Exclusive: Fringe Stars Talk Finale ('We Shot Two Endings'), Drop Clue About Season 5 Storyline

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Fox’s Fringe, which for four years now has traded in dual universes, doppelgängers and shape-shifting body doubles, is fittingly prepping alt versions of its Season 4 finale, as Fox and Warner Bros. TV continue to negotiate the possibility of a Season 5.

“We’ve shot two [endings],” John Noble told TVLine at the opening of the Beverly Hills Paley Center’s “Television: Out of the Box” exhibit, which was created in conjunction with Warner Bros. TV.

Fringe Videos: Walter Is Drug ‘Tested’ En Route to the Other Side, ‘Meana’ Warns Fauxlivia

Noble says many “big questions” will be answered in the season finale airing May 11 — including the matter of Olivia being fated to die (and whether the animated episode’s “Mr. X” figures into it) and Walter shouldering the burden of responsibility for the warring universes. Viewers also can expect a surprise on the villainy front (David Robert Jones plays “a very big part, but not as big as you think,” Noble teased. “There’s something bigger.”)

But as Joshua Jackson told us Thursday night, “The writers have given themselves a device by which we can tell a fifth-season story without having to leave this season’s story open.”

Although Lance Reddick, who plays Broyles, could not elaborate on the alternate endings, he did affirm, “The way [Season 4] ends could function as a series finale, but there’s one storyline left open that could end up as a cliffhanger for the beginning of the fifth season…. We’ll see what airs depending on what [Fox and WBTV] decide.”

Fringe‘s Top-Secret, Twisty Episode 19: What Do the First Photos Reveal?

If Fox does pull the trigger on some semblance of a Season 5 – be it a truncated 13-episode order or what have you – viewers will get a clue as to that new storyline much sooner than they may think.

“The door to the fifth season is opened in Episode 19 (airing April 20),” Jackson told us. “If you watch that, you’ll have an understanding of where they want to take the series.” (Possible clue/spoiler alert: Episode 19 takes place in the year 2036 and features a “game-changing battle” between the Fringe team and the Observers.)

But as for where things currently stand with the renewal order…. “I hear warm and fuzzy things — but I’ve been hearing them all the time,” Noble said. “We just picked up [TV Guide Magazine's] fan award for Best Drama and so forth, and the fans have always been very supportive… [and] I know the Fox executives actually like Fringe very much. But they run a business. I think we’ll be back, but we’ll wait and see.” (With reporting by Vlada Gelman)



Comments (85)

  • C’mon Fringe. We’re rooting for you!

    Comment by Manton – April 13, 2012 06:40 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • I finally caught up after re-watching Seasons 1, 2 and 3 on DVD. I’m watching LIVE now Fox!

      Comment by serge – April 13, 2012 11:19 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • ((Literally praying for a renewal i dont think Fox realise how many people will cry if they cancel us))

    Comment by Peter Bishop (@_PeterBishop_) – April 13, 2012 06:43 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Phht. Of course they’ll be back. Why is everyone so freaked out??

    Phht.

    -goes into back room to freak the f**k out-

    Comment by Tallulah Alice Mae (@Luvagoo) – April 13, 2012 06:46 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • They are seem positive on a S5 as if they have been told something but I guess its not a certain renewal yet. Though TVLine has them listed as a “sure thing” Please Fox tell us something good. This wait is really nerve wracking

    Comment by Michelle Lee (@SujithaBai) – April 13, 2012 06:48 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Yes Fox runs a business but then there are some shows that go beyond money.This is one of those shows.This time art needs to be put ahead of money.

    Fox needs to show courage and that the network is about more than massive profits.The network really needs to let this story come to a complete ending…let the artwork be completed.

    Comment by dhg – April 13, 2012 06:50 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • Art before money?? In Hollywood?? hahahaha. I agree with you, but I have a lot of opinions about the way the world “should” work. But I don’t hold my breath. Regarding FRINGE, I would think they are happy cracking the 100 episode mark, for syndication reasons. But it will suffer the same fate as Lost in syndication, i.e.: It’s hard to just pick up in one random episode.

      Comment by Agent Smith – April 29, 2012 08:23 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • They shot two endings. Ah so nervous this could be the end :(

    Comment by Michelle Lee (@SujithaBai) – April 13, 2012 06:52 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I’m glad they shot two endings, just in case Fox decides to make a bad decision. But for the love of god this show NEEDS to come back for at least a 5th season. I will set myself on fire if it doesn’t.

