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.

  • Fringe Fan

    If Joel Wyman was saying that he was ‘kinda’ certain about Fringe returning for a shortened fifth season, or if he was throwing out numbers like a ‘7 out of 10′ chance of it coming back, then I’d probably have to agree that it was likely just lip service to the fans, to keep them hoping and therefore watching the show. However, he’s basically telling us that short of some very unforeseen circumstances, the deal is done and Fringe is coming back. Not 100% definitely, but still 99.9%, which to me is basically sticking his neck pretty far out if he is basing his opinion purely on his own speculation. I have to assume that if he is willing to go on record as saying Fringe is back for certain, then he must pretty much know for sure that it actually is.

  • The End

    @Point 1

    If you’re speaking about producers/actors, depending on how long a show has been on the air for, people do get to know each other on the set, and generally form friendships. This family thing is used a lot by actors because its true.

    If you’re working with someone on set for 6 months, you do get to know them well enough. Now if you’re a show that has been on the air for say 6 seasons, its not hard to see people as family, after all the experiences you may of had with each other during that period.

  • Bill Gorman

    “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.”

    They lowered the fee last year to get season four.

    And where do you think I’ve said they won’t lower it this season? I believe they will offer to lower it again, or keep it low, or something like that.

    Whether it will be incentive enough for Fox or not is the only question.

  • Bill Gorman

    “@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.”

    My point about the Wyman tweeting was simply as proof that WB and Fox are talking, and since they are talking, they each believe there is a deal that will satisfy themselves. They just have to find a deal that satisfies the other guy too.

    As for “he wouldn’t say that for fear of being a doofus if he was wrong” that’s silly. He’s a cheerleader, and has every financial incentive to push that to the maximum, being a (temporary) idiot (to some) if he’s proven wrong isn’t much of a disincentive at all.

    As for “he said 9.99 out of 10″ it will happen! Your mileage may vary.

  • Lane

    Why isn’t all the reasons that Fringe will be renewed used for any other show on any other network?

  • Bill Gorman

    “Why isn’t all the reasons that Fringe will be renewed used for any other show on any other network?”

    The ones that can be, are, to the extent possible.

    They were pretty much all used for Chuck (except the Anna Torv one), with several additions, like “Subway!”.

    When for Chuck, it all came down to the WB fee, just like it is for Fringe.

  • JJJ

    @Bill–Ok we will see…I still say he has no need to say 99.9%. It doesn’t help him sell anything–especially when he says it will happen this week.

    IMO you need to make your final prediction on Fringe NOW because we will hear any moment. And it will be yes–and i’d rather it be no.

  • Bill Gorman

    “IMO you need to make your final prediction on Fringe NOW because we will hear any moment. And it will be yes–and i’d rather it be no.”

    Nah, that’s not how we roll, but feel free to take my current prediction at announcement time as my “final” prediction.

  • Chris

    Honestly, if Chuck could run five seasons and 91 episodes, why shouldn’t Fringe run five seasons and 100 episodes?

    Fringe was never as great as its most diehard fans keep insisting (and I have been a fan for most of its run), but it’s sure as hell better than Chuck.

  • Dennis

    @Bill come’on, throw out a prediction! lol Yes/no?

    @Chris I couldn’t even make it through a single episode of Chuck… I have no idea how it got a big fanbase from, seemed awful to me.
    different strokes for different folks I suppose

  • CortexiphanFan

    FRINGE – 68 (+3)
    ALCATRAZ – 29 (+2)
    NEW GIRL – 10 (-3)
    TOUCH – 30(-2)

  • JJJ

    LOL Bill, your current prediction is of course correct and quite safe.

  • Mac

    FOX has absolutely no ability to pick what the next “great show” will be. What opportunity cost is there to putting Fringe back on? The inevitability of another failing show?

    The major networks are stuck in the stone ages with regards to knowing what will play to an audience, while cable continues to dominant in every way, shape and form.

    Quite frankly I’m surprised these networks are still around with how often and predictably they fail.

