Saturday, February 14, 2009

Guys and Dollhouses

Just as I don't make it to the cinema very often, I also don't often make it a point to tune into anything specific on TV. There's always at least one set on in the house, but it's usually either the kids watching Nickelodeon or Cartoon Network, or just tuned to a cable news channel in case something happens that I probably ought to pay attention to. That, and Tamara watches ER on Thursdays -- sometimes I get sucked in by the plot, sometimes not.

Last night was one of those rare exceptions: Fox premiered Joss Whedon's new series, Dollhouse. Wasn't gonna miss it, and glad I didn't. If you did, the full episode is available for online viewing at the link above (may require Windoze, although the clips didn't) ...

... which leads me to an observation. Whedon's projects often "underperform" -- by broadcast network standards -- in the ratings, while on the other hand capturing a significant dedicated following. I can't for the life of me understand why Fox didn't take that into account in their promotional strategy. Here's what I mean:

A few days ago, I embedded a trailer widget for the upcoming film version of Watchmen in a post here at KN@PPSTER. I'm far from the only blogger who does such things -- can't swing a cat on most blogs without hitting a YouTube video, a promo widget for an upcoming film, that sort of thing..

I wanted to do the same thing with one of the pilot clips from Dollhouse ... but there's no easy way to make that happen. The only "share" option Fox offers is to fill out a form and email a few friends about their video clips. Someone more tech-savvy than me might be able to drum up embed code, but Fox isn't making it easy.

Um ... remember the Browncoats? Maybe they weren't able to save Firefly, but Serenity probably wouldn't have been made, and certainly wouldn't have been as successful as it was, without their enthusiastic involvement.

Dollhouse pulled down 4.7 million viewers last night. With proper promotion -- by which I mean making it easy for fans to give the show free publicity -- it probably could have drawn 6 million without breaking a sweat. The fans love Joss Whedon's stuff, and they don't have to be asked to promote it. If they're allowed to, they will.

Update: Hat tip to Brandon Sharitt -- non-Windoze types can find the Dollhouse premier (albeit still unembeddable) at Hulu. Also at Hulu, and !EMBEDDABLE!, the greatest TV series never made. And since it's !EMBEDDABLE!, I'm going to embed it:

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