FOX: If 'Fringe' Is Renewed Here Are 7 Reasons That Had Nothing To Do With It

Categories: 2-Featured,Cancel/Renew Fox Shows,Cancel/Renew Index

Written By

April 24th, 2012

Click this link for the latest FOX renewal / cancellation information:

Our Renew / Cancel Index predicts potential renewal or cancellation for scripted broadcast primetime shows by the end of the 2011-12 season in May, 2012. (includes results from January 2- April 22, 2012):

Program Status Renew/ Cancel Index
Fringe (F) :| :| :| 0.50
I Hate My Teenage Daughter* canceled 0.61
Breaking In canceled 0.66
The Cleveland Show renewed 0.67
Allen Gregory * canceled 0.72
The Finder (part F) :oops: 0.86
Raising Hope renewed 0.87
Bob's Burgers :| :| :| 0.88
Terra Nova * canceled 0.90
Alcatraz* :cry: :cry: 0.93
American Dad renewed 0.97
Napoleon Dynamite* :| :| :| 1.06
Bones renewed 1.05
House final season 1.10
The Simpsons renewed 1.23
Touch :) :) :) :) 1.27
New Girl renewed 1.35
Glee renewed 1.37
Family Guy renewed 1.39

4/26 Update: Fringe renewed for a final 13 episode season.
My partner in crime disagrees, but, as I have all season, I still have Fringe as a "toss up" for cancellation or renewal because of the ways syndication, or even *potential* syndication can effect the "normal" decision making process.

However, if Fringe is renewed, I'm sure fans will trumpet a variety of reasons why it happened, and FOX's formal and informal PR apparatus will do its best to reinforce some of those reasons, here are some reasons that will have had nothing to do with it:

  • Fox executives love the show! They love all their shows, even the ones they cancel.
  • Fox wants scripted shows on Friday! Right up until they announce a schedule with no scripted shows on Friday. Fox wants to make money on Friday's, they'll do that the best way they can at the time. The "We want scripted shows on Friday" is convenient Hollywood-friendly PR while they still *have* scripted shows on Friday.
  • Fox can't get any better ratings on Fridays! Tell that to Gordon Ramsay.
  • Fringe fans make people listen. They make people take notice. Have loud voices and are heard  That's just producer cheerleading. The only things that Fox execs "listen" to from the fans are the ratings.
  • The critics love Fringe! Lone Star.
  • It has great increases in DVR viewing! Big increases from a tiny base still equal tiny totals, compared to other Fox shows.
  • Anna Torv is tangentially related to Rupert Murdoch! Rupert Murdoch would cancel a show starring his mother if the numbers didn't add up.

What will be the real reason Fringe gets renewed if it happens? As I noted two weeks ago:

Bonus update: Photo replaced with a screen cap from a syndicated airing of 'Til Death. Yes, doubters, if a ratings loser like 'Til Death can be syndicated, so can Fringe!
The Renew / Cancel Index above includes results beginning January 2, 2012. How did FOX's shows stack up based on their Fall results? Click here.

*shows no longer on the air have their Renew/Cancel Index "frozen" at the point they left the schedule.


  • :oops: - certain to be cancelled by May, 2012
  • :cry: :cry:- more likely to be cancelled than renewed by May, 2012
  • :| :| :| - toss up between renewal or cancellation by May, 2012
  • :) :) :) :) - more likely to be renewed than cancelled by May, 2012
  • :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: - certain to be renewed by May, 2012

The Renew/Cancel Index is the ratio of a scripted show's new episode adults 18-49 ratings relative to the new episode ratings of the other scripted shows on its own network. It's calculated by dividing a show's new episode Live+Same Day adults 18-49 average rating by the Live+Same Day new episode average of all the new scripted show episodes on the show's own network. The network's average ratings in the calculation are not time weighted (ex. hour long shows are not weighted twice what 30 minute shows are).

(F) -Fridays: Shows airing on Fridays were renewed with significantly lower than average Indexes.

