Could NPH have saved Firefly?

My wife was scoping NPH’s bio on IMDB, which purports that he auditioned for the role of the doctor on Firefly. One has to wonder (okay, I suppose one doesn’t have to) if NPH had been the doctor (no disrespect to Sean Maher) if Firefly would have made it more than 15 glorious episodes. On the one hand, the doctor was the only character who wasn’t ever really funny, and NPH seems like he’d have to have some humor in the character – I just don’t see him playing a serious guy who only cares about his sister and is super serious all the time. On the other hand, NPH is awesome. On the third hand (since we’re talking about SciFi here, we can have a third hand, I think), Firefly started and ended before NPH launched himself back to the forefront of awesomeness in Harold and Kumar Go To White Castle (yeah, sorry, Starship Troopers didn’t quite do it). So, maybe he wouldn’t have made a difference without the extra built-in fan base…

On a related note… Too bad when they canceled Dollhouse I was kind of relieved, because, while it’s a decent show, I wasn’t all that into it, but as soon as they announced it was canceled the show has had some of its best episodes so far. Oops. (Sorry, gotta do the hands thing again) On the one hand, maybe we all should have been more patient to let Joss Whedon develop his fairly complex idea of a show before writing it off. On the other hand, Firefly was awesome right from the start, so… sorry, there is no third hand on that one.

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