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. “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 difference between the higher-rated “Alcatraz” and “Terra Nova,” of course, is that “Fringe” is a substantially cheaper show to produce, and its small but ardent fan base are likely to pick up the DVDs. Plus, it’s got a decent life afterwards in Netflix licensing.
Personally, I loved the second season, but it kind of bottomed-out for me after that. After the soul-magnets episode (guh!), it was never quite the same for me and I eventually let it go earlier this season. I hear it’s gotten better, but I was hearing that from fans all along while I was watching it: Those “Fringe” fans are blinded by their love of Pacey. Me? I’m still holding out for a Walter Bishop spin-off because I would watch the crap out of that. That said, I will likely catch up on this season over the summer. In the meantime, there is already a fifth season trailer, although there is no new footage.