Fringe Update: Premiere Ratings In + Fringe Actor Talks Visit To Trek Set

The new genre show Fringe, created by the Star Trek team of JJ Abrams, Roberto Orci and Alex Kurtzman, debuted last night to respectable ratings, winning its timeslot amongst the target  demographic (details below). In other Fringe news, one of the lead actors talks about his visit to the Star Trek set and his desire to be Captain Kirk.

9 million see Fringe
The 90 minute premiere of Fringe averaged 9 million viewers and won its timeslot with both the 18-34 and 18-49 demographics. Winning is good, but with all the buzz some media watchers were expecting even higher numbers, with views on the ratings ranging from ‘solid,’ to ‘decent,’ to ‘modest,’ to ‘less than spectacular.’ One good sign is that Fringe built an audience each half hour. The show is also one of Fox’s best premieres to not benefit from any lead in (American Idol or an NFL game can really help). The key will be the second week when the show will benefit by following Fox’s highly-rated House.

Reddick wanted to be Kirk
Before joining the cast of Fringe to play agent Phillip Broyles, Lance Reddick garnered rave reviews for his time on the award-winning gritty cop show The Wire, gaining him the attention of the Abrams team who have been using him in a recurring role on Lost (playing Matthew Abaddon, described as the ‘Darth Vader of Lost‘). What The Abrams’ boys didn’t know when they cast him, is that their new actor shared their love for Star Trek. In a new interview with AMC’s SciFi Scanner, Reddick explains:

…the first thing that drew me to acting was wanting to be Captain Kirk when I was a kid. It’s weird because growing up, I never thought I would be an actor, but I was a huge fan of Star Trek. And I remember reading somewhere that William Shatner had been a Shakespearean actor. So one day I took one of my dad’s old books of Shakespeare and started reciting monologues.

It is too bad that he didn’t speak up sooner, or he might have even got into the new Star Trek movie. Reddick tells AMC:

I met J.J. on the set of Star Trek after I was cast for Fringe. I flipped out. I mean, I was on the bridge of the Enterprise! I was like, "J.J. can I sit in the chair?" He’s like, "Yeah, go ahead." I sat in Captain Kirk’s chair  — and, man, it was great! I told him I always wanted to be Captain Kirk and said, "You gotta put me in the next Star Trek." He said, "I wish I knew — there was a role here you would have been great for." Knock on wood he’ll put me in the next one.

So which role did JJ think he would be perfect for?

Lance Reddick, Trek fan in Fringe


Pilot encore (w/ extras) + available online
If you missed it, Fox is re-airing the pilot in a two hour event on Sunday at 8 PM. The extra minutes will be filled with some ‘bonus’ material:

  • exclusive preview of the first four minutes of Fringe’s second episode, “The Same Old Story.”
  • extended preview of “24: REDEMPTION,” the two-hour special “24” event that airs November 23rd on FOX
  • exclusive first look at an extended scene from the highly anticipated film “The Day The Earth Stood Still.”

Also you can watch the pilot online at, in HD.

[CLICK to watch entire pilot online]

More reviews and Abrams interviews
Fringe Pilot reviews: New York Times, Los Angeles Times, USA Today, Boston Globe, Chicago Sun-Times, Associated Press,

Abrams Fringe interviews: Forbes, Red Eye Chicago,,



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it was a cool show. Aprropriately eerie with some fun/action and suspense tossed in for good measure. I think once the actors start to gel and find their rythm with one another it will be even better. Good job, I’ll be back for more.

Oh yeah, one small complain…the swells with with strings at the commercial breaks were way too reminiscent of LOST. It’s a signature style of LOST and should stay with LOST. But the rest of the score was great.

And yes, Reddick would be great in Trek, he has a great screen presence.

Who cares what the critcs think? They’re paid to hate stuff. I liked it. It was great. I will be getting the DVD of the first season!

How cool must it have been to get to ask to sit in THE CHAIR.
… and I refuse to say those words hated by so many who post here ;-)

Great Performance on Fringe Mr. Reddick!
Great screen presence. Almost overpowering.

