Ratings: Foul! Fringe Hits a Friday Low

The Daylight Saving Time demons, in tandem with the NCAA, conspired this Friday to knock Fox’s Fringe down a peg. As a result, the stellar sci-fi drama dipped to a 1.3 demo rating — its lowest to date in the Friday slot.

Yet… I will point out in a glass-half-full way, Fringe inched up a barely perceptible (and thus, wiser men than I will argue, statistically insignificant) amount in total viewers, to 3.8 million.

Fringe Exclusive: Anna Torv Shares Her Take On a Very Spocking Twist

But really, aside from Anna Torv and her Emmy-caliber work, there were no winners this Friday, as folks either retired to the backyard to play Jarts or immersed themselves in March Madness. Yet you’re here and I’m here, so:

* CBS’ aforementioned college hoops coverage averaged 4.52 million total viewers across its three-hour prime-time run, scoring a 1.5 demo rating.

* The series finale of ABC’s Supernanny drew 4.45 million viewers. Now stop teasing your sister, Jeremy! And put down those matches!! (From here on it takes a village, people.)

* NBC’s Dateline was Friday’s (faint praise alert!) most watched program, averaging 7 million viewers. Fox’s Kitchen Nightmares meanwhile netted the night’s “best” demos, delivering a 1.6.

Renewal Scorecard: What’s Coming Back? What’s Getting Axed? What’s on the Bubble?

So, tell us: How has Daylight Saving Time and the extra batch of sunshine affected, if at all, your TV habit?

Comments are monitored, so don’t go off topic, don’t frakkin’ curse and don’t bore us with how much your coworker’s sister-in-law makes per hour. Talk smart about TV!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

  1. David says:

    This will come down to the wire for Fringe but for now it looks more likely to be canceled then renewed but I’ll remain cautiously hopeful.

    • Delirious says:

      I’m thinking (hoping) one small bump, especially one where “there were no winners this Friday”, doesn’t make it more likely to be cancelled than renewed. Things were looking quite good for it, considering what FOX execs said about their expectations, and a slight drop against NCAA Basketball coverage right in the middle of march. Especially, not to swerve it as radically as you put it…

    • houserocks1 says:

      I’m a Fringe fan and not a sports fan, so I definitely was watching Friday night’s episode. Anna is doing an amazing job as the “inner Bellie.” I hope this show is renewed because this season’s storyline is riveting!

  2. Cameron M says:

    :-( I hope this was just a fluke, if it goes back up next week, maybe it’ll be ok.

  3. Jenny says:

    Come on FRINGE! Such a good episode last night! Staying hopeful for a fourth season. Btw, Anna Torv is brilliant. Season 1 acting to now, she has grown so much!

  4. JohnDoe says:

    FOX will probably use this as evidence to cancel the series. Certainly they expected the demo to go down slightly during NCAA hoops and daylight savings? Right? RIGHT?!!
    I wish they would just make a deal with Syfy or another channel that can afford to keep it going.

    • Rowan says:

      They are not canceling this series. They knew that moving it to Friday would mean losing viewers in the demo.

  5. luke says:

    20 mil. watch NCIS and 3 mil. watch Fringe someone explain this please!!!

    • Anna says:

      NCIS is a far superior show than Fringe.
      The characters on NCIS are people you want to root for.
      The actors on NCIS are far superior to those on Fringe.
      NCIS appeals to a broad range of people.

      • JohnDoe says:

        More like NCIS is the show that appeals to your average intellect 50-60 (CBS specializes in that age range for viewers) something year-old who knows nothing of actual government operations, but likes their drama to be bombastic, acted poorly, and completely over-the-top, because they know no better anyways. The “characters” on NCIS are those which are confined to typical cardboard-cutout roles that you find on any average-quality procedural, much like NCIS.

        The average NCIS episode goes something a little like this:
        “OMG, the terrorist has a bomb, and he’s planning on blowing up several government buildings!”
        “We need to find the source, hurry up! Deploy your bomb squad and get me a location!”
        “Alright, Agent X is there, thank Christ he knows how to diffuse a bomb in 5 seconds, just as the timer hits 1 second!”.
        “We’ve found the location of the bomber, he’s at XYZ, deploy units!”
        “Suspect has been taken out, world saved”.
        Main character makes witty comment to female character at end of the episode.

        It’s the same ol’ song and dance every time. Boring.

        • Jala says:

          You’ve never seen NCIS all the way through have you? Come on! There’s only been a handful of terrorists and some episodes don’t even have murders. It’s humorous, well acted, quite cerebral usually, and those of us who watch it aren’t watching it for an accurate portrayal of the government- we’re watching it for the witty dialogue and to be entertained. I’ve never seen Fringe, so I would never deign to bash it. Since you’ve obviously never seriously watched NCIS, please refrain from making your ill advised and ill informed remarks.

