Temis the Vorta wrote:
It's never only about the ratings. There are lots of factors that go into the renewal decision, many of which we never hear about.
Take the weirdly common notion that foreign ratings "don't count." I'm sure they do, in cases where networks are profiting from those ratings. Why would any business ignore any revenue source? But has anyone seen a good listing of foreign ratings, especially one that comprehensively includes all global markets? I sure can't find one. So it's impossible to guess how much they count.
In this case, Warners and Bad Robot lowered the license fee, and that did the trick. I'm sure the fact that Fringe is warming the Friday night deathslot was a factor. What is Fox going to put in the deathslot instead? And their pilots pickups have been light this year, considering how many shows they've cancelled or are bound to cancel.
You just showed why foreign ratings don't count and then explained why they can still be a factor without making the connection. The networks don't profit from the ratings, the production companies do. Even if they share a corporate parent, the networks still need to produce a profit on their own. So Fox/NBC don't care what ratings a show gets in Europe, since their profit only comes from the ads they sell in the US. Now 20th Century Television or Universal Television indirectly care about foreign ratings, because that affects what the foreign networks will pay for the show. But if the US ratings are low then Fox/NBC will still cancel a show. The only way around that is if the production company agrees to sell the show for a lower license fee in the US. Which will only happen if they can make up the revenue elsewhere(foreign or increased syndication fees).