Fox Renews Fringe For 'Exciting and Climactic' Fifth and Final Season

This is good news no matter what universe or timeline you live in: Fox has renewed Fringe for a fifth and final 13-episode season.

Back in January, Fox president Kevin Reilly conceded that Fringe‘s low ratings were negatively impacting the network’s bottom line. ”We lose a lot of money on the show,” he said. “At that rating, on [Friday] night, its impossible to make money. We’re not in the business of losing money.”

Season Finale Guide: 54 Big Finishes Spoiled — Fringe Included!

But Fringe remains a passion project for Reilly. And Warner Bros. — eager for the J.J. Abrams thriller to reach that magic, syndication-enhancing 100 episode threshold — agreed to reduce the show’s license fee (i.e. the amount the studio charges the network for each episode).

Fringe is a remarkably creative series that has set the bar as one of television’s most imaginative dramas,” Reilly said in a statement Thursday. “Bringing it back for a final 13 allows us to provide the climactic conclusion that its passionate and loyal fans deserve. The amazing work the producers, writers and the incredibly talented cast and crew have delivered the last four seasons has literally been out of this world. Although the end is bittersweet, it’s going to be a very exciting final chapter.”

Producers were prepared for either outcome. John Noble (Walter) recently told TVLine that the May 11 finale could serve as a season or series finale. “We’ve shot two [endings],” he said.

Joshua Jackson, meanwhile, hinted that “the door to the fifth season” was opened in last Friday’s episode, which took place in the year 2036 and featured a “game-changing battle” between the Fringe team and the Observers. “If you watch that, you’ll have an understanding of where they want to take the series.”

You may also find a clue or two in the following Season 5 trailer, which accompanied Thursday’s announcement.

TVLine’s 2012 Renewal Scorecard has been updated with the news!

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  1. tvaddict says:

    13 or 22 episodes?????????? Either way great news!

    • tvaddict says:

      Now can The CW renew Nikita & Supernatural? And also Cougar Town on ABC would be nice too

    • Delirious says:

      Yes, please! How many episodes in that final season!? We know these 4 seasons have had 87 episodes, so with a 13-episode order, it’d reach 100 exactly, but… Can we wish for a longer season? Even a normal 20-22 episode one? Pretty please, with sugar coating on top? :S

    • Ben says:

      Indeed, very interesting to see this not part of the release. As a commercial negotiation lawyer, I have suspected that there has been a deal for sometime for a minimum of 13 episodes, and that renewal hasn’t really been in doubt – however my guess is that there have been (and potentially, still are now) ongoing negotiations about exactly how many episodes there will be. I can’t complain with 13, I’d love to see 22, but maybe episode 19 would be the right place to end it (at least, I’d love for season 5 to get an episode 19…) If negotiations are ongoing, it could yet be a while before they tell us the number of episodes.

      • Ben says:

        Looks like its just 13 as per update. I still suspect that agreeing the exact number of episodes has been the main point of negotiations for a while now.

    • 13 episodes… So happy that it will get a proper closure… This and Chuck were my fave bubble shows :-)

      • elr says:

        I’m overjoyed and extremely sad at the same time, but I am happiest about the fact that there will be closure whatever that may bring.

        • Bob Genghis Khan says:

          Agreed. However…there’s always the potential for…Fringe the movie – it’s always filmed like it deserves to be on the big screen anyways…

    • TV fan says:

      Thank you so much FOX!!! I take everything I said since Dark Angel was cancelled: You Rock! You AWESOME!!!

    • Curly Joe says:

      Now that we know it’s coming back and we will get a satisfying ending people will start tuning back in.

    • Balaji K says:

      13 episodes.

    • Silverwolf says:

      What would make me happy is Peter for once and may onward calling Walter “Dad” He is his fathers son. They compliment each other. And Peter is so protective of Walter and we know he would give his life for him just a much as for Olivia I would love to see Walters face when he hears Peter call him dad for the first time in all the seasons. Walter call Peter his son and his son calls his Dad Walter. Isnt it about time for a more intimate loving reference when speaking to Walter after all that has happened? Im just a softie I guess.

