Good news for Fringies. The ratings-challenged but fan favorite Fringe will indeed be back. Fox has renewed Fringe for a fifth and final season of 13 episodes. That will bring the program up to the critical 100 episodes Warner Bros. TV (Fringe’s studio) wants in order to sell it in syndication.
The news comes after months and months of “will they or won’t they” speculation on the part of both fans and those involved in the show’s creation. The cast and crew even shot two endings for the season four finale – one in the event of cancellation and one to continue storylines into a fifth season. Now we know which ending we’ll get in the finale and which will end up as a DVD special feature.
Those involved in the show are obviously happy with the decision. Showrunners Jeff Pinkner and J.H. Wyman expressed thanks to both the network and the fans who have stuck with the show for so long.
Fox entertainment chief Kevin Reilly – who previously commented that, at its current ratings, Fox was “not in the business of losing money” on shows with such low ratings – also praised Fringe:
Fringe is a remarkably creative series that has set the bar as one of television’s most imaginative dramas. […] 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.
Even though it will only be 13 episodes, this final season gives Fringe something a lot of low-rated shows don’t get: a chance to plan ahead and bring the program to a (hopefully) satisfying conclusion. Pinkner and Wyman promise that the final season will be just as mindbending as the previous four: “Season five is going to be a conclusive thrill ride for all of us.” That’s great news for the fans as the show continues to bring up more and more questions in the run-down to season four’s finale.