Fan movements to save or resurrect beloved but underperforming shows are nothing new. We’ve seen devoted followers rally behind damn near every canceled or imperiled science fiction show you can think of over the past thirty years. The growth of the internet and social media has only fed these fires. It’s the reason why our traffic or comments spike when we mention shows like Firefly or Stargate. The fans are out there, and they’ve got passion to spare. Now it seems that Fox is trying to enlist that passion to help save a show that’s on the bubble by encouraging fans to help Fringe become a trending topic on Twitter each week.
According to Variety, the stunt began during last Friday’s episode of Fringe, entitled “A Short Story About Love.” Fox posted the Twitter hashtag #whereyoubelong in the lower right corner during the episode. The hashtag was an allusion to events in the episode, and Fringe fans quickly caught on, resulting in that hashtag becoming a trending topic across Twitter.
Recognizing a marketing opportunity when they see one, Fox will continue the stunt for the remainder of Fringe‘s — possibly final — season. Each of the seven upcoming episodes will use a different hashtag, allowing Fox to track the resulting spike in Twitter traffic talking about the show. Hopefully, this bit of webterfuge will bring the show more eyeballs and help it earn another season from Fox.
While Fringe‘s ratings have not been good this season — they’re down 30% from last year — the show is still clinging to the hope of renewal. Variety also suggests that Alcatraz is likely to be canceled, which may make it more likely for Fringe to survive. If you ask me, that’s more than a fair trade.