Friday Night Showdown: ‘Fringe’ VS ‘Supernatural’

Published 4 years ago by , Updated February 10th, 2012 at 8:03 am,

fringe vs supernatural Friday Night Showdown: Fringe VS Supernatural

The battle between television’s two favorite fantastical series is upon us. For the first time since FOX’s abrupt scheduling change, Fringe and Supernatural will face-off against each other with new episodes. The question must be asked: who will come out on top?

For the past two weeks, Fringe has been dominating the preternatural series front with consistently solid ratings in their new Friday night time-slot. Of course, for those same two weeks Supernatural has not been on the air – until tonight.

After a long hiatus and CW pushing the eventual return date, Supernatural is finally returning to the air with a monster episode that will drop a proverbial bomb on the series mythology and feature the introduction of a nemesis so grand in scale that I’m not even allowed to talk about it until after it airs tonight. With such an exemplary episode, will it be enough to unseat Fringe? The answer may be more complicated than it seems.

While the definitive ‘Supernatural’ vs. ‘Fringe’ premise most certainly comes into play, there’s going to be much more to this battle than who has more viewers. First off, Fringe is on one of the core television networks. Even when ratings were dropping for the series, it still maintained an average of 4.8 million viewers. Supernatural has never received 4.8 million viewers for any of its episodes, which is unfortunate.

On top of that, the fanbase for Supernatural is not as similar to the fanbase of Fringe as many may think. Fringe is very much an adult male oriented show – yes, I know women watch it as well, but I’m speaking generally. On the other hand, Supernatural has a very large, very dedicated female following – on top of the expected male audience.

For the fans who have to decide whether to watch Supernatural or Fringe, many may chose to watch Supernatural as this is the first returning episode. Additionally, Supernatural doesn’t have the post-air episode availability that Fringe does. After its initial air, the only way to watch the episode would be through The CW website (which most viewers aren’t aware of), while Fringe has FOX’s website and Hulu.

supernatural castiel Friday Night Showdown: Fringe VS Supernatural

When it comes down to it, the winner won’t be the show that has the most viewers – in that respect, Fringe will always win. What will be interesting to see is how Fringe and Supernatural affect each other’s ratings and demographics. While these two cult series will most likely find a way to succeed despite their concurrent timeslots, it’ll be fun to watch the potential ratings rollercoaster before things finally settle down.

What will I be watching? Supernatural, hands down. Even though I’ve already seen tonight’s episode in advance, there were some special effects that were missing – not to mention the fact that it’s the best episode of the entire season. Plus, I’ll already be tuned into CW because of Smallville. Sorry, Fringe, but I’m not a big fan of Kitchen Nightmares – maybe if it were more similar to the UK series.

Which will you be watching?

Fringe airs Fridays @9pm, on FOX
Supernatural airs Fridays @9pm, on CW

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  1. I actually like Fringe better…

    • Agree… Walter is the best…

      • i agree….supernatural died for me the minute it got a sixth season

        • I was never into Supernatural. Fringe is the type of “sci fi” I like better…

  2. they’re both awesome. i’ll be DVRing both and watching the discovery channel with my little brother lol

  3. I will be watching Supernatural instead of Fringe:D

  4. The Winchester Boys…. nothing beats killing demons while having a snarky phrase to come with it.

  5. I hate to say this, but…neither.

    They are BOTH my favourite TV shows. Why am I not watching them?
    Because I’m waiting for the DVD sets to come out so I can watch them without all the annoying commercials.
    And also, so I can watch them 2-3 episodes at a time.
    We just finished watching seasons 1-5 of Supernatural. Most evenings, we got 2-3 episodes down. Some nights we actually overdid it and watched an entire DVD (4-5 episodes on some DVDs, if I recall correctly).

  6. Right, first off, Marc Glave, why not DVR Discovery channel and watch the one you prefer.

    Secondly, Mike E. you are an absolute cretin. You my friend are part of many people that are killing these great shows. The commercials are what keeps the show on air.