I absolutely love Fringe! And I’m suprised that Lance Reddick is a fan of “Star Trek.” He’ll be working with J.J. a lot, and if it’s true, get a part in the sequel to the new film. But first, we must figure out the mystery of Matthew Abaddon. If he’s the Darth Vader of “Lost,” who’s he working for? Charles Widmore? The man who tried to take back the island by attempting to capture Benjamin Linus and have his mercenaries kill everyone else? It could be. It could just be.

Watched the Fringe with the child unit last night. Enjoyed the show. Nice work, hope it catches on with the masses.



I watched hoping for a surprise Star Trek teaser, but there was none.

Oddly while I was watching Fringe last night, I thought this guy is pretty good, but I would have liked to see Avery Brooks in that role.

Fringe was entertaining. Not great, but entertaining.

I’m excited to see the rest of the season, but I’m disappointed to feel as though I know EXACTLY where the mythology of the show will go… they’ll uncover The Pattern, big conspiracy, blah blah blah.

I think I’ll go buy the X-Files box set…

I watched Fringe last night and I wasn’t disappointed. I like the star, Anna Torv.. and I like the way the story progressed. I hope the Network will stand behind the show.. it should do very well. I’ll be watching every week.

Everyone was excellent, except the female lead. I don’t know if it’s the actress, the direction, or … hate to say it … how her part was written, but she was a bit too ‘wishy’ for me.

Torres, 7, Sculley, Thrace, ‘everyone’ on Firefly and T:SCC. Yes, it’s possible to write strong female leads.

I will tune in a bit longer, see if they develop her character better.

Lance was definately the character I have dubbed my favorite at this point. He’s their Skinner. Don’t know where he stands :)

Note: For what it’s worth, I loved the location titles. That was a lot of fun, especially the Bahgdad one, when the camera changes positions under the choppers and you see the B from the other side.

This TV series sucked major Ferengi lobes…

#11 “Everyone was excellent, except the female lead. I don’t know if it’s the actress, the direction, or … hate to say it … how her part was written, but she was a bit too ‘wishy’ for me.”

I know, right?! I had that problem too. It made it hard for me to believe that the male lead finds her likable enough to share emotional confidence or to continue working with her in the end. The father/professor character was brilliant, though.

Lance Reddick – I can see him in the role of an Admiral or a teacher at Star Fleet Academy. He has a very commanding presence and is a good actor. Just stick some Vulcan ears on him and he can be Tuvoks great, great grandfather.

I watched Fringe last night to get some idea of who are making our Star Trek movie. I hope this isn’t the best they can do. I know this is just T.V. but if it is any indication at all then we should be really worried about what we are in for come May. I didn’t believe any of the characters at all, even if they all liked Star Trek.

It was better than some of the stuff out there. Has potential. Some of the stunts stretched credulity. A rather bland color palette for the series opener. I like the Reddick character. SP FX were well done. The old father, his character could have been introduced more decidedly one way as that of a genius in seclusion rather than that of a drugged up mental case.

Well at least Lance Reddick and William Shatner DO have a couple of things in common…. Both wanted to be Captain Kirk in the new movie but couldn’t get in it!

Just kidding.. but I enjoyed what I saw last night (was juggling between things so hope to catch the premiere on repeat.)

You need to check the spelling of ‘premire’ I think you meant premiere?

Wanted to watch online… but:
“This service is currently available to viewers living in the United States.”

Absolute piece of garbage! I am getting real nervous what they will do with Star Trek!


He was in such classics as ONCE UPON A TIME IN THE WEST and SPARTACUS… Lance Reddick is a CLONE of Woody Strode!

A clone, I tell you!!!

did anyone else notice the delivery of the line toward the end : “the truth… The truth is…”

I was so sure he was going to say “…out there.”

I like the show and will definitely be turning in every week. I just wasn’t impressed for Anna Torv’s performance. Maybe she’ll grow on me. Besides her everyone did an amazing job.

didnt like it.

oh well.

Ok, I’ve come to the conclusion that everyone in Hollywood is a Star Trek fan. So many people wished they could be in this new movie it’s amazing .

