'Fringe' Isn't Afraid of Fridays, Plus More on the Show's Weird Science
It's understandable; Friday has indeed been a death slot for many a fine Fox program. Perhaps I'm ovely optimistic, but when it comes to 'Fringe,' I think the show's passionate fan base will follow it where it goes and -- fingers crossed -- ensure its survival. I certainly hope so, given how good 'Fringe' has been all year (it made many year-end Top 10 lists, including mine).
But what do the 'Fringe' powers that be think of the worries about the move, which are amusingly skewered in the clip below? I asked executive producer Jeff Pinkner for his thoughts on the Friday slot -- and, for good measure, I also emailed him a reader question about the show. Pinkner's answers to both queries are below.
Regarding the move to Fridays, I said in my note to Pinkner that I wasn't in a panicked state about the switch -- I can recall 'The X-Files' thriving on that night, and currently 'Supernatural's' avid fanbase is keeping that show afloat on Fridays as well. Ryan McGee and I talked about the 'Fringe' move in our latest podcast, and as I said then, usually the shows that die on Fridays were already in trouble or not favored by the network. That's not the case with 'Fringe,' in my opinion, despite the cheeky doom and gloom of the clip above.
"The trailer is pretty fun, right?! And, no, I don't think it's a death slot at all," Pinkner replied. "Ironically our audience was begging Fox to move us off Thursday night (a death slot of its own), and now they are freaked that Fox is sending us to the guillotine. Truth is, we have a hardcore group of fans there at Fox, and we (and they) are really excited about the stories we have coming up (and not just for this season). If our audience follows us to Friday, we may make a home there for a long time. I think I've said this to you before: We never intended to make this show for a massive audience of intermittent fans. It's not that type of show. Not everyone likes licorice -- but people who like licorice, really like licorice. That's who we're making the show for. The licorice lovers. And what better way to start the weekend than with licorice?"
I also sent Pinkner a good reader question that came in during the past week (many other recent reader questions are answered in this week's Ask Mo column).
From Al: "One of my current favorite shows is 'Fringe,' and I think it's kind of fun when they try to include some real science to ground the science fiction. However, as a chemist, it drives me slightly crazy when they get the details wrong. I also have similar reactions when watching shows like 'Bones' or 'Castle' (and it probably occurs on those 'CSI'-like shows). I realize it's silly and nitpicky to care that much, but I was wondering if you could offer any insight for how it works for 'Fringe' and other sci-fi shows on the science front. Do they have a consultant, or are they randomly latching onto ideas they see and making up what they don't know?"
Pinkner's reply: "Hey Al! Yes, we have a science consultant," Pinkner wrote. "But, after reading your letter, I'm thinking that... maybe he's not that smart!!
"In seriousness, yes we have a consultant -- and, yes, we try to get the details right. As often as possible. Obviously, we take some creative license, especially with some of the more... fringe concepts. But I know where you're coming from: I'm a former lawyer, and I would always be nitpicky with law shows... but I realized why they were bending the facts in favor of dramatic license and decided to just go with it. We certainly try to ground everything in reality... but then sometimes...
"So, here's a question for you -- the shapeshifters? Part biological, part mechanical. Would you have suggested that they have contained an element more appropriate than Mercury?!"
For a recent 'Fringe' feature/interview with Pinker and executive producer J.H. Wyman, look here.
Follow @MoRyan on Twitter.