'Fringe' ratings improve; Fox ties CBS for Friday win

Image Credit: Liane Hentscher/Fox

Friday ratings offer Fringe fans some relief: After two weeks of declines, the series stopped falling and reversed course.

Fringe averaged 4.1 million viewers and a 1.5 preliminary adults 18-49 rating, up one tenth — or 7% — from last week. That’s still aways off from the hearty 1.9 rating the show posted its first two weeks in its new Friday time slot, but any increase is a positive sign. (Perhaps fans heard Joshua Jackson’s message yesterday that they better start watching on Fridays if they want the show to return).

Fox actually tied usual Friday leader CBS to win the night, helped by Fringe lead-in Kitchen Nightmares (3.9 million, 1.7) rising 13%. That’s helpful for Fringe too, the “who won the night” boast is valued by all networks.

While most Thursday shows hit season lows the night before, several Friday programs posted gains along with Fringe:

CBS had Defenders (8.5 million, 1.3) and CSI: NY (10.6 million, 1.8) both climbing this week, followed by Blue Bloods (11.1 million, 1.6) back in the Friday mix.

NBC’s Who Do You Think You Are (5.9 million, 1.2) bucked the trend by declining 14% and featuring — not coincidentally, I bet — Rosie O’Donnell as its celebrity profile. Dateline (6.8 million, 1.6) improved this week.

ABC was third with its unscripted block (averaging 4.1 million, 1.3). The CW’s Smallville (2.2 million, 1.0) and Supernatural (2.3 million, 1.0) were up 11%.

Comments (113 total) Add your comment
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  • b

    i dont thing it´s good enough…..
    usually when a show airs an episode with a kiss between the main characters, the ratings are always awesome…
    Sadly that didn´t happen with fringe :(

  • kevin

    yes fringe still has a chance

    • Your Queen

      It’s despicable that the industry (including EW) try to gloss over the low budget moronic shyyte that REALITY SHOWS are by referring to them euphemistically as an “unscripted block”.

    • FRINGE fan

      I got Joshua’s message and stopped watching it on Hulu the day after and started watching it live. FRINGE is the best show on tv, though FOX needs to cancel Human Target if they keep Ilsa Pucci

      • Andy

        I know..I can’t stand Ilsa but I like the ther girl. I can’t help but cringe when Ilsa’s on screen

      • Cara

        Do you have a Nielsen box? Because if you don’t, then your viewership doesn’t count. Continue to watch it on Hulu.

      • Vince from NYC

        I am almost 30 and have never, ever, met anybody with a Nielson Box..

      • Rush

        You know, if you’re not a Neilsen participant it really doesn’t matter how you watch it.

    • EL

      The TV gods can take Chuck if it somehow magically saves Fringe.

      Sorry, Chuck, you got your chance to live, but your terrible now.

      Fringe has taken the ball and ran with it, not fumbled it like you.

      Yes, I refer to shows as if they are sentient beings. I’m sad, I know.

      • TH

        I’m with you, Chuck is going downhill faster each week

      • Dave

        They’re on different networks so one being canceled would have no effect on what happens to the other.

      • Hen

        Chuck is amazing right now. Not as good as Season 2, nothing is, but it is really good right now. You clearly aren’t a Chuck fan. I love Fringe, more than Chuck too.

      • Bethany

        I agree with Hen. I still think Chuck is awesome, as well as Fringe. I’m not going to simply pick one or the other.

    • tipsy

      Well, last night episode did promise Polivia finally happening. So since shippers (the most important and loyal part of any fandom – do not mess with these guys!) are happy now, I expect ratings to improve.

    • Tenney

      After hearing so many people say good things about Fringe, I watched it for the first time on Friday night. I actually liked it. I didn’t totally understand all of it (they brought up things that had happened in the past the obviously I never saw being new to the show) but I can see why it has such a loyal following.
      I will definitely watch it again.

    • Qj201

      …thankfully because FOX actually considers DVR ratings. Hello, Friday night people, regular fans may actually have plans!

  • jana

    thanks, i was worried bout snl but that s great!

    • jana

      snl s numbers i mean. and loved the episode

      • Josh

        Supernatural u mean? Hehe SNL makes me think Saturday Night Live. Isn’t Supernatural SPN for short?

    • John Berggren

      Snl = Saturday Night Live. Can’t you just type supernatural?