  2. Steven says:


    • Egnirf says:

      So everyone wants to see 2036 without Anna Torv, and may be no one of the main cast???

      Anna Torv has been treated disgustingly with replacing her with a lookalike who exactly copies her scenes as Olivia Dunham, an Olivia she worked on for 4 years.
      Critics and fans fell for it, they prefer playback and fake.

      This is the most insulting way to treat an actor.

      I predict a lot of upset Fringe fans”
      From the cast we know that 4.21 and 4.22 close the door on all the storylines, except one . Both episodes have been described as the pilot for season 5, episode 419 will be the end of season 5, and season 5 will be all about Etta, the copyOlivia, only she will have to act herself, no longer copy the work of Anna.

      I always respected the showrunners, but not after that disgusting stunt.

      Anyone wonder why we did not hear the socalled actress, nor was said anything about her by her co actors on the episode??

      • Steven says:

        So that was unintelligible. If you don`t wanna watch, then don`t watch….but let the rest of us rejoice!

      • DL says:

        No offense to you, but I think you’re being paranoid. There’s no chance they’ll do Season 5 of Fringe without Olivia Dunham.

      • Clay says:

        Nothing you’ve said makes any sense. Anna Torv was never replaced with a lookalike. It’s just her pulling double duty by essentially playing an alternate version of the same character. The showrunners never said that season 5 was taking place entirely in 2036. They said that 4.19 was a hint at what was to come in season 5, which I’m assuming is more Observers-centric than previous years. And no one said anything about her absence in the last episode because it’s not a big deal. Cast members have been missing from episodes before.

      • Emily says:

        There is no way in any universe or timeline they will spend the final season without Anna Torv as some incarnation of Olivia Dunham. If you thought that, just because she was missing/presumed dead in 4.19, I am impressed you are perceptive enough to enjoy Fringe. Then again, judging from that long and convoluted comment, it seems that you don’t.

      • andrewtobin says:

        Uhh… wat?

        Given it’s Olivia and Peter’s daughter, not a replacement as such, it opens up a huge opportunity – it doesn’t mean Olivia isn’t around, she might be in amber, she might be anywhere.

        And even better, we didn’t see the alt-universe in that future, god knows what it’s like!

        Even if she was dead in the future, it doesn’t mean they’d be spending all their time there, it might be a lot of set up in the present, and very little shown in the future.

        And even if she were to be replaced, there’s nothing saying it wouldn’t be her choice – I mean, I can’t see the show runners not wanting Anna Torv to continue, especially for a half season, it’d be madness.

        I’m not going to be negative about a show that has taken so many awesome risks, shown us so much that no other show on the television landscape currently show (and only great shows like X-Files have in the past).

        The Observer future is inspired, and although we had the renegade September, I had no idea at all they were headed in that direction – it’s an amazing story that’s unfolding and I am just grateful I get to see it.

      • Lauren says:

        Come on. Do you care about the storyline at all, or is it all about Olivia? There is obviously a reason she wasn’t in the episode, she wasn’t ‘replaced’ she wasn’t there for a valid reason. September has said that Olivia is supposed to die, and they are raising the stake for that and given a mystery as to where Olivia is? Did you freak out this much when Peter disappeared? No one is going anywhere. Olivia is obviously going to be in season five, go take a chill pill.

      • Calm down. My guess is the Fringe team will rescue Olivia and we’ll see her most of S5. The show isnt Fringe without Olivia

      • raven says:

        So you’re completely disregarding the fact that Etta is Peter and Olivia’s daughter and not a replacement for Olivia?

        I don’t have the time, energy, or words to argue against your delusional beliefs, so….carry on.

