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

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4/26 Update: Fringe renewed for a final 13 episode season.
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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:

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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!
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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.

Notes:

  • :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.

 
  • Mike

    Could someone please tell me why touch is likely to be renewes instead of a toss up??

  • davie

    @Richard Steven Hack

    FOX ordered 3 Drama Pilots this year, Terra Nova is canceled already. The Finder is at Fringe’s levels during it’s first year run. Alcatraz ended it’s first season with a 1.6 18-49. That’s a failure rate of 100%.

    And House is now gone, too.

    Now, I don’t know what next years Pilots are looking like but I’m pretty sure FOX doesn’t have anything BIG lined up for the drama category.

    And you don’t think keeping Fringe around for 13 more really cheap episodes around for at the very least, a back up, isn’t a good idea?

    C’mon FOX…

  • http://tvbythenumbers.com Bill Gorman

    “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 can’t *prove* every show with enough episodes gets sold into syndication, but there are plenty of examples of shows being syndicated that did terrible ratings. As for how much it gets sold for? WB is a willing seller, they will find a willing buyer. Presumably, they can weigh the probable cash flow outcomes better than you can.

    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!

  • davie

    4*

    Sorry forgot about Touch. And my point still stands with a 75% failure rate with drama Pilots.

  • Dennis

    Cory
    “I will throw a party if Fringe gets canceled. It’s WAY overdue to be canceled and the day it’s canceled won’t be soon enough. The fans of the show (all 10 of them) are delusional to think it’s good enough to be on the air. The ratings don’t lie and that show has horrible ratings. Terra Nova was a better show than Fringe. Heck, season 2 of Breaking In is better than Fringe.”

    First off…. Terra Nova better then Fringe? Biggest laugh i’ve got all day
    Secondly last time I checked, 3 million people does not equal 10, nor the other millions of Fringe fans around the world.
    Thirdly low ratings does not mean a show is bad. Firefly, Arrested Development are 2 examples of brilliant shows that were canned due to low ratings.

    Now please, go troll somewhere else.

    @Rebecca I didn’t see the new rules, tanks ;)

  • http://tvbythenumbers.com Bill Gorman

    “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.”

    Of course he doesn’t, but plenty of crazy fans would disagree.

  • Rod

    Fringe is a well acted and well written sci-fi drama. I either watch it live or tivo it. There are few Shows similar to the popular X-Files and this is a perfect fit. jJ Abrams needs to give it more attention to keep it on the right track and it will reward Fox in reruns. I wouldn’t kill a quality show on the pretense that something “may” perform as well or better that Fringe.

  • Dennis

    Can someone tell me how Fringe was doing in the demo before it moved to Friday’s mid season 3??

  • halloween

    @Dennis
    Fringe was at 1.8-2.0 i think

  • Richard Steven Hack

    Davie: “And you don’t think keeping Fringe around for 13 more really cheap episodes around for at the very least, a back up, isn’t a good idea?”

    The fact that Fox’s new shows failed badly doesn’t mean they keep a KNOWN LOSER with minimum ad revenue around for another 13 weeks (especially when they then have to replace it for spring anyway.) It means they try four new shows – and maybe even slot a new show on Fridays to replace Fringe.

    They certainly can slot repeats of better performing week night shows on Friday and still make more revenue than Fringe will when it starts doing sub-1.0 numbers in the fall, even with a ZERO licensing fee.

    Bill: “Presumably, they can weigh the probable cash flow outcomes better than you can.”

    Which is a punt, not an answer. The issue is whether Fringe is really likely 1) to be syndicated at all given BOTH its genre nature AND its low ratings, and 2) whether such a deal merits another 13 expensive episodes, however the revenue is calculated. Both are doubtful.

    And the REAL issue remains whether FOX sees any merit in accepting minimum ad revenues just to enable the studio to do that. Even getting a show for free doesn’t make up for lost ad revenue. Fox could put almost anything in Fringe’s slot and make more money.

    “if a ratings loser like ‘Til Death can be syndicated, so can Fringe!”

    But the question is: HOW OFTEN are ratings losers with genre niche positions syndicated? Enough to justify the studio producing 13 more episodes (half an entire season) and giving them away?

    And how often has THAT actually happened?

    All I know about syndication is that Firefly and TSCC eventually got syndication deals – and if I remember correctly, both got pulled without airing all their syndicated episodes on the syndicated network due to lack of interest.

    I can easily see both the WB and Fox looking at those experiences and not willing to bet on another 13 episodes of Fringe being worth the risk.

  • http://tvbythenumbers.com Bill Gorman

    “And the REAL issue remains whether FOX sees any merit in accepting minimum ad revenues just to enable the studio to do that. Even getting a show for free doesn’t make up for lost ad revenue. Fox could put almost anything in Fringe’s slot and make more money.”

    That’s the ONLY issue re: renewal. And as was proven with ‘Til Death, Fox will accept *very* low ratings for a low license fee.

