Fringe went into this season with a lot of buzz, but a move to Thursday nights has hurt the series in the ratings to a notable extent. Up against powerhouses like Grey's Anatomy and CSI, in a competitive timeslot that also includes The Office, 30 Rock and Supernatural, Fringe has had a hard time carving out a niche. Today at the TCA (Television Critics Association) press tour, I noted to FOX president Kevin Reilly that the show had been struggling, and he was quick to reply, "In the ratings!", letting us know he was very happy with the show otherwise.
When I asked Reilly if he regretted moving the show to Thursdays, he said, "Well, here's the long and short of it. We're up 52% on Thursday night. Getting into business with quality shows on Thursday night has been important. It's done a job. It's very hard. Frankly, all we've heard from fans is how they love it this season and they're frustrated, because they've got other shows to watch. So, it is disappointing, because I feel that they have really hit a stride, creatively. I wish the ratings were higher, but frankly, we're going to keep it right where it is, because it's doing a job for us."
The majority of FOX's improvement on Thursdays comes from Fringe's lead in, Bones, which has been doing much better than the show that follows it. Asked if FOX might look for a series more compatible with Bones for next season, Reilly said, "We'll look at what happens in May, but I don't like moving shows all over the place. We looked at even, 'Do we move it at midseason?', but every move usually has fallout, so certainly through this season, it's going to stay [on Thursdays]."
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