Fringe, 90210 have off nights

In J.J. Abrams terms, the Fringe debut was a flop. Only 9.1 million people watched it, according to Nielsen, a number Fox was hoping would have a "1" in front of it. That breaks down to just above one dollar per set of eyes, if the alleged $10 million price tag for the pilot is to be believed.

The heavily hyped program was one of the season's most eagerly anticipated, or so we thought. By comparison, Lost, another J.J. product, debuted in 2004 to a whopping 18.6 million viewers. In fact, no first-run episode--season premiere or otherwise--of Lost has drawn less than 10 million (as The Washington Post points out), and that includes the numbers from season three, when the show was thought to have lost its way.

It's probably unfair to compare Fringe to Lost or assume that everything J.J. Abrams puts his name on is ratings dynamite, but something is amiss. People seem to like Fringe, and it currently holds an 8.0 rating on TV.com. Was it the less-than-stellar reviews? Was it the fact that it leaked online months ago? Is it those darned digital video recorders all you whippersnappers are using nowadays? It's probably a combination of all three, but I'd love to hear your theories (and if you didn't watch the premiere episode, watch it now on TV.com for free!).

Over on the good old CW, 90210 saw a significant slide (3.2 million viewers) in its second episode, losing more than 30 percent of its targeted audience from its premiere. Losing that many people doesn't bode well for the zip code--or for The CW, which is believed to be on the ropes. In case you were wondering, 90210 currently holds a 7.7 rating on our dear site.

Enough with sad tales! The feel-good story of the summer is, without a doubt, ABC Family's Secret Life of the American Teenager. The mid-season finale was cable's top show of the evening, outperforming even 90210 with 4.54 million viewers and laying an even greater beatdown in target audiences. Yes, more people watched ABC Family than The CW on Tuesday--ouch! Unlike most shows, Secret Life's audience has steadily grown since its debut, which only 2.8 million tuned in for. And how's this for respect--Secret Life has an 8.2 rating on TV.com, higher than both 90210 and Fringe.

What did you watch on Tuesday? Did you get Fringe benefits, say OMG at 90210, or were you riveted to Shailene Woodley's prosthetic pregnant belly?

Comments (113)
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Oct 02, 2008
Fringe is a wonderful show. For me, it compares much closer to Alias than Lost, though. Every episode answers one question and asks two more. The writing keeps you guessing and makes you think you understand right before ripping the rug out from under you and humbling you. The acting by those playing a Bishop is amazing, and the only "weak" performances I'd put on Anna Torv at this point. Not good since she's the main character, but I believe the others carry her quite well. I think you hit the nail on the head when you bring up DVR. Most everyone I know has and uses a DVR, especially on shows that encourage you to think when watching them.
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Oct 01, 2008
I love Fringe, each episode is chock full of cool new guessing, twists, turns, and it has a magical quality to it that I thoroughly enjoy. What about all the people who TiVo or record it using a DVR, do they get counted in the ratings as well? That's still a lot of people watching a show, even if there isn't a "1" in front of it, and now there's House preceeding the show, so Fox should just give it time instead of dismissing it so early on.
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Oct 01, 2008
I Like Fringe, dont quite understand it yet but i like it.
90210 - well i didnt like it as a kid so i dont think id like it now
i watch all my shows on my pc Downloaded the day after it airs.
i getting last nights fringe now.
IMO ratings are a very dumb thing,
i mean what are people watching that dont have the ratings box?
and i dont know anyone who does.
My rating would never show up, or the millions of people that watch shows as i do.
although if its on abc i will watch it on there site the day after,
but only abc, no one else understands how to stream video yet.
when they learn ill watch from there sites and watch there ads,
untill then Usenet FTW.
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Sep 28, 2008
Fringe is very good and will be better in each episode.It's unfair to be compared to Lost,the differences in the plot and the character of the shows are chaotic.
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Sep 22, 2008
I think Fringe rocks. When I first heard of Fringe I was not very interested in it, but I was lucky enough to catch the Premiere.. and boy was happy I did. I the ratings pick up, because I would hate to see a show like this go after only the first season
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Sep 19, 2008
I really liked this show...which means it will prolly get canned after 1 season, like John Doe, Now and Again, Bionic Woman, Veritas:The quest, Firefly, Moonlight...and the list goes on.

