FOX has diffused a potentially tense spring for “Fringe” fans, renewing the beloved cult-favorite drama for a fourth season.
The news of the “Fringe” renewal broke, as all such things seem to, via Twitter on Thursday (March 24) afternoon, as producer J.H. Wyman tweeted “Fringe was picked up!!!! Thanks Fringedom!”
After a brief delay while exuberance spread online, a FOX spokesperson confirmed the pickup. In addition, FOX confirms that the fourth season order is for a full season of 22 episodes.
Many had predicted gloom and doom for “Fringe” when FOX lifted the drama from its Thursday home and dropped it in what many called a “death slot” on Friday nights. For several weeks, it looked as if FOX’s move was paying surprising dividends as “Fringe” won its Friday 9 p.m. slot in the coveted 18-49 demographic for several nights in January and early February.
Ratings on Friday have fallen off in recent weeks, with the last original airing drawing only 3.8 million viewers and doing a 1.3 rating among adults 18-49. FOX officials and “Fringe” producers have long maintained, however, that the show’s performance wasn’t being evaluated strictly on overnight ratings numbers. Indeed, “Fringe” has reliably been among the leading percentage gainers when DVR numbers are factored in.
With “Fringe” off the bubble, FOX still has a slew of dramas awaiting word with upfronts still over a month away. It’s unclear if renewal for “Fringe” will have any impact at all on the fortunes of “Lie to Me,” “The Chicago Code” and “Human Target.”