According to EW, Fringe's move from Thursday night's laden primetime block to free and clear Friday night last week actually may have helped the show's chances of being renewed for another season!
I've been meaning to blog about Fringe's ridiculously good third season for a couple of months now, but for the sake of brevity let me just say that I think this season has been every bit as good as The X-Files during its golden years (seasons 3-5, in my opinion) and even the third season of LOST to an extent. Since its initial debut, the show has gone from mainly freak-of-the-week episodes, with an occasionally resurfacing and somewhat interesting mythology, to a show with a very compelling mythology that actually informs its more episodic installments. It's now a show that fuses existential depth with believable character development and entertaining popcorn fare. (For the record, my mathematical formula for a great sci-fi show is as follows: [Compelling Mythology + Character Development] x Philosophical Depth.) I may at some point in the near future take a moment to write about a hidden gem episode called "The Plateau" that has stuck with me since I saw it, but for now I'm comfortable simply praising Fringe as one of the very best shows on TV.
Well, when FOX decided to move Fringe from Thursday night (otherwise known as the night TV execs attempt to break our DVRs with program overload) to the darkest night of the week, Friday, lots of fans were outraged. "Could this mean anything other than that FOX is looking for an excuse to cancel our beloved JJ Abrams show," they asked. From my perspective, though, the move to Friday was a brilliant move for FOX. If you will remember, Friday was the coveted night of the aforementioned X-Files during the 90s, which maintained its dedicated cult following to the bitter end. A show like The X-Files probably wouldn't have succeeded as long as it did had it aired opposite Seinfeld on Thursdays, which is the 90s ratings equivalent to Grey's Anatomy, a show that has been Fringe's "competition" for the last two years. Fail.
The other reason this is a brilliant move is because Fridays are a dark hole for primetime because there's simply never anything worth watching on that night. I was upset to see CBS move its surprisingly adept procedural Blue Bloods from a competition-free Friday night to another heavy programming night Wednesday, but alas. Fringe has the benefit of being, like Chuck, a cult show with a younger, DVR-happy fan-base. For people watching Fringe on DVRs, like me, Friday night is a gift!
In conclusion, watch Fringe! It's a nice, conflict-free addition to your DVR's Now Playing list.