Fringe on the Bubble: Keep Or Cut?

Come mid-May (if not sometimes sooner), the networks will be making some tough calls as to which shows will return for the 2012-13 TV season, and which… won’t. As we did last spring, TVLine is singling out select “bubble” shows to survey their prospects, then turn it over to you to vote on the program’s fate.

Kicking things off is a beloved drama that may be due for a reality (or realities) check:

THE SHOW: Fringe (Fox)

THE TIME SLOT: Fridays at 9/8c.

2012 Renewal Scorecard: What’s Coming Back? What’s Getting Axed? What’s on the Bubble?

THE CASE FOR KEEPING: Fringe is a show famous for “recontextualizing” its narrative with each and every season finale, so we have to imagine that come May 11, the Powers That Be will once again sends our jaws to the floor, brew a storm of speculation and get us clamoring for a Season 5. Plus, for too long now, storytelling hooks have “split up the band” in one way or another, robbing us of the chance to see the team we know — no alts, no timeline variations — crack cases together; it’d be nice to get a final run with the core four intact. So how about it, Fox? How about a thrilling, cost-efficient 13-episode farewell tour?

THE CASE FOR CUTTING: Not that we could ever get inside the übercreative heads of the Fringe writers, but what ways are left to “recontextualize” this show? Adding a third universe would seem derivative, so, save for a significant displacement forward or backward in time (and the always fun anachronisms that come with it), we can’t imagine where Peter, Olivia et al “need” to go next. To that end, this season’s timeline tinkering and resolution, pat as it has seemed, could suffice as an end story.

Vote below, then hit Comments to make your own case for keeping or cutting Fringe.

Comments are monitored, so don’t go off topic, don’t frakkin’ curse and don’t bore us with how much your coworker’s sister-in-law makes per hour. Talk smart about TV!

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  1. houseboneslove says:

    Keep! Fringe is still creating new unique episodes and I don’t feel like the quality has declined at all. I’m sure they could make 13 brilliant episodes that would conclude the series nicely. That’s all the majority of the fans want. I think in the case of House, they were running out of ideas and it was a relief that they announced an end date, but I don’t feel the same way about Fringe.

  2. Tarc says:

    KEEP. If not the best show on TV, then it’s in the Top 3.

  3. ozymandias38 says:

    As I said over at Spoiler TV: Anyone who cancels Fringe gets smacked upside their head.

  4. Trista says:

    Fringe is always on the bubble because like many sci fi shows you can’t just watch and episode or two and then pick it up again 3 weeks later. In order to really understand the show you need to be more than a fly by night fan.

    Name one sci-fi show on the regular networks that has been able to make it on the air since X-Files.

    I think that the people who make the shows for sci-fi die hards need to realize that no matter how great the show (and Fringe is one of the best) television audiences today have ADD. If Fringe were easier to follow it wouldn’t be the show it is, but it probably would have a bigger audience and not endanger of being cut.

    PS – I’m for keeping it – please!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  5. Doug-H says:

    I never can understand why people who don’t like a show would really care if devoted fans want to keep it?? To each his own…. As in all things… Follow the Money…. It is a Warners show on FOX so I wonder why if they’ll do it for less to get a few more episodes why it may not move to CW??? Slide into the old Smallville slot before SuperNatural… I wonder if that is an option if Fox passes??? I think Fringe could do at least Smallville numbers and that lasted 10 years!!! Maybe FOX likes the JJ prestige factor… CW is already piloting another JJ show..

  6. Jaime Raga says:

    Why are we fans asking for “one more season” ? Make it 2, or 3, or why not?, 10! This is THE best show on TV since The X-Files went off air after creating one the major cult shows in the world! We want, we demand more seasons, not just episodes. Fringe is smart, well written, superbly acted. PLEASE GIVE US MORE YEARS OF SUPREME TV!

