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.

 
  • Fringe Fan

    I’ve said quite often (and a couple of times around here I should think) that the network television industry will need to evolve if it is to survive the next decade. One way that needs to happen is, I believe, a large reason why we are still having this debate about Fringe at all. Obviously this goes more to Warner’s reasons for wanting to keep the show around but it has a knock on effect with FOX too. Fringe is a hell of a lot more popular that ratings would ever tell you.

    Despite what certain individuals may claim around here, Fringe is a very good show indeed and has a very dedicated fanbase. One much larger than the paltry ratings it gets on FOX will prove. Its fans don’t watch it live on television. They watch it online. They DVR it. They download it. They buy the DVD boxsets. A very large proportion of fans of shows like Fringe simply don’t watch television anymore, and the people that make the shows have got to be becoming more and more aware that depending on the networks alone to get their product out there is very limited thinking indeed. Sure, the show needs to start somewhere, but if its fate is going to be determined by the numbers a specific network gets, then almost no show is ever going to get beyond a first season again.

    As such, the likes of Warners must be realising that they need to think about the big picture and be willing to take a loss at the initial broadcast stage so that they can make profits further down the line. Not just in syndication but in DVD sales and the like. In turn, networks will need to rethink how they determine what stays and what goes. One season shows are ultimately useless to all involved and production companies need multiple season successes to make any real profit. For a show like Fringe, where the core of the audience has little or nothing to do with FOX’s ratings, that requires patience and the willingness to wait for the real money to start rolling in after the initial broadcast has come and gone.

    Fringe will eventually earn Warner Bros. a lot of money. That I’m certain of. It just has to survive FOX first.

  • tscchope

    @Bill

    Fix your table:
    The Finder(F)
    Alcatraz*

    The Finder is on a Friday and Alcatraz has finished its run.

    Every show has the potential to go to syndication, so either have your table reflect that or change to the one face justified by its ratings. Add in the fact it already has the number of episodes for syndication and Fringe is not on the bubble. Ratings determie ad revenues.

    Touch keeps on falling, but its initial high ratings keep it above what its most recent ratings would justify.

    Sure Fox will keep a show on the air makes them look like a cable channel. Reilly’s finest hour.

  • Ultima

    @Fringe Fan
    then almost no show is ever going to get beyond a first season again

    What? There’s plenty of successful shows being launched.

    As such, the likes of Warners must be realising that they need to think about the big picture and be willing to take a loss at the initial broadcast stage so that they can make profits further down the line

    That’s how all production studios currently operate.

  • Akihironihongo

    Love the reassurance at the bottom: “if a ratings loser like ‘Til Death can be syndicated, so can Fringe”

  • samweiss

    @ bill

    Just wanted to say that you can thank Fringe for a great number of hits on this site. I am checking this site almost daily for news related to Fringe renewal!

  • http://tvbythenumbers.com Bill Gorman

    “Fix your table:
    The Finder(F)
    Alcatraz*”

    My designation change tardiness now fixed!

    “Every show has the potential to go to syndication, so either have your table reflect that or change to the one face justified by its ratings. Add in the fact it already has the number of episodes for syndication and Fringe is not on the bubble. Ratings determie ad revenues.”

    When we refer to syndication we refer to M-F stripped syndication, which is where the real $ payoff is, and what causes decisions that run counter to what current ratings would suggest. When a show gets sold into syndication with just a season or two that’s not nearly as much money and we haven’t found that drives decisions outside what the ratings would suggest.

    In Fringe’s case more episodes mean more money in syndication. Certainly there’s a case to be made that it’s not enough to get WB to discount it for another season (Robert would argue that), but I think it might.

  • http://tvbythenumbers.com Bill Gorman

    “Just wanted to say that you can thank Fringe for a great number of hits on this site. I am checking this site almost daily for news related to Fringe renewal!”

    Oh, we know that, and we do thank Fringe and all shows whose futures are in doubt!

  • Fringe Fan

    @Ultima

    In both cases of the parts of my post you quoted, I’m talking about how these things are likely to develop over the next decade or so. More and more shows failing at the first hurdle if their fate is left to the declining ratings of network television, leading to the production studios having to accept even more of a loss to keep their shows on the air for multiple seasons in order to make greater profit later on.

    Take Alcatraz. Clearly it’s not coming back but in my opinion it’s exactly the type of show that they should be immediately willing to take a profit hit for, in the short term at least. It gets the same kind of buzz in the circles that love Fringe and so if it were to continue for a few seasons they would almost certainly be looking at another success in DVD sales and the like. That won’t happen though so they just have yet another dead half-season show that will make them hardly anything at all, most likely generating a loss. As such, another show that is a lot more popular (and therefore profitable) than its network ratings would suggest is going to be wasted and forgotten.

    The ultimate answer, as technology continues to make television obsolete, is for the production studios to abandon the networks altogether and concentrate on the less ratings dependent cable channels where slow burning shows can be allowed to thrive, but until that happens (which obviously won’t be for a good while yet) then all they can really hope to do is give away the shows they produce for next to nothing, knowing that they will benefit after the networks have played their part. Otherwise the type of audience that shows like Fringe attracts, the not-live-television type viewers, and all the money they would be willing to spend to get the shows they love in more convenient (not-live-television) ways, will be lost to them.

  • http://tvbythenumbers.com Bill Gorman

    “The ultimate answer, as technology continues to make television obsolete, is for the production studios to abandon the networks altogether and concentrate on the less ratings dependent cable channels where slow burning shows can be allowed to thrive,”

    Producing original shows for cable networks doesn’t provide the opportunity for the financial windfall that a successful broadcast show does, since there’s effectively no “after cable” syndication market in the US.