    LONG LIVE FRINGE

    Comment by mara – April 13, 2012 06:58 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • Yeah, but wait until after you watch the finale at least, haha.

      Comment by btmarino84 – April 13, 2012 10:40 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Fox would generate a lot of good will with me if they allowed any type of season 5 13/22. Of course without 22 where would episode 19 go?
    I’d love to think 10 years from now, Fringe could support a theatrical movie – after all the people who don’t know what they are missing get a chance to watch the complete series.

    Comment by John Berggren – April 13, 2012 07:01 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • One would hope that Fox and WB execs sit down and ask themselves if they really got into the TV business just to produce reality shows.

    Dear executives who appreciate quality TV… shows like Fringe are likely the reason you got into the TV business, they are the reason why you work so hard to keep your networks and companies on top by producing popular but mindless television. A show like this comes along only a few times in your career. You can afford to give it a final 13 episodes. It’s not an open-ended proposition. It’s not going to break your bank.

    Comment by Kaa – April 13, 2012 07:11 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • Brilliant post!
      Thank you….

      Comment by davey – April 13, 2012 10:34 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • what kaa said +1000

      Comment by tonijames – April 13, 2012 01:07 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • I totally agree, and to add on to it. if you want to think of it as a buisness thats ok, but they need to understand that Fringe is still a revenue stream it might not be what the want, but Fox line up is taken a huge hit House is done, Alcatraz is decent but i don’t see it surviving, the finder is generic, there one money maker I’m sorry to say is American Idol, but I garantee that it they don’t solidfy a good scripted drama line up they’re gona loose far more, and will be barried by ABC and CBS, Fringe needs to be allowed to run its course uninhimbered, and if they pull a Chuck and give it 13 episode arc it will be an insult, and i for one will only tune in to fox for sports and thats it. and if you must cut the budget than do it, Fringe is brilliant because of its writing, characters, and acting. Not because of its expensive CG, sets, etc.

      Comment by James – April 14, 2012 09:42 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Fingers crossed! Fringe is amazing this year and it’s the last strong SF show on a big network, I hope Fox will keep that in mind.. but as always, there’s the money problem..

    Comment by madeinsuedois – April 13, 2012 07:46 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Just want to express my support for this wonderful show.

    Comment by MusicFan – April 13, 2012 08:01 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I love Fringe, and if the executives at Fox have any kind of brain, they will renew this amazing show for at least one more season.

    Comment by Jen – April 13, 2012 08:18 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Rooting for a fantastic show.

    Comment by Pamela Mullins – April 13, 2012 08:20 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • If there was a season 5, they could have the “special” episode be episode 509 1/2.

    Comment by Kaa – April 13, 2012 08:23 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Fringe seems to be limiting the possibilities in a way that allows the viewers to have more investment in its characters which can’t happen if the slate can be wiped clean everytime the storyline reaches a precipice. Ratings will go up. Fox – have the writers create a 2 hour episode that cuts together main plot points and character development lines. Air it 3 times 3 weeks before a Season 5 premier. Also, have celebrity fans introduce their favourite episodes in the 3 weeks prior to Season 5. Guaranteed to work if Fringe writers allow the audience to have more investment in the characters – you only care about investments that are not guaranteed.

    Comment by Arron Clohessy – April 13, 2012 08:25 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • I think that would work. ABC just did it with Revenge. It recapped the entire 1st season so far in just 1 hour. I think they also used to do that with Lost. If Fox did that with Fringe, I think it would be a big help to get potential new viewers up to date.

      Comment by Mikael – April 13, 2012 08:40 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • Fox has already done this. They produced an entire 48 minute series of recap web videos and promoted them heavily before the start of Season 4. But because the show is not higher rated like Lost, it’s not likely they would air this on TV.

      Comment by Kaa – April 13, 2012 08:54 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Give Fringe at least a 13 episode finale season. That will bring the total of episodes to 100 (the “magic” number for syndication sales).

    Comment by QJ201 – April 13, 2012 08:32 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • please please please be renewed. I can’t see how Fox wouldn’t renew this. It might get low ratings but it has such a loyal fanbase and more people are catching on by the day!

    Comment by austen – April 13, 2012 08:39 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I’m rooting for a renewal. Let’s have a season 5 FOX. LOVE this show!!!!!!!!! :)

    Comment by Peggy – April 13, 2012 09:02 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • continued fringe for more long time, please

    Comment by camila – April 13, 2012 09:12 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Does Fringe have low ratings? Does anyone know?

