Bad luck for 'Dollhouse' 13th episode

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Fox has scheduled the season finale of Joss Whedon's "Dollhouse," but sharp-eyed fans have noticed there's something missing: the show's 13th episode.

The "Dollhouse" closer, titled "Omega," airs May 8 and is the show's 12th aired episode. But there's a 13th episode, titled "Epitaph One," directed by Whedon.

Felicia Day ("Buffy the Vampire Slayer," "Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog") had a role in the unscheduled episode and Twittered: "Man, day getting worse and worse. Found out my 'Dollhouse' ep, #13 isn't gonna air. Only on DVD. Such a great part too. Thx Fox. :( ..."

Reps from Fox and 20th TV declined comment, but sources said the network feels the entire season order was fulfilled because the show's original pilot never aired (Whedon reshot it). Otherwise, Fox would have paid for 14 hours instead of 13. Sources also said the story in the "Omega" season finale is Whedon's original vision for how the season would end, so fans will receive closure.

"The network had already paid for 13 episodes, and this included the (unaired pilot) they agreed to let us scrap for parts," producer Tim Minear wrote on the fan site Whedonesque.com. "It does not include the one we made to bring the number back up to 13 for the studio side and its obligations. We always knew it would be for the DVD for sure, but we also think Fox should air it because it's awesome."

All parties insist the network has not canceled "Dollhouse," though declining to air an episode isn't encouraging — you don't dicker over who pays the bill on a dinner date that's going well. The most recent episode of "Dollhouse" earned a 1.5 rating among adults 18-49, with companion "Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles" pulling a 1.3.

Sources say the odds of "Terminator" surviving are slim, but the closed-door verdict on "Dollhouse" is not in yet. (partialdiff)
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