Live numbers may be down overall for “Fringe” since its move to Fridays, but overall, it seems that the J.J. Abrams show has held most of its audience from Thursday.
The first round of DVR numbers are in for “Fringe’s” first episode on Friday, and once again, people who recorded the show and watched it later bumped viewership 42 percent in a key demographic. That’s adults 18 to 49, according to TVByTheNumbers, and a large increase.
However, it is about the same increase the show got in DVR viewing on Thursdays as well.
“Fringe” is by far the best show Fox has aired on Fridays in a few years, although overall ratings were down some 16 percent from what the show was averaging on Thursdays. A strong portion of the key demos, however, remained put, which was good news for “Fringe.”
Its 2.7 rating/5 share, according to Fast National ratings from The Nielsen Co., on Jan. 21, was almost double what Fox averaged in that timeslot the year before. However, it lagged behind two episodes of “Human Target” that aired the week before on Friday, which averaged a 3.0/6. But it was stronger than both its “Kitchen Nightmares” lead-in (2.5/4), and anything “The Good Guys” (1.6/3) had in the fall.
What do DVR numbers mean? Well, mostly that “Fringe” still has a much larger audience than who are willing to tune in on either Thursday or Friday. Higher DVR numbers typically indicate that a show is showing solid interest, but is most likely in a bad timeslot.
Before the move, “Fringe” aired on Thursdays against some of the toughest competition like “Grey’s Anatomy” on ABC (7.6/12) and “CSI” on CBS (8.4/13), and was barely getting even half the audiences those two shows were doing. Fox decided to move “Fringe” to Fridays, pushing “Bones” to its old timeslot as a lead-out to “American Idol.”
“Bones” scored a 6.5/10 its first week there, double what “Fringe” averaged this year. However, it lost nearly half of its lead-in audience from “American Idol,” which scored a 12.4/20 that night. It still finished behind both “Grey’s Anatomy,” which had a 7.7/12 on Jan. 20, and “CSI,” which scored an 8.5/13.
Fox continues to sing the praises of “Fringe,” and has made little, if any, indication that this could be the final season for the show. So for now, that’s confidence to keep optimism high.