Click to Skip Ad
Closing in...
Terrence Malick's Next Film With Ryan Gosling, Rooney Mara & Michael Fassbender Reportedly Gets Titled Terrence Malick's Next Film With Ryan Gosling, Rooney Mara & Michael Fassbender Reportedly Gets Titled Watch: Jake Gyllenhaal Gets Bloody And Bruised In First Trailer For Boxing Drama 'Southpaw' Watch: Jake Gyllenhaal Gets Bloody And Bruised In First Trailer For Boxing Drama 'Southpaw' New Infographic Lays Out Canonical 'Star Wars' Timeline With Films, TV And Books New Infographic Lays Out Canonical 'Star Wars' Timeline With Films, TV And Books First Official Image: Jesse Eisenberg As Lex Luthor In 'Batman v Superman: Dawn Of Justice' First Official Image: Jesse Eisenberg As Lex Luthor In 'Batman v Superman: Dawn Of Justice' Watch: First Trailer For Arnold Schwarzenegger's Zombie Pic 'Maggie' With Abigail Breslin Watch: First Trailer For Arnold Schwarzenegger's Zombie Pic 'Maggie' With Abigail Breslin Idris Elba Replaces Jamie Foxx In Harmony Korine's 'The Trap,' Al Pacino, Robert Pattinson, James Franco Also Join Idris Elba Replaces Jamie Foxx In Harmony Korine's 'The Trap,' Al Pacino, Robert Pattinson, James Franco Also Join 10 Terrible Films Starring Great Actors 10 Terrible Films Starring Great Actors Watch: Tom Hanks Acts Out His Filmography In 7-Minutes On 'The Late Late Show' Watch: Tom Hanks Acts Out His Filmography In 7-Minutes On 'The Late Late Show' Watch: Trailer For 'Fifty Shades Of Grey' Unrated Blu-Ray Edition, Will Also Feature An Alternate Ending Watch: Trailer For 'Fifty Shades Of Grey' Unrated Blu-Ray Edition, Will Also Feature An Alternate Ending New Directors/New Films Review: Jia Zhang-ke Produced 'K' Is A New Take On Franz Kafka's 'The Castle' New Directors/New Films Review: Jia Zhang-ke Produced 'K' Is A New Take On Franz Kafka's 'The Castle' Viggo Mortensen Reveals He Turned Down Quentin Tarantino's 'The Hateful Eight,' Auditioned For 'Reservoir Dogs' Viggo Mortensen Reveals He Turned Down Quentin Tarantino's 'The Hateful Eight,' Auditioned For 'Reservoir Dogs' Watch: First Teaser Trailer For 'Mission: Impossible: Rogue Nation' With Tom Cruise Arrives, If You Choose To Accept It Watch: First Teaser Trailer For 'Mission: Impossible: Rogue Nation' With Tom Cruise Arrives, If You Choose To Accept It Jonathan Nolan Says His Original Ending To 'Interstellar' Was “Much More Straightforward” Jonathan Nolan Says His Original Ending To 'Interstellar' Was “Much More Straightforward” The 50 Best Films Of The Decade So Far The 50 Best Films Of The Decade So Far The 25 Best Films Of 2015 We've Already Seen The 25 Best Films Of 2015 We've Already Seen Best Of 2014: The 15 Best Movie Soundtracks Of 2014 Best Of 2014: The 15 Best Movie Soundtracks Of 2014 The 25 Best Horror Films Of The 21st Century So Far The 25 Best Horror Films Of The 21st Century So Far The 20 Best TV Shows Of The 2013/2014 Season The 20 Best TV Shows Of The 2013/2014 Season From Worst To Best: Ranking The Films Of Hayao Miyazaki From Worst To Best: Ranking The Films Of Hayao Miyazaki All The Songs In 'Pitch Perfect' Including La Roux, David Guetta, Azealia Banks, Nicki Minaj & More All The Songs In 'Pitch Perfect' Including La Roux, David Guetta, Azealia Banks, Nicki Minaj & More

Is This An Alternate Universe? 'Fringe' Gets Renewed For Fifth (And Final) Season

Photo of Drew Taylor By Drew Taylor | The Playlist April 27, 2012 at 1:16PM

Well this is something of a surprise – “Fringe,” the much-beloved but dismally rated sci-fi series created by J.J. Abrams, Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci, is getting a reprieve. Fox has announced that they’ve made a deal to bring back the series for a fifth (and final) 13-episode stretch, mostly, it seems, because it’s a DVR powerhouse and Abrams is someone who the network likes to keep happy (although its unclear whether or not his uneven “Alcatraz” will be back next season).
4
Fringe

Well this is something of a surprise – “Fringe,” the much-beloved but dismally rated sci-fi series created by J.J. Abrams, Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci, is getting a reprieve. Fox has announced that they’ve made a deal to bring back the series for a fifth (and final) 13-episode stretch, mostly, it seems, because it’s a DVR powerhouse and Abrams is someone who the network likes to keep happy (although its unclear whether or not his uneven “Alcatraz” will be back next season).

Back in January (per Deadline), Fox entertainment president Kevin Reilly said, “We lose a lot of money on the show." He continued: “We are not in the business of losing money, so we’re trying to figure out if there is a number at which we can continue with the series.” Well, it seems like they figured it out!

For those of you who aren’t watching the show (so that’d be pretty much everyone), “Fringe” is a kind of police procedural as fractured through the mind of David Cronenberg. Every week the “Fringe Division” FBI team (comprised of an agent, a genius grifter, and a mad scientist) investigates crimes that are at least tangentially linked to insane, cutting edge science. After season two the show’s primary focus was on an alternate universe just on the other side of our own and that universe’s attempt to destroy our existence. This past season, to add a further wrinkle to the already complex mythology, a kind of alternate version of our own reality was added into the mix.

What’s kept “Fringe” so compelling, however, is not the outlandish badguys (like a crazed physicist played by our favorite Jared Harris) or otherworldly monsters -- we already got most of that stuff when “The X-Files” was around. No, what makes “Fringe” so special is its unexpected emotional underpinnings; it’s emphasis on the importance of family and its profoundly huge heart (a few episodes ago a character found out he was willed into existence through love). All the scientific weirdness wouldn’t mean a thing if you weren’t so emotionally invested.  

After some long (and, we’re sure, strained) negotiations, Abrams and Fox brass reached an agreement to continue the hugely expensive series for a handful of episodes, which gives the showrunners and writers time to properly close out the story. J.J. Abrams was quoted as saying, “We are thrilled and beyond grateful that Fox – and our fans – have made the impossible possible: ‘Fringe’ will continue into a fifth season that will allow the series to conclude in a wild and thrilling way.”

Hopefully more details will arrive soon (we’d be surprised if Orci and Kurtzman throw in again; they’ve been out of the picture since the end of season one). As an incredibly geeky aside we’re wondering, without having a 19th episode of next season (which was typically the strangest episode of each season – this year’s involved a far-flung futuristic tale), will they still be able to cram in all that strangeness? We’ve checked with our alternate reality selves and we guess: yes.

This article is related to: J. J. Abrams, Roberto Orci, Alex Kurtzman, Television, TV News


The Playlist

The obsessives' guide to contemporary cinema via film discussion, news, reviews, features, nostalgia, movie music, soundtracks, DVDs and more.


Check out Indiewire on LockerDome on LockerDome

E-Mail Updates