FRINGE: Season 5 Discussions Commence; JJ. Abrams ‘Hopeful’ Sci-fi Serial Will Continue

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Here’s something that will interest Fringe fans — the show’s future is being decided, with news that FOX and Warner Bros. have opened discussions on a potential fifth season.

Earlier this month, FOX president Kevin Reilly put the potato in Warner Bros’ court when he told reporters that the show is losing the network money. While this may have sounded like an early cancellation notice to the show’s fans, it was also a message to the studio, Warner Bros.

It’s thought that if Warner Bros. can drastically reduce the show’s license fee (the amount they charge the network for each episode), then FOX would be happy to renew the show for another season.

Warner Bros. boss Peter Roth responded to Reilly’s message by putting out the good vibes, saying they have “no plans to give viewers closure this season, we expect the series to continue,” while the show’s co-creator JJ. Abrams said he was “hopeful” that a 5th season would emerge from negotiations.

Now, it seems, those discussions are underway, with TV Line‘s sources claiming that both sides are currently trying to hash out a deal, while Abrams remains “hopeful that Fringe will be able to continue.”

For WB’s part, getting Fringe to a fifth season would put the show in or around the fabled 100 episodes milestone that would improve the show’s syndication prospects.

Whether or not the show gets a fifth season wont impact on this season’s endgame, which, according to the show’s exec producer Jeff Pinkner, can work both as a season or series ender:

“Worst case scenario, if this were the last aired season of Fringe — and as we’ve said before, there are other outlets where we could continue our stories, be they graphic novels or webisodes — we know what the end of this season is going to be, and it can function as a series finale.”

While it’s good that discussions are taking place, it’s only actually good if those discussions lead somewhere positive. The two sides have to talk about the show’s future at some point, so we’ll see what comes out of the oven and keep you updated on any developments.

Source: TV Line

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Comments

  1. says

    ” there are other outlets …”
    Pinker is rather aggressive in his answer don’t you think.
    Take a page out of Fringe. Work together Jeff.

    Like: Thumb up 3

        • Underseer says

          If AMC picked up Fringe, and then produced 12 episode seasons that do away with procedurals and focussed solely on the central mythology, Fringe would vault to new heights.

          With the production values we saw in The Walking Dead and Hell on Wheels, Fringe would be untouchable and I suspect its ratings would skyrocket, freed of a network that has messed it around disgracefully in so many ways.

          Only problems with this utopian scenario:

          Would they be interested? If JJ Abrams personally approaches them, they might. Might. He has considerable power in the industry now, and may well be shaping up to be the next Spielberg.

          Could they afford the budget? Couldn’t answer that, since I don’t know what it is. Roco, any idea what the average budget for a Fringe episode is?

          So here’s what I’d suggest, if it really does look like Fringe is not getting another season, and you really want it to go on:

          I’ve said before, instead of wasting time petitioning Reilly to keep the show on Fox (he won’t once the decision is made), why not have as many fans as possible petition Abrams to get more hands on again and get the show moved to another network, one like AMC. Only Abram’s name would get other networks to listen.

          Reilly has already said he’s going to kill it in all probability. How can he object when he’s publicly stated they’re losing money? Hoisted by his own petard. I suspect Fox’s running costs are so ridiculously high that shows need to do ridiculously well to survive.

          So petition AMC (or whoever is the best candidate) to listen to Abrams and take it on. A fanbase approaching a studio would give more guarantee than AMC had for the Walking Dead , which already has a third season pending.

          Then if the parties are agreeable, petition Warner to tell Fox where to shove their ‘talks’. In more diplomatic language, of course!

          It could almost be like a kind of crowdsourcing.

          This is the digital age, people. We have social media and many other channels such as online petitions to spread the word. So if you want Fringe to survive, you may have to fight for it. I don’t think passively waiting for Fox will do it.

          Of course, all this is academic if Fringe sees a continuing upswing in its ratings — Fox won’t let go of it — or radical plunge — nobody will want it.

          Like: Thumb up 4

          • says

            Know this:
            when people like Pinkner and Abrams give out hints that other media might be interested, then those first scouting talks already have been done.

            I think the word is out and if Fringe would be cancelled by FOX, then i think the bomb is being dropped within 48 hours after cancellation, that Fringe is being picked up.

            You can bet on it.

            Like: Thumb up 3

          • says

            “Roco, any idea what the average budget for a Fringe episode is?”

            Underseer, I don’t have exact figures, but last time I heard an episode of Fringe costs somewhere between $2-3 million.

            Like: Thumb up 2

            • Underseer says

              Thanks, Roco. I do know the pilot for Fringe was $10 million, but in a admittedly cursory google, I didn’t see firmer figures for the average episode.

