Greg Gayne/NBC; Fox
Greg Gayne/NBC; Fox
Fringe got its ticket to a new season, and good for it.
But what of other bubble shows out there? Are their ratings really any fringier than Fringe's?
Let's take a look at where 10 series stand:
• Chuck: Per the season-to-date Nielsen rankings, the spy favorite is pulling a 2.1 rating in the all-important 18-49 demo; Fringe is at 2.5. So, yeah, sorry, Chuck is even fringier than Fox's Friday-night series. Could this be the season that Chuck finally kicks the bucket?
• The Event: OK, technically, The Event is bigger than Fringe (2.7), but when it comes to the matter of what have you done for your network lately, the sci-fi saga is failing badly. Last night, it managed a barely there 1.2 demo rating.
• Parenthood: Not only is it higher rated than Fringe (2.8), it's higher rated than its already-renewed network cousin, 30 Rock (2.5). Of course, 30 Rock has about a billion Emmys, so that helps with the network love.
• Mr. Sunshine: Tough one. It's 2.8 demo rating seems big enough as these things go in 2011, but, on average, it's losing more than 40 percent of its Modern Family lead-in.
• Brothers & Sisters: ABC's aging family drama right there on the Fringe line (2.6).
• Law & Order: Los Angeles: Ditto (2.5).
• The Defenders: Wait, this show (2.2) hasn't been canceled yet?
• Lie to Me: It would seem to be in the same sinking boat as The Defenders (with an identical 2.2), except that Fox seems to like it better than CBS likes The Defenders. So, no, the numbers don't tell the whole story.
• Outsourced: Like we said, the numbers only mean so much, especially when your 2.4 demo rating has been pumped up by Steve Carell's victory lap on The Office.
• Desperate Housewives: Its demo rating is anything but fringy (3.9), but only ABC knows for sure if it can afford to buy more soap.
In other ratings matters, here's a quick look at the week's winners:
• American Idol: Wednesday's Top 11 performance show was No. 1 (24 million viewers).
• Dancing With The Stars: Its season premiere was so big (22.7 million) it topped Thursday's Casey Abrams Idol shocker (21.3 million) for second place in the broadcast standings.
• The Office: The beginning of the end of Michael Scott got the comedy back in the demo Top 10 with 7.1 million viewers overall.
• Jersey Shore: Its season-three finale was its biggest season finale yet (7.6 million)—and cable's most-watched show.
• Shows that appeal to people with loads of free time—and access to DVRs: If you watch Idol or DWTS or whatever, and then watch it again on TiVo, Nielsen will now count your repeat views toward the show's final number. (So, in other words, it you really want to save Chuck, clear your schedule, and start watching. And rewatching. And rewatching…)