Updated: Dollhouse reportedly renewed for a second season

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Dec 14, 2012, 3:54 PM EST

[Update: The End of Show blog reports that the renewal is a done deal: Fox offered Joss Whedon a 13-episode new season with a budget slashed and episodes cut to 42 minutes from the current 50 minutes (part of Fox's failed experiment to limit commercial breaks in this series and Fringe). The move will also mark a shift in creative direction of the show, the site reported; official news to come on Monday.]

Once given up for dead, is Fox's Dollhouse actually on track for a second-season pickup?

That's the buzz as of Friday afternoon in anticipation of Fox's upfront presentation of its fall season lineup to advertisers and the media on Monday.

The Hollywood Reporter's Live Feed blog reports: "Sources say Fox is—and this could change before Monday's upfront presentation—leaning toward bringing back Joss Whedon's Dollhouse next fall."

Usually in-the-know Entertainment Weekly columnist Michael Ausiello confirmed the rumors in a tweet: "I'm hearing this as well," he said, adding that the network will probably order 13 episodes of a second season.

Live Feed says the reasons Dollhouse has a chance are many: Its DVR numbers are strong, online streaming is strong, and as a sci-fi show, it has the potential to bring in nice ancillary revenue such as DVD sales.

More surprising, the site says that Fox executives actually like the series, "especially the latter half of the season."

A renewal would be a big surprise, especially since the show's ratings declined over the course of its first season, concluding at a dismal 1.0 among adults aged 18-49.

As they say, stay tuned ...