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.

  • Bunny

    One of the fringe producers recently tweeted that he was 9.99 sure it will get renewed…I believe tvbynumbers more tho

  • Fake Me Out

    @Bill Gorman “Very difficult keeping all the different non-reasons in my head!

    Clearly it’s time for a very special, once a generation aberration, Why Fringe gets renewed Bingo Card … keeps all the theories in one place and can be used to judge Press Releases, articles and comments based on the number of squares covered.


    Help save Endgame and watch season 1 on Hulu

  • TV Gord

    I love Fringe and when it was renewed last year, I figured THIS would be the final season to satisfy all of the die-hard fans. When did the reality shift happen that made THIS just another season, and ONE MORE 13-week season is for the fans???

    I do not expect a renewal and I will be terribly disappointed, but I will have nothing but thanks to Fox for four incredible years! They kept it on the air long after most business-people would.

    I enjoyed the article, but forgive me for this pet peeve: the headline should read, “Here are”, not “Here’s”. :-]

  • Cory

    FRINGE – 62 (-3)
    ALCATRAZ – 25 (+2)
    NEW GIRL – 11 (+3)
    TOUCH – 36 (-2)

  • Bill Gorman

    ” Why Fringe gets renewed Bingo Card “

    I just may have to get the Bingo Card maker down from the attic!

  • Bill Gorman

    “I enjoyed the article, but forgive me for this pet peeve: the headline should read, “Here are”, not “Here’s”. :-]”


  • Androme

    In my first comment about Fringe:
    I have only seen one episode: the one about computers sucking peoples faces in.

    I liked that episode, so I hope that Fringe gets renewed for that final season for the fans’ sake.

    I’ve never seen the show except that single episode, but I feel optimistic for this final season.

  • mack

    Bill, shows like Fringe are not syndication friendly, unlike say, Friends or Ally Mc Beal. In fact, Fringe is positively the worst kind of show for syndication. If you’re putting all your chips on the ‘syndication’ excuse, I’d come up with something else.

  • The End

    Being serious here, the only way Fringe will come back, as mentioned is if the network gets the show at a cheap enough price. I don’t expect it to move days either.

    Any other reason is just nonsense.

    Producers/Cast being confident – Proven to be nonsense.
    Cosmic Occurances – Proven to be nonsense.
    Planetary Alignments – Proven to be nonsense
    Aliens demanding renewal or the earth is doomed – Proven to be nonsense.
    Person quantum leaping into the Fox execs body and renewing – Proven to be nonsense.

    Though the final reason would explain Harry’s Law being renewed if it does happen(Unlikely)

    Some humor there but in general Fringes renewal chances are pretty much what Bill and Robert have been saying for weeks, months now and nothing more.

  • Rebecca

    FRINGE – 59 (-3)
    RAISING HOPE – 27 (+3)
    ALCATRAZ – 25
    NEW GIRL – 13 (+2)
    TOUCH – 34 (-2)

    Found this quote as someone’s signature line on another forum (Disney related):
    From Family Guy (unknown season/episode):
    Peter Griffin: Because if we never teach our kids to read, how will they ever know what’s on?

  • TV Gord


    Thanks, Bill. (Sorry for being ‘that guy’!)

  • Bill Gorman

    “Bill, shows like Fringe are not syndication friendly, unlike say, Friends or Ally Mc Beal. In fact, Fringe is positively the worst kind of show for syndication. If you’re putting all your chips on the ‘syndication’ excuse, I’d come up with something else.”

    It’s all relative. Fringe will be sold into syndication. How much WB will get for it is far more easily anticipated by WB than you.

  • Tony

    FRINGE – 62 (+3)
    RAISING HOPE – 22 (-3)
    ALCATRAZ – 25
    NEW GIRL – 15 (+2)
    TOUCH – 32 (-2)

  • Fred


    I think you said it right. To my mind the opportunity cost is too large, even if the show is given to Fox for free — especially bearing in mind that they have already been losing money due to the show over at least the past year, if not 2.

    At some point there has to be an accountant who steps in and says, hey guys stop throwing away the chance at money.

    I also think that the show doesn’t make much financial sense for WB either. Fringe seems like a show that won’t do well in syndication. It’s far too serialized and has a well, fringe, audience. If it were a cheap show to make, it would make some sense to pitch it for free to at least test the syndication waters. But it’s a very expensive show, so that’s quite a gamble.

    I’d be inclined to think the only reason the show would get renewed at this point would be due to personal foibles of execs. I can’t begin to think it would be a good business decision.

    Certainly not a good creative one, it’s hanging a dead albatross round the neck of Fox. From a marketing point of view, it seems suicidal to have a dead show clogging up your network, with all the anti-buzz that creates. It’s bad branding. Especially after the failures of Terra Nova and Alcatraz.

  • Dennis

    When did it change to +3 and -2 ??

    FRINGE – 65 (+3)
    RAISING HOPE – 19 (-3)
    ALCATRAZ – 27 (+2)
    NEW GIRL – 13 (-2)
    TOUCH – 32

  • Richard Steven Hack

    Bill: Excuse me, are you saying that EVERY show that reaches syndication level GETS a syndication deal? I was not aware of that. And I’m not talking about on a network in Outer Slobovia…or a deal that makes ten cents per episode…

    Please confirm. My understanding is that POTENTIAL for syndication does not mean every show GETS one (with the possible exception of for Outer Slobovia for ten cents an episode).

    I find it hard to believe that WB will do that for Fringe. I could understand paying Fox to keep TSCC on the air as a lead-in for a major motion picture opening right after the show goes off the air, but paying for Fringe for another lousy 13 episodes is going to raise the syndication revenue enough to make it worthwhile?

    Also, Fox, even on a Friday night, is supposed to find it acceptable to run ANYTHING as long as it’s cheap and forego the higher than minimum ad rates it could get by running something else?

    I find both notions hard to believe.

  • Erin W

    I don’t think a successful run in syndication is out of the realm of possibility for Fringe. There are a lot of shows that I discovered once they were on at a set time every weeknight. Coming back to a show once a week is hard; sitting down to a show that’s on every night while you’re eating dinner is easy. (Although people may not want to combine Fringe and dinner.)

    Also, Anna Torv is no longer related to Rupert Murdoch. He was married to her aunt, who is the blood relative, but they were divorced long before Fringe came along. Murdoch has got no reason to make whimsical scheduling decisions on her behalf.

  • Rebecca

    In the game rules on page 2.

  • Michael

    Any chance they renew “alcatraz” and move that to the deathstar Friday after Fringe if it’s renewed..or if It’s NOT…what are the chances alcatraz takes that time slot??? :O

  • AC75

    @Bill Gorman

    It’s all relative. Fringe will be sold into syndication. How much WB will get for it is far more easily anticipated by WB than you

    If Fringe does not yet have a syndication deal for the 80 something episodes they have, would that impact the likelihood of the show getting more episodes?

    What I mean is, if there were a whole bunch of stations out there looking to snap Fringe up vs. no one showing any interest at all, would that mean anything right now when it comes to making more or letting it die?

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