    Comment by Kathy – April 13, 2012 09:15 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • hopeful for a season 5..who needs anymore reality tv..alt -reality is what its all about :) #FringeFriday

    Comment by Bishopsgirl – April 13, 2012 09:17 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • “In the end I have to believe in HOPE”.
    This is the best show on TV.
    FOX, thank you for supporting it so far, please continue.

    Comment by cortexifan – April 13, 2012 09:24 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Absolutely, without a doubt, my FAVORITE show! They have to keep Fringe going1LOVE, LOVE, Love this show!!! Keep ‘em coming!

    Comment by Lisa Anderson – April 13, 2012 09:44 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • As much as I DONT want FOX to cancel Fringe, I just wish they would make a decision already. Why drag it out? If they’re going to cancel it just do it, I really hate the waiting. I’d much rather know now!

    Comment by Nicole – April 13, 2012 10:13 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • From my understanding a big part of the renewal hinges on what kind of deal they can make with Warner Brothers who they license the show from which is always a tricky and lengthy process.

      Comment by makealittlenoise – April 13, 2012 07:02 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Dear FOX, Just PUT THIS SHOW ON ANOTHER NIGHT! It’s quality. Seriously, it’s leaps and bounds over Alcatraz.. Put it on Mondays where it can breath as a genre show.. with no other genre show competition to split its audience on an otherwise low viewer night anyway.. not rocket science.

    Comment by Jack R – April 13, 2012 10:21 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Fringe is the best network show out there right now and deserves a final season.

    The is a bigger problem at the moment with US TV – your damn rating system!!!

    Shows get cancelled so quickly nowadays it seems a show surviving is no longer the norm. I live in the UK and what these networks seem to forget is that if you keep cancelling your shows, changing the air dates, putting shows on a break for months at a time etc, you are also losing international audiences. Because cancellation is now the norm, viewers are no longer willing to invest in a show with any type of extended mythology – Alcatraz is a prime example – I am really enjoying the show but it is clear viewers aren’t willing to invest their time as it is not a show you can just dip in and out of; if Lost came out now, it would probably have been cancelled!!!

    Networks – you have to THINK – only launch these shows if YOU are willing to invest – make the showrunners give you a clear outline for at least 3 strong seasons etc – otherwise just don’t bother, it’s a waste of time and money! At least Lost, by the end of season 3, told viewers the story would be done after 6 seasons – we need more of this; showrunners shouldn’t be just hoping the show will run and run – it won’t – so take a fully planned show to the execs.

    I am rooting for all the hard work and exemplary production values of Fringe to be rewarded with a fifth and final season – let the cast say goodbye to their characters and give loyal fans the RESPECT they deserve with a proper ending!

    A frustrated UK viewer!

    Comment by Rob – April 13, 2012 10:42 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • Yup, I completely agree with you, Rob. Fringe brings something to network television that just doesn’t or barely exists in that business. Just keep in mind, FOX, that the most famous works of art were not always the most popular during their time. Take Shakespeare, for example. Everyone knows about him and his works are among the most famous pieces of literature in the world! During his time, there was another writer, Christopher Marlowe, He was MORE popular, his works brought MORE money, but now, who knows about him? Who reads his works? Not as many people. Quality lasts, so please give Fringe a 5th season to wrap things up properly.

      A frustrated, yet loyal Canadian viewer! Long live Fringe!

      Comment by Gisele – April 16, 2012 06:55 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Totally agree with you Rob, I’m also in the UK so know how you feel!

    C’Mon Fox, we deserve a season to at least close the book on this fantastic show.

    Comment by wayne – April 13, 2012 10:51 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Everyone should start sending white tulips (drawings or real!) to Fox headquarters….

    Comment by Meep – April 13, 2012 11:15 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Fringe is the best thing tv has right now. I am going to freak out if it is cancelled; this show is my biggest obsession ever. At least it actually causes its viewers to use their brains and think critically about what is happening. The acting is extraordinary also! I just won’t be able to handle a cancellation :’( PLEASE RENEW!

