Fox 'Extends' Alcatraz Run, Rests House and Fringe in March for Repeat-Free Season Finishes

Fox is making some springtime schedule tweaks that will “extend” Alcatraz‘s sentence and give two veteran shows the chance to finish their seasons strong.

To start with, as first reported by The Futon Critic, J.J. Abrams’ Alcatraz — which was to finale in mid-March, thanks to a series of doubled-up outings — now will only air back-to-back hours on March 5. Then, starting March 12, it will move to Mondays-at-8, where it will spell House and tee up Kiefer Sutherland’s Touch.

Alcatraz will now air its season finale on March 26. House then reclaims its Mondays-at-8 berth on April 2, airing 100-percent originals for the remainder of Season 8.

Similarly, Fox is using some reheated Kitchen Nightmares to rest Fringe for the first three weeks of March, so that the sci-fi series can return March 23 with all-new episodes for the rest of its fourth season.

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55 Comments
  1. Alex says:

    Fox sure has shuffled Mondays a LOT this season…but this at least makes sense with the success of Alcatraz and Touch, it makes sense.
    I actually like the idea of Fringe taking a break then airing a lot of episodes with no gap, seems to make sense for such a complex show.

    • elr says:

      Yes, but it would make a LOT more sense if it could be shown from season premiere to season finale without all these little breaks.

      • JAmandaFan says:

        Like Lost!

      • Alex says:

        I do agree with you there, that would make more sense. I’m (optimistically) hoping that their aim is for it to pick up some steam with the ratings in the last run of episodes so they can justify renewal.
        And then if it gets a 13 episode final season like many people are hoping, it can either air straight through from the fall, or starting at midseason.

      • Charissa says:

        I agree. I think a lot of shows would benefit from having shorter seasons (time-wise, not necessarily episode-wise) with no repeats.

  2. Dee says:

    Cool, really enjoying Alcatraz.
    Some of those criminals are beyond creepy and disturbed, which is why they ended up in the island to begin with :P

  3. Mike says:

    As confusing as Fox’s mid-season scheduling has been, it all surprisingly has made a lot of sense to me. lol I’ve enjoyed their strategy with the 12 episode seasons of Terra Nova, Alcatraz and Touch so that they all aired uninterrupted. (even if it may not have been their original intentions)
    It will be a shame to be without Fringe for those 3 weeks in March but it will probably coincide with some of March Madness anyway and it’ll be worth it for the consecutive episodes until the “season” (optimistic) finale when it returns!

  4. spike says:

    FOX is the WORST, how is anyone supposed to keep up with their damn breaks all the time … at least the other networks r somewhat consistant

    • Mike says:

      You just have to look at this way. If a show has a full 22/24 episode order and it premieres in the fall, there are going to have to be breaks or reruns regardless so that they can end in May. (that goes for any network) I’d rather get the episodes in large chunks and take some hiatuses in between than have a new episode this week, a rerun next week, new the week after, etc…
      The only blunder I think FOX made with Fringe this year was with the World Series. Sure, they had to air game 7, but they should have still aired what was originally intended to be the fall finale in during November sweeps somehow. I think it would have given fans more hope in this season’s premise and would have increased word of mouth for its return in January.
      Of course, if that happened, that would have meant even one less week of Fringe in 2012. So I guess FOX would have been “THE WORST” again. :-)

      • shaun says:

        They should use more short series instead of leaving so many gaps.Create some 13 episode shows or something.

        • elr says:

          That is exactly what I was thinking. If a season started in September then it could run uninterrupted for 13 weeks, which is in time for winter breaks. Then in January or February they could start a whole other series and run it for 13 or so weeks without any interruptions. Why do series all have to end in may anyway?

        • Mike says:

          But they DID! lol Touch, Alcatraz and Terra Nova are/were all SHORT season orders. And they will essentially be run interrupted. (Touch got a sneak preview to cash in on all of the NFL publicity time, but it will resume around when Alcatraz is finishing up).
          But there are some FULL season orders still on FOX’s slate as well as other networks’ slates. That’s why I’m saying FOX seems to be moving in the right direction. lol

  5. Rock Golf says:

    I’m afraid all that may do is strengthen NBC’s The Voice and possibly Smash, which air opposite.

  6. Annie says:

    Any idea when Fox will make a decision in Terra Nova?