              Judging by the fact that AMC cut its budget for season two of The Walking Dead, a trend which I suspect is happening behind the scenes in all American networks, it does raise some worries as to who would have the financial resources to take over Fringe.

              Like: Thumb up 0

              • says

                No probs! It’s an approximated figure but I think it’s somewhere in that region.

                To be honest, I think many of the cable networks would struggle to finance a show like Fringe. Its best shot is probably staying on FOX in some capacity, if the studio and network can reach an arrangement. Other than that we might be looking at the pre-mentioned webseries or comic books for the more elaborate, ongoing mythology stuff.

                The next few weeks should be interesting.

                Like: Thumb up 2

        • Rick Terry says

          By “Other Outlets” I personally read it as; we will write graphic novels, and do more comic books, and possibly webisodes. If they do move to another network, or cable then I hope it’s not netflix, or direct Tv because I have Xfinity, so AMC, or FX, or SyFy, or Science Channel, or any of those but Please not some off the wall network, or books.

          That is what I was Amen-ing.

          God Observer it seem you are on my case today. What gives? I know Fringebloggers is down at the moment but really do you have to bring the negative attitude and judgmental-ness over here?

          Like: Thumb up 1

  2. Rick Terry says

    This is me crossing my fingers.

    Come on guys just do 13 episodes, and lets put this puppy to sleep. Hell i’ll even be happy with just 6 if it’s enough to end it properly.

    Like: Thumb up 5

          • Rick Terry says

            I’m a real fan, and I will stay true to the end. but that’s just it… a story needs a rightful ending, not a cliffhanger that might could possibly just work as a series finale. Thus why I say to put this puppy to sleep. (give it an end.) figure of speech (maybe I said it wrong or something). I’m just saying don’t drag this on if it can’t live up to it. Why be delusional and think this show will get past another season on Fox, because it won’t? If Fox allows another season, then it will be a short season or possible even a mini series (6 eps). And Yes Fringe is my favorite show I just don’t want to see it cut off in it’s prime (and by prime i mean before we as an audience get some answers). I have no problem with the show coming to an end if it works, but i don’t want it to be murdered. I guess i said it wrong I digress.

            Like: Thumb up 3

            • says

              Rick Terry, i don’t think that any of us fans wants Fringe to be lesser quality. We all want (fans, viewers and writing staff) Fringe to end decent and in that, S4 will end without a cliffhanger.
              S3 ended well, and S4 will end even better.
              So yes, believe in a full S4 with 22 episodes. Believe in the main story still being developed. Believe in a decent ending (ór: loop to S1E1 ;))

              Fringe is still in very good hands and TPTB are still talking; that’s a good thing.
              Who knows? We’ll see in a week or 2 and go from there.
              But be assured that Fringe will have a decent ending. I’m very confident in that.

              Like: Thumb up 1

          • Roneo says

            What I meant is (looking at it through WB eyes) that there are far more probabilities to sell the series on DVD if it has a good ending that leaves the audience with a great taste (whether in 4, 5, 5 ½, 6 seasons ….). An unsatisfactory/no end is not good if you want the series to have a life beyond their first release on networks.
            Of course I want Fringe to go on, but because I am a real fan, not at any cost.

            Like: Thumb up 2

            • Rick Terry says

              I got you. I was arguing with Observer1. It’s fine if someone wants to think i’m not a true fan, but for them to come out and say it, when in fact they don’t know me, have never met me, and cannot read my mind is unacceptable in my book. If one wants to challenge my fan status, then one should be ready for a rebuttal.

              Sorry had to get that out there.

              No I totally agree with you Roneo. WB should be aware that if there is not a “true” ending then they might as well use those DVDs as coasters.

              Like: Thumb up 0

              • Ann_Louise says

                My husband and I have already decided to wait on S4 Fringe DVD’s. If the ending of the season does not have a satisfying conclusion, why rush out to buy it? We’re not getting it for the thrilling first 7 episodes (a bit of sarcasm there).
                Right now Target has Fringe for 15 bucks for S1-3. If I can get S4 for that price, we’ll wait.

                Like: Thumb up 2

  3. Matt-ernate says

    I feel like there should be a love letter campaign send to WB to thank them for discussing how to get a season 5. haha

    Like: Thumb up 4

  4. says

    What both parties (FOX/WB) also need to realise, next to making $$$ from a show, is that the story of Fringe is well worth being told (broadcasted).
    Characters like Walter are rare in tv-land nowadays; they need to be on television for as long as possible. As does the rest of the main cast. Fringe is a unique show with unique fans/viewers. An intelligent series for an intelligent audience, but people can pick it up very easily.

    Does Fringe deserve a season 5? Yes! No question about it.
    How can Fringe do better, viewers/ratings wise? Put it back on tuesdays.
    Can Fringe survive with another format (comics, webisodes), lower budget or smaller cast/lesser locations? No, because it wouldn’t be Fringe anymore.

