Only one episode of Dollhouse has aired so far, but creator Joss Whedon is already talking about abandoning broadcast television for the Internet - permanently.
In an interview in Rolling Stone that went up a week or so ago, Whedon admits that his experience making Dollhouse has convinced him to ditch the tube for keeps. He says he's got a deal in the pipeline with an unnamed Silicon Valley company to create web content. But he also just signed a deal with a "very, very sort of profitable maverick company" that's starting a "genre portal" and wants a Whedon show for it.
Whedon says he approached these companies with three options. One was Dr. Horrible's Singalong Blog, which he knew the companies wouldn't go for, and which he ended up making on his own. But he still plans to make the other two ideas.
Whedon talks about the webseries that blew him away and made him want to do his own, including Felicia Day's The Guild. And he has especially nice words for the Star Trek: The New Voyages/Phase II webseries:
It was probably the best episode of the original Star Trek I'd ever seen. The only [bad] part of it was that the special effects were a little too good. Apart from that they really aped the camera work, the acting, the story structures and the over-quoting of Shakespeare. And it worked tremendously.
Even though I've been loving Dollhouse, I'm happy at the thought of more quirky experiments like Dr. Horrible, and I welcome the idea of the brain of Joss without any network interference in the way.
On the other hand, it also makes me a little nervous. Whedon has a huge, rabid fanbase, who will mobilize like the National Guard for him. But when Whedon starts creating content for the web, he'll be much more reliant on that fanbase than ever, and have a much harder time reaching casual fans. He could find himself having to cater to his die-hard fans, some of whom don't seem to have embraced the dark, challenging Dollhouse. Any time an artist starts creating stuff with his/her most ardent fans in mind, it's a possible recipe for creative stagnation. Let's hope Whedon's new business partners have ideas on how to reach a more diverse audience. [Rolling Stone via Axiom's Edge]