How would the Renew / Cancel Index Have Done Predicting Last Season's Scripted Show Fates? Check out how the Renew / Cancel Index predicted renewals and cancellations from the 2010-11 broadcast television season.

  • Carmen

    @ JJJ

    Under any other circumstances, I think that the longer that it goes with no announcement being made (about Fringe renewal) that it is more likely bad news (for Fringe fans) than good news.

    If they had a deal, there would be no real reason not to announce it. If a decision has been made to cancel, then it is probably beneficial (to Fox) not to announce.

    I say ‘under normal circumstances’, since generally the rule would be that a show would experience even greater ratings declines once it was common knowledge the show was gone.
    If the case of Fringe, though, its already lost everyone it ever will. It has a die hard 1.xx (to be generous) fan base that will stay regardless.

    But, as stated, a delay is not particularly good news for the fans.
    At this point, Fox may be giving WB the full lead in to the upfronts to say those magic words “free licensing”.

  • Robert

    It will get renewed because I watch it….not a single show I watch ever gets cancelled…


  • JJJ

    @tony–where did John Noble say this?

  • Dennis

    John Noble said at his Q&A the following AMAZING things:

    1. Whether or not we have a fifth season of Fringe will be announced by April 27th, 2012. Yup, that’s right folks. This week!

    2. The fifth season will take place in the future world of “Letters in Transit”, and new characters will be introduced.

    3. The fifth season will be the last season. It will also only be around 13 episodes.

    4. Walter will probably find his perfect strawberry milkshake. Though, I’m betting this will happen off screen.

  • JJJ

    @Dennis, then you are really saying John Noble is saying there will be a final 5th short season.

  • Mr Mumble


  • anvici

    @ AO

    Why do you think that has something to do with “they want scripted shows on Fridays”?
    They saw potential in these specific shows, so they kept them. Not because those were scripted shows.

    Gilligan’s Island or Gunsmoke? While I am vaguely familiar with those names, those shows must have aired way before my time. So I can’t say anything about that.

    Don’t know much about SN nor its ratings of previous seasons, but what has “Ostroff canceled Supernatural because she didn’t “get it”. WB uncancelled it […]” (WB, the studio?) got to do with networks in relation to the scripted vs unscripted-thing?

    Oh of course we don’t have all the facts networks have – but this whole thing with “they want scripted shows” strikes me as “we produce only yellow cars because we want to and we like them so much, no matter that people much prefer to buy red cars”, sure, they do scripted shows on Fri, as long as that makes sense from a business POV, but not because those shows are scripted.

    @ danielcw

    I think they’re already done with TN, not sure though, their crappy dubbed tv over here is almost unwatchable. Summer, eh? Oh well, at least they didn’t ship it to K1 like they did with disappointing BoP’s S2.

  • Stephen

    If they had a deal, there would be no real reason not to announce it.

    Sure there would. If a renewal is announced tomorrow before Fringe airs, it likely decreases the number of viewers (and more specifically Nielsen viewers) that watch the episode. If fans know their show is out of the cancellation danger zone, they might get lazy with same-night viewing. Probably wouldn’t make a huge difference, but maybe a tenth of a point or two.

    Along the same lines: why should WB and FOX announce that the 5th season will be the last? I don’t mind if they both privately know that it will be the final season (and wrap the storyline up accordingly), but announcing that it will be the last tells the Nielsen viewers that they don’t need to go out of the way to stay home on Friday to keep their show alive. I think that is exactly what happened to Chuck earlier this year. I think Chuck’s rating average would have been a couple tenths of a point higher had fans thought the possibiity existed for a sixth season. Obviously that is speculation, though.

  • Carmen

    @ Stephen

    First you say (Fringe)

    “If fans know their show is out of the cancellation danger zone, they might get lazy with same-night viewing”

    Then you say in the same comment post (Chuck)

    “but announcing that it will be the last tells the Nielsen viewers that they don’t need to go out of the way to stay home on Friday to keep their show alive.”

    So basically you are saying

    1) If fans know a show is renewed (out of cancellation danger), then they will get lazy about watching it live!

