Jeff Jensen
June 06, 2008 AT 04:00 AM EDT

Fans of Buffy the Vampire Slayer‘s Joss Whedon have always been passionate. But paranoid, too? After Fox announced that it would premiere the producer’s new show, Dollhouse, at midseason, a website has been rallying Whedonites to hype the series lest it flame out like his sci-fi Western, Firefly. ”After seeing some of my favorite TV shows get canceled…a fan campaign before the show begins may be the best thing to do,” says Nathan George, a ringleader of dollhouseforums.com. Whedon’s new opus could certainly use the help; the intriguing premise — Eliza Dushku stars as a programmable employee of a company that specializes in illicit wish fulfillment — will be tough to market. Yet even assuming that this campaign represents genuine enthusiasm (and not self-promotion — Dollhouse fansites? Already?), fearmongering isn’t cool. It risks turning buzz into buzzkill. We want Whedon to thrive again too, but Dollhouse should earn its fans the old-fashioned way: by airing a few episodes first.

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