‘Fringe’ Ratings Jump Up On Friday As Fox Ties CBS

Published 3 years ago by

fringe ratings improve olivia Fringe Ratings Jump Up On Friday As Fox Ties CBS

Fringe may be down, but it’s not out. Fox’s science fiction staple secured 4.1 million viewers last Friday night, posting a 10% gain over the previous week. Combined with reality show Kitchen Nightmares, Fox scored its best Friday in weeks, tying the usual favorite CBS for overall viewership.

It’s been a rocky road for Fringe ever since Fox moved it to Friday night in early January. Defying the stigma surrounding the myriad of Fox shows that have sputtered and died after the same move, the show posted solid number for the first two weeks. The following two weren’t as kind, dropping to a mere 1.4 million viewers in the crucial 18-49 demographic.

This week saw that value jump to 1.5 million (a 7% gain for 18-49 year-olds), a number that may be attributable to Fringe star Joshua Jackson’s impassioned plea for fans to watch the show live. Jackson’s request made its way through the internet all week, and his rallying banner may have helped stop the shed of viewers – for now.

At least one network executive seems to be backing Fringe. Fox president Kevin Reilly revealed his own excitement for the series a few weeks ago (despite the move to the “Friday night death slot”) in a press event. Unfortunately, he didn’t have good news for other struggling shows like Lie to Me and Human Target.

In other ratings news, The CW’s one-two teenage sci-fi punch of Smallville and Supernatural continues to lose viewers. Both scored around 2 million viewers each, and only 900,000 each in the 18-49 demo. The numbers aren’t as bad as they seem considering The CW’s smaller budget and audience, but the Smallville producers in particular can’t be thrilled that the show keeps dropping viewers during the lead-up to its series finale.

smallville ratings drop Fringe Ratings Jump Up On Friday As Fox Ties CBS

I know there are a lot of fans of Fringe and Supernatural reading, so I’ll take this opportunity to repeat Jackson’s message: if you want your favorite shows to stick around, watch them live on television. While Nielsen ratings are determined primarily from actively monitored households, data from other sources like cable and satellite providers is also a factor in networks’ decision to keep or scrap a show. Recording a live viewing or waiting for a Hulu stream does nothing, and getting the show via untracked methods like illegal torrents or video streams does less than nothing. If you TiVo new episodes, I’d better not see your lamentations in the comments section when your favorite show bites the dust.

Fringe airs Friday nights at 9 on Fox.

Smallville Friday nights at 8 on The CW, with Supernatural following at 9.

Source: Entertainment Weekly

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  1. I’d be willing to bet that unless you’re a Nielsen family, watching Fringe and/or Supernatural live doesn’t make a difference in any network decision. I was a Jericho fan that fought for the show back in 2007, and what we learned was that cable and satellite providers do not monitor that kind of data for non-Nielsen families. I’m not saying fans shouldn’t watch live, just don’t expect it to make as big a difference on the network’s decision as, for example, sending them an email through their website after the show to tell them that you’re a fan and you want the show kept on the air. Enough voices together do make a difference, but you have to know how to get the networks to listen.

    Feedback pages for The CW: http://www.cwtv.com/feedback/comments
    Email address for FOX feedback: askfox@fox.com

    Also, while the networks might not have viewing numbers from places like Hulu, I am willing to bet that they would monitor the viewing numbers when fans watch streaming video on Fox.com and cwtv.com. They’d be foolish not to.

  2. Why do Fox insist on doing this? Why!!!!

  3. I was under the impression that unless you are part of the focus group your not counted at all. all of the ratings are taken from a sample of about 5000 families.

  4. Why did Fox move Fringe to Fridays death slot anyway? U would think they would have learned it’s lesson. TSCC, Dollhouse. How much quality programming does fox really have? American Idiot, I mean Idol??? Fringe is still one of my Favorites on TV. Do they think the one show that did make it Friday nights, X-Files?? That was a fluke. Plus while all the technology has changed, TV’s, DVR, TIVO etc. Nelson does it’s ratings the same way. 20 years ago I received the Neilson packet and all you do is mark your favorite shows and mail it back. Ratings gathering needs to change with the times, not stuck “Lost in Space”.1960′s. Pathetic way of gathering ratings. Time to change, go away Neilson family, and someone update the way ratings are gathered.

    • You do realize 20 years is a long time ago. Nielsen ratings no longer depend on viewer diaries that get mailed. Now there are boxes that are hooked up and can tell what you’re watching, when you change channels, etc. on a minute to minute basis. This made it more honest and accurate(preventing people from writing down that they’re watching The Cosby Show but actually watching Playboy).
      As for whether or not you’re part of the Nielsen family, it doesn’t matter. It’s a cross-sectional sample that represents all parts of the viewing audience. If it wasn’t random assignment, then the sample analysis is worthless. But it is random. It’s like when they do exit polls and are only speaking to a few hundred people but those polls are extrapolated to millions and are quite accurate. Joshua Jackson making a plea to the viewers to watch live is going to hit the Nielsen viewers in the same proportions as other viewers.

  5. Ummmm. . . why all the whining? Yay!!!!!!!!!!!! I love Fringe.

  6. Hey guys!!! Come on! You have to stop all the complains this is good news!

    We could be seeing the next X-Files friday phenomenon!

    I say keep it up Fringe fans! :D

  7. I would just to like to make it clear that a 1.4 18-49 rating does not equal 1.4 million people. Thankfully, it’s more than that.

  8. I’m glad to hear that Fringe is hangin’ in there, but the notion that we need to watch our favorite shows live in order to support them just shows how out of touch the current ratings system is. To be honest, I’ve never actually seen an episode of Fringe live. I usually just watch each episode on Hulu a day or two after it airs; and, given that I’m a member one of what I’d assume is one of Fringe’s target demographics – college students (who tend have no interest in staying home on Friday nights to watch TV)- I’d guess that Nielsen ratings and other typical viewership indicators are drastically underestimating Fringe’s actual audience size.

  9. Michael,

    You hit the nail right on the head. Nelson still uses paper ballots, they are antiquated and their ratings really only represent a very small unscientific slice of viewership. Technology has changed, viewership habits has changed, they need to change or get out of the game. To many good shows have gone down the tube because of this, you are a perfect example.

  10. Neilson- sorry, auto correct keeps doing this on my “smart phone “

  11. Fringe is a wonderful blend of science and fantacy, with overtones of classic shows like “The Twilight Zone”, “The Outer Limits” and even “Startrek” It’s a good old fashion science fiction show that keeps you sitting on the edge of your chair.Admist all the weirdness, there are
    tender moments that make me cry, and humorous moments that make me laugh.
    Pehaps the most appealing part of the show is the show’s actors.
    There is nothing glamorous or “hollwood’ about any of them. They are just plain ordinary looking everyday folks just like you and me..and that’s
    what makes them believable. I love the show I wait for it every week and yes,,I watch it live. That’s the only way to watch it…

  12. Totally Agree

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