By James Hibberd
Updated January 22, 2011 at 04:22 PM EST


By some miracle of magic or science, Fox’s Fringe moved to Friday night and did not go down in the ratings.

The episode — titled “The Firefly” (nicely ironic considering the show’s move to Fox’s infamous Death Slot) — actually improved upon its most recent Thursday performance.

Fringe, which featured Christopher Lloyd as a guest star, delivered 4.9 million viewers and a 1.9 preliminary adults 18-49 rating last night. That’s right in line with its Thursday season average. Remember, Fox’s Kevin Reilly said if the show maintains its Thursday numbers on Friday, he’d renew it, so let’s hope the drama can keep this up. (Ken Tucker’s recap here).

The premiere of Kitchen Nightmares (4.3 million, 1.9) served up a solid lead-in for Fringe, and overall Fox was able to win the night. In fact, this was Fox’s highest-rated Friday with entertainment programs since 2008.

Fox was helped by CBS airing repeats at 9 and 10 p.m., but first the network aired the series finale of Medium, which posted a rather uneventful number (7.8 million, 1.6) for its last episode.