  • TV Gord

    I think some people are confusing selling a show to a cable channel or a superstation with syndication. Are Firefly and TSCC REALLY syndicated? I get channels from across North America. Why don’t I see them in my listings?

    People who think syndication is the brass ring often look to Star Trek as the first series that got a big resurgence in syndication, but that happened two eras ago in TV-time. Today, with all of the first-run syndication crowding the schedules, one-hour shows rarely get plum slots (ask the fans of Grey’s Anatomy, NUMB3RS and The Unit who have to stay up after their late local news on SUNDAY NIGHTS in some markets). Syndication for a show such as Fringe is definitely one of the reasons that would have nothing to do with its renewal prospects.

  • anvici

    @The End
    I’m not denying that people get to know each other and of course it’s possible that some of them may indeed form friendships. But not “generally”. A film/show prod is not unlike any other working place. Some people may become friends, some people just work together and then go their respective ways after work is done. Of course that doesn’t make them “enemies”, but it doesn’t make them more than just co-workers either.
    This whole “we all love each other, we admire each other”-thing is totally exaggerated.
    It is used by actors/producers/execs/whomever because it’s expected by most of the audience, amongst a few other reasons. (Not because it’s true, though there are certainly some cases in which it is in fact true.)

  • JakeSnake

    You’re right Bill that at this point none of those factors matter, but in the past they did. Even last season when ratings still were not very great Fox seemed to go out of their way to try and give Fringe special treatment, and it probably was related to the fact that both Fox and the fan base (while not a huge base) loved the show. Despite low ratings it was a show worth supporting. Fox takes pride in the fact that they gave Fringe a chance rather than just throwing it out like the evening trash as they do with most of their sci-fi shows. Face it, you know as well as I do that any other network wouldn’t have bothered trying a fourth season with Fringe. It would have been gone last year on CBS, NBC, or ABC.

    Again, it is true that at this point it’s going to come down to whether or not Fox and WB make an agreement that is profitable to Fox, but Fox does love Fringe (more than most of their shows) and have gone to great lengths to try and keep it around. You know as well as I do it’s rare that both a network and production company will try so hard to make a show work. Your renewal/cancel predictions are something you’ve made into a science, but Fringe is the one show that clearly breaks that science. You’ve had Fringe at toss up all season because you know that too whether you admit it or not.

  • JakeSnake

    Oh and are you really so afraid to at least throw out an actual prediction at this point rather than just saying it could go either way? Seems to me at this point that’s just away to avoid being wrong. As much as there’s always a chance of being wrong if you guess, even you probably realize at this point the prediction should be renewed.

  • James

    A bit of issue with your 7 reasons that will not affect renewal.The issue i have is if Fringe gets renewed then you can say that they weren’t concerned with the ratings one little bit,therefore defeating 3 of the 7 points of your argument.If ratings was such an issue then Fringe would have gone a long time ago.
    And on the subject of ratings,im still dumbfounded that all the critics,writers,bloggers and networks take the ratings system seriously.

  • Fringe AnnaTorv

    The name Anna Torv alone gives Murdoch a heart attack.

    She is not related to him at all: she is estranged from her father since she was a child, with that the rest of his family including the ex-wife that Murdoch hates.

    Murdoch and family left Australia long before Anna Torv the actress was born.

    But you know all that, you just like bashing a great actress that has made her own career, and had to work hard for that.

    Fringe is produced by Warner Brothers.

    Anna Torv will probably not even be in season 5, as Fringe Bad Robot/Warner Brothers just backstabbed her with using an actress who copied Anna Torvs 4 years of working and creating a great character Olivia Dunham.

    They may just be facing legal problems.

    As you are lucky that Anna Torv is such a classy person that you still have not.

    Disgusting piece of crap, I thought you finally had your facts right.

  • Ultima

    And on the subject of ratings,im still dumbfounded that all the critics,writers,bloggers and networks take the ratings system seriously.

    The networks have to take the system seriously, it’s how they price the product they’re selling. Subsequently, since networks must take the system seriously, everyone talking about what the networks are doing must as well.

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