TV

'Fringe' Returns

"Fringe" (Fox, 9 p.m.) gets a new night on the schedule, and while Friday is often considered the death slot for a TV show, Fox execs said last week that it doesn't necessarily signal the death of the show.

For one thing, ratings expectations will be lower on Fridays, so if "Fringe" can maintain its audience, then it could find a safe haven there. For another, the sci-fi crowd followed "Smallville" and "Supernatural" to Fridays on the CW, and that network is enjoying its highest level of success for the night. With "American Idol" taking up Wednesdays and Thursdays, there aren't many timeslots Fox has for the show, especially since its broadcasts two hours a night instead of three.

A lot of fans tried "Fringe" during its first six or seven episodes, and gave up on it as the show went through a lot of growing pains. It's a shame so many people dropped it, because it's become one of the most interesting and innovative shows on TV. The parallel universe storyline that has dominated this season has been especially fun.

Hopefully, the switch will breathe new life into the series.

WEEKEND'S BEST BETS: "Medium" (CBS, 8 p.m.) airs its series finale tonight. Here's a prediction: I won't be watching.

On cable, Starz airs "Spartacus: Gods of the Arena" at 10 p.m. It's a miniseries prequel to the current "Spartacus: Blood and Sand" that will return in a few months with a new lead to replace Andy Whitfield, who bowed out of the title role after his cancer returned.

SyFy airs a new "Merlin" at 10 p.m.

On Saturday, "Primeval" (BBC America, 9 p.m.) is new.

On Sunday, the NFL playoffs continue on Fox and CBS. Meanwhile, a Georgia family is the recipient of a makeover on "Extreme Makeover" (ABC, 8 p.m.)

Fox's lineup of animated shows is all new. "Masterpiece" (PBS, 9 p.m.) continues with Part 3 of the four-part "Downtown Abbey."

On cable, Showtime has its comedy lineup of "Californication," "Episodes" and "Shameless" from 9-11. Really, only "Episodes" is worth your while. HBO has a new "Big Love" at 9 p.m.

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