March 24, 2011
Some exciting news for Fringe fans this evening. Fox has confirmed that the struggling science fiction drama has been renewed for a full 22-episode fourth season.
For a while now the show has been considered to be on the bubble for cancellation, with a recent slide in the ratings causing it be moved to Fridays back in January of this year. A number of other Fox shows that were previously moved to Fridays - "Dollhouse" and "Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles" come to mind - were subsequently canceled not long after the move.
Taking a look at the ratings, last season in its Thursday timeslot Fringe averaged a 2.3 rating in the key adults 18-49 demographic. This season before the move to Fridays, it was averaging a much lower 1.8 in the same category - only earning above a 2.0 rating once (on its premiere night).
Since the move, the Fringe hasn't fared any better - averaging a 1.5. Last Friday's episode actually hit a series low 1.3 rating, with 3.85 million overall viewers. It is important to note, however, that Friday shows aren't expected to pull in ratings numbers as high as other days of the week.
Fox is also quick to point out that on its new night, Fringe is the Number 1 series in the adults 18-49 demo. This likely takes into account the show's time-shifting viewers as well, but clearly the network sees potential for the show as a solid Friday night performer with this full season pickup.
(Source: TV Line)