Exclusive: Fringe On Fridays Will Be A Fringe 'Unhinged,' Says J.J. Abrams

Fringe‘s move to Fridays, which takes hold on January 21, is looking more and more like a really terrific thing.

Not only has Fox been promoting the heck out of the time-slot change, but Fringe‘s new “under the radar” home apparently has opened the door for even freakier storytelling.

Noting that Fox “has always been pretty cool” about letting Fringe push the envelope, series creator J.J. Abrams tells TVLine that said envelope’s seams have achieved outrageous new levels of elasticity.

“When we made the move and [executive producers] Joe [Chappelle] and Jeff [Pinker] started pitching stuff, we thought, ‘Well, this will probably get a little pushback,’” Abrams shares. “But they [at Fox] were like, ‘OK, sounds good!’”

Ask Ausiello: Spoilers on Glee, Fringe and More!

J.J. didn’t want to spoil what’s to come during the back half of this season by detailing any of the especially “out there” fare. Instead, he vaguely spoke of “visual things” that “if I had done in a film, the PG-13 rating would have been taken from us.”

Fox, however — as touted in the promos — apparently looks forward to its Fridays being freaky. “They have been amazingly and gloriously lenient in what were able to do,” Abrams reports. “It feels like unbridled, unhinged Fringe.”

Exclusive: Fringe Spoilers, But There’s a Twist…

Fox entertainment chief Kevin Reilly indicated as much speaking to the Television Critics Association winter press tour on Tuesday, saying the Fringe creative team should be feeling “really liberated” in its new time slot. “I think now they can say, ‘You know what? We are playing to our fans — [but are] happy to take anyone new that wants to get on board.”

Are you looking forward to Fringe “unhinged”?

Comments (75)

  • Yup I am. I think this is a great move.

    Comment by Thom – January 12, 2011 12:08 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Absolutely. Fridays do not have to be a negative thing. The power of positive thinking. I’m excited and everyone else should be, too! This is a very good thing to hear, that the networks and writers and JJ himself of so optimistic. It makes me a very happy Fringe fan. And think of the alliteration!

    Fox’s Freaky Fringe Friday, Fantastic Fan Favorite For Forever

    And it should get a Fourth and Fifth season just to keep that F theme going!

    Comment by Sarah – January 12, 2011 12:13 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • Sarah, I love how I can find you anywhere in any comment section when you start belting out the alliterations. You’re the best.
      And yay for Fringe Fridays! – GloryisBen

      Comment by Gabby – January 12, 2011 07:04 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • Although two of my favorite shows Bones and Fringe wont be back to back anymore i agree on the positive thinking. This show is way too good to end. The true hier to the Lost size whole in my heart.

      Comment by Liz – January 12, 2011 04:18 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
      • My thoughts exactly! I thought LOST will never be replaced in my book but dang, Fringe is getting up there!! I’m just gonna have to clear my Friday nites now…

        Comment by Kal – January 12, 2011 07:48 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • Way to go, Sarah – I’m on board w/that. Bring on the Freaky Friday Fringe – Let’s keep this show goin’, It’s probably the most interesting thing on TV today. Fringe is the best Sci-Fi show I’ve ever seen. I’m excited about the move. I just hope I can get more fridays off to watch but if not I’ll catch it on the tube on or VCR

      Comment by Julie – January 12, 2011 07:41 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Hopefully, it’ll bring in all these new fans that have gotten caught up on the show during the break. Fringe will put the F in Friday.

    Comment by Aimee – January 12, 2011 12:24 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • JJ Abrams is the master of hype. He no doubt doesn’t have a clue what is going on at Fringe. I don’t see how Fringe could get freakier and still pass standards and practices. It’s already pushing the envelope. As long as they keep the story cooking in the right direction, the fans will be happy. No need to get gimmicky and start throwing extra buckets of blood on it. There is way too much talk of ‘changing’ Fringe in some way. Making it more appealing to kids, making it grosser, now making it freakier … stick with what works. Of course the real story here is … no word on renewal.

    Comment by Fringelover – January 12, 2011 12:26 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Sadly with the move to Fridays, I won’t be watching Fringe as it directly air against Supernatural. I’ve watched since the first episode and my major complaint all along has been their repeatedly abandoning interesting storylines and re-inventing themselves, so this “new” direction is a turn off for me. I’m sure I will catch the show in re-runs or on DVD as John Noble and Josh Jackson are always a treat to watch work.