    “I can easily see both the WB and Fox looking at those experiences and not willing to bet on another 13 episodes of Fringe being worth the risk.”

    Sure, or they could decide that it is. While I take most of the Joel Wyman tweeting as cheerleading nonsense, I am certain that WB and Fox are talking about another season.

    Both think there is *some* financial outcome that would suit them each individually. The only issue is whether there is a financial outcome that will suit *both* of them at the same time.

  • mack

    What has the photo got anything to do with the article?

  • anvici

    So true these non-reasons, Bill. But it’s really amazing how so many people fall for them and are so naive or blind that they dismiss any reasonable counter-argument as pure pessimism, hate or whatever.

    1. “But they love the show” is like all those silly commentaries on DVDs, where everyone involved in the prod says that they’re so blessed to have the chance to work with all these amazing and super-talented other people, that they’re all like family, that they admire each other quite endlessly, that making this specific film has been the best experience ever, etc, etc. PR-blah-blah.

    2. I would have never considered that a reason, not even a non-reason. Networks want to make money, the more money the better. Who cares what kind of show makes that money? Are there really people who think #2 is a reason? Wow.

    3. Hey, even NBC (with Grimm) can get better ratings on a Friday. (Oh, and not that it matters, but it can manage better DVR+7 increase, too. Absolute numbers, of course, but relative numbers per se don’t mean a thing anyway.)

    4. Even if people (Fox execs) do listen – listening doesn’t generate any money, so it’s futile. Both listening and making people listen. (But then, participating in the twitter-campaign, for instance, feels better than not doing anything, it can’t hurt, it doesn’t cost a thing, so why not just doing it? Some things don’t make any sense or difference, but they are fun.)

    5. Could be a (tiny) reason – but only if that critical praise translated into dozens of awards thrown at the show. I wouldn’t discount or underestimate the prestige-factor.

    6. Actually, it has about the same amount of increase (absolute numbers, about 0.8, 0.9) it had in S3 (even back then when it was still on Thursday). So, that (relatively) “immense increase” of 80% is nothing to brag about, if anything it is just an indicator for how pathetic live+SD ratings are.

    7. Lol. Thankfully this non-reason is used only rarely (from what I gathered), people with blind faith parrotting some of the other non-reasons over and over again (#1, #4, #6 are the ones I encountered the most) can be annoying enough.

    That being said, I believe it will be renewed (and that is certainly what I hope for), but it’s just a feeling, based on some chemical reactions in my brain (or whatever feelings are based upon).

    @Dennis
    demos of eps 3×01 to 3×09 are 2.1 – 1.9 – 2.0 – 2.0 – 1.8 – 1.7 – 1.9 – 1.8 – 1.7

  • http://tvbythenumbers.com Bill Gorman

    “What has the photo got anything to do with the article?”

    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!

  • Dennis

    @Halloween
    Thanks, I wasn’t aware of tvbythenumbers until this year

  • Carmen

    @ Bill

    “That’s the ONLY issue re: renewal. And as was proven with ‘Til Death, Fox will accept *very* low ratings for a low license fee”

    And a whole lot of fans on your site couldn’t for the life of them understand why Fox was keeping ‘Til Death’ alive either.

    Yes, ‘Til Death’ made it to syndication.
    But so what?
    There has to be some criteria for “syndication success” beyond just “getting to syndication”.

    In my area (one of the 56 monitored) Til Death is aired on WGN 5 nights a week at sometime between 12:30 AM and 3:00 AM.

    Is this syndication?
    Technically, yes I suppose it is

    Is it success?
    Well, Bill, as you like to say, “It’s all relative”

  • AC75

    Bill Gorman said:

    “While I take most of the Joel Wyman tweeting as cheerleading nonsense”

    For the record, this is what was tweeted:

    Joel Wyman was asked, “On a scale of 1-10, how positive are you feeling about renewal?”

    He replied, “Hahaha. um… 9.99. Good? Jeff and I have faith in Kevin Reilly and all our friends and supporters at Fox.”

    And then, “We feel SO positive about a pick up because our fans make people listen. They make people take notice. Have loud voices and are heard. xo”

    Fans are touting this a proof positive the show will return.

  • Donna

    “You get articles like this because tweaking crazy fans over their nonsense never gets old!”

    Indeed, Bill, but you’ve NEVER EXPLAINED why Warner Bros. lowered the licensing fee last year in the first place. Why do you think they did that? Please elaborate on why you are so sure they won’t lower the fee enough this year, while you’re at it.

  • Dennis

    @Anvici thanks for those

  • JJJ

    @Bill, I agree Wyman does a lot of cheerleading nonsense BUT when he goes yesterday and explicitly says Fringe has a 9.99 chance out of 10 to be renewed this week–to me that’s different. He’d look like an idiot and cheese off a lot of his fans and followers if he was wrong about such an extremely strong statement. Hence he wouldn’t say it unless he basically KNEW.

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