Should FOX Move ‘Lie To Me’ to Fridays Alongside ‘Fringe’?

Published 3 years ago by , Updated April 15th, 2014 at 11:18 am,

lie to me fringe fox Should FOX Move Lie To Me to Fridays Alongside Fringe?

Every now and again I like to abuse this platform I have as Sr. Editor of Screen Rant to do something totally self-serving that will (hopefully) benefit the holy institute of me. Today I have a wish that I would like to see come to fruition, and it involves keeping two of my favorite shows away from cancellation and together in one place where I can enjoy them both at the end of a long work week:

FOX, if you’re listening, something needs to be done to help Lie To Me and Fringe survive into their respective 4th seasons – and your old pal Outlaw has a few ideas how to do it that I’m willing to share for free.

Both Lie To Me and Fringe are shows that have loyal cult followings, but haven’t exactly been ratings smashes for FOX in their respective third seasons. Fringe has hovered around 4-5 million viewers range – even after its move from Thursday to Friday – while Lie To Me finished season 3 with 7 million viewers. Weirdly enough, even though Lie To Me is the show with the higher ratings, it’s more likely than Fringe to be denied a chance at season 4.

However, in my opinion, neither of these shows should be axed. Fringe has established a pretty good sci-fi mythos in the vein of Lost or The X-Files, while Tim Roth’s performance as Dr. Cal Lightman on Lie To Me has offered the best PhD with an attitude to come along since Hugh Laurie’s Dr. House. I know why Fox hoped that paring the similarly-themed House and Lie To Me on Monday as a two-hour “Doc block” would be a hit. However, the reality is that (as the now canceled Lone Star found the hard way) the Monday 9pm slot is pretty much already divvied up between loyal fans of CBS comedies like Two and a Half Men; the huge swell of reality show fans who watch ABC for The Bachelor or Dancing With the Stars; and sci-fi/superhero fans lured by every new show like Heroes, The Cape or The Event that NBC has been rolling out in recent years.

Simply put: FOX’s 9pm slot on Mondays doesn’t have a strong enough identity to distinguish itself right now.

house and lie to me on fox Should FOX Move Lie To Me to Fridays Alongside Fringe?

In fact, if the network would approach this issue from the standpoint of actually promoting House and Lie To Me as a their Monday night “Doc Block”, they probably wouldn’t need to push  Lie To Me to Fridays at all. But that’s on FOX’s marketing department to decide. As it stands right now, I’m thinking of how to get two solid  series a second lease on life, and having Lie To Me partnered with Fringe on Fridays would definitely take some pressure off, since there are somewhat lowered expectations for Friday ratings. From a promotional standpoint, having Cal Lightman and Walter Bishop as Friday’s “visit to the doctor” event might not work nearly as well as the House/Lightman combo…but it still works.

CBS has ruled Friday night ratings by deploying franchise spinoff CSI: NY into the fight, while recently enjoying a solid run from freshman series The Defenders in its new Friday timeslot. But then, CBS also does well on Fridays because it tends to attract an older crowd (see: my grandma) and lets face it: the older crowd doesn’t tend to go out on Friday nights, so much as stay in and watch TV. While I believe that older demographic would warm up to a show like Lie To Me, I know it’s probably wishful thinking that Fringe‘s convoluted sci-fi mythos would hold much appeal. The good news is this: FOX doesn’t have to steal CBS’ Friday demographic, they simply have to attract a new demographic to the party.

dollhouse jossdushkutahmoh Should FOX Move Lie To Me to Fridays Alongside Fringe?

Can Friday nights on FOX be something more than a graveyard?

We all know that Joss Whedon’s and FOX’s sci-fi series Dollhouse died a slow death in the now-infamous “Friday night death slot” last year, and many expect that Fringe will persih there too. Personally I find this kind of view to be utterly defeatist. As a longtime sci-fi TV fan, I remember staying in on Fridays in the ’90s to watch The X-Files – Friday nights on FOX were a weekly event to me.

