Fringe really came into its own when it introduced the notion of the struggle between “our” reality and a parallel universe. Over there the Statue of Liberty was a different color and one of the WTC towers was still standing. Also: blimps. Lots and lots of awesome dirigibles. That single notion has provided Fringe with stakes and a narrative drive that the early “monster of the week” episodes lacked. Now the show is must-see TV for many fans, consistently turning in addictive storylines and top-tier performances. Unfortunately, it’s also doing pretty terribly in the ratings department. While they may have stabilized the rift between universes, Fringe‘s own future — specifically its chances of a fifth season — don’t seem too bright. But what if the show could survive somewhere else? What if it could move to an alternate network, so to speak?
Fringe‘s likely impending end has been the subject of much fan chatter ever since Fox president Kevin Reilly told the press that the show was expensive and that Fox is “not in the business of losing money.” MTV’s Movies Blog caught up with Once and Future Pacey Joshua Jackson at the Sundance Film Festival, where the actor speculated about the show’s chances of renewal, and where else it might go if those chances don’t pan out. Things started out bleak, with Jackson admitting that “my gut says that the head of Fox doesn’t go on national television and says ‘I’m not in the business of losing money’ as a joke.”
All is not lost, however. Jackson says that renewal is still a possibility, however slim, but it’s also not the only possibility:
I think there’s a possibility that if people just watched the show on the day and date, and if the numbers came back, [renewal] is a possibility. They’ve talked about maybe going off network with it, too. The TV landscape is a different place than it used to be, so [cancelation on Fox] might not be death.
Jumping ship to another network is a long shot, however. That option almost always comes up when a show like Fringe is threatened with cancellation…it’s part of the geek grieving process. Still, even if the show does end this season, Jackson thinks the most important thing is that the loyal fans are given a proper ending:
“I don’t know how many hours it would take to implement the [writers’ end game], but we have plenty of hours left. I think if we found out [about the show’s future] in the next several weeks, there would be no problem getting to what the ending is supposed to be.
Fringe airs Friday nights at 9/8 c on Fox. You can watch MTV’s interview with Joshua Jackson below.