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

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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.

 
  • TV Gord

    FringeFan wrote: “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.”

    But, how? How??? Anyone can come up with an esoteric argument of the way things ought to be. If you can’t tell us how would it work in the REAL world, it’s useless?

  • Fringe Fan

    @Saren

    “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”.”

    Uhuh! You just keep telling yourself that, if it keeps you happy! Within the decade online channels will be ‘seriously’ contending, mark my words. ;)

    @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.”

    With all due respect, and as much of a fan of Fringe as I am, it’s slightly patronising to assume that someone is giving an opinion purely on the basis of them being a fan of a show, and that their opinion is only as educated as it needs to be to come up with good reasons why their show should be renewed.

    What I’m discussing here is based on my observations of what is already occuring and how I see the world’s technology changing each and every year. Honestly, I don’t see any of my speculation and theorising as being remotely unlikely. Things are changing faster than anyone realises and the internet is key to it all. Whether the majority like it or not, change is coming.

  • TV Gord

    I disagree that the internet is the key to it all. The merging and blending of ALL platforms is the key to it all. Your thinking is too limited (which is why I return to the fact that you have not addressed how these shows will be financed; like it or not, advertising is the best model there is today).

  • Fringe Fan

    @TV Gord

    I never claimed to know how the specifics of this business model would play out. I don’t need to in order to speclate on a theory. It’s a theory based on speculation, y’know?

    What I do know is that there is a lot of potential money in figuring out that business model and that someone out there smarter than either you or me is going to figure it out sooner rather than later. That’s just how the world works today.

  • TV Gord

    FringeFan wrote: “…it’s slightly patronising to assume that someone is giving an opinion purely on the basis of them being a fan of a show, and that their opinion is only as educated as it needs to be to come up with good reasons why their show should be renewed.”

    Where did I write that???

  • TV Gord

    Fringe Fan wrote: “I never claimed to know how the specifics of this business model would play out. I don’t need to in order to speclate on a theory. It’s a theory based on speculation, y’know?”

    So, if I have a theory that everytime I watch a TV show, the producers should deliver a pizza and doughnuts to my house, that’s as valid as your idea.

  • tvfreak

    @Cortexiphan is a sometime regular here, so he/she is approved to play the game. Their vote is valid!

    FRINGE – 66 (-2) (Don’t get the wrong idea, I had to. :( Is that some kind of show reference, BTW?)
    RAISING HOPE – 21 (+2)
    ALCATRAZ – 29
    NEW GIRL – 7 (-3)
    TOUCH – 33 (+3)

    Eliminated:

    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)

    [Cameron walks in dressed as a cop] “And somewhere in the city, a naked cop bleeds in an alley.”
    -Sarah Connor, from Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles episode 1.07 “The Demon Hand”

  • Fringe Fan

    @TV Gord

    “So, if I have a theory that everytime I watch a TV show, the producers should deliver a pizza and doughnuts to my house, that’s as valid as your idea.”

    Well, given that your example is more of a wish for food than a theory based on the current developments I’ve seen occuring this last year or two, then nooooo…..

    My point being that I’m not saying that I know the specifics of how it will happen. I never claimed to. I just believe very strongly that it will, simply because it’s almost impossible to believe that it won’t. Someone, somewhere out there, is currently working on a way to produce television shows directly for online distribution and finance them accordingly, no doubt with advertising playing a large part toward those plans. It’s almost inevitable that it will happen.

    And I honestly don’t think that the broadcast networks will continue to play a part in the future of television once that happens. The hardware will no doubt continue to exist. We’ll all still have our widescreen TVs in the corner of the room. They’ll just be hooked up to the internet instead.

  • anvici

    @ Fringe Fan 2:40 PM
    – FF: “Despite what certain individuals may claim around here, Fringe is a very good show indeed [...]”
    It is. But that’s quite irrelevant in regards to the R/C decision.
    – FF: “[...] and has a very dedicated fanbase. One much larger than the paltry ratings it gets on FOX will prove.”
    That may or may not be true.
    – FF: “Its fans don’t watch it live on television. They watch it online.”
    Idk online-viewing numbers for Fringe, do you?
    – FF: “They DVR it.”
    Not really, numbers of viewership that take DVRing into account still quite low.
    – FF: “They download it.”
    Illegally, you mean? You can’t translate illegal DLs 1:1 into “real” viewership aka people who will generate money (in one way or another) for the producing studio.
    – FF: “They buy the DVD boxsets.”
    I forgot about the numbers, but they are not quite astronomically high.

    – FF: “A very large proportion of fans of shows like Fringe simply don’t watch television anymore, [...] Sure, the show needs to start somewhere, but if its fate is going to be determined by the numbers [...]”
    What are you proposing? Networks’ sole purpose should be to launch new shows? And then they should also stick with struggling shows because in the future they might become successful (for the studio producing) – even if most of the target audience of said shows isn’t watching tv anymore anyway, as you say?
    – FF: “Fringe will eventually earn Warner Bros. a lot of money. That I’m certain of.”
    That would certainly be nice, but what exactly makes you so certain?
    – FF: “It just has to survive FOX first.”
    So, FOX should let Fringe survive just to please WB and offer them the chance to maybe make lots of money sometime in the future? What about the fact that FOX wants and needs to make money, too? ‘Cos in the end it’s a give-and-TAKE-business just like all businesses are.

