Despite poor ratings, Joss Whedon’s Dollhouse has been renewed for a second season of 13 episodes because FOX network executives like the show and were sold on Whedon’s pitch for his planned second season storylines. Whedon had to agree to a reduced budget to make it happen, and it sounds as if a new writing staff could be brought in. I wish FOX would have had executives like this when Firefly was on the air.
This article argues that Dollhouse is Joss Whedon’s greatest work. I don’t think it’s his greatest work, but it’s certainly his most challenging and interesting work. Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel got stronger as they went along, so perhaps the same will happen with Dollhouse.
FOX is also putting an end to the Dollhouse and Fringe experiment of fewer commercials per hour because it was losing the network money, so instead of the 50-minute length for episodes they had in their first seasons, the second seasons of both shows will be the standard 42-minute length per episode. This is good for Dollhouse because losing eight minutes per episode will help them stay within the reduced budget.
FOX canceled Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles after two seasons. I disliked the show immensely, but I know it had its fans.
FOX gave a 13 episode order for the first season of Human Target, an adaptation of the DC Comics character starring Fringe‘s Mark Valley. Some of you may recall a previous adaptation in 1992 that starred Rick Springfield and was canceled after seven episodes. The new version will premiere in January 2010
NBC renewed Chuck for a third season, but with a reduction of episodes from 22 to 13 and a smaller budget.
Bad news: Reaper is being canceled by the CW network after two seasons. Good news: ABC Studios wants to keep the show going, so they’re considering producing a third season and selling it to local stations in syndication. More bad news: creators/showrunners Michelle Fazekas and Tara Butters will be leaving the show even if it comes back, and actor Tyler Labine, who plays Sock, may leave the show or be reduced to an occasional guest star after his new sitcom, Sons of Tucson, was picked up by FOX.
Chris Hemsworth, who played Kirk’s father in Star Trek, is in final negotiations with Marvel Studios to play the title role in Thor. Interesting casting choice. I could see him better as Captain America, actually. The film is scheduled for release on May 20, 2011, and Hemworth would reprise the role in the planned Avengers film in 2012 alongside Robert Downey Jr. as Iron Man, Don Cheadle as War Machine, Lou Ferrigno as the voice of a CGI Hulk, and whoever they cast as Captain America.
The British science fiction show Primeval, whose third season began airing in the US on BBC America this past weekend, is going to be remade in the US as a feature film produced by screenwriter Akiva Goldsman (A Beautiful Mind, The Da Vinci Code), although he won’t write it.
Torchwood: Children of Earth should air on BBC One and BBC America in July, on the same days in both the UK and the US, but a month later than previously suggested.