Fans have been almost begging Fox to move “Fringe” out of direct competition with powerhouse shows such as “CSI” on CBS and “Grey’s Anatomy” on ABC, and now they might have some ammunition.
Viewers are turning out en masse to watch “Fringe” later on with the DVR instead of watching it live, showing that while they want to see the show, it’s not their top priority on a Thursday night.
“Fringe,” which has been relegated to Thursdays on Fox as a lead-out to “Bones,” experienced a 30 percent viewership boost when DVR data was added to its Sept. 17 airing, according to The Hollywood Reporter. While that is rather significant, there is one thing to note about these numbers: they were tallied before the premieres of shows like “CSI” and “Grey’s Anatomy.”
Is that bad necessarily? Not until next week when more DVR numbers come out for the Sept. 24. episode. There’s a possibility “Fringe’s” DVR numbers could be higher.
“Fringe” had one of the top gains, sharing the top spot with “Vampire Diaries” on The CW, which had a 31 percent boost, and “Melrose Place” that also jumped 30 percent. Also near the top was “The Office” on NBC growing by 27 percent, and “Fringe’s” lead-in show “Bones,” which gained 26 percent.
“If you’re thinking there’s a lot of Thursday shows here, that’s probably because that was the only night to have really started to get competitive during that week,” THR columnist James Hibberd said. “Still, [given] the number of powerful shows on Thursdays, I wouldn’t be surprised if several of the most heavily DVRed shows in the coming weeks don’t continue to come from the same night.”
Advertisers haven’t fully embraced these types of ratings, however. Viewers who tend to watch shows on their DVRs are not watching commercials. The Nielsen Co. has been including such ratings in recent years because,if nothing else, allows advertisers to get a handle on a show’s potential audience base, and those who may become at least occasional live viewers.
Whether that might be enough to save a show like “Fringe,” we don’t know yet, but could find out soon.