The Suits in Power dont know a good thing when they see it.
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Sep 19, 2008
I watched Fringe and I love it but also DVR it with two young children I DVR everything and watch it at a later time. 90210 I watched the first three episodes and I am not impressed now that I know who the father of Kelly's kid is I am going to take it off my DVR schedule.
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Sep 19, 2008
I thought Fringe had a pretty good start. I watched the pilot of 90210 and just gave up on it. I would much rather watch GG than a rubbish continuation of an old show.
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Sep 18, 2008
Everyone in my household is totally addicted to Fringe!
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Sep 18, 2008
I'm not at all surprised that some of the newer shows aren't doing well. No one wants to invest time in new shows anymore when they know they run a pretty high risk of being cancelled prematurely. The networks have themselves to blame for this so save the crying.
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Sep 18, 2008
I thought Fringe was awesome! My new second favorite show (only second to Lost).
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Sep 17, 2008
I watched Fringe and loved it. It is set on my recorder and I also watch 90210. But since House and 90210 are on the same day I have to record the rerun which shows on Wednesday. I love my DVR because I am not always home when my shows come on, another reason that 90210 is not doing well is because it's on CW which is not in HD. I love HD so that maybe another reason. I think they need to move 90210 to another day because they will not be able to compete with House which is now back on.
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Sep 17, 2008
I watched Fringe! I absolutely love the show. I record all my shows in case I get caught up doing something else so most likely that is why the viewer count was low. 90210 has been a disappointment so far. I only watch it out of loyalty but its about to be taken off my DVR schedule.
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Sep 16, 2008
i liked fringe but didnt watch 90210 sometimes when they try remaking great shows they just ruin a good thing.
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Sep 16, 2008
Loved Fringe, hated 90210
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Sep 15, 2008
I recorded Fringe on the DVR. It was a great beginning to a new sci-fi show, and I watched it twice too! The Mentalist will be on at the same time so if I end up liking both, I'll record both. Just because the ratings don't show a 19 million viewing, that doesn't mean it wasn't viewed by 18 or 19 million people in one form or another. I do hope the ratings go up though so they will keep it on!
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Sep 15, 2008
90210 is great!!! Fringe is ok but i hope it will get more interesting in the next episodes.. I hope none of them will get cancelled!! The secret life is getting really better and i hope it gets a second season :)
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Sep 15, 2008
Nobody wanted The X Files sequel, so why did Fox think anybody wanted a simulacrum like Fringe?
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Sep 15, 2008
Secret Life started very slow, but I stuck with it and thought that the finally few episode found the groove. I doubt it will be back, but it had a great run. I watched 5 minutes of 90210 and couldn't bear it. I loved the original so much that I thought I might be able to love this one anyway, but I just can't do it! It's stale - not because it's a remake, but because it's rehashing every teenage issue that all the other shows have used before it.
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Sep 15, 2008
I thought Fringe was awesome! it definitely reminded me of X-files back in the day and would love to see more but as savant01 says not everyone is chained to the tv dvrs are a wonderful thing
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Sep 15, 2008
I taped fringe just as I tape almost every show I watch. The networks need to realize that people are no longer chained to their tvs every night sitting though endless commercial breaks. I loved fringe and I hope they consider more than just the ratings.
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Sep 15, 2008
With a dvr and a little planning you could see all three. And as another uses says MOnday Night Football was on at 8 pm everywhere but the east coast.
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Sep 15, 2008
People didn't watch Fringe, because people just don't watch scifi on Fox. The last scifi that actually survived on Fox was the X-files. As for me, well, I watched monday night football.
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Sep 15, 2008
Fringe was awesome. i also watched it twice. def. has huge potential. i am surprised though people arent comparing it more to x files minus the aliens. all those x files episodes that didnt have aliens reminded me of fringe.

but the show still rocked. it has HUGE potential. i am super excited to see more!
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Sep 15, 2008
Fringe got worse as the show went on it never got intresting they need to pick up the pace and the twist at the end was really stupid cause now I just watch her go threw all that to save him only to kill him in the end.
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Sep 14, 2008
i taped fringe! and i'm glad i did, i watched it twice! it's kind of sad that the nielson ratings don't reflect that. it really is an excellent show and i hope it stays.

