Since the exciting news came down that Fringe was going to receive a fifth season, fans have been spending plenty of time speculating about what the shape of the final season will look like. Are we really done with the hopping between realities? Just how will the future presented in the episode “Letters of Transit” factor in to the show’s concluding episodes? And while we’ve already heard news of who may and may not be returning, now it seems that the show will be losing one of its most integral elements. Co-showrunner Jeff Pinkner, who has been with the show since the first season, won’t be returning.
With Pinkner moving on to other projects, Fringe‘s final season will be overseen by J.H. Wyman, who previously shared showrunner duties with Pinkner. Given the fifth season’s abbreviated episode count, and the fact that Fox hemmed and hawed until the eleventh hour to make up their mind about the show’s return, it’s not terribly surprising that Pinkner was ready to line up new work. Hopefully his departure won’t hurt the show’s quality as it winds toward its conclusion.
Here’s Fringe creator/executive producer J.J. Abrams’ official statement, courtesy of Deadline:
For four years, J.H. Wyman and Jeff Pinkner have worked tirelessly as a team to keep all the worlds in order on Fringe. We’re thankful for the invaluable contributions Jeff has made to the show and of course wish him well and look forward to working together in the future. J.H. Wyman’s importance to Fringe cannot be overstated, however, and I’m thrilled that he will continue as showrunner for the concluding chapters of our story. We can’t wait for our fans to see what we have in store for them in the wild conclusion of Fringe.
There’s no word yet on what Pinkner’s next project might be. Prior to joining Fringe, he worked on shows such as LOST, Alias, and Profiler.