      • allie08 says:

        ugh. you are the same person that posted on ew that the actress that played Olivia’s DAUGHTER should be sued because she imitated Anna Tov, aren’t you? Etta is Olivia’s DAUGHTER and shares some of her mannerisms because this is how the writers SCRIPTED it. This is FICTION. Get a grip!

      • niks says:

        Oh dear Egnirf. We meet again. What do I hv to do to visit a fringe page without seeing the crap you fart out of your mind. Can’t you just go to an alternate universe or something?

        • Ken says:

          My fellow Fringies,have you not learn by now that “Egnirf” who as posted on every site, is a Anna Torv obsessive nut job.By responding to her,you only feed into her deranged mind.
          Now we know the dangerous origin of stalkers.

      • FringFan4Life says:

        All Joshua said was ep. 19 shows what they want to do in season 5, and after the preview it anything we will see the war between fringe and the observers, not the show jump to 2036.

        My prediction, Peter uses the machine again, sees the future and knows what they have to do to fight the war and win. Thus making ep. 19 invalid since they prevent it all from happening, which is what September was trying to accomplish all along.

        I trust in the creative team, they will do it justice.

      • Bob says:

        Calm down. She’s their daughter. P.S. – Many shows on a tight budget pull one of the main characters from an entire episode to save money. As the Fox guy said, they lose money with Fringe.

    • jenna says:


  3. saelh34 says:


  4. Alex says:

    Best news of the day! Awesome! Can’t wait to see how they wrap things up :D

  5. Patty says:

    OMG so happy! This news brought such a smile to my face :D
    So, is it renewed for a full season or 13 episodes???

  6. Mia says:

    Best news all week!

  7. brianwhisenant says:

    Do we know an episode count?

  8. Carol says:

    This is the best news ever!!!

  9. Kris says:

    YES!!!!!!!!!!! This just made my day!!!!

  10. flem_snopes says:


  11. Tiffany says:


  12. Alternate Peter says:

    This is the best news of the year.

  13. Emma says:

    So so so so excited! I ran around to all the girls on my hall and yelled the news at them. Needless to say, they were elated as well.

  14. maf23 says:


  15. Stan says:

    Great news! Most of this has to be because of the strong fan base Fringe provides. How many episodes will we see I wonder… I’m going with 13-15.

  16. Amy says:

    Best news ever today! Go #FRINGE!! I am beyond happy. Easily one of the greatest shows on television and I’m glad we will get a finale season!

  17. ksenija says:

    thank you, fox! yes!

  18. Steven Leitner says:

    It seems like a lot of ratings-challenged dramas have been getting fifth and final seasons. First, Friday Night Lights, then Chuck, and now Fringe.

  19. Diz says:


  20. Clay says:

    Doesn’t matter whether or not it’s coming back for 13 or 22 episodes. Either way, we’re in for one hell of a ride

  21. Goku says:

    I’ve never watched Fringe, but i kept my finger crossed, because it would be stupid and unfair if they would cancel it before final season. So I’m glad they didn’t :).

    • Ben says:

      I like people like you. Frankly, whatever the show (particularly the serialised ones, but really any show) I have a lot of respect for executives that allow shows to wrap up on their own terms. With recent examples sucj as Lost, Chuck, FNL, House, and today Fringe, we have seen this attitude become more common, and I think it makes for a better TV watching experience generally for all of us. I like to cross my fingers for this kind of announcement too, it really is the best kind of news.

      • jenna says:

        I agree, it allows the writers to put out one hell of a final season for the fans and it’s almost like a final “thanks for sticking with us all this time” to the fans :) So excited for season 5, I agree with an earlier comment it would have been EPIC if the season had 19 episodes, but i’ll take what I can get!!

  22. Adrian says:

    13 episodes, the producers confirmed on Twitter

  23. niks says:

    The greatest news ever. Thank You Fox and WB for thinking about the fans and thank you Ausiello for giving this news.