i taped 90210 as well, but was already disinterested, and it's only 2 episodes in. it just feels like it's all been done before. if it got cancelled, i would not be upset in the least.
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Sep 14, 2008
Fringe is great, keep it.
90210 was great when I watched it 18 years ago, so cancel the new one.
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Sep 14, 2008
I loved Fringe, I think it will be a great asset to this season. Keep Up the good story lines and it will be a keeper.
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Sep 14, 2008
I watched 90210, but that doesn't mean it doesn't suck. Thank God I have Greek to salvage my Tuesday nights, not to mention the return of House...
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Sep 14, 2008
i loved fringe. dont cancel it, its ok to cancel 90210!
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Sep 14, 2008
Aww, 90210 and fringe were both goood I really hope neither are cancelled!
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Sep 14, 2008
still loved 90210
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Sep 14, 2008
First off, anything I want to watch I TIVO, (then sometimes don't watch til I get a few eps together) then if there are 2 on at same time, I watch least one live, so DVR's are definatly making a dent, along with online, but also I think the sci fi aspect has something to do with it, X-Files was great but a lot of people did not watch cause of the sc-fi angel.
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Sep 14, 2008
The Secret Life got a lot better during the last few episodes so it was no surprise that the rating went up!



90210 is awesome but i haven't seen fringe yet!
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Sep 14, 2008
I like Fringe, it is new and refreshing.

Fringe brings something new to the table, 90210 does not.. FRINGE!
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Sep 14, 2008
i dvred all of them
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Sep 14, 2008
Fringe and 90210. i'll continue to watch Fringe but i think i am done with 90210.
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Sep 13, 2008
Watched Finge and 90210. I didn't like Fringe, but 90210 is ok. I also watched the first 3 eps of the Secret life, it's kinda lame...
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Sep 13, 2008
love 90210.
=]
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Sep 13, 2008
To be honest I DVRed all 3 of them
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Sep 13, 2008
Fringe
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Sep 13, 2008
there wasn't anywhere near as much hype for fringe as there was for lost, especially over the internet, i only heard of it once or twice a few months ago and then again when the first episode aired.
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Sep 13, 2008
Dont know why some people don't really like the lead character on fringe? Thought she was great, also very beautiful. Very good acting all around on the show. It shouldn't be compared to other shows as its very original and different.
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Sep 13, 2008
The problem with Fringe is that everyone is going to compare it to the X-Files. That's like comparing CSI to Matlock.

I thought Fringe was an awesome show, and I loved the bits of humor injected (the resident mad-scientist/father is great!) Hopefully, FOX can promote this show better, because honestly, if another show I like on FOX fails, I'm jumping ship on the network.
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Sep 13, 2008
I don't watch 90210 so I can't say anything about that but I did find Fringe boring and the characters unlikable. I know that this show should be the new X-Files but Olivia just doesn't have Scully's charisma.
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Sep 13, 2008
Fringe has to be one of the greatest show I've seen in years. I'll be going crazy if they get rid of it. It's even better than Lost which I also watch. I gave 90210 2 chances and it has to be the worst show in years, I've watched the original cast, but this is dreadful. Please cancel 90210 and bring back Reaper. Fringe please stick around for years to come...
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Sep 13, 2008
I watched fringe and thought it was an ok pilot with potential.The best new show ive watched so far has to be the sons of anarchey on fx.
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Sep 13, 2008
I could live with 90210 having a few more "off" nights. Anything to get Reaper back on sooner.
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Sep 13, 2008
what ever happens out there with Fringe & 90210 fighting not being cancelled before the ball drop for 2009? I really don't care if Fringe & 90210 it's cancel off the air at all. Yes, Fringe was kinda boring to watch. And for 90210, it is the worth Teen Drama i ever seen in my life on the face of the earth. I see alot of Teen Dramas in my days. 90210 take that cake being the worth ever made out there. Come On... Now! Who the hell starts series off? Everyone get's in trouble & crash a school and married couples leaving each other for another man or woman. I pass with 90210. It sucks for sure! For Fringe, i will keep watching it, until it's get cancel of the air. Well for the weak Tuesday nights ratings, They better not come to mind cancel Privileged at all. I enjoy Privileged more better than Fringe & 90210 alot here.



So, Tuesday nights. Let the power with you!
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Sep 13, 2008
This was my biggest problem for the fall season, I have 3 shows showing at eight and 4 at nine. So this year I'm hitting the books but I did watch secret life on Tuesday, sorry.
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