    Comment by Lisa – January 12, 2011 02:38 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • Sorry to read you’re choosing to watch pablum (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pablum) instead of the best series this side of the other side.

      Your loss.

      Comment by Bob – January 12, 2011 06:13 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
      • Oh heck, no need to diss Supernatural in order to boost Fringe. Supernatural is one of the smartest fantasy shows on television, also constantly reinventing itself, so Lisa, above, dissing Fringe for doing it is odd. Any science fiction or fantasy television show that doesn’t reinvent itself from time to time is doing itself a disservice. Fringe is fantastic. Supernatural is fantastic. They’re also completely different shows.

        I plan on doing what I always do–DVR everything and watch it all later.

        Comment by Lisa Marie – January 12, 2011 02:40 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
      • LOL! Oh, the irony!

        Comment by Nic – January 12, 2011 05:38 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • I don’t care what night Fringe, or any other show I like is on, including Supernatural (fan of both) ever heard of a VCR, Tivo, DVR, watching online …. what diff does it make when a show is actually aired ???? (well, my 81yo mother can’t figure out a VCR but that’s another story) ;-)

      Comment by OhBoy – January 12, 2011 04:22 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • heck to the yes!!!!!

    Comment by cody g – January 12, 2011 05:17 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I just hope moving Fringe to Friday’s doesn’t become a nail in the coffin. Every time a good show is moved around, it signals the end. I would be really pissed off if that happened. Fringe is absolutley the best show on tv. JJ Abrams has a dynamite imagination. I feel this is his best work to date. I would be willing to sign a petiton if need be(like fans did for “The Game”).

    Comment by M.Whittle – January 12, 2011 06:29 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • On the bright side, a show doesn’t need to perform as well on Fridays to keep getting renewed. There are lower expectations. I think if more cult favorites (shows with hardcore, loyal fan bases that will watch the show regardless of where it goes) were placed on Fridays, more would survive (not accounting for cancellations due to truly expensive television shows and inadequate returns because of that expense; I don’t think Fringe falls into that category, though).

      Comment by Lisa Marie – January 12, 2011 02:43 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Taking over X-Files’ former timeslot is a brilliant move. Bring on the freaky storylines. This is an excellent show and deserves a wider audience. Remember the uproar when Fox moved X-Files to Sunday nights? Everyone thought that was the end of that show, it wasn’t.

    Comment by Caroline – January 12, 2011 06:35 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Truth is, Fringe’s roots are in “body horror” (can anyone forget the pilot with the people’s faces melting off?) and it’s not a “new” direction for them to turn if they want to dial it back toward the gruesome and shocking. That said, I love the alternate world storyline too. It’s just that they could stand to go back to the shockers once in a while.

    Comment by Rob – January 12, 2011 07:01 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I just hope they wrap up all of the storylines before the inevitable cancellation happens.

    Comment by Jay – January 12, 2011 07:24 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Moving to fridays is a great idea, way less competition. And I hope Fox stops doing so much of those hiatus breaks we’ve had before.

    Comment by Annie – January 12, 2011 08:04 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • While I’m not entirely thrilled that it will be on at the same time as Supernatural I am committed to both shows and will, once again, be happy I have a DVR. I also agree about the more frequent and extended hiatuses in broadcast TV as of late. They make the seasons too darned short in terms of episodes anymore.

    Comment by Qness – January 12, 2011 08:25 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • If everyone who watches now actually watches on Fridays, it will be fine, but the chances that will happen aren’t great. I hope it does, because I love Fringe, but it’s not the most likely thing…
    Also, how is this “exclusive”? I’ve read pretty much the same quotes elsewhere, and it seems like they came from the Fox party at TCA, where J.J. Abrams came to talk up the show

    Comment by Ben Phelps – January 12, 2011 09:04 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • The fact that the word “unhinged” is being used to describe the storylines makes me so, so happy. Embrace the crazy, JJ! The weirder and more out there “Fringe” gets, the more I love it.

    Comment by amy – January 12, 2011 10:01 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Fingers crossed everyone tunes it. Love Fringe and would like to see it hang around at least one more season!

