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Q&A: 'Fringe' returns to Fox, late-night ratings, 'Leverage' explained

'Fringe' returns to Fox tonight

Can you tell me what happened to the series Fringe? Last I heard it was moving to Friday nights, but I have yet to find it anywhere.

You'll be happy to hear that Fringe returns at 9 tonight on the Fox network.

This is a midseason premiere in the show's third season, and is the first of six new episodes.

Fringe is the story of an FBI team that couples "fringe" science with FBI investigative techniques to investigate unexplained occurrences. Kind of a slightly different X-Files. It stars Anna Torv, Joshua Jackson, John Noble, Lance Reddick, Blair Brown and Jasika Nicole.

Creator J.J. Abrams, who also created the enigmatic series Lost, said in a recent interview that he's lobbying for a fourth season, even if it's the final one, so he can end the show in a "truly satisfying way." He says if there is no fourth season, that conclusive wrap-up won't happen.

Late-night TV ratings

How do the late-night talk shows rate?

For the TV season to date, through Jan. 7, according to the Nielsen ratings, Jay Leno's Tonight Show on NBC drew about 3.85 million viewers a night in the 11:35 p.m. to 12:35 a.m. slot, while David Letterman's Late Show on CBS had about 3.58 million.

Craig Ferguson's Late Late Show on CBS drew about 1.78 million viewers, while Jimmy Fallon's Late Night on NBC is at 1.77 million. Both air from 12:35-1:35 a.m.

Jimmy Kimmel, whose ABC show follows Nightline at 12:05 a.m. and runs an hour, is drawing about 1.7 million viewers.

On cable's TBS, Conan O'Brien was getting about 900,000 viewers from 11 p.m. to midnight and George Lopez about 600,000 from midnight to 1 a.m. The most recent ratings included encore episodes, though, so it's not entirely an apples-to-apples comparison. O'Brien has drawn considerably higher numbers with new episodes.

Meanwhile, Comedy Central's The Daily Show with Jon Stewart (11-11:30 p.m.) drew 1.5 million and The Colbert Report with Stephen Colbert (11:30 p.m. to midnight) about 1.1 million.

Confused about 'Leverage' cases

I enjoy the series Leverage but am stumped about something. How do the clients in need FIND the team? I would imagine advertising their services would alert "criminals." I must have missed the episode that explained that!

In a commentary on the TNT show's first-season DVD, one of the producers wryly notes that the show's con artists are almost like angels in their ability to find people in need. Leverage planned to include a scene in its second episode that explained how the team got its cases. But the scene did not fit into the production schedule, so it was not shot — and the producers later concluded that viewers (well, most of them) didn't really care about how cases were chosen. The fun, after all, is in the characters and their schemes.

Q&A: 'Fringe' returns to Fox, late-night ratings, 'Leverage' explained 01/20/11 [Last modified: Thursday, January 20, 2011 10:26am]

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