    • Wil

      SNL=Saturday Night Live.
      Try SPN. :)

  • Duncan Houst

    Great, but still slightly worried by the mixed quality of last night’s episode. Perhaps fans might not tune in next week.

  • robert glasgow scotland

    I wish Fox would do a full onslaught of promotion for this show. The production should be considering talk show spots etc for the cast. Also, the clever clever promos don’t pring in any new fans they just make us current fans feel all smug and superior. Get some ads on tv showing some of the action set pieces or big scares-that’ll get the viewers in. Each episode, especially of this season has been like a mini epic sci fi movie. Get the viewers in and then hook them once theyve watched a few.

    epic movie. There must be plenty to tempt in new fans

    • Sharlin

      Promotion helps. Just ask The Game on BET.

    • Dan

      I think 3 minute chunks of an episode showing some suspense or great dialouge during popular shows on other nights might help. I got hooked after watching a 5 minute video of the pilot on the WB website. I was just over the Xfiles when the show started so I was intially offput byt he premise but it has become one of my 2 fav shows on tv…

  • rich

    voice of reason..i have never seen a show with less than 2.0 in 18 to 49 category survive on network TV…..

    • Niix Starkyller

      That is a bit singular and one-sided, don’t you think? “Voice of reason?” May we see your credentials, Mr. Reason?

      • Matt

        Every show has gotten below 2.0 on network television for the past few weeks. Using your logic, my own reason would prompt me to say every show on network television will be cancelled by May…CSI….Fringe….What Would You Do….Kitchen Nightmares….Supernatural….Dateline NBC…

      • Matt

        ^I meant on Fridays.

    • Ryan

      Then you haven’t been looking. Most CW shows pull less than 2.0 in the demo numbers. And given that Friday nights are the lowest rated nights on television, anything about a 1.2 is outstanding (FOX’s words to the Fringe executive producers).

    • Sally

      What ratings did Dollhouse get again?

      • Dave

        Someone correct me if I’m wrong, but I think Dollhouse was at around 1.4 during its first season, and it was renewed for a second season. So there’s still a chance for Fringe. And Fringe also has acclaim from critics, which could help with its renewal prospects.

      • melanie

        Dollhouse had actually dropped from it’s opening 2.0 to a 1.2 by May when the pickup came. But the second season of Dollhouse was such a ratings disaster you could never get Fox to pick up Fringe by saying it’s just like Dollhouse. Fringe has to do better.

    • MB

      That describes all of The CW.

      • alice

        True- but CW shows have to meet a lower standard, ratings-wise. The network owns every show in the bottom 5 of the bottom 50, and it’s highest rated shoe, ANTM, gets a 1.7.

    • Lindsay

      If you look, every show up there has less than 2.0 in 18 – 49. I don’t think you’ve been paying attention.

  • Cam

    Good going for Supernatural. I still can’t see how EW insists on putting it in the could go either way in its TV Scorecard.

  • spader

    Hey EW…enough already about Fringe. You can focus on other shows now. How does Fringe get the headline here when it wasn’t tops in anything last night.

  • Roberto

    Would rather have had it pop last week with an A- episode instead of this week’s C+. Why are ratings kind of down across the board? Maybe because the weather has broken and folks can finally get out of the cabin?

    • Bette

      C+ … Roberto, you must have cabin fever. A all the way.

  • Fringier Than Thou


    “There are only 25,000 total American households that participate in the Nielsen daily metered system. The number of U.S. television households as of 2009 is 114,500,000. As a result, the total number of Nielsen homes only amounts to 0.02183% of the total American television households, meaning that 99.97817% of American households have no input at all into what is actually being watched.”
    In comparison, the CDC’s annual health survey interviews “more than 350,000 adults each year” in order to properly weight the data to the US adult population.

  • jay


  • Flip

    Yay Supernatural, the best show on Friday nights!!

  • M

    It’s funny. I had competely forgotten about Fringe until it moved to friday nights. Now, whenever I get Supernatural’s ratings, I see all this stuff about Fringe. Even though it’s on at the same time as SPN, I flip over during commercials. I have no idea if that helps with it’s ratings, but having been a fan of so many shows with low ratings, I figure any help is worth it. :)

  • Deanna

    I’m dancing with excitment!

    • Tania


  • Jess

    Save Fringe! Nothing ever does well on Friday nights- why cancel Fringe just to replace it with something else that wont do well. Renew Fringe!

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