Haven’t seen “Fringe,” but Riddick was awesome on “The Wire.” Any Star Trek would be lucky to have him.

I didn’t like “The Cage” all that much either… and “Where No Man Has Gone Before” was a bit too tidy in the end… so I’m willing to wait for “Man Trap” and “Corbomite Maneuver” before I make a final judgment…

Imagine if we had had the internet in 1966!

Kudos y Doritos to JJ, AK and Boborci… it’s a good start of what looks to be an interesting journey. May the scripts that follow flow easily off the fingers and make the show last a while. Has lots of potential.


…then Lance Reddick is your man to play Dr. Richard Daystrom.

Sorry, Anthony. Could you post the time for the replay on Sunday?

In NYC yesterday, right before “Fringe,” I accidentally saw the Seinfeld where Jerry uses the TWOK references for George’s dead fiancee (“she’s not dead as long as we remember her”), and Kramer secretly professes his preference for TSFS. What were those guys smoking? I almost died laughing.

I loved the writing in the show.. very well done and thought out. I am a writer and have been in the entertainment industry in Canada for the past 22 years. the work on the show was solid and Torv was believable as an agent trying to prove herself to the brass. Solid performances all around from the talent and writers.. I did question the directing at times, but it was a good job none the less. The more I see of JJ, Bob and Alex.. the more I feel that Trek is in good hands.

Bob, I know you frequent this site.. just wanted to say good work on Fringe… i will be tuning in every week.

Man, I miss the Wire.

I liked the show and I liked Anna Torv. I thought she did a very good job. The doctor and his son were good too. Oddly, against everyone on this board apparently, I wasn’t overyly impressed with Reddick’s performance. Not that he’s not a good actor, I just thought he was trying to hard to make the character a hard-ass. Hell, maybe me not liking him means he was doing an excellent job…

I enjoyed the show, and oddly enough, the snow, and winter scenes. Maybe cause it’s not done very often in TV.

Uneven, rushed, more cops, doctors, blah, blah, blah.
I am unimpressed. Expected better. (Altered States!! Geez!)
I’ll take Lost, warts and all, any day. At least it makes you care about the characters.

Pilots should blow people away. Period.

(Hey- wasn’t some of that stuff shot in Toronto?)

The Cage was the best Trek ever, IMO.

So help me God, if I read about another celebrity friend or former producer from “STAR TREK” history having seen sets or footage currently being edited before an actual full blown trailer is released to the public I will want “NOTHING” to do with the release!!!

I think I’m staring at a young Commander Cartwright. I hated him in Fringe, and that’s a good thing, because he did a great job as a demeaning and overpowering federal agent in the bureau.

30. montreal paul,
Just curious what shows you’ve worked on that might be famailiar to American audiences.


PIlots RARELY blow anyone away. They usually end up being rough drafts at best.. They’re still working out the characters and the scenarios. It just takes time. If I’d judged TNG simply on the strength of its pilot, I’d have never watched it again. Even the X-Files didn’t have the strongest pilot.

I think Fringe has a lot of potential, even if not everything worked perfectly. Joshua Jackson had great chemistry with John Noble, though his chemistry with Torv wasn’t quite as spectacular. But again, I think it just takes time. The big problem I have with network tv is they don’t give shows the opportunity to grow. If it’s not an instant hit, they cancel it after 4 shows. I *hate* that.

the worst show i have ever seen. I took a crap and i was more excited then watching fringe.I say i speak for all star trek fans when i say if J.J is doing star trek we are better off watching the motion picture that will defetinaly be a lot better story.

37 – Thomas

You asked what shows I worked on that some Americans would have seen? Well, I haven’t been lucky enough to have worked in Vancouver and on shows such as BSG or X-Files or Smallville.

I did work on an episode of Smallville that was shot in Montreal last season. Other shows that I worked on that were broadcast in the States would be Due South and Degrassi. All the other shows I have worked on are seen up here.

39. Demo the real startrek fan
” I say i speak for all star trek fans when i say if J.J is doing star trek we are better off watching the motion picture that will defetinaly be a lot better story.”