    There’s an absolute fortune to be made in off broadcast syndication. As long as that market exists, that will be the ultimate objective for studios.

    But I don’t see any end to fans whining about how popular their favorite (but canceled) shows are and if only….

    Thank goodness, because that’s key to *our* business model!

  • Ultima

    @Fringe Fan
    In both cases of the parts of my post you quoted, I’m talking about how these things are likely to develop over the next decade or so. More and more shows failing at the first hurdle if their fate is left to the declining ratings of network television, leading to the production studios having to accept even more of a loss to keep their shows on the air for multiple seasons in order to make greater profit later on.

    The declining ratings of broadcast are irrelevant to the success of new shows or the licensing fees that production studios can get for them.

    If you’re talking about sci-fi specifically, is the success rate of those shows any worse than it was 10 years ago?

  • TV Gord

    Fringe Fan, your theory completely excludes the network advertisers. Where do you think the money comes from to produce these shows???

  • Fringe Fan

    “Producing original shows for cable networks doesn’t provide the opportunity for the financial windfall that a successful broadcast show does, since there’s effectively no “after cable” syndication market in the US.”

    @Bill

    But couldn’t that change too? I mean, the basic premise of what I’m talking about here is that television in and of itself risks becoming a dinosaur in the entertainment industry if it doesn’t look to change pretty much all of its practices, or at least seriously review them. It’s taking its time but the internet is starting to be a real contender for television as a way of distributing new shows, and it’s improving at a very rapid rate. The second that a business model for making online on-demand television profitable is perfected, the networks are going to find themselves with an incredibly difficult uphill battle to compete, under current circumstances. I’d say that everything has to be considered up in the air right now. Nothing that we consider set in stone regarding how things work should be exempt from the possibility that it might not be that way in the near future.

    I appreciate that a site like this has to work on the premise of how things are done now and that all of my speculation has very little to do with what we are talking about concerning this year’s shows, but I do still believe that we are on the verge of a change-or-die era for television. Networks and cable channels alike. Conventional thinking is not going to work for much longer.

  • Saren

    [quote]that television in and of itself risks becoming a dinosaur in the entertainment industry{/quote]

    Complete nonsense. More people are watching television now than ever, they just aren’t watching broadcast. The internet as a long way to go before they become a “real contender”.

  • Petar

    If Alcatraz is renewed in the fall will be with better ratings than touch after Idol even in second season! I can bet on that!

  • Petar

    If Alcatraz is renewed in the fall will be with better ratings than touch after Idol even in second season! I can bet on that!

    ps Alcatraz Renew/ Cancel Index better than Raising Hope that is surprise! So i guess average alkatraz ratings are around 2.0 because Raising Hope is there i think!

  • TV Gord

    The trap a lot of people who comment on message boards fall into is that think we represent the majority of TV viewers. We don’t. We are the most interested in the television industry and our favorite shows, but we are still a minority. A loud minority, but in my opinion, a not-very-significant minority.

  • Petar

    @Bill Gorman

    No douby that fringe will go in syndication as i have no doubt that WB make millions from fringe when they sold oy all over the world! The show is so big in europe for example from eastern europe to GB!

    But my question to Bill is on what price fringe will go to syndication! serialized dramas are so bad in repeats Greys are 1.2 repeats and go in syndication for only 500 000 per ep i think! Now Fringe was big hit in first and second season i thinj it was around 4.0average rating in first season may be best fox drama at that year but after that start decline and drom 4 go to 1 in 4th season! So i Greys go for 500 000 per ep for how many will go Fringe@ Half of that or even lower@

  • Fringe Fan

    @TV Gord

    I didn’t exclude advertising so much as consider it a factor that goes without saying. As I said to Bill in my last post, I’m considering the time when a business model (no doubt advertising included) will be perfected for online on-demand distribution of television shows that will bypass the need for network television altogether. Clearly that business model would have to include the financing of how the shows were made.

    @Ultima

    “If you’re talking about sci-fi specifically, is the success rate of those shows any worse than it was 10 years ago?”

    I wasn’t specifically talking sci-fi. Alcatraz was just the first show that came to mind as an example. As for the success rate of those type of shows though, it’s not particularly any worse than it has been in previous years but if you were to find a way to remove or at least lessen the damage that a network’s ratings initially have on shows like Fringe and Alcatraz, letting them continue on despite how few people watch live in the knowledge that a lot more people will want to watch later on, there is the potential to allow for a much greater degree of success.

  • The Big Toe

    I want Fringe renewed SOOOO bad. It is my favorite show on the network!

  • JakeSnake

    @TV Gord

    Very true. It does show though that there definitely are fans for shows like Fringe that are in trouble ratings wise though. Thing is Fringe is not a show for the average viewer, because the average viewer is typically the casual viewer who frequently misses episodes here and there, while Fringe requires real investment. As has been discussed on here, the live viewer ratings don’t represent Fringe viewership by any means. Fringe fans are typically not typical. I would say that the fan base as a whole is probably almost 3 times the size that Nielsen would imply in the U.S. alone, and then of course there are many more internationally.

    Oh and I have to wonder what Bill and Robert are going to do without Fringe. Last year they had both Fringe and Chuck, but now just Fringe. Next year Fringe will still bring in some traffic, but since everyone will know it’s the last season it won’t be nearly what it used to be. Sure there’s always going to be some shows that are in danger of cancellation to help site traffic, but I think it’s going to be a while before another comes around that can hold a candle to the site traffic Chuck and Fringe brought in.

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