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Dollhouse – Joss Whedon on ratings and the cast on their future…

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The cast of Dollhouse
The cast: Tahmoh Penikett, Enver Gjoka, Eliza Dushku, Dichan Lachman, Fran Kranz, Olivia Williams, Harry Lennix © Fox Searchlight Pictures

We rejoin series creator Joss Whedon this time with many of the stars.


With Dollhouse season 2 doing badly in the ratings we start off with a couple of questions for Joss Whedon that he was asked back in August about who he feels about measuring the Show’s success. We follow that with comments from the stars about their hopes for the second season of 13 epsiodes.


Regarding the ratings and the changing business of television, the household numbers we not very high obviously last year. Does the business model change depending on where the show was watched?

Whedon: The business model does change, it breaks down to between the studio and the network.  The network has the revenue of airing it. The studio has the revenue of owning it. And the thing is that ownership is now part of television. DVD is really the market although that market will of course be sucked up by the Internet once that technology progresses in a few years. It used to be who was tuned in that night but now with DVR, our DVR numbers were about the highest and while our Friday night numbers were hilarious. So you know they are taking all of this into account. Also, you know on my other shows dvds and feeds are being bought now 10 years after the fact so they are thinking long term.

If you got the same exact numbers at the end of the season, given your experience this past year, traditional and non-traditional would you still be worried or would you be more confident?

Whedon: I do not think I have a worry left in me. I think I have reaced a zen place. I have never done huge numbers. I am not a big hit guy.  What I do is find the best ensembles on television and then I make them work their asses off. And as long as I get to do that I am in clover.

Agent Ballard (Tahmoh Penikett) and Echo (Eliza Dushku)
Agent Ballard's (Tahmoh Penikett) with Echo (Eliza Dushku) © Fox Searchlight Pictures

After all this craziness last season, does the show feel different and how?

Penikett: I would say so. Yeah I would say so completely. It is impossible not to get caught up in the first season. It is a new series, there are so many growing pains you go through in a first season. When we all saw each other for the gallery shoot there was just a lightness about it everyone was very excited.

So do you know a little bit more about what is happening in the next episode or the next episode, does it help you as an actor?

Penikett: I just got told I should cancel my plans for the weekend and start memorizing lines because I’ve got pages and pages of them.

Williams: Actually, I just got given the dvds for the last season so I am going to find out what happened in that. They weren’t showing it in England when I came back for season two so I know less than you guys.

Kranz: It certainly feels like it is gets better and better right? I mean I am getting episode one of season two it feels like it is the best thing yet. And I feel like relationships have changed.

Dushku: I was just going to say I am already sort of astonished by the emotions and actions and reactions just in the last eight days just this episode. Yesterday, full on I burst into tears in the middle of the take. It was a giant scene with Bamber and there was something that happened and I was just surprised at my emotion.

Penikett: That is a kick ass episode by the way. I am trying to get to the dollhouse all last season so this season I actually have the opportunity to work with this amazing cast.

Whedon: And you get to be on the set that is more than 7×7 feet.

Penikett: This is true. Yes Paul’s apartment, another scene Paul’s Apartment or Paul’s office or Paul’s apartment!

I thought one of the more fun things last season was seeing Mr. Gjokaj play Reed Diamond. Are there any other regulars or reoccurring people on the show that you would like to have downloaded into your characters so you can play them?

Dollhouse - Echo (Eliza Dushku) and intruder (Alan Tudyk)
Echo (Eliza Dushku) is captured by an intruder (guest star Alan Tudyk) © Fox Searchlight Pictures

Gjokaj: Yeah that was a crowd pleaser wasn’t it. Give me somebody with a little something more to attach to.

Franz: I’d like to maybe like see Dichen play Harry.

Dushku: I would like to play Adelle at some point.

Williams: I’d like to see that.

How different is it to play someone who kind of feels something in the back of her consciousness?

Dushku: This year already we are more three dimensional than we are in the dollhouse and with that self-awareness creeping in it feels a little bit more close to home. Already in the first show and it is settling in nice and I cannot wait to see what else we get to do.