Fringe Ratings Update: 2.19 “Brown Betty”

Fringe slipped 5% in last Thursday’s “Brown Betty” airing, scoring a 2.0 adults 18-49 rating. Not good. At all.

It’s difficult to say exactly how much of the drop was down to FOX airing a musical episode of Fringe, but I imagine that it had something to do with it. Many people tune into Fringe to watch a specific brand of entertainment, so the thought of watching a ‘musical’ must have been aย bit of a turn off for some.

Don’t get me wrong, “Brown Betty” was alright by me in the end, but we have to find a way to plug the hole in the universe Fringe ratings. (Where’s Walter’s universal sealant when you need it?). Hopefully the episodes leading up to the finale will give us the uptick we crave. Meanwhile, head past the jump for the graphical break down.



  1. Anjali says

    Agree. Fringe needs to get back to the 6-8 million figures. Although we’ve been renewed for Season 3, it’s not a good sign if the ratings keep dropping.

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  2. says

    Fox needs to get out of the kitchen and realize that Fringe faithful can’t be bought with gimmicks like musical or animated episodes.

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  3. mlj102 says

    I agree that the drop in ratings is likely due to certain Fringe fans boycotting the musical episode, as well as the fact that this week everything in competition with Fringe aired new episodes (in past weeks since returning from the Lowatus, I think there has always been at least one show in reruns). I hope that the next three weeks will see an increase in ratings because, despite an early renewal for Season 3, the low ratings make me uncomfortable.

    Of course, I do find a certain amount of reassurance in the fact that Fringe’s ratings for the night (2.0) really weren’t too much lower than Bones’ ratings for the night (2.5 or 2.6). Bones is one of FOX’s top shows right now, and it hasn’t been doing much better than Fringe ever since they both returned from Lowatus.

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  4. Frobozz says

    I (was forced) to watch this episode with my girlfriend and her kids, all of us Fringe fans. And they (not me) are all musical lovers…they even watch “Glee”.

    They all thought the episode was awful. One kid wandered off to play the PS3 after about 15 minutes. Keep in mind these are kids who love the show, and not only were they bored with it, they were angered by it. “What about Peter? Why aren’t they showing where he went?” were the questions they asked.

    This episode was a total bomb. It’s not what Fringe needed this close to the finale, just as it was gaining momentum. Way to go Fox…foot meet bullet. Hope the producers of “Glee” are happy…

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  5. Elaine says

    And still no.

    Along with the fact that Fringe airs on the toughest night of competion in the most coveted time slot of the week, it’s been going up against not only the NFL draft, but the NBA playoffs which are huge ratings draw for the 18-49 demographics for the past weeks.

    There’s also the sad fact that audiences today are more fickle than ever. Move a show to a new night, take it off the air for weeks at a time and you may as chalk it up as a loss.

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  6. MikeMike says

    I didn’t like the episode or the idea of it (I hate the idea of animation) but I still watched it. Then I rewatched in on Hulu a second time to look for clues.

    My neighbor said what you guys are saying, that he watched something else instead of a gimmick.

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    • Elaine says

      What gimmick? The writers made it perfectly clear from the outset where and why this fantastical story was taking place without forgetting the whole concept was born out of Walter’s sorrow, sadness, remorse, regret and pain now that Peter knows the truth and has removed himself from Walter’s life.

      I didn’t see how that was so hard to grasp or accept.

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      • MikeMike says

        Simply put, a “musical” episode on a show that is non-musical show. That is a gimmick. It doesn’t matter how how the writers made it look.

        And whether we like it or not, some viewers (including myself) considered this a gimmick, or at very least (in my case) a really horrible idea.

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        • Frobozz says

          But, if done right, gimmick episodes CAN work and work well. As I keep saying, “Jose Chung’s ‘From Outer Space'” on the X-Files is probably THE BEST example of a gimmick episode that worked and worked incredibly well. Musical Fringe? Meh…bad idea. Pity Charles Nelson Reilly is dead…having him reprise Jose Chung on Fringe…now that would be gold.

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        • Elaine says

          Was it really? ๐Ÿ˜‰

          You know…I was as apprehensive as the next person when I heard Fringe was doing a musical episode. Let’s face it, the potential for failure was great. Finding out that doing a musical wasn’t the writers initial idea, but they were approached by the network to do one reassured me that their decision to go this route was no gimmick to try and appeal to a broader audience…or to reset the tone of the series. They decided to take a chance, not take themselves too seriously by having a sense of humor about the whole thing. As a result, I figured it was worth giving the episode a chance. ‘Brown Betty’ was a one off; but it manged to capture the expected mood of the aftermath of the Peter reveal. And whether you liked, loved or hated the episode, I don’t think it’s fair to charge the writers for putting out a poorly written episode where the acting and singing sucked…because the truth is…it didn’t.

          All that being said, I guess we’ll have to agree to disagree on the matter and move on.

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      • Page 48 says

        “What gimmick?”

        This gimmick

        What’s up next for the boys in marketing over at FOX, crossover episodes? Dr. Bishop sees Dr. House about his bursitis? Bones and Angel babysit Ella while Rachel goes shopping with Marge Simpson?

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  7. rosull says

    I too think it had to do with the “musical” episode. I called my mother and she said she only could “stand” about 10 or 15 minutes of the show. She is definitely a Fringe fan, but I had to explain why they were singing. Once she understood the backstory it was ok. She still hasn’t watched the episode though; she feels that the producers should have passed.

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  8. says

    No, “fringe” did not do as well as it usually does following “Bones”. There is a .2 % pt. drop. normally. i think the telling indication is the second half-hour of “Fringe” when there was a .2 % point drop.

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  9. Jacksonheights says

    At what point would Walter care whether or not Olivia believed in true love. Walter would and should be close to a nervous breakdown and in fear of losing Peter forever I doubt the hugs and rainbows would come in to play. For those of you who loved it I think you just wanted to see Olivia croon a love song to Peter. I had to watch through my fingers so embarassing.

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