Here’s a question: Why does Joss Whedon keep getting into bed with broadcast networks? With all the recent drama surrounding Dollhouse — Felicia Day twittering that her episode won’t be on the air (it’ll appear only on the eventual DVD), whether the mythical "live +7" DVR numbers are enough to buoy the guttery ratings — it’s enough to make a nerd think. Given Whedon’s past history with Fox, who threw his (and my) beloved Firefly off a cliff, and The WB, whose cancellation of Angel Whedon once likened to a perfectly healthy man dropping dead of a heart attack, you’d think his Spider-sense would’ve been tingling like a muthereffer.
Yes, the circumstances surrounding Dollhouse were somewhat unique — Eliza Dushku (pictured leaning on Whedon with co-star Tahmoh Penkett) came to him with the kernel of the idea, and she had a deal with Fox — but I’m just hoping that the experience hasn’t soured Whedon on television altogether.
Any basic cable network on the grid would kill to have him…and what’s more, it’d be the best thing in the world for Whedon. TNT, USA, FX, AMC, Sci Fi: they’re all doing work head-and-shoulders above anything on the single-digit channels, and I’ll bet they’d guarantee Whedon a full 22-episodes right out of the gate. They’d give him the creative freedom to build the worlds he so loves to build — worlds that need time to gel. They’d promote both him, and his shows — they’d have lead-ins that actually work.
And, selfishly, it’d give me more of what I want: Joss Whedon, on a weekly basis.
Any one else think Whedon would thrive on basic cable? Is there any hope left that a broadcast net can do justice to one of his creations?