    If you do not watch it live, expect Season 6 to be the last boxset you buy.

    • I was under the impression that personal attacks were frowned upon, on this forum?

      Since I’m not connected to a Nielsen’s rating box, it makes absolutely no difference what I do or do not do during the live run of a television show. But thanks for helping us reevaluate your own intellectual properties.

      • Not when I’m stating fact it isn’t.

        • read my further posts on how exactly television ratings function, since you are interested in facts.

          since you obviously don’t know how they function, it might be a good thing for you to read up on them before insulting the intelligence of others.

          now THAT is a fact.

    • Steve,

      While Mike E. is not my favorite person here by a long shot, he is correct in that we DON’T allow personal attacks here – and calling someone a cretin falls under that definition.


  7. Come on Anthony!!! Not one little hint as to who the new baddie is???

    • SHE is big…. big big.

      • Snooki???

  8. I have a hint Anthony, its some kind of dragon from what I have heard that the new baddie is on Supernatural:D

    • It’s no dragon.

  9. I have to agree with Steve here regarding Mike’s anti-commercial comment. Its because of the commercials and watching it live that the shows can perpetuate. Oh yeah and I’ll definitely be watching Fringe.

    • No. You would be wrong in your evaluation.
      Unless I am connected to a Nielsen’s rating box, or filling out a month-long form regarding my television watching habits, there is absolutely no way that any studio can know whether I am watching a show, DVRing it, or waiting for the DVD boxset.

      The level of ignorance around how exactly television shows survive or die is amazing.

      The survival of your favourite television shows, sadly, rests solely in the hands of a bunch of redneck yahoos in trailer parks with big black boxes connected to their TVs, who get a $50 cheque once a month as a “thank-you” for doing so.

      And yes, a far too high proportion of Nielsen rating boxes go to that type of home. Look it up.

  10. I agree that neither show will do much to hurt each other in the long run. It’s just a way to get fans riled up. That being said, I watch Fringe but I love Supernatural. I’ve got my beverage of choice and a slice of pie (to honor Dean) ready to go tonight. After all the great reviews, I cannot wait for this episode.

  11. Fringe and Fringe only.

  12. I’ve never seen an episode of Supernatural – Fringe is excellent.


    • Whaaaat Vic really?? It’s really a great show :)

      • Not saying it isn’t – I’ve just never seen it and the idea doesn’t appeal to me.


        • Vic you have to at least give it a chance. It’s shocking to hear you say the idea doesn’t appeal to you since it’s similar in idea to alot of shows and films you have watched.

  13. Fringe .
    It may not survive past this season,
    But I am with it until the end.

  14. i watch both shows religiously but im going with
    hands down.

  15. It is a Dragon Anthony, and you will see tonight if you watch supernatural. I’m not giving too much away but this weapon that is mentioned tonight can kill dragons and dragons only…

  16. i watched fringe because the tivo in my bedroom only has one tuner but also as i said above supernatural died for me the minute it got a season 6

    plus i like fringe better….anyone see doc from back to the future on fringe last week? xD

    • Hells yeah I did! I love seeing him in stuff. He’s terrific!!!

      • he really is lol

  17. Fringe hands down.

    I gave up on Supernatural weeks ago so…

  18. fringe on twop

  19. oops
    Sorry about that!

  20. Supernatural with out a question. Fringe is one of the worst shows on a major network to go beyond one season.

  21. Since when did Fringe have dragons too? lol:D

  22. I’ve heard that season 3 of fringe isn’t as good as the previous 2 can anyone confirm this for me am a fan of the others and am,hoping this isn’t true

    • what? this is the best season of fringe ever…..i hope its not true too

  23. Ok, I’ve been insulted in this thread, called a “cretin”, and I just won’t sit and take it.

    How exactly do you people think the studios KNOW what you are watching or not watching on Friday night when Fringe and Supernatural are on?

    How do the studio bosses know that I’ve decided to wait for the DVDs of my favourite series rather than watch them weekly with commercials?

