FOX's Fringe was on track to become one of FOX's marquee shows this season. However, FOX got perhaps a little too ambitious with their schedule. Sensing a weakness in the now William Peterson-less CSI on Thursdays at 9 PM, FOX dumped Fringe there for its second season, and immediately the ratings took a hit.

The problem is that a weak CSI is still a powerhouse, and there's also Grey's Anatomy on ABC, The Office and 30 Rock on NBC, and even one of The CW's strongest performers in Supernatural to contend with. Rather than give up on the show completely, which would be unfair, FOX is giving it a shot on a new night, with one of their strongest lead-ins. And this time, the competition is at least a little better.

On Monday, January 11, 2010, FOX will air a new episode of Fringe after House. While House will still be in reruns at the time,it's still a chance for the show to display some positive signs. It's still going to be a challenge, though, as there may be some problems with similar audiences being split three ways. January 11th is also the return date for CBS's Two and a Half Men, and more particulary The Big Bang Theory, while NBC trots out their new Monday night, including the shifting of Heroes behind Chuck, and right in competition with this episode of Fringe.

I have to imagine there's at least the possibility of the same fans liking Fringe, Heroes and The Big Bang Theory, though if I had to wager a guess which of the three would lose this battle, I'd go with the fading Heroes. Unfortunately, it's pretty unlikely that Fringe could shift her permanently, at least not any time this season, as by the following week it will be the permanent home of 24.

As a fan of Fringe, it gives me hope that FOX is looking at their schedule and at least considering the possibility of trying Fri on a different night before they give up on it completely. Fringe is still taking an extended hiatus after their February 4th episode, to make room for the 7-week run of Past Life. Will it come back to Thursdays at 9 PM, or maybe pop up somewhere else?

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