Is calling a show a “cult” hit just another way of saying it never really found a big audience? “Fringe” (7 p.m., Fox) wraps up its head-scratcher of a story about parallel universes and dark conspiracies tonight.
Fox deserves credit for keeping this series around (despite meager ratings) for a final 13-episode season and a chance to finish the story. (For those who still care.)
‘‘Fringe” joins many series on Fox and, for that matter, every other network that have gone to Friday nights to die. Fox hasn’t had a show on Friday night that stuck around for more than a season or two since the mid-1990s, when “The X-Files” flourished on Fridays before moving to Sundays. “Millennium” had some success for Fox on Fridays in the late ’90s. But pretty much since the dawn of the 21st century, Friday has been an evening that Fox designated for shows languishing in their final year, or for doomed new series, often with a cult, sci-fi bent.
• The History Channel’s “Ultimate Guide to the Presidents” concludes with “Hail to the Chief: 1945-1964” (8 p.m.) and “Mantle of Power: 1965-2013” (10 p.m.).
• “Best Week Ever” (9 p.m., VH1) returns with a new panel of experts and wiseacres, rounding up the past seven days in popular culture, a period certain to be dominated by the Golden Globe Awards and Lance Armstrong’s official media mea culpa on “Oprah’s Next Chapter.”
Tonight’s other highlights
• The owner of a Southwestern-themed restaurant chain encounters poor management on “Undercover Boss” (7 p.m., CBS).
• “Great Performances at the Met” (8 p.m., PBS, check local listings) presents Gaetano Donizetti’s “L’Elisir d’Amore” (“The Elixir of Love”).
• A masked man is found at the bottom of a cursed building on “CSI: NY” (8 p.m., CBS).
• Danny gets pulled over with drugs in his car on “Blue Bloods” (9 p.m., CBS).
• Parents form a band that plays children’s music on “Portlandia” (9p.m., IFC).
• Rutger Hauer stars in the 2011 shocker “Hobo With a Shotgun” (9 p.m., TMC), an homage to cheap and gritty action movies of the 1970s.
A social worker finds a twisted (or overprotective) mother who forces her grown son to act like an infant, wear diapers and live in a playpen in the 1973 shocker “The Baby” (1 a.m., TCM).