After much nail-biting, which may have occurred in multiple dimensions depending on the day, and which version of me was doing the worrying, it’s been confirmed by a number of sites that Fringe will be back for a final 13 episodes.
There was uncertainty about whether this would happen, so much so that the producers of this unique ground-breaking show filmed two season four finales – one with a neat wrap-up, and one without that would lead seamlessly into a hoped for season five.
I am guessing that the first of these two would-be final episodes will now become a curiosity to be included in the extras section of the season four DVD box set when it bows later in the year.
While the show has been balancing on the knife-edge of renewal for some time thanks to poor ratings in its U.S. Friday night night time slot, what saved it was the lower license fees that the companies that produce it, Warner Bros TV and J. J. Abram’s Bad Robot offered Fox to keep it on air. That tipped the balance in favour of Fringe, and was the main reason it will outlast, albeit only briefly, better rating but far more expensive shows like Terra Nova and Alcatraz (the latter also produced by Bad Robot)
Here’s what both Fox and the show producers had to say about the renewal courtesy of ew.com:
“Fringe is a remarkably creative series that has set the bar as one of television’s most imaginative dramas,” said Fox entertainment president Kevin Reilly. “Bringing it back for a final 13 allows us to provide the climactic conclusion that its passionate and loyal fans deserve. The amazing work the producers, writers and the incredibly talented cast and crew have delivered the last four seasons has literally been out of this world. Although the end is bittersweet, it’s going to be a very exciting final chapter.”
“We are thrilled and beyond grateful that Fox – and our fans – have made the impossible possible: Fringe will continue into a fifth season that will allow the series to conclude in a wild and thrilling way,” said co-creator and executive producer J.J. Abrams. “All of us at Bad Robot are forever indebted to our viewers and the amazingly supportive Fox network for allowing the adventures of Fringe Division to not only continue, but to resolve in a way that perfectly fits the show.”
“This pickup means the world (both of them) to us, because we love sharing these stories with our enthusiastic fans,” added Fringe showrunners and executive producers Jeff Pinkner and J.H. Wyman. “On behalf of the cast and crew, we applaud our fans and Fox for allowing us to imagine the impossibilities together for so long. Season Five is going to be a conclusive thrill ride for all of us.”
It will be sad to say goodbye to a show that has proven itself time and again to be endlessly innovative and clever beyond measure, and that has realised such a perfectly formed world of worlds that it seemed not just possible, but entirely conceivable that the reality that Fringe showcased was real.
But the true gift of this renewal is that fans including myself will get what many of us have been denied with other shows such as Dollhouse and Stargate Universe, which is closure and the comfort of knowing that the characters we love, and the world they inhabit, will have a send off befitting a show of this stature.
I think we can all raise one of Dr Bishop’s much-loved strawberry milkshakes to this wonderful news.