We’ve been talking for weeks about the eventual fates of Fox’s Fringe and Terra Nova, and the promise (or lack thereof) of the new drama Alcatraz. The network itself hasn’t ruled on any of the shows just yet, but if you believe certain TV experts, all three could be doomed.
Robert Seidman, over at TV by the Numbers, predicted today that both Fringe—which continues to battle low numbers in the midst of its fourth season—and Alcatraz—which is losing viewers weekly after just five episodes—will get the boot sometime soon.
Alcatraz started strong last month with 10 million viewers for its premiere, but this week it managed little more than six. That’s led Seidman to declare its cancellation “likely” unless a big and miraculous numbers boost happens soon. As for Fringe, the guys at TV by the Numbers said it was done last season and were wrong, but Seidman argues last year’s renewal was largely based on increasing the show’s prospects for syndication.
“Could what happened last year happen again? Sure it could,” Seidman said. “But last year, even though we got it wrong it was easy to make a case for renewal based on the conventional wisdom of studios discounting shows to get to enough episodes for syndication. Fringe will have enough episodes after the current season though. If it’s renewed it will be anything but conventional. But because it’s Fringe it’s merely a likely cancellation rather than a certain cancellation.”
As for Terra Nova, we keep expecting to see Fox make the call—one way or the other—any day now. Seidman classifies it as “on the bubble,” meaning a show that’s in trouble but neither a likely nor an unlikely candidate for cancellation. Its numbers were never stellar, but on average it pulled in more than Alcatraz has the last two weeks.
As we’ve said before, one of the reasons Fox has waited this long to decide Terra Nova’s fate is Alcatraz. The network had to see if its spring dramas would top its fall dramas and then make the call on which ones to keep and which ones to ditch. Alcatraz looked like it would come out on top in its first two weeks, but it looks to be rapidly falling from favor. Right now it seems that if there’s going to be a winner among this trio of struggling sci-fi shows, it’s going to be Terra Nova. But nothing is certain yet.