The Television Critics Association’s winter press tour is in full swing, and yesterday was Fox’s turn to make presentations and answer questions about their lineup. Fox Entertainment Chief Kevin Reilly had a tiny bit to say about Fringe and Terra Nova. JJ Abrams, there to talk about Alcatraz, had a few more things to add about some potentials options for Fringe, as did the showrunners earlier in the week.
First, via Deadline, Kevin Reilly on Terra Nova:
“If the show hadn’t worked, I still wouldn’t be apologizing (for picking up Terra Nova). It is proving that it was worthwhile; it is the second highest-rated new drama, one of the highest-rated new shows of the season. It has distinct audience, though the perception kind of got away from us. If this is all we make (of Terra Nova), we made money on it, the studio made money on it, and it seems to have resonated with the family audience. There is a show, which if we are to bring back, there’s an audience there. But creatively, the show was hunting (for its identity), and we are trying to figure out … is that the best show (we can make). If we had more holes in our network, we’d be thrilled to lock that right in.”
He went on to say that the decision would be made soon, as production of a second season would need to begin at the end of the month. We will, of course, keep you posted.
As for Fringe,
“Fringe has been a point of pride for me, I share the fans’ passion for the show. I love the fact that with it Fox put genre back on the network. I’m grateful to the fans who followed the show to Fridays, and with Fringe there, we have a real Friday night for the first time.”
But then came this:
“We lose a lot of money on the show. At that rating on that night it’s almost impossible for us to make money. We are not in the business of losing money, so we’re trying to figure out if there a number at which we can continue with the series. We haven’t even sat down with the producers yet.”
And according to TV Guide, he went on:
“I’m not doing the soft cancel here. Please don’t start the letter writing campaign now. … We really do have to sit down with that entity and figure out if there’s a number at which it makes sense. … I don’t want to drop the ball at the end and let the fans down. I hope we get some credit with the fans of seeing through a great show that they’ve enjoyed.”
But wait, there’s more. Here’s what J.J. Abrams had to say about the status of Fringe as reported by IGN:
“I don’t know. For some sick reason, I’m hopeful, because the show… There’s some stuff coming up that’s so great. They’re doing such amazing work. Maybe it’s just that dumb optimism of hoping that when good work is done, it gets rewarded. I think that some of the work they’re doing, that Jeff [Pinkner] and Joel [Wyman] are working on now, is so good that I’m just crossing my fingers that it gets to continue. And if not, on FOX, maybe somewhere else.”
Unfortunately he didn’t elaborate on that little tidbit, but he did go on to say that he was hopeful that Fox would give the show a chance to conclude the series to the fans’ satisfaction:
“I would think that if the show is going to end… They’ve been so wonderful and incredibly supportive and really aware of the audience that they have – and in some cases don’t have. And I’m sure that they would be courteous enough to do that, for sure.”
Jeff Pinkner and Joel Wyman had something to say about that, however, in an interview with TVLine earlier last week. In fact, when asked how much advance notice they’d need for such a conclusion, Pinkner said that they basically plan for that every year, and that every season finale, including last season’s, could serve as a series finale: “Had Peter, the lynchpin for the reason the show existed, been the one to sacrifice himself heroically to save the two universes and the woman he loved, it would have been a very authentic end.”
“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.”
Please, Fox, please. We really need a Fringe season 5.
In the meantime, Fringe returns with all new episodes beginning this Friday, January 13 at 9/8c on Fox.