– Ummm… speak for yourself buddy…

39. Demo the real startrek fan – Nobody does their best show all the time. Your attitude is immature. Most film and TV people have terrific failures. Look at the strange track record of Stephen Bochco. Hill Street Blues to Cop Rock?

Saying anything definitive about Star Trek is an act of ignorance at this point. I’m really pumped, but I’m going to say that it’s going to be great. I hope it is, I think it has that potential, but you know what? There’s no way for me to know.

Just like you don’t know if it’s going to be as bad as you say it will be.

I’d say a lot more, but Anthony would ban me. But your attitude really ticks me off. Are you a fan, or a fanatic?

#39. Demo

Please don’t speak for me. I am quite capable of speaking for myself.


Oh, and as far as Fringe goes, I forgot that it was one until the last half hour. What I saw was interesting, but I generally don’t like shows of this type. I much preferred Millennium over X Files.

Still, I’ll give it a try on Sunday when they repeat it.

And to be fair, I’m not an Alias or Lost fan, either. But neither do I think they are bad shows. Just not my kind of thing. I recognize that Abrams is a talented fellow, however. I hope I think he’s even way cooler after I see Star Trek. I’m rooting for all involved, including the fans.


I think it played out very well for a pilot. I can tell I will like the show. My wife was even more into it than I was. There were the usual character relationship issues which will work themselves out, but I liked the humor and the plot.

I didn’t recognize the director, but (our own) Orci, Kurtzman, and Abrams (executive producer) wrote it, and it showed. Their fingerprints were all over the place, which IMO, has yet to be a bad thing.

Lance Reddick was fantastic on ‘The Wire’, and is great for the role he plays on ‘Fringe’. I’m not surprised that he is a Trek fan from the old school, and I can definitely see him in a Starfleet uniform– in a role which requires a commanding presence.

Something about him has always reminded me of a certain Marine Corps Drill Instructor that I once, many years ago, had the “misfortune” of getting to know for 13 weeks, and much later had a good laugh with…(Semper Fi, Staff Sgt. Hill).

Great show!!!! Can’t wait for next weeks episode.

I welcome their vision of Star Trek!

#39—I happen to enjoy TMP every time I see it.

#47—Me either, Chris. And I can’t wait to see you in STXI!

Possibly the most hyped new show of the 2008-2009 season. I’ve been a fan of Abrams’ work for a long time. LOST is one of my favourite shows and ALIAS was excellent too. I even enjoyed Six Degrees. But this series is something else entirely…just not in the same league at all. Its incredibly slow, incredibly dull, and extremely monotonous, and by 20 minutes into the pilot I was feeling bored and annoyed at being subjected to such a slow, boring show.

First off, lets get one thing straight. If you’re a fan of awesome serialised story lines spanning entire seasons e.g. 24, LOST, Heroes, you will be sorely disappointed. Abrams has stated that he wished to “recapture the 90’s vibe” of the X-Files and put it in the 21st century. Pretty much all the episodes will be therefore be “self-contained story lines” much like the boring by-the-numbers episodes one can find on CBS cop shows and medical shows like Grey’s Anatomy.

The show seems to be at its best when it, ironically, shies away from the paranormal stuff and displays simple things like romantic conversation between Mark Valley and Anna Torv. Anna Torv is a brilliant actress and one of the few things that keeps the viewer mildly interested in an otherwise bland, tedious 85 minutes.

However, a good lead can’t save the show from the massive hole its dug itself into so early. Among other things, the dialogue is terrible, the characters are one-sided, one-dimensional mockups, the situations are laughably preposterous and the pace is so unbearably slow and boring that its better than a glass of warm milk for putting you to sleep. Fans of awesome adrenaline-filled serialised shows like LOST and Heroes will be sorely disappointed. The best way to describe it is a bad X-Files re-enactment with characters with no chemistry and a pace so horridly slow it makes watching old men play chess seem exciting. Thankfully, we still have LOST for 2 more years, as I doubt I’ll be watching this series in future.