'Fringe' Ratings Up; Producer Calls Season 4 Renewal 'Gutsy'

Fringe's ratings were up Friday night; show producers called Fox's decision 'gutsy'.

After surprising news last week that Fringe had been renewed, ratings jumped considerably for Friday's new episode "Bloodline."

Viewership for Fringe increased 50,000 viewers for a 3.85 million total. Demographic viewers were up as well, with 1.5 million falling in the 18-49 demographic. Just like last week, Fringe aired head-to-head against the NCAA basketball playoffs on CBS.

While the numbers aren't great (and a far cry from the show's scores before the move to Friday nights), the increase should be a clear sign to Fox higher-ups that they made the right decision.

In an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, executive producers Jeff Pinker and J. H. Wyman applauded Fox's decision.

Wyman had this to say of the renewal:

They're saying, "Hey, we believe in this program and we want to be the purveyor of programs that are critically acclaimed and purveyor of programs that people are really responding to and really embracing," which sounds obvious but there's a lot of critically acclaimed shows that have gone by the wayside in the past. There's something to be said about that decision. It's gutsy.

The pair also spoke on the evolution of DVR viewers, acknowledging that a large part of Fringe's viewership doesn't watch the show live. This is part of a fundamental shift in the way that people watch television, and part of the reason that antiquated systems like the Nielson ratings may need some updating. Said Pinkner, "...our outcome goal is to tell stories that people connect with. We don't wake up and look at the numbers as an objective thing."

Wyman took time to thank Fox entertainment chief Kevin Reilly for his support of Fringe. Apparently the communication between Fox and the show's creators and actors has been nothing but frank. He also mentioned a groundswell of support from fans and press alike. Pinkner likened it to a famous Oscar acceptance speech: "It's the Sally Field moment: 'They like me!'"

Cast of Fringe

Wyman also let out some juicy details on the current season's finale. The producer said that they always try to set up a story for the next season as they're ending the current one, a statement that holds true for previous seasons of Fringe. The takeaway? Season 3's last episode won't be a half-hearted stand-in for a series finale - expect a nail-biting cliffhanger.

While it'll be a couple of months before the writing of Fringe Season 4 begins, Pinkner assures fans that there's an overall framework for the series in place. With a full order of 22 episodes, they'll have plenty of time to flesh it out.


Fringe airs Friday nights @9PM on Fox.

Follow Michael on Twitter: @MichaelCrider

Source: The Hollywood Reporter

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