I don’t blame FOX for Fringe’s decline in ratings. The fact is, Fringe is a challenging show that requires a lot of attention and has been positioned against some successful shows that don’t. Fringe runs against two of the most successful procedurals on the TV schedule, Grey’s Anatomy and CSI, as well as NBC’s block of 30-minute comedy The Office and Outsourced. Not even considering the cable offerings, Thursday at 9:00pm is your DVR’s equivalent of cardio-hour. Fringe simply couldn’t keep up with the competition there in terms of its must-watch-live status, but on the other hand Fringe is a phenom in DVR performance. Fringe tops the DVR charts consistently, destroying it’s live competitors Grey’s and CSI in terms of gains in the key demo of adult viewers aged 18-49. (See this piece at TVByTheNumbers.) The sad fact is: DVR numbers only tell the potential for a show if the mitigating DVR-choice factors – time slot, competition, etc. – were removed. On the up side, while Fringe still has some growing to do to crawl outside of the bubble, the fact is Friday could potentially convert a sizable share of those DVR numbers into live views.
Another thing worth considering about this scheduling thing is that while it is true that FOX often puts scripted shows on Fridays that are in danger of cancellation, in this case there may be an entirely different set of reasoning. FOX could be looking to Fringe as its best hope for bringing value back to Friday, after The Good Guys pretty much hosed the value of the time-slot. Networks use selected slices of time to set the value of their advertising space. They call this “The Sweeps.” During the sweeps, ratings data is tabulated to be representative of the various demos related to each time-slot. In the last sweeps period The Good Guys was essentially a joke. It pulled cable level live viewers, and even worse adult viewer demos. In the next round of sweeps, which kick off in February, FOX needs to bring some value back to that time slot – but at the same time cannot move a ‘successful’ show into a night where it will most assuredly lose viewers. Of the shows that would make the most sense – Lie To Me, Fringe, and Human Target – only Fringe will have enough new episodes available to make it through February sweeps. Again: Fringe was the only choice if FOX wanted to undo the devaluation of The Good Guys, there is simply nothing else on their schedule that could fill that spot.
Granted, it could be a lot of smoke blowing, but FOX head Kevin Reilly speaks of the Fringe scheduling in very positive terms on Deadline.com saying “Fringe has a very particular, loyal audience. If Fringe could stay near the current levels, we’ll get a big trade-up on Friday and will solve our problem there.”
The fact is, Fringe does have a very loyal audience and it is very likely Fringe will retain more core viewers in this Friday move than something like House, or Bones. The key word in Reilly’s statement is that he believes FOX has a ‘Friday Problem.’ The truth is, most networks do – aside from the potential for diminished demos in the adult range there are a lot of organic factors that make Friday a poor choice for major advertising campaigns. Fringe has a hard road ahead of itself to make Friday profitable enough to ensure a renewal, but the chances may be better than you think.
Fox executive defends ‘Fringe’ move
Fox’s entertainment president Kevin Reilly has defended the network’s decision to move Fringe to Friday nights.
Last week, Fox announced that in midseason American Idol will air on Wednesday and Thursday evenings.
The move means that Fringe, which currently airs on Thursdays, will be pushed back to Friday nights.
Although programmes airing on a Friday tend to struggle in the ratings, Reilly told Deadline that he does not expect Fringe to suffer.
“Fringe has a very particular, loyal audience,” he said. “If [Fringe] could stay near the current levels, we’ll get a big trade-up on Friday and solve our problem there.”
Fringe continues on December 2 at 9/8c on Fox.
Who’s News: Tim Meadows, Anna Torv and more!
Anna Torv, a native of Australia, has found a new home in Vancouver, where she films the Fox sci-fi show Fringe (Thursdays, 9 p.m. ET/PT). “Vancouver seems to be the yoga capital of the world,” says Torv, 32.”There’s a street just near where I live that actually has a different yoga studio on each corner. It’s a really nice form of exercise.” Her most difficult pose? “My legs are kind of tight, so I’m not very flexible in putting my body down on my legs. I can’t do the splits very well. That’s a waste of time. But I’m learning.”
MTB: What is beauty to you?
