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Top 50 Power Showrunners 2011

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    Drama
    Jeff Pinkner & J.H. Wyman
    Jeff Pinkner and J.H. Wyman
    Fringe (Fox)

    When Fringe moved from Thursdays to Fridays in the middle of its third season, viewership tumbled from 5.1 million to fewer than 4 million. This is why it was so meaningful -- and shocking, really -- that Fox renewed the cult favorite for a fourth season in March. It was a sign, say Pinkner and Wyman, that ratings are no longer the most valuable unit of measurement by network execs. Buzz can be all powerful. "We keep a lot of plot secrets because we find it's better that way," says Wyman. "If nobody knows what you're doing, then nobody can tell." Created by J.J. Abrams, Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci, Fringe took a creative gamble last season when it erased the existence of one main character and added a new series regular. But Pinkner, 45, a former producer on Abrams' Alias and Lost, and the Montreal-bred Wyman, 44, who was a writer on Canadian period series Wind at My Back and created Keen Eddie, are hardly ready to close up shop. "The only show we've done that said, 'Hey, this is going to be our end date and we're marching toward it,' was Lost," Pinkner says. "We hope it's a long time before that happens for Fringe."

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