    Comment by Paige – April 13, 2012 11:20 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • This show is out of it’s league with all the other shows on all the other serie’s out there.This
    show is a brain useing show. Just not anothe zombie or wolf show or monster makeing show.. If you have seen one you know what is going to happen. Their is so much more to this show is in there realm of posibilty. Plus laughter , tenderness, love and family togetherness, and still all the supense you can handle to make you hardly be able to wait another week to find out. Put in another time slot !!I There are other show’s being canceled so don’t give up on such a great show. I agree with Jack R. This is such a quality show!! Nothing out there like it. Why would you lose such a FAN BASED SHOW??? you surely don’t think we would watch any of those other show’s do you really???? You shouldn’t have put it in the so called death tilme slot.. I perticurely don’t like monday night’s, or tuesday night’s or thursday’s night’s shows. Anthing being cancelled on those show night’s?? Even Sunday night’s. We fan’s will follow any night. We love it that much!!!!! HOW ABOUT ALL THE OTHER FAN’S ALL OVER THE WORLD THAT FOLLOW AND CAN’T VOTE HERE??? PLEASE RETHINK THIS SHOW’S POSSIBILITIES !!!! PLEASE GIVE THIS SHOW TO IT’S DEDICATD FAN’S !!!!! I AM STILL GETTING NEW FAN’S FOR THIS SHOW ……I BUY THE CD’S AND LOAN THE TAPES OUT SO THEY CAN SEE FROM THE BEGINNING !!! AND IT IS ALREADY WORKING FOR MY FAMILIE !!!

    Comment by M – April 13, 2012 11:27 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • We need you!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Comment by Netty (@Wordy1504) – April 13, 2012 11:57 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Full season 5 of Fringe please.

    Comment by Joe – April 13, 2012 12:18 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • With these comments about closing chapters,mr X , and only leaving 1 storyline open and that 4.19 is what season 5 will be like, I am not sure I want a season 5 if it means losing most of the characters and maybe castmembers
    I love every version of Olivia Dunham , as long as she is played by Anna Torv.
    Same goes for the other characters and actors.
    Fringe without Olivia Dunham and the amazing Anna Torv is no Fringe for me.

    Comment by Egnirf – April 13, 2012 12:58 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • Since when do you care about the other characters or actors? One day you are loving Seth gabel, then when seth is getting praised, you act seth is a horrible guy. You also bash Josh and spread lies about him, tarnishing his name and reputation. One day you love John because he praises Anna but then when he gets an episode where he shines and people love hm in it, you blame John Noble for people “ignoring” your precious anna torv. Once Fringe gets cancelled, YOU WILL GO AWAY FOREVER, You are a horrible human being who hates it when people treat anna like crap but you go off bashing EVERY SINGLE CASTMEMBER on this show.

      Comment by PattyDuke – April 16, 2012 10:34 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Glad they shot 2 endings. Smart of them.

    Comment by Teag – April 13, 2012 01:04 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I’m from Ukraine. In our country millions fans of Fringe. We have a studio,which translated the show into Russian for free. Shows that make you think, are very popular in former USSR. Pity that our votes have no effect. Fringe, Ukraine with you, we hope for renewal.

    Sorry for my bad English

    Comment by Alex – April 13, 2012 01:08 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Why has “Fringe” been upgraded to “A Sure Thing” for renewal?

    What does tvline know that we don’t?!?!

    Comment by John DeMayo – April 13, 2012 02:19 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Pretty please Fox Execs!!!..I want my fringe fix :-)

    Comment by Louise – April 13, 2012 02:25 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Please renew Fringe. I’m a daddy’s girl and this show is something special I share with my father. We watch it and discuss it and discuss it. It’s the one thing my dad and I stop our busy schedules and lives to relax and watch. We love it and don’t take that away from us. Please don’t leave us hanging! And don’t put the wonderful actors and writers out of a job!I hate to bring this up but please don’t make this the next Firefly! GIVE US A 5TH SEASON!

    Comment by Kara – April 13, 2012 06:43 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • That’s so sweet. <3

      Comment by Lidya – April 13, 2012 10:01 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Renew fringe! Best show in decades!

    Comment by ingrown – April 13, 2012 06:55 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • go fringe go

    Comment by Amir – April 13, 2012 07:10 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • A battle between the Fringe team and the Observers?!!! God, PLEASE DO NOT CANCEL THIS SHOW FOX! I MUST see that if that is the story! It would be SO epic!

    Comment by Stephen S. – April 13, 2012 11:27 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • Yes. Just by thinking, I can already imagine the awesomeness!!

      Comment by Lizzie – April 14, 2012 05:35 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I hate the way people have given up and are asking for a season 5 finale season! I want season 5, and 6, and 7……..

