By Lynette Rice
February 14, 2009 at 10:54 PM EST

More than a fair share of Joss Whedon fans tuned in Friday to see the premiere of Fox’s Dollhouse. The mythological drama starring Eliza Dushku attracted 4.7 million viewers — a pretty decent jump over the eyeball levels for The Sarah Connor Chronicles at 8 p.m. (which lured a mere 3.7 million), according to fast national ratings. In fact, Dollhouse helped Fox double its viewership levels among women versus Chronicles and helped the net finish in second place among adults 18-34 and in first place across key male demos for the night.

So what does this mean for Dollhouse’s long-term prospects? Although 4.7 million isn’t that great — Fox typically averages 5.5 million on Fridays — the Whedon drama has a better chance of making it over the long haul if it stays put on the night. In fact, network insiders have long cautioned that if the series were scheduled earlier in the week and ended up attracting these kind of (low) viewership levels, it would have been axed by its second or third airing. So relax, Whedonites — Dushku and Co. appear safe for now.

Chronicles will remain as Dollhouse’s lead-in until Fox runs out of episodes; later, the Terminator franchise will be replaced by Prison Break for its final six episodes.

More Dollhouse and sci-fi:
Dollhouse snap judgment: Barbie or bad ass?
Ken Tucker on Dollhouse: Did I underestimate it?
Dollhouse: Pros and cons of a Friday time slot
TV recaps: A landmark Galactica
Sarah Connor Chronicles: Any fans left out there?