    They don’t. That’s how.

    The studio bosses have abso-friggin-lutely NO idea who’s watching what on Friday night… unless you’re connected to a rating’s box.

    Am I? Are you?


    Regardless of which show you watch on Friday night, its fate will be sealed not by my simple act of waiting for the DVD, but rather by the slack-jawed responses of people connected to Nielsen’s rating boxes.

    Yes, those “Nielsen’s ratings” really do exist. And the ONLY way for a studio to be aware of those ratings is to check up on the people who are actually CONNECTED to one of those boxes.

    Do you actually think that studio heads can look into your home through your TV and tell what you’re watching? My god. And *I* get called a “cretin”?

    You can do a bit of research and find out the general make-up of a Nielsen household. It isn’t an encouraging picture. Why do you think that the most intelligent shows on TV never survive? Why do you think all those brain-numbing “reality” shows are all the rage? Why do you think that the vacuous soap operas are such a bustling business?

    A black Nielsen box connected to your TV, with a little remote control for each member of your family, and a $50 cheque once a month…. that’s how.

    So if either of your favourite shows gets canceled, don’t blame ME for deciding to wait until the DVD box set comes out for that cancellation. Blame the yokels connected to those ratings boxes who’d rather be watching Jersey Shore, Minute to Win It, and All My Children.

    • Mike you are completely right. It’s sad more people don’t understand how ratings actually work. It’s an awful system and it is ultimately what kills Tv shows. There are a few shows that were cancelled that experts estimate on a fair non neilson system would of stayed on the air for years. Most Experts agree that Angel would of gotten a 6th season , Firefly would of gotten a second, Terminator SCC would of gotten a third there are a few more on the list if you guys google it.

      The system we pet up with is atrocious and truly is ruining television.

    • You should watch it live mate 😉

    • Eventually this won’t be an issue since internet tv will become a standard in all flatscreen. TVs with internet connectivity will allow the Execs to better understand the viewing habits of the greater masses rather than the select Nielsen few. Also try streaming/StarRating the eps online more they get feed back from that too. Netflix, On-demand, and HuluPlus services are about to have a huge impact on the shape of future television.

  24. It’s been a long time since one had to actually choose what to watch on a Friday night.

  25. Thankfully, FRINGE easily won the battle in the TV ratings between the two shows on February 4th. FRINGE had nearly twice the number of viewers than Supernatural.

    • Did’nt you read the article? Fringe is on a monster of a network so of course they have more viewers as they always will. The CW is a baby network who never even promotes SPN and they still exceed their expectations for the network hmmm…not quite sure Fringe can do the same. Please learn how the ratings work before you jump up and down. Fringe experienced a dip and if it continues you may not seee a season 4.

  26. I unfortunately have to watch both online the next day but I usually watch Supernatural first before Fringe. If I was able to watch “live” I’d probably watch Smallville and Supernatural and then catch Fringe the next day online. I love both shows!

  27. Fringe did fall in the ratings though.
    Last two Fridays,1.9
    Last night,1.65

  28. @David,,
    “After encouraging first 2 weeks on Friday, Fox’s Fringe (1.6/5 in 18-49, 4.2 million viewers) DROPPED 16% in the demo in its third airing against an original Supernatural and a Super Bowl commercials special on CBS.”

    A Super bowl commercial special beat Fringe. Lends a little credibility to Mike E’s comments. :)

  29. Well, I’ve only seen 1 episode of Fringe, and I wasn’t impressed. Like Vic, Supernatural, at first, didn’t appeal to me but all the buzz my fellow Screen Ranters gave it got me curious, so I downloaded an episode from Amazon, and I got hooked. I then downloaded the first 3 seasons and have not missed an episode since. The same thing happened for House. Because of all the buzz you all are giving Fringe, I may have to do the same for it.

    It would be hard for me to believe, though, that Fringe was better than Supernatural this passed Friday. Supernatural was all type of awesome!