    Comment by brynna – January 12, 2011 10:17 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I don’t want them to wrap anything up. I want them to go for it and if the show gets cancelled, the stories can be continued in some other medium, like books or comics or whatever.

    Comment by Rob – January 12, 2011 10:38 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • If this means we get more episodes like the brilliantly creepy (and poignant) “Marionette”, then this can only be good news.

    Comment by John – January 12, 2011 10:44 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Can. Not. Wait.

    Comment by michael – January 12, 2011 12:48 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • This sounds like good news to me.

    Comment by Melody – January 12, 2011 01:38 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • well my ex called me and wanted to unhinged on friday but gotta say no because of this news !!!!cant wait fridays just got a lot better

    Comment by slappy – January 12, 2011 03:30 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Fox in the past has used a move to Fridays as a step toward cancellation. Please, please support Fringe!!

    Comment by BoomerFT – January 12, 2011 04:08 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • fox can’t cancel the show, too many fans will decide to stop watching fox altogether. personally i think if the change to fridays allows more, as long as they keep with the original story-telling, it should pick up more people. it’s gonna get a lot more fun.

    Comment by mike – January 12, 2011 04:11 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I absolutely Love Fringe! Cannot wait for the new season! I’m glad its on Fridays now. Gooo Walter!

    Comment by Beckie – January 12, 2011 04:15 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Why, why, why would Fox put it up against Supernatural ??!!!

    Comment by Irene – January 12, 2011 04:18 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Finally, on a good day. T

    Comment by Terry – January 12, 2011 04:19 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Roll on January 21!!! Fringe is THE best show on TV. John Noble is awesome.

    Comment by KC – January 12, 2011 04:21 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Fox is not going to save a show from cancellation because its viewers would boycott the channel, that’s ridiculous. Think about the programming Fox has now…its utter garbage. Nobody watches anything but Family Guy (and those people need to be shot).

    There is a petition to save Fringe online. I suggest people keep tuning in and sign it if they want to see Fringe next year.

    Comment by Ryan – January 12, 2011 04:31 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Sci-Fi Friday is back!

    Comment by Dave – January 12, 2011 04:33 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • It doesn’t matter what day it’s on … as long as it’s on … and I’ve got my PVR!

    Comment by Colin – January 12, 2011 04:34 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • It would be enough for me to quit Fox should they drop Fringe. Especially if they left the storyline unresolved like they did to Dark Angel. That was one of the most disappointing tv experiences I’ve had. Fringe is the best show I’ve seen in a decade. I hope you keep up the exemplary work.

    Comment by Dutch Bihary – January 12, 2011 04:34 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • Even though I watch Bones and sometimes House, if Fringe goes, no more FOX shows for me. I’ll find them on Hulu.

      Comment by Viva La Fringe – January 12, 2011 05:18 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • While I’m glad at the extended freedom, I fear I’m only going to get to see this after the fact as Friday is typically a going out night, although now that SyFy has crappy wrestling on instead of it’s good shwos, this will probably grab their fanbase.

    Comment by Sean – January 12, 2011 04:35 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I wish they would put “Legend of the Seeker” on Friday nights as well. Combining Fringe with Seeker would be excellent!

    Comment by Colin – January 12, 2011 04:37 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • Do you watch Merlin? That’s on Fridays as well :o)

      Comment by Sara – January 12, 2011 04:38 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I love Fringe! I look forward to seeing where the storyline is going, especially since I got a new big screen, hi def tv for Christmas!!

    Comment by Sara – January 12, 2011 04:37 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Not happy with the move. Both of my shows are on at the same fringe an supernatural

    Comment by Salsa – January 12, 2011 04:39 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I assume most of you Fringe fans were also X-Files fans. If you guys recall, X-Files aired on Fridays for a few seasons before moving to a Sunday night slot.

    Comment by Iczer34 – January 12, 2011 04:50 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I can only hope they’re correct. On Friday nights we usually go out, so coming back early to watch “Fringe” is kind of a pain in the neck. On the other hand, I LOVE “Fringe”. However they want to play it, I think it was a bogus move to move it to Fridays when they’ve got so much dead time to work with. But, what are our choices? Stay in on Friday and watch it or go out and Fringe dies without viewers. It’s a crap choice and I hope the people behind this hear from those of us who don’t like it. Everybody here seems to be willing to make lemonade, but, dang it, they ought to know we don’t like it!

