Fox fuels Twitter trail to ‘Fringe’

Net to continue on-air stunt aimed at social media users

Fox is bringing together Twitter and TV in an unusual bid to rally the “Fringe” faithful.

The network has decided to extend for the rest of the season an on-air stunt tried during last Friday’s episode that sent the series trending on the popular social-media platform.

Fox planted the mysterious phrase “#whereyoubelong” as the Twitter hashtag that appears in the lower right of the screen throughout the episode instead of the title of the series. Perhaps only diehard “Fringe” fans recognized that the phrase — an allusion to a plot point — was the latest attempt to get attention for the series on Twitter by the series’ cult following, collectively known as Fringenuity.

Now Fox is going to pick a new Fringenuity-inspired phrase to use as a hashtag each week for the remaining seven episodes. That way “Fringe” fans can drive a clearly identifiable spike in social media traffic beginning precisely one hour before the series airs on the East Coast. The March 23 stunt was good enough to get #whereyoubelong trending both in the U.S. and worldwide, not to mention finishing fourth among TV series-related social messages for the week behind only “American Idol,” “Dancing With the Stars” and “The Voice,” according to Bluefin Labs.

“Fringe” can use all the help it can get given its ratings perf this season, down 30% from last year with a 1.6/5 among viewers 18-49. Nevertheless, sources suggest Fox may still greenlight a fifth season because Warner Bros. TV is willing to trim its license fee for the show.

“Fringe” renewal may also cushion the blow of the expected cancellation of frosh drama “Alcatraz,” also from Warner Bros. TV and exec producer J.J. Abrams.

Fox and WBTV declined comment.