TV2 Frustrates Fringe Fans – Again
After weeks of tolerating absurdly low ratings for Tuesday night repeats of The Mentalist, TV2 at last is dumping the HD drama for movies — with Fringe becoming collateral damage.
The spooky HD sensation will screen for the last time next week, at the later time of 10.15pm, with a network spokesman only able to say, “It’ll return at some point later in the year.”
As frustrating as that is, fans should take heart it doesn’t mean TV2 is ready to consign Fringe to late-night just yet; if that was the intention, it probably would have continued the show in the post-movie slot occupied by the disposable Mad Men-lite drama, Trust Me (which is being pre-empted next week but will return to complete its short run on September 7).
More annoyingly, Fringe’s rescheduling means the NZ release of season two on Blu-ray probably will be delayed until next year, as it’s unusual for DVD distributors to market a high-profile title such as this until after its broadcast run (witness Universal and Heroes).
Moreover, all of this could have been avoided had TV2 not pulled one of the year’s silliest programming strokes, and expected re-runs of The Mentalist to rate opposite Outrageous Fortune only 24 hours after Monday night’s first-run episodes.
The strategy was as flawed as teaming The Mentalist with Fringe, when a better match would have been V or Hard Target, which started last night with double the audience of doco strands Real Life and Inside NZ (likewise, the season three premiere of Chuck clobbered TV3′s HD crime drama, Lie to Me).
Meanwhile, the rescheduling will cost HD diehards two hours a week of 720p programming on TV2, as the movies that will screen in the slot, starting with Red Eye and War of the Worlds, will be SD.