    Comment by Eowyn54 – January 12, 2011 04:58 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Everybody doesn’t TiVo!! I know that’s what the t.v. execs who made this idiotic change thought, too. “Who cares when it airs? Everybody just TiVos it.”

    Comment by Eowyn54 – January 12, 2011 05:01 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Everywhere I look people are thinking Fringe is on the death walk because of the Friday slot. But the past two season were delayed due to American Idol. So it is a turn in the right direction for an amazing show to be allowed to continue it’s run without being interrupted by another show. Good to see Fox has a good reason for Fringe on Fridays.

    Comment by Viva La Fringe – January 12, 2011 05:07 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Why don’t they move American Idol to Fridays? The truth is, they screw around with all the unusual, interesting shows. They move them around, they run other shows in their place, they play re-runs for weeks at a time during the middle of the season…That’s why I quit watching “Heroes”. That’s why I’ve quit watching a lot of good shows: you can’t find them or you can’t find a new one or they take it off and put something else on and you don’t know whether they’ve canceled it or they’re going to put it back on in the middle of March.

    Comment by Eowyn54 – January 12, 2011 05:42 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Can’t wait for Fringe to be back! Very excited to see where the storyline is going and how differently it will be told with the new “unhinged” motif. Here’s to Fringe Fridays!! <3

    Comment by Rekka – January 12, 2011 06:02 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Eat your heart out, Kevin Reilly!
    Fringe is going to do fantastic on Fridays right from Jam. 21st on.

    Comment by fringeobsessed – January 12, 2011 06:47 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • First Flashforward and likely soon to be The Event and now talk of Fringe going by the wayside??? This is just unreal how all the good shows that make you actually use your brain for an hour get cancelled….shows just how braindead you Americans are and love the no brainer reality type shows et al. I blame it squarely on the American public and non ability to follow programming that takes intellect to follow.

    Comment by GW – January 12, 2011 07:04 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • WTF!? Move to Friday is typical move for failing shows, since what normal people stay home to watch TV on Friday nights, especially the 18-35 demographic? Okay, maybe dateless losers and nerds who live in their moms’ basements, like the idiot Fringe fans commenting on this post LOL!

    Comment by Dude – January 12, 2011 07:15 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • Have another drink, Dude, and go watch your South Park reruns.

      Comment by fibes71 – January 12, 2011 07:29 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • A thinking person’s sci-fi… well-written, well-acted, intelligent and more than just a little off-center. You move it, I’ll follow it.

    Comment by fibes71 – January 12, 2011 07:17 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Fringe is The best thing since colour tv!! I really hope that it will survive! Best show in sweden! All Hail Walter, Olivia, Peter, Asterix and broyles! Kim from Sweden

    Comment by Kim persson – January 12, 2011 08:37 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I gave up the office to watch Fringe, I’ll follow anywhere, anytime. By the way, there is nothing wrong with staying in on Fridays to watch fringe, just go out after!! Sheesh!

    Comment by Wen – January 12, 2011 08:44 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I love the time change. Now I can stay up and watch it, versus recording it and watching it the next day. Love the show!!!

    Comment by Jeff – January 13, 2011 08:54 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Fringe > highschool social life .
    I can go out with friends on Saturdays- Fringe is, in no way, worth missing.

    Comment by Daniel – January 13, 2011 01:08 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • My only concern is that TV ratings don’t take into consideration torrent downloads and DVR recordings. Fringe is such a big deal for all the old X-Files, Twilight Zone, and Quantum Leap nerds, we will DIE without it. – BUT – No one watches TV on Friday nights. People go out, so the show will be DVR’d by the folks who can afford a DVR; and it’ll be downloaded by the less fortunates.

    Please, please, please, please, please never stop creating this show. Minimum 10 seasons. This show is flawless in entertainment. I honestly cannot stand seeing the BEST shows on television get canceled because of false ratings.

    Comment by KT Pierce – January 13, 2011 05:14 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Love this from the first episode. Its the best. Friday is not good for me but trust me i will still be watching one way or the other.

    Comment by Blossom – January 13, 2011 08:00 PM PDT  Reply To This Post

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