Fringe Finale
Credit: Fox
Olivia Dunham (Anna Torv)
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Fringe lives!

Fox has renewed the fan favorite for a fifth and final season.

As we’ve been predicting for a few weeks, Fox has ordered 13 concluding episodes of Fringe despite the show’s ratings being super modest on Friday nights. Though producers were optimistic about a pickup, they reportedly shot two endings of the upcoming fourth season finale just in case a deal didn’t come through. Fox has even released a season five teaser trailer (below).

Fringe averaged a mere 4 million viewers and a 1.6 rating in the adult demo, including DVR. Compare that to a first-year show that Fox cancelled — Terra Nova — which averaged 10.1 million viewers and a 3.6 adult demo rating. Likewise another Fox first-year series, Alcatraz, which like Fringe is also produced by J.J. Abrams, performed better than the Friday night show, yet is considered unlikely to receive a second year.

The key was studio Warner Bros. offering a good deal to Fox on the remaining episodes, while Terra Nova was a very costly special-effects-stuffed project. It just goes to show that renewals and cancellations are all about the numbers … but not necessarily all about the number of people who watch the show.

Want some quotes? We got quotes:

Fringe is a remarkably creative series that has set the bar as one of television’s most imaginative dramas,” said Fox entertainment president Kevin Reilly. “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.”

“We are thrilled and beyond grateful that Fox – and our fans – have made the impossible possible: Fringe will continue into a fifth season that will allow the series to conclude in a wild and thrilling way,” said co-creator and executive producer J.J. Abrams. “All of us at Bad Robot are forever indebted to our viewers and the amazingly supportive Fox network for allowing the adventures of Fringe Division to not only continue, but to resolve in a way that perfectly fits the show.”

“This pickup means the world (both of them) to us, because we love sharing these stories with our enthusiastic fans,” added Fringe showrunners and executive producers Jeff Pinkner and J.H. Wyman. “On behalf of the cast and crew, we applaud our fans and Fox for allowing us to imagine the impossibilities together for so long. Season Five is going to be a conclusive thrill ride for all of us.”

Season 5 teaser trailer! (Yes, already, must be some kind of record — a trailer 10 minutes after a pickup. Albeit no new footage, naturally.)

Episode Recaps

Olivia Dunham (Anna Torv)
Joshua Jackson, Anna Torv, and John Noble star in J.J. Abrams’ sci-fi drama
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