          • JohnDoe says:

            I watched NCIS multiple times in its first few seasons. Don’t tell me what I have and haven’t watched, I’m simply making an observation of the typical stories I’ve seen on the show.

        • Joe Jackson says:

          Fringe pulls a 1.3 in the 18-49 demo while NCIS pulls a 4.1.

          So much for the theory NCIS is just for old people

        • karen says:

          I too am in that just barely 50-60 age group and I watch both NCIS & Fringe; the shows shouldn’t be compared as they are two totally different type of genres….but I like both shows and bottom line is that Fringe deserves another season – the characters have been developing so well & the continuing spin off stories are both fun & fascinating…..I was told by a friend last year that I would like the series and was loaned the 1st Season. I bought the 2nd Season & then jumped on board on Season 3 – so loan those seasons out to friends & get them on board please!

      • Batman says:

        I’m sorry but NCIS is probably the worst acted and cliched show I have ever seen. But to each there own, Fringe for me is leagues better than that junk.

      • sarah h says:

        Hey, I fall in that 50 to 60 range (just barely) and I find NCIS unwatchable, despite all the ravings I’ve heard from other people that it’s great. Sorry, despite the presence of Mark Harmon the writing is absymal, the acting is just OK, and I find myself completely bored the three or four times I made myself watch it, just to give it a chance.

        Fringe on the other hand, has intriguing concepts, creative writing & direction (& amazing visual direction), and the best actors on TV today. John Noble and Anna Torv definitely deserve Emmys, and the remainder of the cast provides solid ensemble work. Joshua Jackson does a fantastic job (but so far the role hasn’t made the demands of him that it has JN & AT).

        Let’s just say that people are different and have different tastes. You don’t have to disparage them Anna for not agreeing with you, and JohnDoe, nice way to display ageism there. One day, you too will be 50 or older, how would you like people to refer to you as ‘limited’ in your intellect?

        As for us liking CBS shows, isn’t this the network that canned 2/3 of the women on Criminal Minds, and enabled Charlie Sheen & his sick misogynistic show for years? I much prefer the shows on Fox & SyFy.

      • Clay says:

        Granted the appeal of a show and its characters are extremely subjective but the acting? Come on! You’re allowed to post again when Mark Harmon can portray anyone other than “Mark Harmon,” or successfully act with an Australian accent.

    • Joe Jackson says:

      Mark Harmon

      I like both shows, but I never miss NCIS. I DVR Fringe and get to it when I can.

      • Vanny says:

        I Agree. I am in the demo of 18-29 and I LOVE NCIS as well as Fringe…

        • Cass says:

          I love both shows, too! A LOT. NCIS is well-written and well-acted; but it’s a very different kind of show, and to contrast them so harshly and malign the talent of the NCIS cast or the caliber of that show’s stories is rather unfair. Aside from being on different networks, on different days, in different time slots (so it isn’t as though one must choose between the two in regards to live viewing), FRINGE is far more serialized and therefore puts different emphases on its characters.

  6. Cortexifan says:

    So Matt, do you still think Fringe is a safe bet on your scorecard? I hope you’re right.

    Fringies, keep watching, please. Next week especially since it’s an “Over There” episode and we know some fans don’t like it. If you want a 4th season we cannot afford to not watch because it’s the bad part or the bad character or for whatever reasons. Come on, unite, stand together and fight (sounds kinda Fringy, right?.)

    • Fringie6989 says:

      It does sound Fringy! This is it guys, if we don’t stay loyal and watch every episode (whether we have a nielson box or not) and watch whether we like the current storyline and/or characters, then we will lose this diamond among all the rocks. We need to unite and show Fox how much we want this show to continue!

    • Joe Jackson says:

      Fringe is gone which sucks because I really do like it. Only one show in all of history (on the 4 big networks, CW will renew anything) with ratings of 1.3 or lower has been renewed. It was Dollhouse 2 seasons ago and we know how well that worked out

    • Joe Jackson says:

      Unless you have a Nielsen Box it does not matter what you watch.
      0.02183% decide what the other 99.97817% of viewers get to watch

      • Bonnie says:

        I know! Maybe we should all email or post on the fix website our ages and how many people watch in our houses, because this Nielsen sh*t kills good shows.

      • SAM says:

        I’ve learned recently that the suits do look at the numbers of people who record shows on DVR but there are a couple of restrictions, i.e. the show has to be watched within 7 days of its broadcast and the viewer can’t fast-forward through the commercials. I’m a “Fringe” devotee but can’t usually watch it on Friday nights so on Saturday mornings, I get the DVR going and set it on mute so it runs all the way through and I move around my home doing chores. Then later in the weekend, I sit down and watch it but I FF through the commercials. That way, I get “Fringe” cake and get to eat it too! ;-)

  7. Elizabeth says:

    Bless you and your glass half full view, Matt. If it’s all right with you, I’m going to cling to that for dear life.

