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‘Fringe,’ ‘Alcatraz’ Still Have Slim Hopes To See Another Season

News not so good for ‘The River’ and ‘Awake,’ both goners


Fox is expected to make an announcement on the fate of ‘Fringe’ any day now. But based on the chatter we’ve heard, and analysis of potential paths Fox can take by our sister site, Inside Blip, there’s a good chance a short-season renewal for “Fringe” could mean more life for the struggling “Alcatraz.”

That’s because Fox could easily set up “Alcatraz” to replace “Fringe” on Fridays once the veteran show completes its final episodes. That would allow J.J. Abrams to replace J.J. Abrams in the slot, although it will also mean that Fox would have to live with a significant ratings drop by moving the show to Fridays.

But Fridays may be the only place “Alcatraz” can return to. Despite getting an early ratings jump on “Terra Nova” when it made its mid-season premiere, “Alcatraz” quickly plummeted in the ratings. That’s a premiere from a 6.0 rating/9 share, according to Fast National overnight ratings from The Nielsen Co., to a season finale of a 2.9/5. That’s a drop of 52 percent.

Of course, with numbers like that, it might also mean that “Alcatraz” is going out the door, and there’s no chance that it could even move to Fridays. But Fox seemed to like what they were seeing, and could be hoping that it will be the next “Fringe” — but preferably one with more viewers, and one that can better attract the attention of the media and the awards programs, like the Emmys.

Inside Blip’s analysis projects that Fox will renew “Touch” as well, even though ratings have slipped a bit as of late. However, the Kiefer Sutherland series continue to generate some buzz, and a fresh fall premiere might be able to help it recover some of the audience it lost. However, “Touch” is still the top-rated network genre program this year, and will likely stay ahead of ABC’s “Once Upon a Time” by the end of the season.

Speaking of that fairy tale series, ABC is expected to renew “Once,” even if it didn’t hold on to its record of being Sunday’s top scripted drama — a role it held in the first few weeks of the season. It’s averaging a 5.9/9, but recent episodes have been generation numbers more in the 5.0 household range. Still, it’s in the top 35 overall, and is among ABC’s top 10 programs.

The prognosis isn’t so good for “The River,” which never really picked up any buzz, and had a poor marketing campaign promoting it in the beginning. Some readers have told Airlock Alpha that they did not start watching the show because promos did not help them identify what the series was about. It’s good to be cryptic, but this might have been too cryptic, they said.

NBC has already renewed “Grimm” for a second season, but it likely won’t give the same honors to “Awake.” Despite a strong premise and some great writing, audiences never really checked out this series. And it didn’t help that it was appearing in the network’s death timeslot, Thursdays at 10 p.m., which nothing has survived.

The CW, however, is likely to keep all of its genre programming, including “Supernatural.” That’s despite losing 24 percent of its audience from last year.

However, “Supernatural” has two things going for it: Nearly all The CW’s returning shows are down in double-digits similar to “Supernatural,” and the show has a very stable audience. That audience has an Audience Loyalty Index rating of 89.2. That means of all the “Supernatural” viewers that have tuned in for at least one episode this season, nearly 90 percent of them return each week to get more.

Inside Blip breaks down not only genre shows, but the entire network schedule in its thorough annual report. The projection is that as many as 83 of the shows that have already premiered this year will return next season, while 32 will go down in flames.

Which shows will survive and which won’t? Read our full report right here.

Top Network Genre Shows, through March 31 — [Audience Loyalty Index rating]

1.    Touch (Fox)    6.5/10    [92.4]
2.    Once Upon a Time (ABC)    5.9/9    [79.7]
3.    Terra Nova (Fox)    4.7/7    [74.1]
4.    Alcatraz (Fox)    4.0/6    [67.4]
5.    The River (ABC)    3.3/5    [64.0]
6.    Grimm (NBC)    3.2/6    [78.9]
7.    Awake (NBC)    3.1/5    [75.1]
8.    Chuck (NBC)    2.2/4    [90.7]
9.    Fringe (Fox)    1.9/3    [92.7]
10.    Vampire Diaries (CW)    1.8/3    [87.0]
11.    The Secret Circle (CW)    1.3/2    [67.8]
12.    Supernatural (CW)    1.1/2    [89.2]

Fast Nationals usually provide a snapshot of what Americans are watching by pulling numbers from the top urban markets that include both live viewing and same-day timeshifted viewing. A rating point generally represents more than 1.1 million households while the share indicates the percentage of televisions turned on that was tuned to the specific program. These numbers typically shift when final ratings are issued.

Data collected from The Nielsen Co., as distributed by Zap2it. GenreNexus tracks non-news, non-event programming, and figures for this story reflect airing of new episodes only. For more information on the Audience Loyalty Index, click here.

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