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January 21 2011

Fox Friday Night Cancellations. Yahoo TV is asking if "Fringe" will be the latest Fox show to be cut short in the Friday night 'death slot'.

Pictures of 11 genre shows that were cancelled when Fox put them on Friday nights.

When I first learned of the switch, my very first thought was 'well crap, there goes another one...'
I really hope that isn't the case.
Hmm, I think if it does go, it won't be because its on Friday. It will be because it was getting absolutely slaughtered on Thursday and Friday just continues or fails to boost it a little.
I see the article doesn't mention that the writers decided to call this first Friday episode of Fringe, "The Firefly." I don't think it is a coincidence and if it is one, it is still brilliant. :)
There's conflicting information about that. The episode was written long before the Friday move, but the reference is nonetheless supposedly intentional.
Fringe has a solid following, and it's an established show. I'm hoping the move to Friday doesn't hurt it much. Terminator didn't have a solid audience when it moved, and Firefly never had a chance to get established. I think the show has some things going for it to survive the move. Still, I think the writers better start wrapping up some extraneous plot lines. It's a decent show, and deserves a few more seasons at least.
I can't think of a single extraneous plot line on Fringe right now.
Wonderfalls, the biggest sting for me.
Dollhouse and Firefly are of course up there but Wonderfalls was just special.
I hope Fringe makes it. It's turned into one of the best shows on TV and I would hate to see it cut short before its six year plan can be told.
The luxury that Fringe has over Dollhouse, Firefly, Wonderfalls, etc. is that it already has its core established audience. Whatever rating it gets tonight will probably be close to what it has throughout the rest of the season. Not to mention that Fox has been promoting the move more than any other Friday show in memory.
No mention of the original Fox Friday night sci-fi/western? Bah!

I'm hoping that Fringe will find a way to survive, but no matter who's in charge, this is Fox.
Glad to see they included VR5 on their list (which also starred Anthony Head), I'll never get over that one.
I still wanna to know what was gonna happen next on VR5 and Brimstone. :(

It's interesting to me that Fox still keeps giving sci-fi series the green light despite all those cancellations. I wonder...

1. How many sci-fi shows do they pick up compared to the other networks?
2. How does the over all success of sci-fi shows compare to other types of shows?
2. How does the over all success of sci-fi shows compare to other types of shows?

Well, if you go by Craig Engler's excellent post on TV ratings, "sci-fi shows are actually canceled no more frequently than other genres".
@BrethesStory: Sci-Fi shows are capable of producing incredible followings, which can be really useful for networks. Look as us, here, still talking about Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Who's still talking about Dawson's Creek? They can develop very loyal fans - which can mean very stable ratings and a very specific demographic, which makes it easy to sell ads. Also, really good, high-concept sci-fi shows are capable of combining high-brow and low-brow in a way that traditional drama seems unable to do. Or, at least, they're perceived as being able to do so.

The X-Files had an enormous positive impact on FOX's profile, and was arguably an important part of it's transition from netlet to big boy network. It's not an exaggeration to say the WB was partially built on Buffy the Vampire Slayer. It's also not a coincidence that two of the WB's big survivors of the merger were sci-fi shows.

There's just something about genre shows, that attract people and raise passion.
One of the things networks keep doing - and Fox is especially notorious for this - is they keep pitting sci-fi shows against the sci-fi shows of other networks. That cuts down on the numbers of people who watch it as it airs, because the loyalties of viewers end up being divided.

Remember when "Angel" was up against "Lost?" Or "Buffy" against "Smallville?" Then there are nights where there's no sci-fi at all, and no plan to schedule any on those nights (such as Wednesdays, currently).
I thought it was so cool that the year in the past was 1985.

And that the show actually had something to do with a firefly.

[ edited by Anonymous1 on 2011-01-22 06:42 ]
Geesh, I'm such a geek. I watched all those shows. I LOVED Strange Luck. That, Firefly and Wonderfalls hurt the most on that list. Then of course another Friday canceled scifi show {tho not Fox} Farscape {on Scifi} REALLY broke my heart.
I really miss Wonderfalls too. Another reason why Serenity stung was since depending on how that went, Bryan Fuller talked in passing about having a film-version/summation with Lee Pace's brother character as the POV figure.

