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Can (and Should) DVRs Save Dollhouse?

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The Hollywood Reporter’s James Hibberd has a breakdown of the DVR-viewing figures for TV premiere week. Among other things they show that Dollhouse’s rating goes up 50% when you add in timeshifted DVR viewing.

Mind you, that’s 50% of precious little, lifting it from an anemic 1.0 rating to a slightly less anemic 1.5. DVR viewing was reportedly one of several factors that won Dollhouse its last-minute reprieve after the first season, but figuring out how much DVR viewing counts for is more art than science, sincemany of those viewers are skipping commercials. (Among the lowest DVR-viewing gains belonged to The Jay Leno Show, either because [a] it is a timely, and thus “DVR-proof,” show, as NBC has claimed, or [b] its viewers still have not gotten their grandkids to stop the “12:00″ blinking on their VCRs, much less gotten that DVR thingy.)

As for Dollhouse’s save-worthiness, I’m still waiting for a season two episode to blow me away the way the last half of season one did, though Friday night’s “Belle Chose” was an improvement. The show is making a mistake at this point if it tries to go back to the Echo-of-the-week format that didn’t work for it the first time around. Are you still watching it—live, late or otherwise?

[Update: Dan Fienberg has an excellent, and much more detailed, analysis of what the numbers do and don’t mean for Dollhouse and other series.]

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