Not Much Available To Make Case For 'Fringe'
But at least its audience is more stable than 'The River'
by MICHAEL HINMAN, posted Feb-25-2012
Source: Inside Blip
People who tune in to "Fringe" each week will be the first to tell you how much the show deserves to get at least one more season.
But despite the fact time-shifting viewing on DVRs and iTunes double its audience, it's still a money-loser for Fox. And the chances that the network will keep the show going, no matter how much the decision-makers love it, are slim to none.
Yet, despite "Fringe" competing more with The CW's best programming, like "Vampire Diaries," than the likes of NBC and CBS, it still has a very stable audience. In fact, its Audience Loyalty Index rating, as tracked by the GenreNexus, is a 92.9. That means of all the people who have tuned in to see at least one episode of "Fringe" this season, just under 93 percent of them return each week to watch it live.
So what is killing "Fringe"? Some might say it's the Friday night timeslot. But even before Fox moved it to this night at mid-season last year, the show was losing audience and losing ground. The move may have been one that got fans worried, but it might be the only reason why there was a renewal to this season in the first place.
Whether or not there will be more "Fringe" after this year will be decided soon, or at least announced soon if the decision has been made already. Fox has promised fans they will get closure if this season is indeed the end, but fans who have remained loyal to the show don't want to see that end quite yet.
In the meantime, fewer may even notice that other shows like Fox's "Alcatraz" or ABC's "The River" have ended. No decision has been made on either one just yet, but the future there doesn't look promising.
"Alcatraz," from J.J. Abrams, earned just a 3.6 rating/5 share, according to Fast National overnight ratings from The Nielsen Co., this past week. It was only down 5 percent from the previous week, but it's off 40 percent from its premiere.
It's also averaging what "House, M.D." did for Fox both in that timeslot earlier in the season, and one hour earlier now. The only difference, according to our sister site Inside Blip is that "House" has averaged a 4.3/6 in its last three outings, while "Alcatraz" has managed just a 3.8/6.
That means "Alcatraz" is losing nearly 12 percent of its lead-in audience from "House," which is now in its last season on Fox.
Yet that doesn't necessarily open the door for "Terra Nova," which is now averaging the same as "Alcatraz" in terms of audience. "Terra Nova's" per-episode cost is more than "Alcatraz" and "House" combined -- so just a comparison of raw numbers won't be enough to try and anticipate what the Fox bean-counters are going to decide.
But the network could give "Alcatraz" a chance to shine under a new showrunner and maybe in a different timeslot.
It looks like Fridays may be open very soon.
To find out how network television did as a whole for the week, check out our sister site, Inside Blip.
Top Network Genre Shows, Week of Feb. 19 -- [Audience Loyalty Index rating]
1. (1) Once Upon a Time (ABC) 5.5/9 [80.9]
2. (2) Alcatraz (Fox) 3.6/5 [78.0]
3. (3) The River (ABC) 3.0/5 [75.5]
4. (-) Grimm (NBC) 2.8/5 [79.8]
5. (4) Fringe (Fox) 1.9/3 [92.9]