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'Fringe' Stumbles In Season 2 Premiere

'Vampire Diaries,' 'Supernatural' lose a little audience

Is Thursday a good fit for "Fringe"?

If the Season 2 premiere numbers are any indication, it might not be.

"Fringe" earned a 4.7 rating/8 share, according to Fast National ratings from Nielsen Media Research, clocking in its worst numbers ... ever.

In fact, the lowest "Fringe" ever reached in overnights was a 5.3/8 it achieved twice: Nov. 11 and Dec. 12. This premiere is 11 percent below that low, and is 20 percent off its series premiere numbers. It's also more than 25 percent off its average audience from last season.

It's tough to tell if "Fringe" can blame its lead-in on this one. The season premiere of "Bones" with former "Angel" star David Boreanaz earned a 6.1/10, according to Zap2it, 7 percent above the 5.7/10 the show earned in the half-season after moving to the Thursday slot.

However, in the past "Fringe" has enjoyed lead-ins of both "House" and "American Idol," by far Fox's top-rated shows. Just "House," for instance, averaged a 7.9/13 ahead of "Fringe," nearly 30 percent more than what "Bones" mustered up in its season premiere.

"Fringe" also had a tough time keeping up with its competition. A rerun of "CSI" got a good boost from its "Survivor" lead-in to finish 800,000 viewers ahead of "Fringe." However, the J.J. Abrams show beat out "Community" on NBC although "The Office" had 100,000 more viewers in the first half hour, according to Zap2it.

The new The CW show "Vampire Diaries" took a bit of an expected tumble in its second week, earning a 2.5/4, losing 19 percent of its premiere audience but still remaining the network's top-rated show. "Supernatural," however, remained stable for the most part, losing 9.5 percent of its premiere audience with a 1.9/3.

"Supernatural" also closed the gap a bit between the two shows, from a 47.6 percent difference in its first week to a 31.6 percent audience difference this past week.

"Supernatural" currently has a Stability Index Rating of 95.2, initially ahead of last year's 86.2 rating, while "Vampire Diaries" has quickly dropped to 90.3 because of its single-week fall. The Stability Index Rating is a measurement developed and used by the BlipNetwork to try and monitor how much of its original audience a television show is maintaining by comparing its highest overnight rating with its average.

Fast Nationals usually provide a snapshot of what Americans are watching by pulling numbers from the top urban markets that includes 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.

About the Author

Michael Hinman is the founder and editor-in-chief for Airlock Alpha and the entire GenreNexus. He owns Nexus Media Group Inc., the parent corporation of the GenreNexus and is a veteran print journalist. He lives in Tampa, Fla.
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