  7. dhg says:

    It would speak to recent FOX cowardice to halt Fringe before it has a viable ability to tell it’s story.There’s no way it can this season since it is likely the episodes are all done.A 13 episode final season would allow the writers to complete all various unfinished ideas here in a sensible way.FOX was once a brave and risk taking network,now it’s no better than any other commercial network.Let’s hope they grow balls.

    • J. Norman says:

      Listen. .. and listen good.
      Don’t blame Fox if Fringe is cancelled without . .. as you put it. . .”a viable ability to tell its story”

      Just don’t go down that road!!. If you want to blame someone, then blame the showrunners and producers of Fringe itself.
      Most fans of the show. ..even the die hard ones. . . know that they were dumb ass lucky to even have the show on the air this long with the ratings it got last season.
      The producers should have known that they needed to wrap it up this year. I don’t watch it and haven’t since the first season, but I get the idea from the fanatic fans that there will be a lot of loose ends if it is cancelled.

      Well, that’s tough s–t, but don’t blame the network for this. The show producers had plently of advance warning that this might happen.
      Put your blame where it belongs. . . and that is with the show. . .not the network. They have given it ever break !!!

      GOT IT!!!

      • Donna says:

        I have to disagree with you J. Norman. While fox has kept Fringe on the air, they have in no way given it every chance. Example, Friday time slot, not a lot of advertising,long breaks in the season. Any good sci fi show must be watched carefully, and sometimes watched again in order to be appreciated. While I applaud the fact that fox has kept Fringe on the air, I believe that it, and the fans deserve at least a wrap up. Networks want to play one episode of any show and see the money piling in, but all really good stories take time.

      • Kaa says:

        “I don’t watch it and haven’t since the first season…”

        Well, there you go – you just destroyed your credibility on this entire topic. You’d love to see it canceled, BUT YOU HAVEN’T EVEN WATCHED IT SINCE 2009.

        Nevertheless, I happen to agree with you that Fox is not the bad guy here. No one is the bad guy. Except, maybe, people who are very sure a show needs to be cancelled when they haven’t even watched it since the first season.

        • J. Norman says:

          Wrong kaa,

          Get some logic in your head.
          I’m not out to see Fringe get cancelled. That means nothing to me on a personal level.
          I just get sick and tired of people putting the blame on the wrong source. By your own admission, the network is not the bad guy here, but reading through many / most of the comments, you would think they are.
          It has nothing to do with a “non-fan” not watching the show.

          • Jim C says:

            “That means nothing to me on a personal level.”

            Then why exactly are you here?

            The show means nothing to you but you have nothing else better to do than to post here about it.

            You sir, are either a troll or just a dufus. flip a coin

        • mika says:

          It is a stupid argument to make. We care about TV. That why we come to TVLine and read all teh articles. That said, I don’t watch Fringe and I do care because it is taking up valuable real estate for programming that i do care about.

  8. Collin says:

    I see a lot of things saying a 13 episode season five, but I hope for at least one more full season. I’d love to have more, though. Has this site seen what’s been happening online with Fringe? There is obviously WAY more support for this show than Nielsen ratings would lead one to believe. Fox really screwed up when they put this show on Friday at nine. Not only is that a terrible time-slot for any show, but Fringe requires some upkeep. If somebody misses a few episodes, they’ll be completely lost. That loses viewers. If they move it to a different time, it will definitely gain more viewers.

  9. Readyrr says:

    Keep it for the rumored 13-episode fifth season just so they can tie the storyline up.

  10. CJ says:

    Cut. I cannot STAND this show, and Fox deciding to keep it meant that The Chicago Code got canceled far before its time. CUT IT.

  11. TigerNightmare says:

    All of you that voted cut, you go die.

  12. Deidre says:

    I love FRINGE and have been a loyal fan from the beginning. But, I am also realistic, I am hoping for a full fifth season to give it the ending it deserves if it must end!!!

  13. Jebediah says:

    It’ll be back, one more season pushes it into syndication. I expect a scenario ala Chuck’s where the series is brought back for a 13 episode run that’ll wrap up all the loose ends nicely.

