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Fox Standing Behind ‘Fringe,’ Showrunners Say

Ratings may not be breaking any records, but the series has creative support


Thursdays are tough for any show. But for a series like “Fringe,” with its complex science-fiction structure, it’s practically murder.

Yet, the show from the team that brought the most recent “Star Trek” movie is surviving, and that support from Fox could continue into a potential fourth season, according to its showrunners.

“We’re very, very pleased with the show that we’re making right now,” said Jeff Pinkner, one of “Fringe’s” showrunners with Joel Wyman, according to E! Online. “Fox has [been] nothing but wonderful and supportive. Entirely. From creative point of view, from a numbers point of view, everything. There has been no grumblings at all — quite the opposite — and we have decided that we would rather turn out a show with perhaps a slightly smaller fanbase, but one that’s really really passionate bout the show, and not worrying about gimmicky stuff.”

“We’re just going to keep making the best show we know how to make, and hope that is enough,” Wyman said.

“Fringe” has had a rough season this year in terms of ratings. Over four episodes in its third season, the series — which stars Anna Torv, Joshua Jackson and John Noble — has averaged a 3.3 rating/5 share in Fast National ratings from The Nielsen Co. That’s down more than 15 percent from how Fox fared in the Thursday at 9 p.m. timeslot last year, and is losing on average 44 percent of its lead-in from “Bones.”

Excluding The CW, it’s also the weakest show in that timeslot, falling to “CSI” on CBS (8.5/13 average), “Grey’s Anatomy” on ABC (7.8/12 average) and the comedy block of “The Office” (4.3/7) and “Outsourced” (3.4/5) on NBC. However, of those shows, only “The Office” has improved its numbers against its timeslot from the year before. “Grey’s Anatomy” has lost 8 percent from its timeslot last year, while “CSI” is down nearly 7 percent and “Outsourced” is off more than 17 percent.

People who aren’t watching the show are really missing out on some strong acting, a lot of it required by the cast doubling up on characters, especially if they have an “Over There” counterpart to the different dimension.

“It’s amazing how authentic both versions of all their characters are,” Wyman said. “As Anna has said, ‘Olivia wants to save the world. Bolivia [the alternate Olivia Dunham] wants to win.’ And in her mind, Olivia is somebody who was damaged, as a child.”

Olivia, for example, was experimented on by Walter, and the consequence of that is that Olivia denies her own personal needs in favor of saving those people around here, Wyman said.

“Bolivia has the same intrinsic desires to help the world, but to her it’s much more a competition, and not a competition against anybody else, but a competition within herself to do right and be good,” Wyman said. “They both come from a similar foundation, but they’re so different.”

For more on the discussion with Wyman and Pinkner, including whether or not Jackson’s character of Peter is catching on to the whole alternate Olivia, read the E! Online story by clicking here.

“Fringe” airs Thursdays at 9 p.m. ET, returning to Fox’s schedule Nov. 4.

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