A television series -- especially one as intricate as "Fringe" -- needs to have a plan. Co-creator J.J. Abrams’ past shows, "Alias" and "Lost," suffered at some point in their runs from a lack of direction in such mythology-driven plot.
But if that show has been relegated to the Friday night “death slot,” is there really need for such a plan?
According to the people behind "Fringe," the answer is yes.
"We have pitched to the network our five-, six- and seven-year plan for this show ... which has garnered more and more excitement,” said Jeff Pinkner, one of the showrunners.
Not only is this good news for fans of the underrated sci-series, but it is also just one more of many positive statements from the people behind "Fringe" in regards to its move to Friday night.
"Fringe" co-producer Joel Wyman argued that "as far as the naysayers go, there's always going to be people saying [the move] is the worst thing ever and 'I've been betrayed by Fox before'” and that the network executives are "just trying to do their jobs as best they can and they've shown us nothing but support.”
Although not as directly linked to the show as many would assume, even Abrams himself still wants the show to fulfill its potential. Even if that ultimately means that his upcoming television project "Alcatraz" doesn’t have room in the Fox schedule.
"I do not want ‘Alcatraz’ to get a slot only because 'Fringe’ has left one for it," Abrams said. "My goal is that they can co-exist happily. They're two very different series, but ‘Fringe’ deserves to live beyond Season 3."
On paper, "Alcatraz" -- a drama about FBI agents tracking down missing Alcatraz prisoners who begin appearing in present day -- is definitely higher concept than "Fringe" and that could either help its chances of survival over "Fringe" or weaken its chances in the short-run.
"There's no concern that the show's being moved to Friday,” Pinkner said. “It's being moved to Friday because we all believe that that's where the show can live for years and years.”
"Fringe" returned with new episodes this past Friday night, and the ratings surpassed the network’s season average for the dreaded “death slot.” So far, so good.
"Fringe" earned a 2.7 rating/4 share in Fast National overnight ratings from The Nielsen Co. on Friday. While that was down from its average (and most recent episode) on Thursdays, it was 80 percent better than what Fox did in that Friday timeslot last year. It also was more than 70 percent better than what "The Good Guys" did in the same timeslot this past fall.
But good enough for four more seasons?
"Fringe" airs Fridays at 9 p.m. ET on Fox.
About the Author