  14. Manton says:

    I voted ‘CUT’ I didn’t want to but if, knowing Fringe, it returns for another season they will just do another ‘split up’ of the core characters for 9 episodes, keep it dangling, go back and forth and resolve it between episode 14-16. Then find a reason to split them all up again 2 episodes later. I just want to see them work together, live and love together and deal with all the craziness that the work and the alternate universe brings. No more split ups.

    • Ken says:

      I totally more bloody split up,each time these two come together they find some way to
      split them them apart.
      Enough is enough,i too just want these two to continue loving each other and working together to
      solve cases. Also if they got married at the end of the series that would be great. these two
      Peter/Oliver as been through so much,they do deserve happiness

  15. Brad Kellar says:

    I would vote for keeping it, but please, for the love of God, can FOX find a time slot for Fringe, a paranormal investigation show, which does not pit it against two other paranormal investigation shows (Supernatural, Grimm)? It not only weakens the potential audience, but the nature of Fringe and its extensive back story makes it intimidating for new people to tune in. You can tell the entire world about how good a show it is, and I believe it is one of the best shows on television, but if you don’t schedule it right, none of that will matter.
    I say, pair it with Bones on Mondays, or Touch on Thursdays (if it survives), or — if the plan is to switch away from “Animation Domination” put it on Sundays. But don’t leave it competing against two other shows which are far too similar in nature.

    • danielle says:

      Right? This scheduling drives me crazy. I do not have a DVR so I will have to chose one of those 3 shows to watch live on Friday nights when I would love to watch all 3. And then if any one of those is cancelled due to low viewership is just nuts . . . . Put it on a night where genre fans can focus on it! 9PM on Friday? If I’m still at home at that time, I’m choosing Fringe to watch live but I hate missing out on the other shows.

  16. Anya says:

    KEEP! Fringe really found its grove in the 2nd season, and each episode is compelling and thought-provoking. It is clear from their performances that the actors are as passionate about the show as its fans. With all the horrible programs out there, quality like this should be celebrated and preserved. Please KEEP for a fifth season.

  17. midas777 says:

    If there is one show that should be renewed it is Fringe. This show has excellent writers, a superb cast, unique storyline and always entertaining. THey should at least let the overall arch to be tied up on TV and NOT in comics as it has been rumoured. Name many shows on TV that have the combination that this show has and i bet you do it on one hand. I am tired of good shows being ignored. It is a real shame we have to live in this cruddy reality TV world – THOSE are the shows that need to be axed – no creativity nothing really new just the same ridiculous thing season after season.

  18. John says:

    Cut. This so stinks. It has jumped the shark in every episode. Yes I’ve watched them all, all but the last, when I canceled it from my dvr.

    • Kaa says:

      How can you “jump the shark” more than once? That makes no sense, you know. The definition of “jumping the shark” is a single moment where a show goes bad. You don’t even know what that expression means.

  19. K says:


    The writing and acting are top notch and I believe they can keep that up for another season or two. Plus I want to see it at least get to 100.

  20. joeyconnick says:

    I do love Fringe so I would definitely vote to keep it. However, I’ve felt very unsatisfied this season with the reveal that Peter is “already” home and the weird, completely unexplained way alt-timeline Olivia seems to be morphing into original Olivia. More troubling, it seems to have just been accepted, however grudgingly by some (Lincoln), that this is the new status quo and to me there’s a real feeling this isn’t going to be addressed any further this season.

    Now, I sincerely hope I’m wrong because not only will that leave us with original Olivia and Peter stuck with slightly “off” versions of their friends and colleagues (and, hey, worlds), but it would represents terribly sloppy storytelling–the worst kind of deus ex machina. So if I’m wrong and they address it by the end of this season, that’s great. If they don’t, as much as I love the show, I can’t say they’ll have really earned a 5th season.

    • Angie says:

      This is exactly how I feel. I was completely riveted by the show in seasons two and three, but season four has been oddly disappointing. I don’t like that Peter and Walter’s relationship has changed. It also doesn’t sit right with me that Olivia was willing to give up all of her memories for the love of a man. To me, that kind of sends the wrong message.

