If there's one person who has proven over the last few years that networks have no patience, it's Joss Whedon.
The Fox Broadcasting Network has picked up half seasons of his shows for the last two series he's been involved with - Firefly and Dollhouse.
Dollhouse was the result of a development deal Fox signed with Eliza Dushku, she was the one who brought Joss aboard. A good idea, since she seemed right at home in the Dollhouse.
There was difficulty when the show first premiered. The first few scripts for season 1 weren't all that Joss Whedon wanted them to be, and it took a while for the series to find its legs. That led to Fox not ordering more episodes once the first 12 had been made. The 13th episode, Epitaph One, was a sweat equity investment, with a low budget and many friends of Joss Whedon jumping in to play parts that were written to deliver a story that takes place many years in the future. I thought it was fantastic, and many fans agree. It never aired, but was used to fulfill the DVD order of 13 Dollhouse episodes.
Fox ordered a second season. Their initial order was 13 episodes, which will be completed. The remainder of season 2 will air in December 2009 and early 2010. Expect some closure since they're wrapping episode eleven now and they'll have time to rewrite episode thirteen to give us a great big ending.
Joss Whedon has already mentioned that he's working on something else, and the excitement for Cabin in the Woods is steadily building. I've also heard a rumor that he'll be directing an episode of Glee, which would be fun to view.
Does his new found freedom mean there's a chance Firefly could be resurrected? No, not according to the breakfast round table with Joss, Nathan Fillion, Andy Tudyk and Ron Glass that came as a special feature on the Blu-Ray edition of Firefly. During their lively discussion, they break the news to the fans gently; there will be no more Firefly. Sad, but we, and Joss, will have to move on.
All we can do is look for the actors and show runners from Dollhouse elsewhere, wish them the best, and support their good work when it hits the boob tube, silver screen, or interweb.