Dollhouse lives! New DVR numbers keep it alive

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Dec 14, 2012, 4:09 PM EST

The live ratings for Fox's Dollhouse had leveled off as of the third episode, which aired Friday, but the good news for fans is that new numbers from DVRs are great, and because of that Fox has decided to air all of the 13 episodes that have been ordered for this season so far.

Who expected that??

Here's the scoop: The audience for Joss Whedon's show jumped by more than half when factoring in the people who watched it later on DVRs, according to The Hollywood Reporter:

"We're going to run all the episodes," Fox scheduling chief Preston Beckman said. "We're not saying we're happy with those numbers, or accept them, but we don't have to overreact."

Premiere-week DVR data released Monday showed that the second-season "Dollhouse" debut climbed 50% from its very modest base of a 1.0 rating in the adults 18-49 demo. Beckman said DVR results have played a role in the show's fate, though he wasn't surprised by the new numbers.

"It's one of the reasons that we brought 'Dollhouse' back; we knew it was DVR-friendly," Beckman said. "Hopefully we'll see the overnight ratings increase from week to week. With some shows, you have to look at the bigger picture."

Another big surprise? They're even contemplating a third season! Fox says it will decide whether to keep the show going after the second season ends. Of course, they still have to decide whether to order the "back nine" episodes of the current season to make up a full 22.

Whedon says the 13th hour will be designed to wrap the series if it's canceled.

"We'll definitely have closure but will leave some doors open," said Whedon, who's shooting the eighth episode.