      • fire says:

        Olivia was willing to give up all of her memories for her REAL memories.

        • SamLynx says:

          I wouldn’t say they were her “real” memories or that her other memories were “fake”. I also don’t think she was giving up her memories for a man.

          1.) They were her memories, just from a different timeline.

          2.)She said the memories came from a better version of herself.

          3.)Those memories let her experience real love.

          So, in all, I think she let herself forget her other memories because she liked those experiences better. She saw herself as a better person than she was and she didn’t want to lose what she had learned. She also was able to feel love through those memories and like they say, better to have loved then lost than to never have loved at all.

  21. Gb says:

    To all of u who said cut it? U smell like poo. And shame on tvline for even asking the question. Fringe is amazing tv and the characters are awesome

  22. Ali says:

    Keep..Keep…Keep. One more season would be perfection.

  23. Mel says:

    They should consider changing the night it airs, because i am sure if it wasn’t on a Friday night it would pull a greater Audience…Although, this is coming from someone who watches it in Australia. But In Australia, Friday night brings in the lowest ratings because people are out doing fun stuff, staying out late being really mature and sensible with their time (’cause that’s what us Aussies are, Mature and Sensible), not at home watching tv. Just saying

  24. desifish2011 says:

    At one point Fringe followed right after Bones and I believe the ratings were good. Then you get into all these time slot movements and two month long hiatuses and it just messes with people’s ability to follow the story. Keep Fringe but give it a solid timeslot with no breaks.

  25. fringegirl47 says:

    Please Keep Fringe!

  26. Mali says:

    Fringe is an amazing show. I hope I get at least one more season. We should at least get a Final season. LOVE THIS SHOW!! Gives us one more season please!!!

  27. Alternate Peter says:

    This shouldn’t be up for debate. I know I sound obnoxious because it can be up for debate, but Fringe is one of the best shows on TV right now. It would be an immense shame if this incredible show was cancelled. I would settle for a shortened final season, where the writers can actually plan or the last episodes, because they would be epic. But it should not be cancelled this season. I really hope that Fox will give this great show at least one more final season.

  28. JakeSnake says:

    Fringe is one of the last truly great television shows left. Sure it won’t be able to stay on forever, but it needs at least one more season to tie things up. Such a great story deserves a proper ending and I guarantee you while the season 4 finale might “function” as a series finale if it has to, it won’t be satisfactory, just something.

  29. Sonni says:

    I vote for FOX to keep Fringe, as it’s one of the few well written shows on network tv. Awesome cast, intelligently written stories, and a unique plot set this show apart from the usual brainless sitcom crap or cheaply budgeted reality garbage the networks force upon us, broadcasting the very worst of American society to the whole freaking world. So, here’s hoping that someone has enough common sense to keep this show and cut some of the other trash that’s clogging the airwaves. KEEP!

  30. jmac19 says:

    Last season ended with that look at the future that thus far has gone unexplained. Seems to me that’s where things have to head…

  31. Brian says:

    This show is the most fun I have had in a long time. Please keep it going. I didn’t enjoy the XFiles this much and I loved that show. The casting has been great the acting is wonderful and Dr. Bishop is my favorite character from any show ever. I would like the main story to be resolved and to return to the varied cases and the occasional multy episode story. I think the main story may be a bit heady for some.

  32. greine says:

    When the writers say it’s time to end that’s when I’m happy to see it end and at no other time. Fringe is the best thing on TV and should be renewed. We need go thought provoking TV and Fringe won’t let us down.

  33. jj says:

    It so needs to be cut. If there is one show that MUST be cut, it is Fringe. This series has already gone on 3.5 seasons too long! Absolute waste of air time.

  34. Marianne says:

    How is this even a question? NO ONE SHOULD THINK OF CANCELING FRINGE!!