    2) If fans know a show is being cancelled, then they will get lazy about watching it live!

  • Kris

    Bill, I have a lot of respect for you, and I love the fact that you follow JWFRINGE’s tweets….but I do disagree with you on a few points…..

    “Fox executives love the show! They love all their shows, even the ones they cancel.” – True, but Ari (who makes the promo’s for Fringe) had said “Everyone I work with is a big fan of the show” and that “Everyone he works with is a big fan of the show”. I know masked scheduler is….not sure about Kevin Reilly. I do however know that Fringe has received special treatment by FOX, and if Fringe is renewed this year, the love for Fringe over there would have “something” to do with the decision.

    “Fringe fans make people listen. They make people take notice. Have loud voices and are heard – That’s just producer cheerleading. The only things that Fox execs “listen” to from the fans are the ratings.” – Jericho ring a bell? A show that was canceled for ratings, and brought back due to the noise the fans made. And producers for Fringe in an interview last year said the last straw for the fourth season renewal was FOX receiving “Tubs and Tubs” of Red Vines Licorice. If Fringe were any other show, it would be canceled this year at it’s current numbers. If Fringe is renewed this year, there is no doubt in my mind that it has “something” to do with the fanbase of the show (though it would also have to do with Warner Brothers going *really* low on the license fee).

  • Kris

    Also… I do agree with your other points…. just not on those two! ;-)

  • Stephen

    @ Carmen

    Yep. I am saying that, when viewers think that their viewing habits MIGHT make an impact on whether or not their favorite show gets renewed, they are probably more likely to tune in live to show their suport. If, on the other hand, they know that the fate of their show has already been decided (one way or the other), they might ultimately just DVR it and watch the next day. Particularly for a Friday show.

    Not sure where the inconsistency in my two statements is….

  • The End


    Being silent on twitter means absolutely nothing, he could just be busy. To think if you were working on a tv show, would you have time to tweet everyday? I think not.

    Unless you’re on a hiatus(As in between seasons) being busy and not being online much is understandable.


    Fringe is renewed. FACT.

  • tvfreak

    FRINGE – 68 (-3)
    RAISING HOPE – 20 (+2)
    ALCATRAZ – 36 (-2)
    TOUCH – 33 (+3)


    16. The Finder (4-12, 6:00am)
    15. Glee (4-12, 6:16am)
    14. Breaking In (4-12, 9:40am)
    13. Bob’s Burgers (4-12, 9:40am)
    12. Napoleon Dynamite (4-13, 3:38am)
    11. The Cleveland Show (4-13, 8:39am)
    10. The Simpsons (4-13, 10:49am)
    9. American Dad (4-13, 5:26pm)
    8. Family Guy (4-13, 5:40pm)
    7. Bones (4-14, 1:57pm)
    6. House (4-14, 1:57pm)
    5. New Girl (4-25, 12:11pm)

    From Raising Hope episode 1.12 “Romeo and Romeo” –
    Maw Maw: Well, the universal ball joint’s no picnic, but the transmission’s been leaking around four spots. Why didn’t you have me look at it earlier?
    Burt: You’re never lucid for this long. Had a chance last week, but by the time I got you in the coveralls, you thought you were an exterminator and spent three and a half hours under the house.
    Maw Maw: Did I kill anything?
    Jimmy: Two rats and a snake.
    Maw Maw: Man, the things you people tell me I do. Getting old is quite a ride.

  • Rebecca
  • tvfreak

    @Cory: Yeah, you’re gonna need to save your party supplies. How about for The Finder’s cancellation?

  • James

    As Fringe-renewed was trending worldwide,i thought id encourage the fans to drop by and chew the cud with Bill.”Ratings are all that matters” Whats happened here then? A Fringe event?

  • dennist

    I don’t care what the reason was, I am glad that we get 13 more after this season! VIVA LA FRINGE!

  • James

    Congratulations goes to Bill for winning the “career ending article” award.
    You could change it to “7 reasons why Fringe was renewed” and then pretend it all goes away.

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