It looks like Fox’s sci-fi police procedural Fringe will partake in one of the most maddening recent trends in television. The fifth and final season—which kicks off on Friday, September 28th—has already been trimmed down to a sparse 13 episodes, but that’s not going to stop the network from drawing things out as much as possible. During the season there will be two breaks.
Showrunner J.H. Wyman told TV Line that Fox will air the first four episodes of season five, there will be a break, we’ll get two more episodes, then another hiatus, followed by a “run on” to the end.
We know we’re lucky to be getting a final season at all. Despite a rabid fan base, ratings for Fringe have never been particularly high, and the specter of cancellation has always loomed large. Still, this is frustrating as a fan. You wait for the season to begin, then after a few episodes, just when you’re getting into it, there’s an extended break to contend with. At least the show has the chance to tie up some loose ends and deliver some closure. Few things are as unsatisfying as when your favorite show is cancelled with little warning, and few of us will take this for granted.
Wyman is taking a hands-on approach to the finale, directing what is essentially a “three-parter” comprised of episodes 11, 12, and 13. He shot down rumors that the conclusion will be an expanded, TV-movie kind of thing. “It’s definitely going to be in the one-hour slot,” he said.
The other question surrounding the culmination of Fringe is when? Wyman recently tweeted at a fan that the finale would air February 1st. Fox has no comment on the scheduling, so it remains up in the air, though given the timeline, that seems like a definite possibility.