    The sfx, the locations, the props… all are needed to tell the story of Fringe. They make the show the DVR and dvd-sales success that it is. We know now, as do the network, that Fringe on fridays is not getting anymore live viewers. That is a fact.

    But cancelling Fringe, after all the changes it went through, like moving it around to other days/times, long hiatus breaks, and so on, is not fair to the wirters, cast and crew, who are all doing their best to make Fringe as great as it is a show.

    Fringe deserves to continue, it deserves a season 5, it is the decent thing to do for writers, cast and crew, and for the fans. Even JJ Abrams hinted that he would direct an episode for season 5. How much trust does that say?

    Like: Thumb up 9

    • Pwnsauce says

      I agree with everything you said, but you’re missing the point here. Networks need to make money. They don’t care about anyone’s feelings or being fair, they just want to turn a profit. Does Firefly ring a bell?

      Again I agree with all your reasons Fringe should continue, and it’s a shame that the general public watches garbage, unsophisticated, and procedural tv, but that’s a reality. Now maybe in an alternate reality, the majority of people are smart and watch smart shows…

      Like: Thumb up 1

        • Rick Terry says

          I love Fringe despite the powers that be, behind it. TPTB themselves, not so much. These guys are so friggin delusional it’s not even funny. They basically got a publicized warning from the head of Fox himself to start a wrap-up plan, but how do they respond? Well no! We are sticking to the season finale we have. LA LA LA WE CAN’T HEAR YOU! LA LA LA WE CAN’T HEAR YOU! They act like we want to see more stand-alones, and some Liv/Lee love action. They think we want that! How out of touch do these guys gotta get before you to stop kissing their feet?

          The only thing that will make me happy is if we hear something within the next few weeks regarding the future of Fringe. And I dare say that if they are told this is it, then they better make the best of it.

          The proof is in the pudding. This whole season, with the exception of these last two eps has been a train-wreck. You can’t help but not look away. I am a true fan because I am pi$$ed off over all this. If I wasn’t a fan then I’d just up and leave. I am a true fan because I sat through all three and a half aired seasons, glued to the live Television and watched again via DVR. I am a true fan because I watched all the first three seasons on DVD rented from Blockbuster, at 5 bucks a disc. But i show some contempt toward your beloved P&W and suddenly I’m not a true fan? Phuck P&W. I’ll trust them again when they prove themselves to me.

          Like: Thumb up 2

          • says

            @Rick …I know everyone is very passionate about Fringe and its future, but can we stop coming to loggerheads over this point. (Last year we found out that Fringe was renewed in March … which is a long way away in my book, pure torture.)

            But, I am going to think positive, watch it live as well, and wait for the fantastic news of renewal, (hopefully before March.)

            Like: Thumb up 3

  5. MISSNETT says

    Just give us a season 5. Let the story be told the proper way. It was done for Lost. If the producers know an end time they can finish it for the fans and for themselves. I would love to see this show last for several more seasons but that doesn’t look possible. I told a friend just the other day(just got her interested and caught up!) this show gets inside you and won’t let go! She agreed!

    Like: Thumb up 8

    • Lafra08 says

      Exactly my thoughts!!!!!! Fringe deserves season 5!And I also would love to enjoy Fringe for several more seasons and while I know it seems impossible at the moment something inside me won´t give up the hope for this to happen! Fringe is so special and unique and as you beautifully said MISSNETT – this show gets literally inside you and won´t let go!!!!!!!

      Like: Thumb up 6

  6. says

    Just for laughs…

    During the Season 1 – Season 2 transition, Fringe killed off Agent Charlie Francis (redeemed themselves by bringing him back as reoccurring in S3). It is not highly probable that this had to do with budget more than storytelling.

    Sooooo, seeing as Agent Lincoln Lee isn’t doing much of anything, except helping me meet my eye rolling quota, what do ya say we do another “budget cut”. “Not for for nothin’ “, but the Lincoln character just has added nothing to the show for me.

    Back to being serious…

    I know that Warner Bros is in their own showdown with internet streaming services, but both Fox and WB could recoup some additional fees from the likes of Netflix, Amazon, Vudu, and such. Since it seems money is the pressing issue here (isn’t it always), there is always a way to make money. It can be done. It is just a matter of all negotiating parties feeling that Fringe is worth the effort.

    I have no doubt that Fringe can get back some of the viewers they’ve lost this year by getting out of this alternate timeline/CoTW quagmire they are in now. Just give the viewers what they want: MYTHOLOGY.

    Like: Thumb up 3

  7. Ben says

    Slightly off-topic, but is there still a fringebloggers site? I’ve been trying to open it since Saturday and no luck.

    Like: Thumb up 0

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