'Fringe' Renewed for Fifth and Final Season
UPDATED: The Fox drama will return for a 13-episode season, allowing the series to hit 100 episodes.
Fringe lives on to see another day.
Fox has renewed the cult drama for a fifth and final season, giving the go-ahead on 13 more episodes. The renewal will bring the sci-fi series to an end after 100 episodes, a critical syndication threshold for the series' studio, Warner Bros. TV.
“Fringe is a remarkably creative series that has set the bar as one of television’s most imaginative dramas,” said Fox entertainment chief 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.”
Added showrunners Jeff Pinkner and J.H. Wyman: “This pickup means the world (both of them) to us, because we love sharing these stories with our enthusiastic fans. 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.”
Fringe, which moved to Friday nights in its third season, has hit ratings lows on multiple occasions this year in the advertiser-coveted 18-49 demo (0.9) and is hovering around 3 million viewers, according to Nielsen. Still, the perennial bubble show has maintained a vocal fan base, with critical and awards support, including two Emmy nominations in technical categories.
In anticipation of an official decision, the cast and crew shot multiple endings for the show's two-part season finale, set to air May 11, which cast members have spoken publicly about.
Well-known Fringe fan Reilly acknowledged in January that the network was losing money with the heavily mythologized series. "At that rating, on that night (Fridays), it’s impossible to make money … and we’re not in the business of losing money," Reilly said at the time, with some speculating that the statement was as much a negotiating ploy as it was an honest statement.
"I mean, 88 [episodes] is good, but 100 is better," Wyman told THR in February of his desire to see the series continue. "We would never want to continue unless we felt that we had something incredibly creative to say and to do. We do, and if the powers that be deem it a plausible solution to go forward, then we're thrilled."