  7. Cheryl says:

    Just please don’t cancel Alcatraz, Touch, or Fringe!! They are excellent shows and we look forward to seeing more! Thanks, Fox!! :)

  8. paul says:

    Not happy about yet ANOTHER break in the Fringe schedule…..this season hasn’t had the chance to get running with the stupid U.S Sports or what ever, then the ridiculously long Christmas break….If I was a conspiracy theorist I’d be saying this was a ploy to put viewers off, other than die hard fans, which would see the rating drop even further, and give them a chance to axe a show which all ready, to quote, “Losses them a lot of money”….

  9. kip says:

    Did they shoot 12 or 13 eps of Touch? Also is Fringe getting at least a 13 ep 5th and final season? If so I assume it would premiere about a year from now so it ends in May 2013.

    • Mike says:

      Yikes, I just keep responding to every comment here. Sorry Matt! lol I made a blunder above saying Touch had 12 episodes. I googled it, it’s 13.
      But there is no news on Fringe’s renewal yet. The lastest scoop I had read was that Warner Bros. wasn’t ready to give up on it yet. So they’ll have to negotiate with FOX and hopefully they’ll come up with some kind of financial compromise. We probably won’t know anything until at least May though.

      • Matt Webb Mitovich, Editor-at-Large TVLine.com says:

        Yes, you likely read that FRINGE Season 5 status report here: http://www.tvline.com/2012/01/fringe-season-5-renewal-cancellation/

      • jules says:

        Hope they come to some agreement. I need at least one more season of Peter, Olivia and Walter, even if it’s a shortened season. I dealt with shorter seasons of LOST. I can do it with Fringe too.

        • Mike says:

          Well technically the shorter seasons of LOST were a compromise between ABC and the LOST producers. The producers WANTED an end date so they could work towards it rather than sitting in limbo (pun intended) forever. The producers wanted 2 more 24 episode seasons and they compromised with ABC to keep the show on for 3 more years with 3 16 episode seasons. It worked out for the best for both sides though. LOST became an EVENT each mid-season and the writers were able to tell 3 mostly contained stories without worrying about the usual filler episodes that come with larger seasons.
          I’m starting to realize how much useless knowledge I have in my head. :-)

          • Mikael says:

            And in the case of Lost, you’d think that knowing the end date 3 seasons in advance would mean that they’d have enough time to come up with a decent end to the show, which alot of people think they did not.

          • Mike says:

            A lot of people did not, but many people did. I thought they did a fabulous job. There was no way to wrap it all up in a neat and tidy bow, but I couldn’t imagine a more exciting and twisty thrill of a ride for 6 years than what they gave us.

  10. Not sure if we’re supposed to be excited by the idea of resting Fringe for the purposes of an uninterrupted stream to the end. The longer Fringe is off the air, the more I worry…

  11. mel says:

    march 23 = the day after my birthday.
    last year they renewed fringe for a fourth season on march 24th. best belated birthday present ever!
    they should do it again this year.
    :)

  12. Jules says:

    Honestly, I think it’s disrespectful of FOX to “let down” his veteran BEST drama for 8 years
    [H]OUSE deserve better!!
    I’m a true Housefan since day1 and even enjoy watching repeats…but now, with this rescheduling will have to suffer of anticipation to wait a full month to see the last 9 episodes of the remaining of the season…PAINFUL!!!
    Plus, this news came the overshadow the upcoming episodes…cannot wait any longer for this Monday “Nobody’s Fault”…. Cannot stop watching the promos….
    As for Alcatraz&Touch…both are enjoyable to watch, but still rookies…have to make/prove them self to gain my admiration like [H]ouse..
    I cannot imagine/digest the idea of not seeing my favorite addiction (for 9th season) nxt fall either…the only reason I’m glue to my tv on Monday’s night @ FOX…

    • Brendan says:

      Totally with you. I actually prefer they end on a nice, long run of new episodes, but at least let it keep the timeslot with reruns in the mean time (a rerun of House is still better than a new episode of many, many tv shows). Also really excited for Monday’s episode, it’s going to be epic!

    • Tracy says:

      Couldn’t agree more, [H]ouse deserve better!!!

      • oh well says:

        From the very words of Greg Yaitanes – “no one deserves anything”. They produce the show the way they see fit, the viewers either watch or not, the network honchos crunch the numbers. Pure business that has nothing to do with respect or lack thereof. If TPTB brought decent viewing numbers in relation to the show costs, the outcome would have been different. Still better than a mid-season cancellation.

  13. Irishgirl says:

    Another break for Fringe?? GAH!!!

