Moving “Fringe” to Fridays has been fortunate for Fox.
“Fringe” helped the network take first place last Friday night in the young demographic networks and advertisers love to reach. The J.J. Abrams-produced sci-fi series was the night’s top show in the 18-49 age group with a 1.9 rating. Fox’s average for the evening was aided by “Kitchen Nightmares” leading off the night at 8/7c with a 1.7 rating in the demo.
“Fringe” – starring Anna Torv, Joshua Jackson and John Noble – also did pretty well in total viewers, attracting 4.53 million, which is a fine number for the Fox series. However, CBS won the night in the total viewer count with an average audience of 7.7 million for repeat episodes of “NCIS: Los Angeles,” “CSI: New York” and “Hawaii Five-0.”
“‘Fringe’ may have received some help from its competitors,” noted an analysis of the Friday night numbers in The Hollywood Reporter. “The CW decided to push the returns of “Smallville” and “Supernatural” back one week.” New episodes of both shows are scheduled for this Friday at 8 p.m. and 9 p.m. (7c and 8c). Last Friday, CW aired repeats of “Vampire Diaries” and “Nikita.”
Separately, another THR story noted that “Fringe” is also doing well in DVR playback, realizing additional audience gains of 42 percent over its time-slot rating. (The DVR numbers are for the “Fringe” episode that aired a week earlier, on Jan. 21.)
There had been some speculation about how the cult series, which recently returned from hiatus in a new time slot, would perform on Fridays. Known as the “Fox Graveyard,” Fridays have been a sore spot for the network, who’s had a string of failures on that night in recent years (see “Dollhouse,” “Terminator,” and even Jessica Alba’s “Dark Angel”), but it looks like “Fringe” followers are transporting that “jinx” off to a parallel universe.