  24. Tim Pedersen says:

    WOOHOOOOOO!!!!!!!! Wonderful news! Any word on whether it is a full season, or a 13-episode order?

  25. Sarah says:

    Omg I can rest easy. 5 wonderful season and a planned ending will come to fruition. And eveyrthing will be right in the universe(s).

  26. Kris says:

    JJ now has to keep his promise and direct an episode like he said he would if they got picked up for a 5th season!

  27. Mike says:

    I hope this means season 5 is either totally in the observer future, or split between the start of the observer war and flash forwards to the world we saw in last week’s episode

  28. loststef says:


  29. ApartmentLife says:

    They keep renewing this failing pos when in the past they killed so many better shows with better ratings. Argh, FOX, you idiots!

    • misha says:

      you obviously don’t watch fringe if you truly believe that there have been ‘much better shows’ cancelled in the past

    • Tim says:

      Actually in the past few years their has been a movement to try and make sure that struggling shows get proper finishes, take Chuck and Fringe. This means that when your hypothetical “better” show starts losing viewers, the show will have a better chance of getting a final season wrap-up. Honestly I believe this idea of completing series should be a norm for tv because it lessens the blow to viewers and prevents backlash in the form of lower viewership and lost demographic.

  30. Kalie says:


  31. Amely says:

    You can’t see me but I’m once I get off my computer I am going to scream and jump and run in my house!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  32. pjn0524 says:

    Woot! Woot! Woot!! YAY!! *Happy dance!*

  33. NCSouthernBelle says:


  34. Greatest News Ever!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  35. Dwayne says:

    It’s a 13 episode season…but I’ll take it!!

  36. So, can we go ahead and start sending Fox cases of Red Vines so we can try to get another “farewell” season after this one?

  37. Sarabi says:


  38. ScrubsGuy says:

    Fox gets a lot of crap for cancelling a lot of Sci-Fi shows (and some of it is definitely deserved), but I think they did right by Fringe, giving it a chance to wrap up properly and not pre-empting it like crazy even though the ratings haven’t been great (it’s beaten by Grimm, an NBC show – geez). So props to Fox for giving the small cadre of Fringe fans a fitting conclusion for one of the best dramas on TV (yes, in the company of Breaking Bad and Mad Men). Huzzah!

  39. amazz says:

    YESSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSsssssssss finally awesomeness!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  40. Paula Gillingham says:

    SO EXCITED…THIS IS FABULOUS NEWS…I can’t wait to see what happens next!!! Loved the Season 5 Video above too!!!

  41. Fauxlivia says:

    Best news ever!

  42. Yvonne says:


  43. BEST NEWS EVER!!! Thank you FOX and WB for giving this fantastic show a proper farewell!

  44. Beth says:

    I really have to give Fox a lot of credit for giving this fantastic creative team the time to wrap the series up the way it should be. The fans thank you!

    • Emily says:

      This! I literally gasped out loud when I saw the news. Now I’m going to go cry with happiness!

    • Emily says:

      Also, I can’t believe that they had the foresight to put together a promo for Season 5 to go with the renewal announcement. I can’t recall any other show a network’s done that for!

  45. Notice that the logo of the show in the promo for the final season is the logo from last week’s episode in 2036… Is this a sign? Fifth season set entirely in the future? Hm.

  46. Peace Maker says:

    I am SO SO HAPPY!!!

  47. Jack R says:

    happy we’ll get this.. but.. If they were worried about their bottom line all they had to do was not abandon it to Friday Nights in favor of a succession of less brilliant and entertaining shows on Mondays.. (yeah, even other Bad Robot shows like Alcatraz…)

    • leahbh says:

      The alcatraz season finale was pretty awesome. I hope they give it another chance too. I’m hoping for a JJ Abrams friday night. Alcatraz and Fringe

  48. tvdiva says:

    This is fantastic news. Woohoo!