    • Fringie6989 says:

      I’m going to cling with you if you don’t mind, Elizabeth! And Matt, thanks for being optimistic, we certainly need it after such bad news

  8. Nick says:

    No way does this show get cancelled after this season. Nope.

  9. Anna says:

    We do not observe DST in Arizona. Primetime runs from 7:00-10:00.

    Our main difference is that the cable shows all change times twice a year.

  10. John Berggren says:

    I wish I had a Nielsen box. I sure watch a ton of tv. Fox – give fringe 2 more seasons – even 13 episode seasons if need be.

    • forrest says:

      my local CBS affiliate reruns Fridays episode on Saturday as “Fringe late night”. Do you think this is diluting the viewership by giving a second showing the following night? Just a thought.

  11. Nina says:

    Unless there’s an Emmy for sucking more than should realistically be possible, I think Anna’s safe from being nominated. She’s never been great, but that was terrible.

    It’s a shame, because it could have been such an awesome twist! I do love this show, but woo – call Anna’s portrayal what it is: HORRIBLE.

    • Fringie6989 says:

      @Nina Why are you even watching it then? Anna Torv is an amazing actress who has pulled of roles that most actors could only dream of. She is modest, humble, and very talented. She has pulled of 8 different characters within one show in only three seasons. And she has pulled off each character with grace and ease, not to mention covering up an Australian accent with every episode.

      • Nina says:

        She is beautiful and may be modest and humble. I’ve not seen her in anything else, but she hasn’t even pulled off one character very well in this show. Her accent bleeds frequently. I’m sure part of it is to be blamed on direction and writing. But clompy and hammy delivery is at least partly her fault. I’ll give you she’s gotten better since the beginning – until this ep.

        I watch it for John Noble and the father-son story with Walter and Peter.

        I’m sure she’s a lovely person. I just don’t like her performance in this character(s) for the most part.

        As my uncle always said: “You’re perfectly entitled to your (wrong) opinion” and so am I (and many others who agree with both of us)

        • Fred says:

          Random people who hate everything are my favorite part of the Internet.

          • Nina says:

            Who hates everything? Me? I don’t hate anything. I don’t enjoy one character’s portrayal or development. This is an opinion and open for rational discussion. Discuss–

    • Belly says:

      I found Anna’s performance delightful, and could not care less about Emmy chatter. In the Lead Actress in a Drama category, look how long it took Connie Britton to get a nomination. If you’re not on shows like The Good Wife, Damages, Sisters and Brothers, The Closer, or L&O:SVU, you don’t have much of a chance at Emmy consideration.

      • Nina says:

        1) You’re right in that even if it’s done well (and you’ve read my opinion on that matter) genre shows don’t get nominated. Not that it matters really as all the awards are jokes and basically “bought”.

        2) If you’re Belly, then I guess we know why you found it “delightful” – you liked being in her bra.

    • Vanny says:

      Thankyou…! I definitely don’t think she is Emmy material. She is probably the one character I am not mad about. The rest I do like, and I do like the show..

      • Nina says:

        Ditto. I love Walter and Peter and Astrid and Broyles and Gene and Lincoln and Charlie… Just not Olivia. I would love it if the show was turned into the Walter and Peter show. Focus on these two characters and I think ratings would go up =D

  12. Kyle says:

    Make sure to watch Fringe close to live or at the very least before Sunday night on your DVR. DVR ratings up to 3 days are being tracked as total viewership.

    Also use twitter and tweet often how much you like the show. If you’re a “Fringer”, you should at least create a twitter account to do exactly that :-)

  13. Paco says:

    FOX has to get real and understand that March Madness on CBS and the other cable networks are going to get all the ratings. It’s a shame they are burning new episodes now…it’s a given that all the other networks are not running their best stuff…Dateline/Primetime–those shows are never going to be “canceled” in any way…all the other networks are smart and air reruns–Hello FOX Network, are you listening??

  14. Rasha says:

    I love this show, but the whole “soul magnets”/Olivia plotline is so stupid. It would have been more interesting if William Bell had put them in Astrid, so she could do something else besides being Walter’s maid.

    I really hope the show gets renewed, but this week was just a blackhole of bad luck for Fringe.

  15. Damien says:

    The reason NCIS has so many viewers and Fringe not as many is that NCIS is the equivalent of mental chewing gun, its nice flavor without being commited to a whole meal, low in calories, and once its done completely and utterly forgettable.

    Fringe is cerebral, sometimes both dark and sweetly endearing at the same time. It is often wrought with many juxtapositions and concepts that intrigue, compel, or disgust. Unfortunately the things that make it superior to many other shows on television also make it a bitter pill to swallow for the general public.

