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Joss Whedon talks 'Dollhouse' renewal


My hope is "No." In the fifth year of "Angel" we cut our budget significantly, yet we built a completely new set, we had an episode set on a submarine in the ‘40s. Nobody felt like it was a cut back. Ultimately if the stories aren’t involving and somebody is going, [snobbish voice] "This doesn’t look as expensive as the last episode," then the person has strange priorities. 

You pitched season two as being more like the last few episodes of the season, can you talk about that?

The last few episodes we got to play "the man behind the curtain" a lot. We did less of, "And this week, she’s a neurosurgeon!" Which we’ll still do to an extent, it’s part of the fun. But we got into what makes the place tick, what makes it wrong. It was less, "Murder She Was Imprinted to Write." The episodes were more satisfying and the network responded to that. And we also responded to their ideas about pacing and it being more of a thriller and a conspiracy so they were seeing what they were hoping for when we got the aspect we were looking for.

Isn’t that a little ironic though since Fox's initial desire was to be very episodic an stand-alone?

Mm-hmm. Every studio or network will always ask for more episodic because episodes rerun better. But some shows are not built that way. This one seemed like it was more than it actually was.  

And given the flash forward of the 13th episode, how will that influence on how second season picks up?

My feeling is we will be paying that off around the – the flash-forward in the 13th episode took place long after where we are right now. So we can be moving toward some of those events which are unexplained. We have a few years where we can do anything we want before it would be weird if we didn’t start paying them off.

They’re returning "Dollhouse" to Fridays, lead in is the sitcom "Til Death." We you hoping for a different time period? Do you think the show can still pop?

We’ve never had much luck with our lead ins. Obviously the "Til Death"/"Dollhouse" conflux has a huge fanbase. [dryly] There’s a lot of cross over between "Til Death" and "Dollhouse." It couldn’t be a more perfect match, really.