‘Fringe’ Suffers Two Week Ratings Decline

Published 4 years ago by

fringe season 3 promo Fringe Suffers Two Week Ratings Decline

Fringe has performed consistently in the ratings for three seasons – and has become a worthy successor to Fox’s iconic sci-fi series, The X Files. However, since Fringe was moved from its Thursday night slot to Friday night back in January, anxious fans have been waiting for the seemingly-inevitable ratings hit.

Despite a strong mid-season opening, viewership dropped 16% and 13% in the last two weeks respectively.

For its first season, Fringe averaged nearly ten million viewers an episode. The series survived a move to Thursday night in its second season, consistently scoring more than seven million views per episode. But, Friday night’s episode scored a mere 3.7 million, despite a high-profile Super Bowl ad a week prior.

Read on if you’ve heard this before: the Friday time-slot has been given the bitter nickname – the “Friday Night Death Slot.” The scheduled slot has claimed promising Fox shows in the past, including Dark Angel, Firefly, Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles, and Dollhouse - and those are just the science fiction shows. Fox isn’t the only network to move underwhelming or disregarded shows to Friday night – but it has a well-documented history of canceling these shows post-move.

That said, Smallville and Supernatural, Fringe‘s sci-fi competition on The CW have fared well throughout the last season in the Friday night lineup. But this past Friday night appeared to be hard on everyone, Smallville received 2.3 million views while Supernatural scored an even 2 million (lower numbers than Fringe - but stronger performances considering The CW’s smaller viewership). Both took a 10% hit from the previous week, though news of Smallville‘s developing finale and returning co-stars like Michael Rosenbaum may help propel its numbers higher in the home stretch. Even CSI: NY, which has been a heavy hitter on Friday nights, took a 21% hit to 9.7 million viewers.

fringe over there still Fringe Suffers Two Week Ratings Decline

So, Fringe fans, what can you do to keep your favorite show from becoming the latest death slot victim? Believe it or not, there are some proactive steps you can take. First and foremost: watch the show live. Nielsen ratings use a limited pool of observed households for the official ratings, but more and more digital TV providers are allowing networks access to more relevant numbers. If you have a TiVo or another DVR, watching live will be particularly helpful.

Also, you can spread the word on your favorite social network: advertisers are paying attention to public Facebook news feeds and trending topics on Twitter. And if you really want to go the extra mile, you can always write to Fox directly at their feedback email address, askfox@fox.com. Excessive pejoratives are not recommended, although you might ask them why Lie To Me hasn’t been moved to give both shows a ratings boost.

Fringe airs Fridays at 9:00 PM.

Source: Entertainment Weekly

TAGS: Fringe
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  1. I do, unfortunately, feel like this weeks Fringe was sort of weak.

  2. Maybe they shouldn’t send great shows like this to Friday. It’s a shame that we’ve lost so many great shows to the “Friday night death slot”

  3. At the beginning of the 2010 – 2011 season the networks said they were going to take the DVR numbers into account and have since stated they are not folding those numbers into any real ratings assessments. Which is funny since studies show DVR watchers tend to watch MORE commercials than regular viewers.
    Unfortunately, FOX has demonstrated they don’t care about scripted shows and will sacrifice them to promote the extremely short term investments of reality ones with bigger profit margins. All we can do is continue to watch our shows and promote them as best we can, but FOX knew going into this if the ratings fell lower than a couple of points, it was finished, no matter what the DVR numbers say.
    Networks would rather put out a new cheap show every season than keep an increasingly more expensive one around for more than a couple of seasons.
    It is the nature of the current TV beast.

  4. The X-Files held the Friday night slot for a number of years, as I recall, so it isn’t always a death sentence. I also read an article recently in which it was stated that some networks anticipate lower ratings for Fridays and put less pressure on those shows to perform well.

  5. I hope they don’t kill this show. It would be a shame. Almost everything else on regular TV is painful to watch. Has anyone else found this as well? There is nothing to look forward to during the week. Maybe I should just read a book.

  6. Thank you Jason, I was about to mention that X-Files ruled friday nights for years.

    Fringe isn’t a great show. Hate to break it to the fans, but its cheesy. Where the X-Files held its own in conspiracy, Fringe just makes it up as it goes along.


    • Well….. forgive me for saying this but your opinion is wrong.

  7. It won’t get a 5th season. Ezz T


  8. Which is no indicator of quality. Firefly didn’t even really get one and its dynamite. I also quite enjoyed Moonlight – which was canceled – frankly X-files should have left it at 5 – the last few seasons where kind of desperate IMHO. (same can be said for Buffy as well)

  9. Sorry Peter,,,
    If you thought X-Files seasons 6 through 9 sucked I really have no respect for your gripe about my Fringe comments.

    Based on your perogative, your into some heavy angst drama shows.
    X-Files was an adult show,,,

    Buffy was teen angst defined,,,

  10. it was valentines day week end thats why everything was down

  11. I’ve been more of a casual fan of Fringe but I’ve been anxious to see what will happen next since the stellar third season began. If it were to be cancelled with a solid finale, it wouldn’t be so bad. To be cancelled without one and leave all those plot threads hanging…eesh…

  12. It should be noted though that its not just Friday, but practically everything this last week has been declining in the ratings.

    And I don’t think Fox is trying to kill the show, in the 3 years its been on I have never seen as much ads as I have for Fringe.

  13. this is what I was afraid of. I fear the only way to save it is IT NEEDS TO MOVE OUT OF THE FRIDAY NIGHT TIME SLOT!!!!!!!

  14. I would like to know WHEN people are going to get tired of watching mindless reality TV. I can’t stand it anymore. I watched a few of them, but enough is enough. Fringe is so entertaining while making you think. I just don’t understand why the ratings are not much higher. I LOVE Fringe!

  15. Fringe is a show that has the appeal of daring you to watch. The characters are great. I have enjoyed it since the beginning. I think sometimes a show might tweak things some to see how the audience reacts. I am curious as to who presses this “creative” button.
    If the show is working and the additional “cheese” is causing distractions. Why do it then?

  16. Well the last few weeks the HD channel for it in my market hasnt worked right.

  17. I’m upset enough not to watch tonight’s show because I was sick during last week’s episode, and Fox pulled the latest episode from its website. Very bad move, Fox. Way to lose viewers.