After the tragic treatment Firefly received on FOX a few years ago, it would be understandable if creator and all-around genius Joss Whedon was a bit skittish about working with the network again. But Whedon, whose new series Dollhouse will air on FOX next year, says that what happened with Firefly is all water under the bridge.
“These are different people,” Whedon said. “They didn’t do to me what was done to Firefly.”
“The understanding that I reached was with myself,” Whedon explained about his change of heart. “That I had to be realistic about what the network expected of me and about what the chances for the show would be. Like, I fell in love with Firefly in a very blind and adolescent way. And I tried to meet the network halfway. But at the same time, you know, it was agony. Everything was agony for me. … And now I come at it with a little distance. Not artistic distance. But just, you know, the grown-up attitude of, you go through certain steps. You do your best. You work with them. And you pick the people you’re working with. You look for sanity and you look for intelligence. So far, I have found a great deal of both in the executives at Fox. If I had gone there and pitched to them, and they had not understood what I was telling them, I think I would have known.”
And it appears the new suits at FOX are just as eager to work with Whedon.
“Joss was a gift,” said FOX excutive Kevin Reilly.
Reilly said he never dreamed he would get to work with Whedon because he thought too many bridges had been burned with the network’s bungling of Firefly.
“The only reason Joss wasn’t on my list is because I thought there was no way he was coming back,” he said.
What remains to be seen is if Dollhouse will get a better chance that Firefly did. Firefly’s history on FOX is well-documented, including airing episodes out of order, having multiple pre-emptions due to baseball and only airing 11 of the 14 produced episodes.
Time will tell if FOX has learned its lesson.
Dollhouse will debut early next year.