It IS possible to turn Fridays around from being a graveyard for dying series and random reality show offerings and make it an event night once again: sci-fi geeks don’t tend to have the most crowded social calenders, and with some adjusted marketing approaches I could see Cal Lightman becoming a geek icon alongside Walter Bishop. Hell, Lie To Me walked away with two awards at the 2011 People’s Choice Awards – one for “Favorite TV Crime Drama” and the other for “Favorite TV Crime Fighter (Tim Roth)”. Sure, it’s not a Golden Globe or an Emmy, but clearly amongst the younger crowd Cal Lightman is a hit.

FOX president Kevin Rielly recently went on record recently to say neither Fringe nor Lie To Me should be considered dead yet, so there’s still hope:

“We’ve got a lot of mid-season shows that we’re rolling out and we just have to get a little deeper into the spring and size everything up [before deciding on another season]…We’d like to believe there’s [a future] for Lie To Me. It delivers a very loyal audience wherever we put it…

[Fringe] is a show we’re very passionate about…I want the audience to transfer to Friday. I would be heartbroken if it went away. But if the fans stick with us the show could be on the air for many years.”

lie to me fringe house fox Should FOX Move Lie To Me to Fridays Alongside Fringe?

What do you guys think the best way is to keep these shows on the air? Should FOX do more to promote House and Lie To Me as a Monday night “Doc Block” (feel free to use that term by the way)? Should The Lightman Group open up shop alongside Walter Bishop’s Fringe lab on Fridays? Or should Fringe get another sci-fi themed show added as its lead-in for a Friday night sci-fi block next season?

Right now Lie To Me is wrapped for the current season, but you can still catch Fringe on Fridays @ 9pm on FOX.

Source: Digital Spy

House / Lie to Me image from Fan pop

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TAGS: fringe, lie to me

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  1. “even though Lie To Me is the show with the higher ratings, it’s more likely than Fringe to be denied a chance at season 4.”

    Not so much. LTM is a Fox-owned, Fox-produced show with a very low overhead (except, presumably, for Tim Roth’s salary) with a very devoted audience. Its DVDs have sold well (and remember: Fox keeps every penn) and has won multiple awards, most recently 2 People’s Choice Awards. When it goes into syndication, Fox will keep every last dime of the profits. Fringe, by contrast, is an expensive show with a high SFX budget, one-third fewer ratings, and is produced and owned by a totally different production company. The only money Fox sees from it is advertising dollars. It might get higher ad revenue because it’s got more “buzz,” but financially and practically, it makes much more sense for Fox to renew Lie To Me over Fringe. I say that as a fan of both shows.

    • “Its DVDs have sold well”

      That’s in fact incorrect Lie To Me DVD sales are exceptionally poor having never reach the Nielsen Videoscan top 30 even during release week. Lie to me 18-49 demos aren’t really better than Fringe’s and Fringe has good male 18-34 demo. Fringe was saved from January burnoff because of it’s 22 episode order and it’s critical acclaim, and now stands the chance to survive. Unfortunately Lie to Me doesn’t.

    • Lie To Me, like Fringe, has multiple production companies associated with its production. While Fox may own the series, they’re far from “keeping every penny” of the profits.

      There’s a breakdown of profit sharing for every series and Fox receives a good share, but no where near all of it.

      While I agree with you that Lie To Me makes more sense to renew before Fringe, Fringe has received much more word of mouth and promotion than Lie To Me. Fox will most certainly renew Fringe for another season before Lie To Me.

  2. Thank you for writing this article. Most articles written now are negative and tell me why I shouldn’t like a particular show, so I appreciate that you took the time to write something positive.

    I am also a fan of both shows, and like you said, they have kept the majority of their fans, no matter the timeslot. (Both shows, if memory serves me correctly, have had three different timeslots.) If airing ‘Lie to me*’ and ‘Fringe’ on Friday night means season 4 for each, consider me there.

    I can’t think of a better way to end the week than with Cal Lightman and Walter Bishop.

