In its second season on air, Joss Whedon’s Dollhouse has reportedly been averaging fewer than 3 million viewers per episode. In light of these figures, Fox decided to put the show on hiatus until December 4th, after November sweeps. Undeterred, Whedon posted the following commentary on Whedonesque:
“Howzabout that schedule? Well, I’m not as depressed as everyone else. We weren’t about to rock sweeps anyway, and though there’s a chilly November, December is CRAZY. It’s like an Advent calendar of episodes! We get November to try to spread the word (which I’ll be leaning on Fox to do, though it’s hard to imagine them doing as good a job as the WhyIWatch guy) and then December is pure gluttony. Plus the episodes line up extremely well in these pairs, and we’ll have an absurdly appropriate lead-in.”
It appears as though people desperate for more Dollhouse content will not be forced to wait until the show returns from its hiatus December 4th. Yesterday, Dollhouse fans noticed a new website for Rossum Corporation, the organization responsible for Dollhouses around the world. In addition to advertising an attractive 5-year paid internship for “candidates of superior genetic disposition,” Rossum Corporation provides details about its ongoing Senate investigation. Even the website’s Terms & Conditions strives to establish its authenticity, noting that “all agents shall remain the property of the Company at all times.”
Dollhouse, Joss Whedon’s newest drama, is premiering on Fox this Friday at 9PM EST. In case you’re interested in getting immersed in Whedon’s new universe a little early, Fox Broadcasting Company has launched “Save Hazel”, an official participation drama for the show at rprimelab.com.
According to the game’s website, “Save Hazel” allows you to “jump in headfirst and wreak creative havoc in the story” by watching and communicating with Hazel, a character trapped inside the Dollhouse. Every night, a new video will be uploaded in response to user-generated videos. Players will control the story’s progression. While Fox carefully avoids referring to the participation drama as an alternate reality game, the description seems to warrant the use of the term.
Last May, ARGNet reported on the launch of “Find Kimi”, which appeared to be the start of an alternate reality game for the show revolving around Kimi Lassek, a character presumably trapped inside the Dollhouse. However, shortly after reporting on the launch, the game stopped releasing updates and faded into obscurity.
With daily video updates and a strong push for user-generated content, “Save Hazel” appears to be aiming for a highly participatory storytelling format that will draw on fan creativity. If the fan submissions to the Evil League of Evil from Whedon’s previous project Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog are any indication, “Save Hazel” has the potential to be highly entertaining.
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Over at Furious Nads, The One True b!X (founder of Can’t Stop the Serenity) reported receiving an email from Adelle DeWitt, a character in Joss Whedon’s upcoming drama, Dollhouse. The email reads “Take Southlandlabs.com offline for now, whilst we redesign.” The domain Adelle used for the email, AdelleDeWitt.com, currently displays a single login page. And whilst Southlandlabs.com was offline when the email was sent, it is now up with an image of the lab from the TV show trailer, the message “soon. but not yet” in the source code. A comment on the Future on Fox blog from “Kimi Lassek” revealed the username/password combination to access Adelle’s email: adelle/wipe. Odd, as Kimi seems to be missing.
The Future on Fox blog also posted a link to the adelledewitt.com domain, implying this may be an official ARG for the upcoming show. Last season, Fox experimented with alternate reality games alongside Millions of Us with the Enitech ARG for The Sarah Connor Chronicles. It looks like they were satisfied with the results if this is any indication.
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