The LA Times conducted a little Q&A with the man himself wherein he talked about how Eliza herself inspired the show and his return to the FOX family once again. Here is a portion of Joss's interview with the LA Times:
Is it true that this idea came to you over lunch with Eliza Dushku?
Eliza had made the deal at Fox and we got together to talk about her ambition, her management, her opportunities, because I've always felt that she's a huge star. Plus, she's a friend. But I was trying to get a movie off the ground, "Goners." "Wonder Woman" had already crashed and burned. "Goners" they had already lost control of the instruments, but who knows? So things were not that auspicious, but I was working it. Not shunning television but not intending to come back. But as we discussed Eliza's predicament, I started giving her some ideas about what I thought she would need: a genre show so she could be political without being partisan; an ensemble show so she didn't have to be in every scene. And I thought about it for a bit and then literally went, oh, curse word, I just came up with the show and the title. And it was the title that I knew I was doomed. Because if you have the title, you know it's right. And that's just bad. When we really discussed the whole thing, she said, "You're talking about my life. In my life, everybody tells me who they want me to be while I try and figure out who I am." And that spoke to me. I agreed that I'll write and maybe oversee the pilot. So I went home and said, "Honey, I'm sorry, I accidentally agreed to a Fox show at lunch."
How long after your lunch with Eliza did Fox offer you the opportunity to make a guaranteed seven episodes?
One week. This just felt right. Fox understood the show, and they've continued to prove that that is the case. I've pitched shows to people who didn't and they made them anyway, and that didn't go so well. Then I went into a state of blank panic. Oh, wait, all of my writers have jobs. So I went upstairs and I laid out seven notebooks, and every night I'd go up and put my seven notebooks all in a row, and I'd look and see what do we need to get from here to here. I even had to take them to New York. I thought, oh, I'd just rip off the page. 'No, you can't rip off the page. You'd kill the magic.' So I brought them to Kevin Reilly and I laid them out on his coffee table, and he said, "This is great. I love all of them." I said, "Great. Now if you'll excuse me, I'm on strike." And for the entire strike, I did not think about "Dollhouse." Occasionally, I would get a feeling.
Do you feel more pressure because it's a big network?
No. I feel the same pressure I always feel, which is all the pressure in the world. My name is on it. It's a story. My name now means something to people that it didn't before. But I still tried my hardest when it didn't.
WEEEEEEEEEEE! I am so excited for this new series!! I know I shouldn't but to me it feels like the closest thing we might get to a BtVS series again. It's a terrible way to look at this new series but I can't help it. I'm a bit bummed that Dollhouse has been deemed a mid-season replacement (mainly because we'll have to wait longer for the show to debut) but if Buffy the Vampire Slayer can survive and thrive as a mid-season replacement, then so can Dollhouse. [Source]