FOX, Fringe and the Demographics that Matter ~ Fringe Television - Fan Site for the FOX TV Series Fringe

FOX, Fringe and the Demographics that Matter

      Email Post       9/25/2008 02:47:00 PM      

Having never followed a television show's ratings week to week before, I'm happy to leave the analysis and pontification of how Fringe is fairing to the experts. In this case the experts would be the crowd over at TV by the Numbers:

With real competition, Fringe shed 28% of its audience from last week. It also lost 19% of its 18-49 demo and 11% of its 18-34 demo. Still, it won the 18-34 demo for the hour by a wide margin, and was competitive in the 18-49 demo.

Fringe | 9.651 Million Viewers | 4.2/10 18-49 Rating Share | 4.0/11 18-34 Rating Share

Polly says:

Amazing numbers for Fox in the demo. Fringe held up pretty well against DWTS. (All those 18-34 yr olds are probably too young to see the similarities with the X-Files.) Actually last nights episode was the first one that made me want to watch again next week, so good job. Now if it could just make me want to watch it live!

Andrea says:

Maybe I’m not getting the “amazing numbers” for Fringe. It did just a bit better than the pilot, and the 28% decline from last week is a bit alarming.

Also those 18-34 year olds know it’s ripping off X-Files. They watch because Abrams’ name is attached.

I do see FOX probably giving it a full season order, however. FOX has to stop the bleeding on the other nights.

Holly says:

FOX’s numbers are amazing, but not in a good way. It’s amazing how much House has dropped and that Fringe lost more than 3 million viewers week-to-week.

Outlander says:

What’s interesting to me is that Fringe lost 1 million viewers from 9:00 to 9:30. While a few other shows lost maybe 150k or 100k viewers during their episode, none lost as many as Fringe.

Robert Seidman says:

Outlander, House did run over into 9pm slightly (accordingt to my DVR). It could be that when that’s factored out of the final numbers the drop for Fringe won’t be as steep — but still will likely be steeper than it was for other shows.

Robert Seidman says:

Bob, you used the word “disastrous”. House is certainly still printing cash for Fox. I’m not sure about Fringe only because of the limited commerials, but I will not be surprised if Fringe’s numbers drop off even from where they are. …

Andrea says:

“CBS wasn’t Fox among 18-49 year olds either. Or ABC, and was just barely better than NBC (but better is better).’


You’re right, but at least it wasn’t a 2:1 drop in that demo. Also, you have to look at drop in the demo for House and Fringe. The total audience loss is affecting the demo. (Of course I’m not saying anything you don’t already know.)

If ABC actually had a hit in the 8pm hour, it might actually compete with FOX in the demo.

Robert Seidman says:

Andrea, the week over week drops in viewers and demo for House and Fringe were as surely expected by Fox as they were by us as last week was not yet a full landscape of new competition. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t think CBS’ numbers were bad at all — I just don’t view them as great relative to the demo competition. I agree CBS won’t be Fox and isn’t looking to be among 18-34 year olds, but that they had not even one half hour of a 2.0 or better in that demo can’t be deemed great even by the brass at CBS.

FrankJ says:

I think FOX should be concerned about the million viewer drop-off after the first half hour of Fringe. It’s basically shed all the House viewers. By the end of the night it was back to it’s premiere numbers.

FOX may have another stand-alone show on their hands. They really need to find a better way to pair these shows together.

Robert Seidman says:

Frank, all I can do is speculate.I think it’s MUCH too early to even speculate easily about Fringe — last night was it’s first airing against full competition and it held 80% of the House lead-in. If it continues to perform in the demos as it did last night, I don’t think Fox will be displeased.

Realm Reader says:

This may be pure conjecture but wasn’t the mid-season finale of Eureka on at the same time as Fringe? Think maybe some of the hardcore sci-fi fans may have decided to let the DVR pick up Fringe that night.

Holly says:

I think you’re comparing apples to oranges a bit. House and Fringe are the best Fox has to offer. Tonight’s ratings are head and shoulders above what Fox will get any other night (in demo and viewers). On the other hand, NCIS has always been one of the oldest skewing shows on CBS.

If you compare House to NCIS, yes, House wins in the demo. But if you compare what each network expects out of these shows, I think Fox is way more concerned about House’s numbers than CBS is about NCIS’s

Robert Seidman says:

Well if your take on CBS is “when you ain’t got nothing (in the demo), you got nothing to lose”, I agree CBS is less worried.

But I doubt the Fox programmers are clueless and had to expect some drop off simply by changing timeslots for a show with already diminished ratings post-writer’s strike.

Whether it’s wise to try to build a new franchise with Fringe I can’t say and time will tell. But I don’t buy analysis that says “Fringe is back to its premiere numbers and House is doing it no good.” Its premiere was heavily promoted and aired against zero competition (unless you count the CW).

dave says:

Fox should be encouraged by House pulling in a 5.0+ in the demo in its fifth season in a new weaker time slot. This is still a home run for the network.

Fringe is a hit, not a homer which is what I’m sure fox was hoping for, but I doubt their upset. The network would kill to have Fringes numbers on their Monday night shows.

Cookson says:

Obviously it’s nice to have really high “overall” viewers, but we all know that the 18-49 and 18-34 numbers are more important. Nice for Fringe… even though I’m about to just watch the rest on DVD..

Cameron says:

What did I tell you about Fringe? I said to wait and see how it did against some strong competition and sure enough it came off second best. That didn’t surprise me, what did surprise me was NCIS beating House by a considerable margin!! Neber saw that one coming at all.
I personally found that conversation both fascinating and an education. I hope they're right about the importance of the 18-34 and 18-49 demographic. If Fringe needs anything--and this is my opinion--it needs time.


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