  14. Cristian says:

    For the rest of its fourth -and last, I hope- season.

  15. Drew says:

    I haven’t seen enough Touch to draw any conclusions yet, but I really do wish they’d cancel Alcatraz. The writing is horrible. The casting isn’t great. I finally gave up on the show because it was just not good.
    On top of that, every show that isn’t canceled means that Fringe is needed on the network that much less. So as far as I’m concerned, they should just get rid of everything except New Girl and Raising Hope if it means saving Fringe. I see people calling Alcatraz the replacement to Fringe and it drives me crazy. If Fringe’s writing sucked that much, I wouldn’t care if it was canceled.

  16. Renee says:

    But what about Terra Nova?!

  17. Sg.Grant says:

    I’m actually ok with this. I enjoy Fringe, House, Alcatraz, and Touch, so having new episodes of any of these shows ever week for the rest of the year is great. I wish CBS would do the same, so I don’t have to wait 3-4 weeks between new episodes of HIMYM.

  18. kevin says:

    Don’t know what Fox is going to do for the rest of the season depending on the fate of their respective shows. HOUSE may end after eight seasons or if it gets renewed for a ninth year which would definitely be its last, ALCATRAZ should have a great chance for a second season, both IDOL and X FACTOR are the real reason I really don’t care about and the fate of FRINGE and TERRA NOVA remains unanswered. But TOUCH is destined to be Fox’s next big thing and let’s hope the network may have a better shot of getting picked up for another season.

  19. Dizzle says:

    I don’t think any network would actively try and kill a show – at the end of the day, TV is a business so why harm your own business by purposefully destroying one of it’s products?
    Kitchen Nightmares repeats better than Fringe, that’s as simple as it is. And it’ll be better for Fringe’s own averages to not water them down with low repeat ratings – which means a better chance of renewal.

    • gemapet says:

      I think NBC has been the worst when it comes to ‘purposefully destroying one of it’s products’. They got rid of both FNL and Southland way too soon. Life was great but wasn’t easy to keep track of – just look at what Damien Lewis is doing now. Rushed L&O:LA so it didn’t have a chance – when it came back re-vamped it was so much better but the damage was already done. Latest ‘foot-in mouth’ – Fear Factor’s return only to prempt or reschedule numerous times. They are not helping their cause to move up in the ratings.

  20. TMB says:

    Oh goodie, Kitchen Nightmares, just what every Fringe fan wants to see! Really?! WTH Fox?!! I’m sick of the best shows getting pushed aside for crappy shows just because Fox is full of a bunch of greedy bastards who are too cheap to stand behind great TV. We’ve already endured a 2 month “hiatus” and now we have to endure another 3 weeks?! Fox is pushing the limits of acceptability. What, are their programming managers ADD? Can they not just let a series run a season without constantly interrupting the flow? Is this what programming has come to? Schizophrenic, sporadic and inconsistency? No wonder people are turning to the internet for their viewing content!

  21. Sammy83 says:

    And they wonder why the audiences of Fringe don’t increase. If the Royal Wedding have had those many breaks, it wouldo’t had audience either!

  22. Joe Jackson says:

    My 1st thought is that his is the end of the line for both House & Fringe. They want repeat-free runs till the series finales of both shows. The repeat-free runs will help ratings as the promote both series ending.

  23. John Grose says:

    “Similarly, Fox is using some reheated Kitchen Nightmares to rest Fringe for the first three weeks of March, so that the sci-fi series can return March 23 with all-new episodes for the rest of its fourth season.”
    …aannnnd then go on to it’s fifth season, right? Right? – John

  24. Theresa says:

    I love terra nova and Alcatraz. Please extend both of these shows!

  25. David Holley says:

    If Fringe was a boxer, and being hit from all directions, be hard not to stay down on the canvas, and just throw in the towel, instead of continuing trying to get up and box on.
    Especially when the opponent throwing those punches, is not only your rival (other Network Shows) but happens to be the referee as well (Fox) as well.
    So many hits over a period of time can’t be good, so much so that the boxer’s corner (Warner Brothers) you would think would have to have a chat with the referee (Fox) about his handling of the fight.
    Why was the show moved to another night when it was going all right on the night it was?
    Ok so Baseball happened Fine, why wasn’t hiatus delayed another week to show the proper fall finale.
    And why now, when the show is showing signs of improving, you want to so call “rest” it for 3 weeks. Just like as a boxer improves with successive bouts, so fringe improves with successive showings.
    These questions I would ask if I was in Fringes Corner and certainly before I accepted the Judges decision.