  16. gateworlder says:

    that was one of the funniest episodes and also well acted by Anna Torv. She had to act like Leonard Nimoy acting like Mr. Spock.

  17. Lorie says:

    Surely the network execs give their shows a pass during March Madness?! IMO, it’s too much to ask any show to compete against this annual event.

  18. William says:

    Other networks don’t schedule their gems in this time (Supernatural, Smallville)but in the middle of an important arc FOX does what they do best…. Fracking it up….
    Fringe deserves a place in our TV landscape. It’s good SF television with likable characters. But I don’t overrate the performance of Ana Torv. Why she had to be the one to inherit the ghost of William Bell. There would have been so many other interesting possibilities. Insiders know why she is in that series in the first place…. For me she always acts like somebody with indigestion problems. Maybe Fringe will be renewed just because of her. Then she will serve her purpose. I am a fan because of Walter, Peter, Broyles and Astrid. And an Emmy nomination for John Noble is long overdue………………..

    • Clay says:

      While I disagree with you about Torv’s acting skills, I completely agree that Fox has frakked this show good. They paid JJ Abrams to get “LOST-like” numbers straight out of the gate and probably wanted a long X-Files type 7-8 season run. When that didn’t happen FOX has been slowly tanking the show. The only reason this show has gotten to a third season is because of Abrams involvement and the clout he has in the industry. The move to Thursday last season is the biggest piece of evidence that the network was done with the show. Thursday was and still is a ratings logjam with some of the most popular shows. If you want a show to keep it’s audience you don’t move it to a night with 3 other popular shows.

      Fox has had a short leash with scifi/fantasy for a while now and it’s become even shorter with there every increasing stable of reality hits. I mean this is a general trend for TV everywhere but FOX seems to really just hate producing dramatic, scripted shows. They have Three reality shows about the same chef and an entire night of cartoons (funny but still). They already have a show that’s dramatically portrays a singing competition and an actual singing competition that’s on three nights a week… and they’re adding another one!

      Fringe should have never been on FOX in the first place because they have no interest in dramatic television, period.

    • Nina says:

      [quote]Insiders know why she is in that series in the first place…[/quote]
      Could you explain it to me then? Because I don’t get it.

  19. Don says:

    I think I peed a little when I read this “But really, aside from Anna Torv and her Emmy-caliber work, ” she is awful awful awful.. for how to act like Leonard Nimoy please watch Deforest Kelley in Star Trek III The Search for Spock. I really want to like this show but it continually shoots itself in the foot.

  20. ana muller says:

    Season 3 of Fringe is EPIC, I wish people got how absolutely brilliant this show is. It would be such a pity for it to get canceled, it is definitely the best TV show currently out there. Flawless smart writing, amazing acting (I mean Anna Torv and John Noble, seriously?) and addictive complex story lines, it keeps getting better and better!

  21. Jane says:

    Eeek, that rating isn’t good for Fringe. I like a few others have mentioned, wonder why Fox is airing original Fringe episodes through March madness. Other networks aren’t doing it. Is it to give them more reason to cancel Fringe?

    I’m also in the corner of loving Walter,Peter,Astrid and Broyles, but not a fan of Olivia. She makes my head hurt honestly. John Noble does fantastic work and it would be nice if he is recognised for it this time round. All the actors do good work on the show.

  22. Cokes says:

    I honestly think you have to account a little bit for it being St. Patrick’s Day weekend as well. Not everyone can go out drinking on a Thursday, but the night after? Absolutely. I know I did, and I don’t doubt that many others did as well.

    Between that, March Madness, and bonus sunlight, you’ve got a lot of things in play. I think things will pick back up a bit over the next few weeks.

  23. Teresa says:

    No surpise actually. I didn´t feel like watching this episode after watchting the last one and the promo.

  24. William says:

    Hi Nina,

    “Could you explain it to me then? Because I don’t get it.”

    Anna Torv is the niece of Fox Mogul Rupert Murdoch. All the conspiracy theories you can find in Google. But in her defense, we can’t prove anything;-)

    And yes there we have it! The Irish are guilty for the cancellation of Fringe! I knew it ! Fox has a scapegoat Slàinte!! :-P

  25. Bob says:

    Combine March Madness with St. Patrick’s Day (extended) weekend and you get a lot of people out at bars celebrating/watching basketball. Same thing may happen next week. Let’s see how the ratings are in April, when there shouldn’t be a lot of competition.

  26. MJ says:

    Thi show will be back next year. And the down ratings were just an anomoly. Between hangovers from St pats, gorgeous weather in the Mid Atlantic, basketball – more people probbly DVR’d to watch another day

  27. Jonathan says:

    I don’t think Anna was particularly horrible, but it was kind of a painful, silly twist that unfortunately came at a critical point for the series ratings-wise. It was a bit of a groaner.