As initially reported by the FutonCritic, FOX will be putting Fringe on a seven week hiatus from February. The mid-season schedule sees the Fringe “winter finale” air Feb. 4th with the remaining 7 episodes returning from April 1st (not an April Fools!). FOX newbie “Past Life“ is taking over the Thursday slot for 6 episodes from Feb. 11th. Good luck Past Life, you’ll need it!
There are probably two main points of contention amongst Fringies – first, we have the show taking an enormous break, denting whatever continuity the story has – not to mention giving the “all-important” casual viewers more time to forget which one Olivia is (really). And upon its return, Fringe will go straight back into the hazardous Thursday slot to once again slog it out with heavyweights like Greys and Office. Ouch!
Reading around the Interweb, some people seem to think this is the death nail – a sign that FOX has given up on Fringe. I’m thinking that the situation could be better, but there’s no need to be overly dramatic just yet. Mid-season breaks are fairly common place, and while there is still a chance of Fringe improving on its live ratings and DVR audience share we can still be somewhat optimistic. Things could be far worse – look at Dollhouse (RIP), and if the creators decide tell the story in the best way possible (i.e. serial), then we might yet have a third season. Of course Fringe could have done with another year building its audience in a more comfortable time-slot, but if the show can trend upwards from here it will be quite an achievement. I guess it’s a wait and see situation.
You can check out the full FOX mid-season schedule below:
FOX ANNOUNCES 2009-2010 MID-SEASON SCHEDULE
“AMERICAN IDOL” RETURNS WITH TWO-NIGHT SEASON PREMIERE
TUESDAY, JAN. 12 AND WEDNESDAY, JAN. 13
NEW UNSCRIPTED SERIES “OUR LITTLE GENIUS” DEBUTS
WEDNESDAY, JAN. 13
NEW ACTION DRAMA “HUMAN TARGET” PREVIEWS
DURING EXTENDED PRIMETIME SUNDAY, JAN. 17 AND
MAKES ITS SERIES PREMIERE WEDNESDAY, JAN. 20
“24” STARTS THE CLOCK DURING TWO-NIGHT, FOUR-HOUR EVENT
SUNDAY, JAN. 17 AND MONDAY, JAN. 18
CELEBRATE THE “BEST. 20 YEARS. EVER.” OF “THE SIMPSONS”
WITH “THE SIMPSONS 20TH ANNIVERSARY SPECIAL: IN 3-D! ON ICE!”
AND MILESTONE 450TH EPISODE SUNDAY, JAN. 10
GORDON RAMSAY’S “KITCHEN NIGHTMARES” TURNS UP THE HEAT
FRIDAY, JAN. 29
NEW THRILLER “PAST LIFE” EMERGES THURSDAY, FEB. 11
AND NEW COMEDY “SONS OF TUCSON” DEBUTS SUNDAY, MARCH 14
“GLEE” ROCKS ITS FALL FINALE WEDNESDAY, DEC. 9
AND RETURNS WITH ALL-NEW EPISODES TUESDAY, APRIL 13
“FRINGE” AIRS WINTER FINALE THURSDAY, FEB. 4
AND RESURFACES WITH ALL-NEW EPISODES THURSDAY, APRIL 1
“LIE TO ME” PICKED UP FOR THE BACK NINE EPISODES BRINGING
THE ORDER TO A FULL SEASON
What do you think about the 7 week hiatus – will it damage Fringe or can the show come through it unscathed?