  26. Bailey @ABPW says:

    I’m worried that this means the end for Fringe. I’ll be really disappointed, but with the way they’ve thrown it under the bus this season, I won’t be that surprised.
    That said, I am THRILLED about the Alcatraz news. I’m glad they don’t have to throw together any more episodes, since that could get risky, but I love what they’ve done so far and I’m excited for the extension.

  27. Grace says:

    PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE RENEW [H]OUSE!! It has been my very favorite tv show for the past 8 seasons and I have NEVER missed an episode. I’m not ready to say good-bye to Dr. House yet. I need at least another season or two. I will miss the most AMAZING Hugh Laurie so much and the great stories on [H]OUSE.
    PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE RENEW [H]OUSE!!!

  28. Cindy says:

    It doesn`t look good for House and Fringe. That´s sad. :( I suspected That fringe will get cancelled, the ratings are very bad But HOUSE, seriously??? Come on Fox!

  29. Linda Karczewski says:

    Please ! ! ! don’t take HOUSE away. Have a Season 9 for HOUSE. Its getting better for this season. PLEASE don’t cancel the show FOX. You will be upsetting ALOT of FANS > one is me, for sure.

  30. Michelle says:

    I LOVE FRINGE!!!! It is my most favorite tv show and I will be EXTREMELY PO’d if it gets canceled. I love the characters, I love the actors, I enjoy the storyline and the wondering of “how is it all gonna end up”… it’s interesting and it’s different. I like the dynamics between the characters and I like how the Fringe Division had become more of a family than a government agency. I want to see Peter get home!

  31. Anna says:

    I have a love hate relationship with the FOX Network. Television dramas not withstanding this station is infamous for lousy and highly biased news coverage. That’s the “hate” part. (exceptions do exist however, like the morning news team in Sacramento Ca. Love ya Bethany,Darrin, John et all)
    Blah~ so, that’s not a full hate…maybe a strong dislike for Fox News. The “LOVE” part is ALL FRINGE BABY!!! Sure House rocks, Alcatraz has potential…lalalala…FRINGE is the ONLY show that I actually change my schedule around for. I don’t want it streaming or on Netflix. I want it “live: so to speak. This takes my LOVE and squashes it into near hate due to all the scheduling conflicts. What SEEMS to be the problem FOX? I don’t want to hear your personal problems. I shouldn’t have to be a TV executive to understand the ins and outs of why I CANNOT dependably tune in on any given Thursday or now Friday night at 9:00pm and KNOW my favorite show will be on week after week. Im sick of this. Don’t blame the show if you don’t have viewership. BLAME YOURSELF FOX! YOU S##K EGGS!

  32. JJ says:

    FRINGE: Fringe is some of the best television that I have seen. In fact, it is the only television show that I will watch on a consistent basis… each and every week. I will watch Fringe and perhaps one news show each week.
    FOX: When you look at your marketing numbers… what numbers tells you what demographic you are pulling in? Do you have a category for “90K income,” Male, “only watches one show per week”? If there are more like me, that says a lot. When Fringe goes off the air, there is nothing that will pull me back in. So, my demographic is lost. I just wonder if smart, entertaining television is an oxymoron and simply can’t compete with reality shows and fantasies. Or perhaps the problem is mine… and I shouldn’t be watching television at all. Regardless… there have got to be advertisers who REALLY want to reach an educated, discerning audience with their products.

  33. Charles says:

    I don’t know why they didn’t let anyone know that house would stop airing until April. They should have atleast said it at the end of an episode

  34. Storo says:

    How about someone doing something for Wednesday night? Wednesday is the worst night on tv.

  35. Steve says:

    Fox, wake up already! Fringe is one of the smartest, best scripted shows ever! It’s not just about ratings which revolve around brain-dead losers watching Jersey Shore or some other voyeuristic pablum. You need to make your sponsors understand that most people with high incomes also have high intelligence and like shows that are smart! We’re the ones that can still afford to buy new cars, electronics, etc. Keep Fringe going for at least another season and at least wrap it up nicely.
    And tell JJ not to let the ending run 15 minutes too long like they did with Lost and screwed up 6 years of great programming. That series should have ended with them syncing up with their pre-crash timeline with both memories intact, instead of some BS limbo crap that they swore wasn’t going to be the case. What a let down….

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