  35. Kaa says:

    Fringe is an intelligent show that needs at least 90% of your attention to follow. Naturally, most TV viewers only want shows where they only need to pay it 30% of their attention (or less) so they can have it on in the background while they eat, surf the web, chat on the phone or screw their girlfriends. Of course it was never going to remain a high rated show. That’s not the point. The point is, Fox can damn well afford to give it 13 more episodes and Fox and Warner Bros ought to work out a deal. This show is an achievement. It is one of the finest shows Fox has aired at least in the last 10 years if not more. It is JJ Abrams’ best show, for starters, and it is a real science fiction show that gets you thinking about many things: it simply is the best genuine science fiction show since The X-Files. Fox should do the right thing, the graceful thing, and let it play out.

  36. Caroline says:

    KEEP IT! As stated previously, the writers had a 7-season arc planned. I want to see where they take us in the next season. KEEP IT!

  37. keep!!!! of course! Fringe is amazing!

  38. Mark Cummings says:

    Every episode of Fringe is like a mini movie. And I look forward to the “movie” quality each and every week. I have purchased the last 3 seasons on DVD and I could watch them over and over and over again. They always keep my attention. I absolutely love Fringe! The concept of “what if…” makes you think “what if”! The only thing better than keeping Fringe on the air season after season, would be to see it on the big screen!!

  39. rubytu says:

    KEEP I don’t see them coming up with anything that would draw more viewers than Fringe does. It’s one thing to say “cancel the show”, but what are you going to replace it with? Do they really have something that would attract more viewers than Fringe, esp in that time period? Fringe is a keeper. And not just 13 episodes, either. It would be foolish to cancel a wonderful show with such devoted followers.

  40. Zepp OnAir says:

    The biggest problem with Fringe is because it is being displayed on the wrong planet. Here on our planet Earth, if not facilitate things, the show certainly will not work because the majority of Earthlings would rather watch their soap operas, comedies … It is the law of the minor mental effort that reigns in these moments. And Fringe, which certainly is not another dimensional universe, but from another planet in another galaxy really has, to our level intelligence, a very complex plot, and therefore that is all that he is having difficulty for renewal for another season. And when Fringe is over, then the planet will return to the delight of many people, for that pathetic sameness ever. But who is really a Fringie fan, like me, does not give points for the opponents. Go, Fringe, for a complete 5th season!

  41. hooge says:

    Yes please Fringe, for a complete 5th season!

  42. Khan Wong says:

    KEEP IT! I still want to watch thriller and mystery plus unintentional comedy scenes between Walter and Astrid. This show is full of details that everything is connected. Season 5 full season should wrap up everything, not Season 4. Season 4 I introduced new timeline and new threats from Jones, Season 5 should be about restore the balance of the universe and jump back to the prime timeline.

  43. hjuai walking says:

    devam amk ,devam

  44. panda says:

    Keep Fringe!

  45. Kerri says:

    My favorite shows are Twin Peaks, X-Files, Twilight Zone, Night Gallery, and Alfred Hitchcock Presents.
    Notice none of them are current. For me, this is the only show on t.v. worth my time. In fact, out of all my faves, it’s the BEST SHOW EVER! I love all the details, clues- Easter Eggs, I suppose is the correct moniker.

    And the writers have plenty up their sleeves(7 or 8 seasons worth) so even a short final Season 5 is cutting this brilliant story line short. Whatever, I’ll take it! Just please, give us more Fringe!

    • Ellen says:

      I totally agree!! LOVED X-files too! This is the first show since X-files left that has kept my attention and made me jump! :)

  46. Mika says:

    Too expensive and no one watches = cancel

  47. egzaminy says:

    Could someone please give a reasonable explanation to why did they basically kill a great show by moving it to Friday nights?! That’s when they lost the majority of their viewers.

  48. Ellen says:

    KEEP KEEP KEEP!!! For all the reasons listed above! :)

  49. Zepp OnAir says:

    KEEP Fringe, of course!! All the money used by the networks, does not cover the high quality provided at Fringe show so far. That is, proportionally little money invested, so much to show! We expect a fifth season, complete of Fringe! WOW!