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J.J. Abrams ‘Hopeful’ for Fringe’s Return as Network Talks Begin

by  in TV News Comment

Co-creator J.J. Abrams is still optimistic about the future of Fringe, even as Fox and Warner Bros. Television reportedly begin negotiations to reduce the show’s license fee — a necessary move if there’s any hope for a fifth season.

“We remain hopeful that Fringe will be able to continue,” Abrams tells TVLine, echoing comments he made two weeks ago, when Fox President Kevin Reilly revealed the sci-fi series is losing money for the network.

As TVLine’s Michael Ausiello points out, Reilly wasn’t making an offhand remark to reporters; he was sending a message to Warner Bros. executives: If they have any hopes for renewal, and for Fringe to hit the 100-episode mark to bolster its syndication prospects, they had better cut their fee.

Star Joshua Jackson, who’s brought up the possibility of wrapping up the series with a shortened Season 5, a TV movie or even a graphic novel, remains focused on Fringe coming to a satisfying conclusion.

“If we’re not making them money on Friday then that show is going to get canceled,” he tells IGN. Whether it’s Fringe or American Idol, when it stops making money, you know, it’s show business. Whether that happens this year, whether we get a half-season next year, whether we get a whole season next year, whether we run for 10 more years, at the end of the day, still, what will be important is not how long it runs but if the whole story finishes. So I’m more concerned about the finish than anything else.”

Luckily for Jackson, and for the show’s fans, Fringe‘s producers seem to be concerned with that as well. Here’s Executive Producer Jeff Pinkner talking to TVLine earlier this month: “Worst case scenario, if this were the last aired season of Fringe — and as we’ve said before, there are other outlets where we could continue our stories, be they graphic novels or webisodes — we know what the end of this season is going to be, and it can function as a series finale.”