Olivia (Anna Torv) and Walter (John Noble) from "Fringe"
Fox is making some drastic changes for its mid-season lineup beginning in early 2011. The most surprising is moving "Fringe" to Friday nights at 9 p.m. to make room for "American Idol" on Wednesdays and Thursdays. "Idol" used to air on Tuesdays and Wednesdays.
With "Glee" getting huge ratings on Tuesday, Fox doesn't need "American Idol" to carry the night anymore. And, CBS's "Survivor" is no longer on Thursdays, so Fox is hoping to cash in on the lack of reality TV on that night.
This move probably doesn't go over well with "Fringe" fans because Friday night is where Fox's sci-fi shows go to die. See: "Dark Angel," "Firefly," "Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles." In fact, Fox hasn't had a successful Friday night show since the early days of "The X Files" in the mid nineties.
Thankfully, most "Fringe" fans DVR the show and watch it later--this is how it survived low ratings in its infancy. So, if the DVR numbers stay up, "Fringe" will probably stay on the air. But, this is Fox so it's anyone's guess.
"Fringe" has gotten steadily better over its three seasons and is one of the best shows on network television. Hopefully, it can survive in the new time slot.
Other changes include (thankfully) no more episodes of "The Good Guys" and "Running Wilde" and the addition of two new shows, "Mixed Signals" and "The Chicago Code."
"The Good Guys" just didn't work despite two quality leads in Bradley Whitford and Colin Hanks and never gained strong ratings. In fact, it was on Friday nights in the slot "Fringe" will take over.
I've officially written off "Arrested Development" creator Mitch Hurwitz. "Running Wilde" will be his third failed series (including "Shut Up Sit Down," "Brothers") since "Arrested Development" and I'm labeling him a one-hit wonder.
"Mixed Signals" is a half-hour comedy about three friends dealing with their relationships from the co-writer of "Wedding Crashers" and has potential to be pretty funny. "The Chicago Code" is a cop drama from Shawn Ryan, the creator of "The Shield" and showrunner for "Terriers." Given his pedigree, this could be a strong drama and worth checking out.