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The move to Fridays: What does it mean for Fringe?


No secrets: Fringe is one of my favorite television shows on any network. It’s turned into an amazingly imaginative body of work, rivaling other science fiction classics such as Fringe or The X-Files in terms of quality and depth of mythology. Unfortunately, Fringe‘s move to Thursdays a year and a half ago hasn’t panned out nearly as well as Fox would have liked – the show is now being shuffled off to Fridays. Fans have said that the show has a chance to grow there against less competitions. Others say it’s dead.

Let’s look at some facts: Fox is bringing out the American version of X-Factor next year. This (most likely) will be three hours of television. Fox already has Terra Nova in the wings, as well as pilots like buzz-heavy Alcatraz (also from J.J. Abrams). Fox also has an unusually high amount of drama pilots this year from some very large players. Even then, Fox is not going to order anything for the fall beyond X-Factor, Terra Nova and a new comedy. That’s already almost half of its Monday-Friday schedule. What if X-Factor was a terrible failure? That doesn’t mean that it won’t order at least two dramas for midseason.

There also is The Chicago Code, Fox’s newest cop-drama from Shawn Ryan, premiering this spring. Though there aren’t any reviews available, it’s been garnering some good word-of-mouth from industry insiders (then again, so did Lone Star…).

Fringe‘s success will largely be dependent on how it performs on Fridays and how well The Chicago Code performs after House. House and The Chicago Code fit better than House and Lone Star, but I don’t expect The Chicago Code to drop below a 2.2 or 2.3 during its first 13 episodes. That would put it squarely on the bubble along with Fringe.

For Fringe to do well on Fridays, it needs to perform, at the very least, 1.5 or higher. Anything akin to a 1.4 or 1.3 will most likely get it canceled.

My guess on Fox’s schedule next year:

If The Chicago Code is renewed –

Monday: House, The Chicago Code
Tuesday: Glee, Raising Hope, New Comedy (or, New Comedy, Raising Hope)
Wednesday: X-Factor
Thursday: X-Factor, Terra Nova
Friday: Kitchen Nightmares, Bones

If The Chicago Code is not renewed:

Monday: House, Bones
Tuesday: Glee, Raising Hope, New Comedy (or, New Comedy, Raising Hope)
Wednesday: X-Factor
Thursday: X-Factor, Terra Nova
Friday: Kitchen Nightmares, Fringe


Also, I’m extremely suspicious of Fox picking up a Bones spin-off. Even though they might just trying to off-set the cost by using Bones to film the pilot, I don’t think that a spin-off of a show that’s barely pulling a 2.0 is a good idea. If Bones continues to drop further, that will be another kink in the schedule.

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