It’s been a long, tough road for Fox’s Friday night cult series Fringe. Since making the move to television’s famed “death spot” in January 2011, each season of Fringe has been accompanied with the notion that the series could be coming to an end. While the cancelation warnings still remain, Fox is negotiating the possibility of the series returning for season 5.
Currently discussing the future of the series with Warner Bros. (the studio that produces Fringe), Fox has made it clear that they’re absolutely interested in keeping the series on the air, but only if the price is right.
Fox’s major point of contention with continuing Fringe is the license fee that the network has to pay Warner Bros. for each episode. Previously revealing that Fox “loses a lot of money”on Fringe, the network’s entertainment president, Kevin Riley, plainly stated that the financial arraignment between the network and studio needs to change in order for the series to continue on the air.
One thing that’s working in Fringe’s favor is the fact that, if the series were to receive a full season order, it would pass television’s coveted 100 episode mark – something that Warner Bros. definitely wants.
While Fringe may be struggling in its current position on network television, the ability to position the series in syndication would open another revenue stream for the studio, and might just be worth cutting the license fees that Fox must pay for each episode.
Additionally, the word-of-mouth that Fringe creates may just be what the network needs right now. With House, Bones and The Simpsons (likely) on their way out over the course of the next 3 years, Fox could use the good will from television fans as they attempt to rebuild their once juggernaut line-up.
Of course, even if Fringe does happen to get canceled, fans shouldn’t worry that the series will conclude without an appropriate ending. Familiar with the series’ “on-the-fence” status over the past few years, executive producer Jeff Pinker stated, “Worst case scenario, if this were the last aired season of Fringe… we know what the end of this season is going to be, and it can function as a series finale.”
For fans that need a more optimistic outlook about Fringe continuing, co-creator J.J. Abrams said that “we remain hopeful that Fringe will be able to continue.”
Fringe airs Fridays @9pm on Fox
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