FOX's president comments on the show and what it will take for it to continue.
As fans have fretted about, Fringe is making the move to Friday nights this month. Asked about the decision today at the TCA (Television Critics Association) press tour, FOX's president, Kevin Reilly, told the group of TV journalists, "I appreciate the support in this room. I beg you not to write the eulogy prematurely."
While acknowledging the difficulty FOX has had on Fridays, Reilly said, "It's not a free night for us. It's not a night we can just hang out a gone fishin' sign. We're looking for solution." He mentioned that he'd seen Fringe make it onto several critics' Top 10 lists for 2010 and said, "They deserve it. The production value in incredible. It's been in the most challenging [timeslot on Thursdays] – a four way scripted race. It's done a job for us; it put us in business on Thursday nights. With the new structure [pairing American Idol with Bones on Thursdays], we're looking to go a little broader with the rating."
Reilly noted that Fringe has maintained a loyal audience on Thursdays and that it has notably high DVR usage. As for what he's looking for now that the show is on Fridays, "I want those viewers to transfer to Friday. I hope fans stick with it, even if the DVR usage goes up a little on Friday. It's a fantastic show and I'd be heartbroken if it went away."
Reilly said that one of the "conundrums" Fringe offers is that has the show has gotten stronger creatively, "It's more difficult to join it in progress." Going forward, "We're playing to our fans. We're happy to take anyone new who wants to get onboard. But If the fans stay with us, the show can stay on the air for many years."