Lynette Rice
February 11, 2009 AT 12:00 PM EST

We’ve seen the promos. We’re read the reviews. We don’t need convincing that Eliza Dushku is gorgeous and talented enough to headline her own show. So why does the outlook for Dollhouse, the latest mythology from Joss Whedon (debuts this Friday), seem marginal at best? It’s the timeslot, stupid: Fox typically averages an anemic 5.5 million viewers on Friday, and given Whedon’s niche appeal, Dollhouse may only generate an audience half that size. Plus, there are fears that a dense drama based around a protagonist who appears to have no free will could self-destruct by the third week. I mean, where do you go with a kooky conceit like that?

Then again, let’s not forget the upside: Since expectations are soooo low for Fridays (heck, look at the staying power of Ghost Whisperer!), Fox may be patient with Dollhouse and give Whedon plenty of time to work out the kinks. After all, the even-denser Fringe had its fair share of naysayers last fall (many of whom work in our own offices), but Fox rolled with the punches, and now the series from the brilliant minds of Roberto Orci and Alex Kurtzman has blossomed into one helluva thrill ride (and damn ,that Joshua Jackson is truly sublime). 

So will you join the millions (thousands?) of Whedon-ites this Friday at 9 p.m. ET (8 central!) to watch Dushku (pictured) kick some ass? Are the promos a turn on — or off?

addCredit(“Greg Gayne”)

Check out this clip from the upcoming series:

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