AT: To me, beauty is an attitude, more often than not. Whether it’s your own or in other people.
MTB: What role have you had that was most interesting to you from a beauty perspective?
AT: When I was at drama school in Australia, we used to have to do our own hair and make-up for stage performances. I always loved that. I would spend hours pouring through reference pictures. All the details of make-up and hair from the ’30s or ’40s or whatever time the play was set. I had my grandma teach me to roll my hair for that ’40s look, the way she used to do it, with a wooden spoon!
MTB: Tell me about the hair and make-up routine for “Fringe.”
AT: Simple! We have always tried to keep the look very simple, pony tails and minimal make up. She is an FBI agent and we thought to have her all ‘glam’ would be ridiculous.
MTB: What’s the best beauty trick you learned on set?
AT: Shading! Even with simple make-up you still want to make sure that there is some definition in your face. I am amazed how much shading can alter your face shape and help to hide imperfections.
MTB: Have you always been a blond? Would you experiment with other shades?
AT: I haven’t always been blonde, no. I’ve experimented with many shades. But I am enjoying the blonde for the moment.
MTB: Would you ever chop it all off? Why or why not?
AT: Twice have I gone with a drastic cut. Once into a tom boy shag and another time into a buzz cut. I still have the hair from the first time I cut it. You feel very exposed for the first few weeks, especially after having a big head of hair to hide behind. I think that long hair is much easier to manage. When it is short you have to style it and constantly trim. So from a maintenance perspective, long is much easier to manage.
MTB: What’s it like to watch yourself on screen or flip through magazines and see yourself?
AT: Sometimes it is fine, sometimes I cringe, and sometimes when I see pictures from a great shoot, I wish I woke up like that.
MTB: Is that an experience you’re comfortable with?
AT: I am getting more comfortable with it the more I do it. Working with different photographers and hair and makeup teams is all part of the learning experience.
MTB: What’s your favorite feature? Why? Which part of yourself are you most critical of (if any…)?
AT: These two questions are interchangeable. It is so connected to my mood and my attitude!
Photographer: Don Flood. Hair: Mark Townsend. Make Up: Robin Black. Fashion Director: Estee Stanley. Art Director: “Frank the Tank.” Dress: Catherine Malandrino. Shoes: Jimmy Choo.
The Pacific is now out on DVD and Blu-ray!
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Tonight airs 3×07 “The Abducted” and io9.com has already watched it and 3×08 “Entrada”.
Remember: Watch Fringe Live Tonight on Fox 9/8c
***May contain spoilers***
We’ve seen the next 2 blow-out episodes of Fringe!
Fringe has been ramping up the tension on its intense story of a war between two parallel Earths — but in the next two episodes, the action gets even spookier and more insane. Here’s our spoiler-free preview.
We were on the edge of our seat with impatience after seeing the end of last week’s episode, in which the alternate-universe version of mad scientist Walter Bishop decided that Olivia Dunham had outlived her usefulness. Could Olivia escape from the other universe she was trapped in before it was too late? We couldn’t wait to see what happened next.
But we’ve got bad news for you — after you watch tomorrow night’s episode, “The Abducted,” you’ll be left with a cliffhanger that’s twice as intense, and you’ll be stuck with a horrifying two-week wait until the following episode, which airs Dec. 2.
Without giving anything away, the next two episodes manage to pay off a lot of the anticipation that has been building up over the course of the season so far, while heightening the tension of the main storyline. Both Olivias are faced with their biggest challenges, and they’re both pushed to their limits. There are betrayals, there are revelations — and in the end, it comes down to how good both Olivias are at convincing people to trust them in spite of all the reasons not to.
But gratifyingly, we also get some new insights into just what the hell is going on in Walternate’s head — and there are new hints about the nature of this “war” between the two Earths. The ongoing story of the ancient super-weapon gets a few new twists, and the mythology gets even deeper. And one much-loved character gets more of the spotlight than ever before.
It’s all fantastic stuff, even if the Dec. 2 episode does have some odd plot holes here and there. All in all, Fringe is continuing to rock our worlds, and we can’t wait to see where it goes from here.