September 18, 2008 |
Usually, a TV series loses viewers after the premiere episode, starting the inevitable drift down to whatever its typical audience is going to be. But Fox's "Fringe" is proving to be a big exception. Last week, J.J. Abrams' latest thriller launched with a less-than-spectacular 9.1 million viewers, according to Nielsen Media Research. Given Fox's heavy promotion of the costly series, some TV insiders were making dire predictions about the show's future. But on Tuesday, "Fringe" roared back with 13.4 million viewers -- a 47% increase, the biggest second-episode jump for any network series since at least 1991, according to Fox. The key factor behind the "Fringe" surge was its lead-in, the Season 5 premiere of "House," which was the night's most-watched program with 14.4 million viewers.