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Just days after learning that production on the new season of 24 has been shut down for two weeks, another FOX series is giving its cast and crew some unexpected vacation time. The highly-anticipated Dollhouse, from acclaimed TV guru Joss Whedon, has shut down production for two weeks as well.

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I’m told that because Joss directed two of the three episodes already shot, he has not had sufficient time to be in the writers room and tailor the upcoming scripts to his liking. A rep from 20th Century Fox — the studio behind Dollhouse — said Joss came to them asking for a couple weeks to regroup and they were happy to give it to him, adding that the situation is very similar to 24‘s: With several episodes in the can and both series not scheduled to debut until mid season, they have the luxury of being able to shut down and reexamine their direction without delaying their premiere date.

Said the rep, "We have every confidence that [the extra time] will allow Joss to make the show the best it can possibly be. It’s very rare that you have a head writer who is also directing two episodes in a row. But we are happy that Joss is directing, because this is his vision."

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And word is, Joss is handling his myriad of responsibilities quite well. I spoke with Dollhouse actor Tahmoh Penikett (Battlestar Galactica‘s Helo, sigh, so pretty) at Monday’s FOX fall launch party, who had this to say about working with Mr. Whedon: "He has a very consistent energy and strong work ethic. You can tell he’s juggling so many things at once — one minute he’s giving you direction on a scene, the next minute he’s writing a new scene for a new episode — but he doesn’t really get worked up when he’s on the job. He keeps it light. He should be a performer, because he’s always cracking jokes on set."

Ah, yes, that’s all Joss needs… to add another task to his to do list.