Tonight marks the return of Fringe following a six week hiatus. Fans are understandably nervous by the network’s decision to move the series from the most-watched night of TV to one of the least. FOX Entertainment President Kevin Reilly insists that they haven’t given up on Fringe and hopes that faithful viewers will follow it to a new night. He recently said, “It’s a fantastic show, and honestly, I’d be heartbroken if it went away.”
Still, the show’s ratings have been in decline this season, perhaps because it’s now airing opposite CBS’ geeky Big Bang Theory instead of Survivor. Fringe star Joshua Jackson isn’t sure why the ratings have gone down. He tells the Daily News, “If you put a gun to my head, I couldn’t explain to you why the viewership has gone down from last year when all the pieces remain the same. It’s a mystery to me.”
Thus far this season, Fringe has been averaging a 1.9 rating in the 18-49 demographic and 5.08 million viewers. That’s significantly lower than last season when it averaged a 2.8 rating and 7.34 million.
Despite Reilly’s support, few are naive enough to believe that, if the numbers aren’t there, Fringe won’t be cancelled. Jackson believes that the producers have an emergency plan to wrap up the series at the end of this season if need be. He hopes that won’t happen and rationed, “It’s not that not enough people are watching Fringe, it’s that not enough people are watching Fringe during the hour that it’s on the air, which is key for the network. You don’t have to go to school the next morning. You can always go out drinking an hour later.”
What do you think? Will the move to Fridays kill Fringe? Will it be renewed for season four or be cancelled?
Image courtesy FOX.