    Comment by rubytu – April 14, 2012 07:58 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I am rooting for all the hard work and exemplary production values of Fringe to be rewarded with a fifth and final season

    Comment by Karon Bronson – April 15, 2012 02:00 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • There’s something that Fox needs to understand, if they don’t already: they have made something truly great here. To end it prematurely would be an insult to the fantastic artistry of the story, the acting, and cinematography up to this point (not to mention disappointing the committed following the show has). To put it straight, if they kill the show early, they will ultimately be killing a large slice of art.
    So, Fox TV execs, if you need a reason to keep it around other than this, Fringe will sell a LOT better post series finale if you give it at least one more season. The true potential of this show, production wise and financially, has yet to be fully realized.

    Comment by Nathan Klassen – April 15, 2012 02:09 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • If Fox does pull the trigger on some semblance of a Season 5 – be it a truncated 13-episode order or what have you

    Comment by Louann Farnsworth – April 15, 2012 04:43 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Please give Fringe one more season. This is a really interesting show. A very unique show. Please, FOX, give the show enough time to properly end. Tell them in advance how many episodes they have until the end. A show of this quality deserves to have a proper ending. Even if it is just 13 episodes, that is fine. Please please please.

    Comment by Mindy – April 16, 2012 12:58 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • which for four years now has traded in dual universes, doppelgängers and shape-shifting body doubles,

    Comment by ChastityCur – April 16, 2012 02:16 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Perhaps I’m the only person that feels this way, but I’m sort of hoping for the show to end soon…if not the end of this season, then maybe after a short epilogue-like season 5 to tie up the loose ends. I do not want this show to outstay its welcome, or to draw out the story indefinitely. I believe that well written stories have beginnings and endings, and that this one is nearing a close. I don’t want the show to become a hamster wheel, endlessly spinning pointlessly… I, for one, want closure and completion to this incredible series before it get old and tired.

    But that’s just me.

    Comment by FringeFan – April 16, 2012 05:18 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • I see what you mean, and I agree. Fringe should have the opportunity to end right, not prematurely, and definitely not overstaying its welcome! A short season 5 is fine.

      Comment by Gisele – April 16, 2012 07:04 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Please renew Fringe! It’s the best show on TV! I wish the antiquated Nielsen ratings system was no longer used to judge how many people are watching a show. I do not have a TV so I watch Fringe on Hulu, and there are probably lots of other people that are too, as well as on Amazon and ITunes. Times have changed and how people watch TV has also changed and I think that there are a lot more people than 3 million, as judged by Nielsen boxes, that are watching this show each week. There are also people in other countries that watch it as well. For example, new episodes also air in Canada weekly. Why don’t those ratings count for anything? If network TV would move in to the 21st Century and realize that people don’t only watch shows on TV anymore, and also watch TV online and on portable devices, then maybe they could have a more accurate representation of the numbers and high quality shows like Fringe would not risk cancellation, but instead they cling to outdated 20th century notions of TV viewing that present inaccurate data about how many people are watching a show. This frustrates me to no end!

    Comment by girlsinthegarage – April 16, 2012 09:52 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • And this Friday night thing is filling my DVR, which doesen’t even go into the ratings system. It’s FRIDAY! Gotta go out, not stay in!!!

      Comment by Dopplelganger Blue – April 17, 2012 04:27 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • I AGREE!!! I know literally a hundred people here in New Zealand that watch Fringe, but not on tv, they watch it online! It’s played on tv here, but we’re all too impatient to wait for our tv to catch up, so instead we watch it online. You should really have a look at fan sites such as fringepedia, or fringebloggers, because they’re very active sites, and only the special tv shows have such dedicated fans like us!
      With the tv show Firefly, after it got cancelled, fans kept on loving the show! They still do now, 10 YEARS LATER. This will happen with Fringe too – it will continue to be a part of our lives for as long as we live. So please, rethink the way you count your viewers! This is ridiculous!

      Comment by paparazzibear – May 23, 2012 04:38 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • i love fringe! please give us all a season 5. i’m only 13 and this is my favorite. or me i’m a girl that has a hard time loving confusing sci fi shows but the actors/actresses are fantastic, plot is wonderful, script is the best and every little detail is perfect. please give me, my dad, my grandma, dad’s girlfriend and all other fans one more season more than 13 episodes. the actors, writers and producers all like working on the show no doubt about it so keep it going i just know it will be worth your money, time and effort plus i bet you’ll make money.

    Comment by mercedes – April 17, 2012 12:07 AM PDT  Reply To This Post

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