rendezvous at the musical Wicked but run into problems from Daniel who, thinking she's taking Gio, surprise the pair of them with tickets but Gio won't give his up. Meanwhile, Daniel woos an advertiser (guest star Marlo Thomas) with a taste for younger men.

9 pm: The Office.

The disastrous one-hour installments of The Office are finally over so we can get back to the half-hour format we all know and love. On tonight's episode ("Branch Wars"), Karen (Rashida Jones) returns when she tries to woo Stanley from Scranton to the Utica branch, leading Michael to launch an all-out war and drag Jim into the battle, while Dunder-Mifflin Scranton is perturbed by the creation of a "Finer Things Club."

10-11 pm: It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia on FX.

FX's hilariously subversive comedy It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia continues tonight. On tonight's episode ("The Gang Gets Whacked"), thanks to a misunderstanding over some speakers, the gang finds themselves in debt to the mob and Dennis must become a male, er, escort in order to save them from getting, well, whacked.


Seat42F said…
Thanks for the news. My first reaction was PLEASE cast this outside the Joss universe. Then I saw Eliza's name and thought..okay just the one!!!! Then I checked out the interview link and it was refreshing to see Joss say he would be looking outside the family so to speak.

Of course with the pending strike this looks more like a show we won't see until fall 2008.
The CineManiac said…
Thank You, Thank You, Thank You!
Joss Whedon back on TV?!?!?!!!!!!
I'm so excited I'm typeless
Thank You!
Kevin Sole said…
We're sure it's Halloween and not Christmas, right?

Anonymous said…
Any takers as to how many episodes FOX will actually *air*?

I hate FOX TV. And why Whedon would agree to work with them ever again is beyond me! (Don't get me wrong -- I love Whedon's work, I'm glad he's doing more TV, but... I'm not getting my hopes up!)
Anonymous said…
This just made my day. Joss, Eliza and a new show? I too just wet my pants. Anon, I do think that Fox is different now that Kevin Reilly is running things than it was before and do think that this show has a good shot as it's only 7 episodes for now and is getting lots of buzz.
Anonymous said…
Best News Ever. Period. This trumps everything. *glee*
Anonymous said…

Anonymous said…

Unknown said…
That's great news, I just wish that he could have gone to another network. Fox is just going to mess with this series like they did with Firefly, Drive, ad nauseum.
Anonymous said…
Great concept. Great title. What more could a geek girl ask for? Except, maybe, for Fox to not screw it up. I do have more faith in the network, though, now that Kevin Reily is the new man behind the curtain.
classless said…
In the meantime you might wanna dance to this little mashup we did with the Buffy titles:

Buffy The Slayer & The Angel of Death
Unknown said…
Fox will air three episodes, then the series will be saved by the SciFi Channel.

Let's just hope it's not another Firefly. Yuck.
Jeff Michael said…
Uh.. how were the one hour episodes disastrous?

"Money" is easily one of the top episodes of the series.
Anonymous said…
Jeff, you're kidding right? Everyone I knows thought that the 1-hr eps were terrible and tested viewer patience and stretched believability to the limit. Money was far from being one of the strongest eps in the series. In fact, I'd go as far as saying it ranks up there with some of the worst.
Unknown said…
Yes, Jeff, as much as I love The Office, the 1-hour eps were stretched to the breaking point. Andy's bleeding nipples and Dwight's sobbing aren't why I watch.

I suppose this ought to be in the The Office comments. :)
Anonymous said…
Sounds a bit like Mr Whedon been watching Gunslinger Girl.
Noat wrong with that.
James said…
Back where he belongs. This is going to be an excellent series.

Cate Gardner said…
How cool... I gave out a woo-hoo as soon as I heard...
Anonymous said…
total rip off of the anime series gunslinger girl- same concept instead the dolls are little girls. The place were they are kept is also called the Doll House-- I smell a big ass law suit on the horizon---
Anonymous said…
Just finished watching Dollhouse.
This is my review:
"More 14 year old prime time dribble."

Sorry Joss, I loved Serenity and Firefly.
Matthew Quinn said…
Have seen the first 4 or 5 episodes now being shown on the SCI Fi channel and love the series. As a long time fan of Joss's work - Buffy, Angel & Firefly - I think this is superb.
viagra online said…
In the meantime you might wanna dance to this little mashup we did with the Buffy titles:

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