  • anvici

    @ Petar
    So big in Europe? Is it really?
    What are some examples of those countries you say Fringe is so big in?

    @ Bill Gorman
    Is there any kind of relation between the amount of money the average show makes in Europe compared with how much money it makes domestically in the US? Or is so different from show to show that an average %-value wouldn’t make any sense?

  • http://tvbythenumbers.com Bill Gorman

    “@ Bill Gorman
    Is there any kind of relation between the amount of money the average show makes in Europe compared with how much money it makes domestically in the US? Or is so different from show to show that an average %-value wouldn’t make any sense?”

    I’ve never seen any good data on international earnings, and neither has anyone else commenting on the internet.

    What’s been clearly demonstrated though is that for US shows, US revenue (either advertising or US syndication) drives all the renewal and cancellation decisions. In the recent past there are no shows that had bad ratings in the US and were then renewed in the US in a manner that could even remotely be attributable to non-US earnings.

    “It does well Internationally” is one of the most played squares in Fan Excuse Bingo.

    TV by the Numbers loves all its international readers, because you *do* matter to us!

    But to the renewal or cancellation of your favorite US TV shows? Not so much.

  • Greg

    I wonder what will be the next headline if Fringe does get renewed by the end of this week…

    Anyway, I bet on a renewal as well.

  • Fringe Fan

    @anvici

    Forgive me or not answering you point for point, but I feel that in doing so I would be getting further away from the original meaning of the post you were quoting from.

    Breaking it down in the way you have done I think you’ve missed the point a little. Everything I said from “Despite what certain individuals…” down to “…DVD boxsets” was meant to get the point across that you can’t judge how popular a show like Fringe is, or the money you can make from it, by ratings alone. Not to judge the individual merits of the ways people do watch it. Clearly illegal downloading doesn’t profit the production company in the slightest. I included it as another example of how fans are watching it at their own convenience, rather than the specific hour FOX chooses to broadcast it.

    As for the rest, no, I’m not suggesting that the networks should simply act as a broadcaster for the production studios, rather than a business in and of themselves. In fact I’m not saying that the networks should adapt at all, as such. I don’t really think that they can. I’m simply saying that as long as the production studios are forced to continue using the networks to get their shows out there initially, then they need to find a way to keep the shows that will generate profit in the long term on the air for as long as possible, even if that means a greater loss upfront to do so.

  • Petar

    @Bill Gorman who just said:
    TV by the Numbers loves all its international readers, because you *do* matter to us!

    But to the renewal or cancellation of your favorite US TV shows? Not so much.

    Uh, bad! Hope one day and we WILL matter! May be with technology development which is so fats thede days!

    What about fringe syndication deal! Force to guess what price you can suggest

  • http://tvbythenumbers.com Bill Gorman

    “I wonder what will be the next headline if Fringe does get renewed by the end of this week…”

    Probably “Fringe Renewed By Fox For Season Five”.

    What would you have expected?

  • Hustis Harper

    FRINGE – 69 (+3)
    RAISING HOPE – 19 (-2)
    ALCATRAZ – 31 (+2)
    NEW GIRL – 4 (-3)
    TOUCH – 33

    @freak: Yes, Cortexiphan is a Fringe reference.

  • http://tvbythenumbers.com Bill Gorman

    “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.”

    Someday. But change in the TV business has been happening for a long time. And it’s not happening at a pace that the networks don’t seem to be able to handle.

    Will some make more money and some make less as things change? Sure.

    Are they headed for a business model extinction event any time soon? Not that I can imagine.

  • http://tvbythenumbers.com Bill Gorman

    “But my question to Bill is on what price fringe will go to syndication! “

    I don’t know. I don’t care.

  • http://tvbythenumbers.com Bill Gorman

    “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.”

    That.

  • Joe

    Here’s an original reason why Fringe may be renewed that hasn’t been considered: food. Yes, food.

    Since I love the numbers as much as TVByTheNumbers, let’s go to the numbers. Jericho fans start a campaign for another season that involves large quantities of peanuts. Against all precedent and common sense, the show gets another season. Chuck’s fans flaunt the power of Subway. Again against all expectations, Chuck gets renewed again… and again… and again. Its bubble never bursts. Way back when when Fringe first began to flounder, a PR campaign was launched: Tabasco sauce. People dressed as Observers began handing out bottles of Tabasco sauce in major cities, and I posted on the TVBTN article about it that I thought I saw a potential food connection in renewal efforts. Sure enough, the Tabasco sauce worked its mojo and Fringe has survived on the bubble for quite some time now, including this miracle season.

    Has there been a “save our show” effort with a bubble (or worse) show that didn’t involve food and succeeded in saving a show despite its TVBTN renewal smiley face prediction? I can’t think of any. All of the renewal shockers have been the food-related ones.

    TVBTN may be factoring in the financial power of a fourth season for syndication in its predictions now, but I predict myself that soon they will need to factor a strange, unexplained culinary connection into the prediction process.

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