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. Christina says:

    Totally cool. I love that this show will get a proper send off!

  2. Thank God! Now if only Fox would let all 13 episodes air without interruption. I doubt they will though since the World Series usually gets in the way of Fringe airing uninterrupted in the Fall. I would be for Fox starting Season 5 after the World Series so that we could get all 13 eps back to back, although I doubt that would happen because it would be too logical. Yes I am grateful to Fox for renewing Fringe, but I also think they share some of the blame for Fringe’s low ratings since they chose to move the show around a lot and have caused it to lose momentum by not airing episodes consecutively.

    • Laura E. says:

      I hope for a November-February airing. It would work well for Fox because then they could put a mid-season show on after Fringe ends. And they could also hype the end of Fringe because it wouldn’t get lost amidst all the May finales.

    • misha says:

      agreed! I feel like friday night is the kiss of death for any show, especially when there are 2-3 weeks between each new episode! I can understand a re-run for a week or 2 but shows need consistency to build a better following

  3. pavanne says:

    Yes! There is a God–or at least a Prime Observer.

  4. Jerri says:

    it seems 5 seasons is the magic number for shows like this, these days.

  5. rost10 says:

    Amazing News!!!!!!!!!!!1

  6. kirads09 says:

    Y-E-S! I am doing my happy dance! :-)

  7. TigerNightmare says:

    This is great news but I’m still bitter that they left it to die on Fridays. It was doing well before then, was it not? Put Idol on Fridays and see how well it does, you jerks.

  8. Mike says:

    YES!!!!! Made my day! Wait, make that my year!!!

  9. Lorie says:


  10. V says:

    I don’t watch fringe but I got so say Congrats.

  11. BonesFringeFan says:

    So there is a god….

    But this should have been a no-brainer. So should season 6, 7, 8 ,9 & 10 ;)

  12. Ryan says:

    Has there ever been a show with this many changes in the Renewel Scorecard? I hadn’t noticed that it was recently went from ‘A Sure Thing’ to ‘A Safe Bet.’

  13. bad kevin says:

    YES! YES! YES! So happy to see FRINGE returning for a fifth and final season. Eat your heart out, CHUCK. :-)

    • raven says:

      Um, what does Chuck have to do with anything?

      • Alex says:

        I’m not sure what “Eat your heart out, Chuck” really has to do with anything, but it’s the exact situation with Fringe as was with Chuck last year, where Warner Brothers reduced the licensing fee on a low rated show, and allowed it to return for a fifth and final 13 episode season

        • raven says:

          I know, and as a fan of Chuck myself I was extremely grateful they got to wrap it up and end it the way they wanted (even if it wasn’t quite what I had in mind, lol). I’m just confused as to why ‘bad kevin’ would bring Chuck up in that context.

  14. Martyna says:

    I can die happy now!… Or wait, after those 13 episodes have aired, then I could happily have died :)

  15. Kissan says:

    I’m so glad Fringe is renewed!!!! Now can ABC renew Once Upon A Time and Revenge already?

  16. polerus says:

    Today is a great day! Hugs to all Fringe fans out there, except for that psycho Josh fan and Anna fan because you guys annoy the hell out of me! Season 5!!!!

  17. Jason A says:

    Yessss! Tv By the Numbers was wrong again! HAHAHA!

  18. Mena says:

    Excellent news! I’m glad the writers will have a chance to wrap up the story in an amazing manner!

  19. Mh says:

    I don’t watch fringe, but Im truly happy for all the fans. Congratulations!!!

    • Angela says:

      Agreed-it’s always nice to see such passionate fanbases getting what they want :).
      Plus, all the “Fringe” talk around here has made me intrigued enough to want to go back and check out the show from the start at some point. So there’s that, too.

  20. Lauren says:

    Yay!!!!! Such great news!!!!!!!!!!! One my favourite shows, looking forward to see how they will wrap it up.

  21. Laura E. says:

    I have never been so excited by the announcement of a final season. I am so happy that Fringe will have a chance to wrap up its universe properly–that is all we could ask.

  22. Jane says:

    This is AWESOME!!! :D

    Now if Fox could somehow do something to fix the mess that Glee has become… maybe with these two things in minds I will be able to forgive them about Dollhouse lol.

  23. alpine says:

    deja vu…. first chuck for 13 and everyones saying it’s the best news ever and now this…

  24. GeoDiva says:

    Mahalo Fox!

  25. Amy says:

    Best. (TV) News. This. Year. Yes! Yes! Yes! Yes! Thanks, Fox! This is most definitely a win for all of us Fringe and cult show fans! Now if we can just get Community renewed.

  26. Kaa says:

    Could not have happened to a better show or nicer people.