  3. I agree with everything you said about Lie to me! It is my favorite show and I NEED A 4TH SEASON!!! I don’t mind where FOX decides to put it, I will show up and tune in whenever it is!

  4. O think lie to me should stay on Monday’s Friday no one watches tv due to it being the weekend and people want to go out and party not watch tv they should just leave it as the doc block

  5. Interesting points you make. I have not watched Fringe, but I Do watch TV on Friday nights, having been a fan of the whole supernatural block on CBS: (even as Ghost Whisperer went whack), Medium and Numbers. (hmm, well they aren’t around anymore which says what Friday slots could do).

    I do think that in the New Normal, folks of all ages are watching more TV and going out less. While not old enough to be your Granny, I am 50+,
    so clearly we are a market that Can enjoy Lie To Me !

    Your idea shows fresh and creative thinking (which Fox Programming seems to lack), and I think it could work. I would be willing to give Fringe a try.

    All I know is that if my favorite shows don’t get renewed, I will eventually be canceling cable and getting one of my kids to hook us up with Netflix and a gaming console. It is the economy for us viewers, even the older ones. :)

  6. Lie to me is brilliant. Like it more than House, but I think promoting them in a “Doc Block” would be smart. Lightman and House as characters probably appeal to similar audiences. I am hoping to see Lie to Me in its 4th season.

  7. I think Lie To Me should stay on Monday nights and be promoted as the “doc block”. Fox needs to promote the show more, and given some more time, I think it could be an outstanding show all on its own. I don’t really watch anything else.. Lie To Me is the only show that truly feeds my soul so to speak. After that fantastic finale, it deserves a season 4! I think the writers are starting to get a true feel for the show and its characters. I am beyond excited for a season 4 and I do hope they start being more consistent with Cal and Gillian’s relationship!

  8. OK as a warning this is a long comment but it might give people valuable insight on TV ratings.

    First off I want to say that I enjoy both shows and want both of them to return.Secondly the situation with T.V. ratings is more complicated then it first appears the Total Viewing numbers that are quoted in this article effectively mean nothing what really matters is the ever important 18-49 Demographic numbers.As and example if a show that received 15 million total viewers but only 1 million of those viewers landed in the demo would recieve less money from advertisers than a show that had 5 million total viewers with 4.5 million in the demo. Both Lie to me and Fringe have Hovered around the same 1.7-1.9demo numbers(just talking about Fringes Thursday numbers in this post though friday numbers have been the same) demo numbers but this is an apples to oranges comparison as Lie to Me has a Bigger lead in then Fringe did on thursdays but Lie to Me is a more profitable show for FOx because it is produced in house.Fringe on Fridays has effectively been trouncing the competition in the 18-49 demo so if it can maintain those numbers it is assured to come back (but it has yet to air against the CW scifi show Supernatural).Lie To Me will most likely return in the summer and produce episodes for the fall so Fox has something to shove into a timeslot if any of thier new shows crash and burnalso because it is produced in-house if they are able to put Lie To me into syndication the more episodes they produce the more they will rake in at the back End.

    sorry for any typos or grammatical errors in this post I had to write it quickly on my work break.

  9. I agree with you about Lie to Me. I´ll watch it whenever it´s, fans are very loyal!!

  10. I LOVE LIE TO ME!! I don’t care where they put it as long as it gets a 4th season and fans will follow wherever it goes! I think FOX needs to promote it more and have faith in it. I am a fan of both House and Bones but they are getting old and starting to bore me now. Lie To Me brings something new to television instead of the same doctor and cop shows thats everywhere. Fringe brings back the X-files type show, which their hasnt really been one since X-Files went off the air. If FOX was smart they would keep both shows, they just need to give them some time and keep them in one spot. If they keep switch days and time people will start to get confused. For once FOX should listen and think about the fans! If Lie To Me doesn’t get a 4th season I will refuse to watch anything on that network. I am willing to give up the other stuff I watch on there for Lie To Me! LISTEN TO THE FANS FOX AND LIE TO ME A 4TH SEASON!!

