"Dollhouse" Series Order Cut Short—Sort Of

News emerged today that Fox doesn’t plan to air the 13th episode of Dollhouse, instead ending the season—and most likely the series—with the show’s 12th episode on May 8.

The 13th episode will instead be available on DVD. Since Fox made series creator Joss Whedon reshoot the pilot episode, it seems that the 12th episode will be the 13th episode he shot for the network, and that’s how Fox defines the 13-episode order. Apparently letting Whedon and co. finish production on episode 14 would be akin to paying them to work on a 14th hour (heaven forbid!). Still confused? Well here’s what producer Tim Minear said about the matter, posting on fansite Whedonesque, but we found that quite confusing as well:

“Because we scrapped the original pilot — and in fact cannibalised some of its parts for other eps — we really ended up with 12 episodes. But the studio makes DVD and other deals based on the original 13 number. So we created a standalone kind of coda episode. Which is the mythical new episode 13. The network had already paid for 13 episodes, and this included the one they agreed to let us scrap for parts. It does not include the one we made to bring the number back up to 13 for the studio side and its obligations. We always knew it would be for the DVD for sure, but we also think Fox should air it because it’s awesome.”

As expected, Fox’s unwillingness to air one more episode than the order it paid for doesn’t bode well for the series’ prospects for renewal. Still, there’s been no official announcement that the show has been cancelled. We’re afraid it’s just a matter of time.

Fortunately, according to THR’s James Hibberd, “Sources also say the story in the “Omega” season finale [the original episode 12] is more or less Whedon’s original vision for how the season would end, so fans watching the show should have some degree of closure.”

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