  27. Robin says:

    YES! YES! YES!!! wooooohooo! ok now bring on a Ringer renewal and I’ll be really happy!! :)

  28. Taryn says:

    Um i have one question. will Fringe have enough episodes to go into syndication? I am so happy that Fringe is renewed. 13 episodes is good enough for me.

    • Ken says:

      Yes they will.the additional 13 episodes will bring them to the 100 episodes mark,this is the minimum requirement of episodes for syndication.

  29. sladewilson says:

    YES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Okay, I’m good now. Later…

  30. raftrap says:

    Amazing news, great move by FOX, couldn’t be happier.

  31. YowzaPowza says:

    Literally just gasped out loud when I saw this headline.

  32. Joe says:

    I’m so happy to hear this awesome news! I was hoping for 22 episodes, but 13 is better than nothing! :)

  33. nellywelly says:

    Nice one Fox, now renew Alcatraz and I’ll be a very happy bunny!

  34. Singingal says:

    I am elated that they are letting the writers end it properly. And do justice to the stories they have unraveled over the seasons. At least we’ll get a chance to say goodbye! :)

  35. Nick says:

    Thank you for this, Fox. You won’t read this, but I pledge to buy all 5 season of Fringe on BluRay when it is available as a boxed set. You could have left all of us fans hanging, but you didn’t, and I will show you my appreciation for that in the way that you really want me to. With money.

    Also, if you want to bring back Firefly now and do that show some justice, I Would be fine with that also.

  36. Polly says:


  37. Justin says:

    Yeeeesssss! Thank goodness! I’m so freakin happy!

  38. BuddyG says:

    For viewers to understand TV, this renewal has more to do about having enough episodes for syndication. This is similar to shows that reached a point that it’s better to keep going for the bigger pot of afterlife gold. Shows like “Drew Carey Show,” “Scrubs,” “‘Till Death,” “Chuck,” “According to Jim,” and “Cougar Town” (if this show gets renewed next month) are the recent examples.

  39. Sean Wald says:

    I am happy that FOX has finally managed to keep a good sci-fi show running this long for a change. This is the first sci-fi show they have let run more than 2 seasons after putting it in the Friday night DEATH SLOT since The X Files. Fringe is such an amazing show, and I wish they would give it more time. They talk about the ratings killing the show, but I wonder if they count people who record the show on DVR or TIVO, or watch it OnDemand or on their website as ratings? Not all of us are home at that time on Friday night and cannot watch it live. In fact, I haven’t watched live TV in years. All of my TV is DVR’d of OnDemand. If they are counting those viewings as ratings, they really should. It’s also very disappointing that they continue to place great sci-fi shows in the same time slot every season, then kill it off while whining that the ratings are low. Clearly this slot doesn’t give you the live viewers that you craze for a genre that could make you rich with ratings by continuing to place them on Friday night death. Pull your heads out FOX and realize the mistake!

    But again, thank you for allowing Fringe to run this long instead of killing it after season 2 like you did to Dark Angel, Firefly, Terminator: TSCC and others. Learn from your mistakes and stop repeating them. Fringe’s steam only started to slow down when you moved it, thinking that it was popular enough that if you placed it in the death slot it would be unaffected. Clearly you were wrong. Again.

  40. EE says:

    YES,the most wonderful news ever!!!

  41. JoshJacksononOnceuponatimefan says:

    Yay Fringe! I’m so happy and sad. I am thrilled this awesome show will be back but it’s so good it should be for more than 13 episodes (maybe they can do a movie one day). I do love and respect when networks recognize good shows and give the show (and fans) to get a proper ending and not abruptly cancelling shows.

  42. David says:

    Thank You so much Mr. Reilly and Warner Bros.! This is what it’s about, giving us (loyal viewers) the much deserved opportunity for a real ending. Thanks so much!

  43. Mamoru says:

    Yes Yes!!! I’m so thrilled!!!

  44. Mikael says:

    I hope it airs after the World Series is over so it can air uninterrupted. I am so happy Fringe is getting the chance to end properly! Fox earned some credit back! I gave them a tiny bit when they allowed Dollhouse to rush an ending to what was supposed to be a 5-year plot, but still, it got a proper ending (unlike Tru Calling which ended right when it was getting good, plus countless other shows!)

  45. Ely says:

    The CW should renew Supernatural for one last season, just saying… The show has such a large fan-base that not-renewing it would be a crime! Oh, and I’m very happy that Fringe got renewed, but only so that it can run in syndication?

  46. mike19702 says:

    Gene the cow will be happy to hear this!

  47. djrogue says:

    Happy the writers will have a chance for an “ending”.

    NOT HAPPY that there will only be one more season of Fringe.