FRINGE: Jeff Pinkner and J.H. Wyman on the Move to Fridays and Why New Viewers Should Watch Tonight - Give Me My Remote : Give Me My Remote

FRINGE: Jeff Pinkner and J.H. Wyman on the Move to Fridays and Why New Viewers Should Watch Tonight

December 2, 2010 by  

While FRINGE fans have been up in arms about the show’s move to Fridays in January of ’11, executive producers Jeff Pinkner and J.H. Wyman insist it’s actually…a good thing?!

“We are excited,” Wyman told reporters on a conference call Wednesday. “We think it’s open territory that could be conquered. We really do believe our fans are loyal and I believe they’re going to follow. It’s a chance for us to get away from that stigma that Fridays are not an opportune night. [We think] that we can actually deliver, like THE X-FILES did. It’s a good opportunity.”

“When Fox informed us of the move, we said what is most important to us: we understand that our audience is watching the show,” Pinkner added. “Not like a standalone audience watches the show, but they’re actually watching it as an investment over time and we wanted to be able to tell our audience that the story, the ongoing, the long-arcing story that we have planned is going to get told as it always has. It’s funny, there are more FRINGE fans in the building at Fox than any show we’ve ever worked on before. And I think we all feel that if we can build a fanbase and carve out some territory on Friday nights, we can be there for years.”

So yes, despite the mass alarm on the interwebs that FRINGE is being moved to Friday nights to die, the intention is to bring it there to thrive.

“We have a tremendous amount of support from Fox,” Wyman said. “And on the inside of this job, you really know when people are starting to disengage [from a show] and that’s not the case. The naysayers are always going to be there. They said the same thing about our Thursday night move: ‘Oh, they’re going to be gone in half a season.’ And that wasn’t the case either. Fox said we’re going to support you on Thursday nights, try and have Thursday nights taken seriously for us. And they lived up to that commitment. A lot of times, sure, the shows that moved to this [Friday] time slot, they don’t last, but I think that has more to do with the quality of the television show and how it’s doing.”

And how is the show doing?

“What we’ve learned was our DVR numbers are so high and the season is so great, but we realized our fans, they’re watching [FRINGE], they’re just telling us they don’t want to watch it on Thursdays” Wyman continued. “Thursdays are a traditionally romantic comedy night with BONES and GREY’S [ANATOMY]. It was always a place for us where we were assured [FRINGE] was safe, that it would not be taken off the air in that context and they lived up to it. But the landscape is changing so much on network television, who knows what Friday nights are going to be? We’re going in there with 100% confidence.”

Still, Pinkner and Wyman are well aware of fan sentiment.

“What’s ironic is when we moved to Thursday nights and [throughout] the last year, all the message boards have been [saying] ‘move the show off Thursday nights!'” Pinkner laughed. “So it’s sort of one of those — from the fans’ point of view — ‘be careful what you wish for,’ but as [J.H.] said, Fox and Warner Brothers are very happy with this move and we can only follow their lead. From the inside, you know when you’re losing support with your network and studio partners and for us, it’s just the opposite, as evidenced by the support for [“Entrada”]. We wouldn’t be doing this call right now if the move to Friday night was the beginning of the end, if we were moving there to die. The truth is [it’s just] the opposite.”

And that is actually thanks to the loyal viewers, many of whom are lamenting this move… out of love though, of course.

“The good news is our show has developed a devoted, rabid fan base,” Pinkner said. “Critical praise has never been higher. And our fan support has never been more passionate. If we can translate that to Friday nights which has much lower expectations, as we said, we’ll be around for a good long time and we have stories to tell.”

And many of those stories kick into high gear tonight. Long-time fans will get some major payoff, but the hour is still accessible if you’re a FRINGE virgin.

“If the only episode of FRINGE you ever tune in to watch is this one, sure, it’s going to take you five minutes to catch up, but you will feel what’s going on,” Wyman promised. “You will understand the relationships. It’s a great entry point and the truth is, the one right afterwards — which is the falling out [after tonight’s] episode, and kind of picking up the pieces — is equally a great place to join. As a storyteller, we hope people will see these episodes and go, ‘Oh wow, let me go back and see what I missed.'”

Agreed. Tonight’s episode is amazing. It’s really that simple. I could wax poetic about it — and it’s probable I will in the recap — but the bottom line is it’s a damn fine hour of television that you won’t regret checking out.

And because it’s worth watching (and rewatching) the movie-style trailer Fox put out for “Entrada” as many times as possible, here it is again. Enjoy…


Filed under #1 featured, Fringe


2 Responses to “FRINGE: Jeff Pinkner and J.H. Wyman on the Move to Fridays and Why New Viewers Should Watch Tonight”

  1. Angie on December 2nd, 2010 4:24 pm

    Can’t freaking wait!!!

  2. Alison on December 2nd, 2010 5:41 pm

    I am ridiculously excited for this!! I was thinking about making my brother watch this episode because he likes sci fi stuff so hopefully this will get hime hooked!