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'Fringe' exclusive: J.J. Abrams on 'bad' ratings, good vibes, and the show's future

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fringe_lIt’s hardly a secret that Fringe is having a tough go of it on Thursday night this season. Last week, the sophomore drama’s audience shrunk to just 5 million viewers — an all-time low. Sure, two weeks of pre-emptions due to baseball didn’t help, but the fact remains: Fringe is struggling.

On the bright side, everyone seems to be in agreement that Fringe has never been better creatively. And inside sources say Fox, although not thrilled with the ratings, remains committed to the show — a fact corroborated by the drama’s boss, J.J. Abrams.

“The mood on set and in the writer’s room is as good as the ratings are bad, which is to say, wonderful,” Abrams tells me. “Luckily, Fox has been insanely supportive, for which we are deeply grateful.”

Abrams is encouraged by the show’s “strong” DVR numbers as well as the glowing reviews from critics. “But given that we’re on one of the hardest [nights] on television, we’re just focusing on making the best show we possibly can,” he says. “What else can we do?”

Bottom line: Fringe is in no immediate danger of going “over there” (a.k.a. TV graveyard). The key word there being immediate.

What do you think? Worried about Fringe‘s future? Got a theory why more people aren’t watching? Should Fox move it to a less-crowded night — and, if so, which one? Sound off below!

PHOTO CREDI: Liane Hentscher/Fox