Lena Headey, Eliza Dushku

It turns out that Sarah Connor was the one in need of protection, and not her son John. And Dollhouse? Its engagements may not have proved engaging enough.

The future doesn't look bright for Fox's experiment in relaunching a 'Sci Fi Friday" lineup. Poor ratings make it increasingly likely that Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles will be powered down for good, and Dollhouse boss Joss Whedon admits that Echo & Co. are about to be imprinted with a "FIRED" stamp.

The show's odds of renewal are "not very good," Whedon told SciFiWire.com. "Obviously our numbers are pretty soft ... but we live in hope. I'm really proud of the episodes that are coming out. More than that, I can't really ask."

A source close to Sarah Connor tells TVGuide.com that "nothing" has been decided as of yet. Sarah Connor writer Ashley Edward Miller has also Twittered that Entertainment Weekly's story about the show's cancellation was "false."

Though Sarah Connor and Dollhouse top the pack in Live+7 DVR playback boosts, on Fridays both pull just 3.5 mil — and what advertisers truly care about is live (maybe Live+1) viewing.

Dollhouse hovered around the exact average audience size of Whedon's previous cult "hit," Firefly, prior to its cancellation. Terminator, meanwhile, took a small though significant hit when it got shuttled from its Monday slot at midseason.

Dollhouse (along with Fringe) was also part of Fox's "Remote Free TV" initiative, which claimed fewer ad breaks. But the network was never able to command a premium price for the rarified ad space.

Should either show get axed, there may be some solace for cast members with new gigs. Brian Austin Green is on board for the CW's Body Politic pilot, while Dollhouse's Tahmoh Penikett recently landed a lead in a prospective series on — wait for it — Sci Fi.