(I forget though, did it start off on Fridays or was that where they ended up moving it since a repeat of the pilot got relatively good ratings.)
Much like BtVS, this show didn't really kick off until late in the second season. But, once it caught it's style, it's been a whirlwind since. Very fascinating show, crossing fingers it will continue beyond season three.
They left out The Adventures of Brisco County, Jr.! That show was my introduction to the Friday night death slot.
@ kishi,

Exactly! One of the greatest Fox shows ever, the cancelation of Brisco was the beginning of the curse on Friday nights.
That being said, in the preliminary ratings Fringe managed a 1.9 A18-49. Much of it's competition was in repeats, and this was only the first night, but that's an impressive start to Fringe Fridays.
b!x, thanks for the very nice link. I'm now feeling all kinds of educated. : )

I'm currently rewatching Brisco, so I can't say that I miss it exactly... but yep, it's another show that I would've liked to have seen more of. It really started to gel in the second half of the series. It was sort of like Firefly in that it had the potential to explore a lot of different tones and stories.
This thread is stirring up a lot of hurts...Brisco, Wonderfalls, Brimstone....wah!!! Hopefully Fringe is established enough already and will survive this move, it really is a good show and it keeps getting better.
@ BreathesStory,

I absolutely agree that Brisco had a ton of potential and easily could have lasted for years more. I never understood why it didn't find a bigger audience, as Bruce Campbell especially is so charismatic imo. And the writing and the other characters didn't seem to have a weak link amongst them. At least it had an extra long Season 1 wherein it wrapped up it's major storylines. For me, that's the one thing that makes it's loss easier to bear.
"Remember when "Angel" was up against "Lost?" "

I don't. Lost premiered after Angel was canceled.
JJ Abrams should immediately find a way to make every episode of Fringe from now on (until they're moved again, anyway) have a Friday Night Death Slot show title.
"Fox Friday Night Cancellations"

I imagine that would be a "Masterpiece Theater" type of show, but they'd play part three first, part one second and "Kitchen Nightmares" last.
"Fox Friday Night Cancellations"

It could be a "feel good" drama* where an Angel of Death works the Friday nightshift around the world and we see the inter-connectedness of the three? four ? people in the episode. ...OR...

It could be a hosted movie marathon show with a running Death Toll Counter in the lower corner for the high death toll friendly films it shows. (Shades of MonsterVision. *sigh* I miss ya.) ...OR...

It could be a series about a Hollywood script writer, Tom Minor, who snaps one day and develops a split personality that goes around killing off various people in the entertainment industry and the implications and fallout from his actions. ...OR...

It could be an "American Idol" type contest show where various script writers introduce their series pilot ideas and try to get them past Inspector Fox of the Entertainment Police.

*Okay, that was meant to be a little bit sarcastic. ; )


Risch22, I'm gonna have to disagree with you about the writing on Brisco. It was/is a bit clunky in places and the preachy "Kids, make sure you eat your vegetables" thing is a little tedious. I think some less than stellar guest stars didn't help matters either. (Joss's shows are truly amazing casting wise.) The main repeating characters though are just great. I think I fell in deep like with it for the second time when it was revealed that Bowler was a tough, curmudgeonly, money grubbing bounty hunter with an interior design obsession. But the very first time I fell in deep like with it would have to be when Pete Hutter debuted. I miss Pete and his piece. John Pyper-Ferguson will forever be Pete to me.

I'm having a good time watching the writer's figure the show out. I wasn't able to appreciate that part at the time it originally aired.
I have this theory about Fox's Friday Nights. The X-Files debuted and ran for 4(?) seasons on Friday's, defying the odds. Fox used X-files' 9pm slot to prop up several of the shows on the Friday Night Cancellation list, VR5 and Strange Luck to name a couple (anyone remember the X-files tie-in they tried, having the DB Sweeney character's brother know Mulder?). Problem was (is), the networks, and especially Fox, rarely have the patience to build an audience.

When they moved X-files from Fridays, the Friday Night Death Watch began in earnest. I think Fox has been looking for the next X-files; a ratings-busting genre show that can survive Friday nights. Thing is, they forget that the X-files wasn't an overnight success either.

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