  11. This does sound like a good idea. But I have to say that from the reasoning of the article the true benefit would only come to Lie to Me. I don’t see Fringe getting any new audience by following Lie to Me. Lie to Me seems like a good fit for the Fridays demographic, but Fringe is a different story! One big issue I see with Fringe is the serialization it follows, not very appealing for newcomers!

    But as the numbers have shown it’s clear that Fringe has some really die-hard fans that tune in no matter what!

    Anyway is good to see this type of articles! Thanks for the ideas Kofi. Hopefully a smart guy at FOX reads ScreenRant :D

  12. I love Lie to Me. I don’t care when it is scheduled I will watch and/or DVR it!!! I do prefer the Monday night as I love House as well but agree that it is up against some tough competition in it’s current timeslot. I think it has a loyal enough fan base to follow it to wherever it is scheduled. There are so many other ‘unworthy’ shows that should be on the chopping block ahead of these two in my opinio but have long since stopped trying to figure what goes through the minds of Fox execs!

  13. Lie to Me and Fringe are 2 of my favorite shows, and I would love for them to be on back to back on Fridays. Both of these shows suffered from being in horrible timeslots on Mondays and Thursdays – there’s just too many established shows on at the same time for them to get the kind of ratings FOX is looking for on those days. I don’t really think anything FOX has would do any better in those timeslots. Look how the ratings jumped for Lie to Me once Monday Night Football was over for the year. I’m in the demo FOX is looking at, but unfortunately I don’t have a Neilson box.

    I have no problem going out on Friday nights after 9pm, if these 2 shows were on, so that’s not an issue. If it is, well, that’s what DVR is for.

  14. After reading that i think the right thing to do is to keep lie to me on monday nights along with house …. i have never seen fringe but i have heard some things about it if it is a sci fi show it should be moved so a sci fi channel. lie to me is cleary a hit great actors and actresses with the way it ended for season 3 as Cal lightman confessed his love for his partner Gillian Foster clearly the viewers would like to have more and see what happens. Keep lie to me on mondays its perfect just where it is if it needs to be moved then move it to friday but honestly keep it on mondays. thankyou lie to me rules!!

  15. I think “Lie To Me” should stay where it is, following “House”. But, if FOX were to move it, I would surely follow. No questions asked.
    I’m really curious as to whether it will come down to “Lie To Me” OR “Fringe”. People are speculating that of course, but no one knows for sure. I would definitely throw “Human Target” into the mix too, not to mention FOX’s new pilots.
    May is going to be interesting.

  16. I LOVE Lie to Me and I LOVE Fringe-there’s hardly any good shows on and the ones that are good are being threatened with cancellation? Who decides this stuff? Reality tv Sucks! Put them on fridays-GREAT idea-I’d make a night of it!

  17. Please keep the show “lie to me” going. I really love this show. I am a loyal fan and i will def watch it, if it’s moved to another day. The only reason i couldnt watch it on Monday is because it’s conflict with my other favorite show. But i go to hulu right the next day to watch it.

  18. Some how some way …….. keep Lie To Me on TV ……. i don’t care what nite or time.
    thank you

  19. LOVE LOVE LIE TO ME! Every show I love ends up getting canceled while the stupid dance and “reality” (yeah right) keep going! I just wonder what kind of stupid idiots we have in the world……and then I remember….oh yeah, they voted for our president!

    People can’t think for themselves anymore and can’t understand people who do!

    I want it back!!!

  20. I say keep Lie To Me*, best series ever, the only series I will watch. I enjoy the storyline and the characters, especially Cal Lightman. I really hope they allow Season 4 to broadcast!

  21. As much as I love Fringe, I would be way more interested in Lie to Me coming back. As a matter of fact, I tend to forget about Fringe as it started to fall apart at the end while Lie to Me kept me hooked the entire time. And as a plus, Tim Roth beats everyone, as cute as Olivia and Peter are together.

  22. Greez from Finland!

    Lie to me was a hit here.. Lightman was such a nice person. Sad to hear that it was ditched.

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