Many actors would be unhappy to see their screentime reduced drastically. But not Joshua Jackson, who plays the suave and intelligent Peter Bishop in the Fox series “Fringe.”
That’s because he understand where “Fringe” is coming from: It’s a series about characters, and the strength of those characters aren’t dictated by the number of lines they have in the script.
“It’s so unusual to take out one of the three leads … and to break them out of the show,” Jackson recently told Digital Spy. “Particularly on network television where a lot of it really is personality driven. There’s a lot of nervousness about upsetting the apple cart.”
Jackson isn’t worried about his own ego. He knows the producers want as much Peter as they can get. “But I know they also want to tell the story in the best possible way.”
Jackson didn’t even join the cast and crew for the start of production earlier this month for the next season, although the actor is scheduled to be returning to the set in the near future to begin filming again. After the Season 3 cliffhanger, where Peter was completely wiped from time, Jackson said he’s glad ego didn’t get in the way of coming back even stronger in Season 4.
“That cliffhanger was so big that if [the writers] half-assed it in the beginning of Season 4, I think our audience … would kind of smell the suck on that,” Jackson said. “They’d be kind of disappointed that we gave them this big thing, and then we didn’t actually go after it.”
Sound familiar, “Doctor Who”? When you say someone is going to die, fans usual expect a corpse. Not just the essence of someone. So to play up expectations and then just yank out the rug — probably not a good thing.
Fox remains solidly behind the series despite how it performed in the ratings last season after being moved to Fridays. It had one of network television’s biggest audience drops year-over-year, but still remained the best Fox has offered on Fridays in a long time.
The network won’t say if there will be a fifth season, but Jackson’s co-star John Noble has hinted the show could return for a fifth and final outing for the 2012-13 season.
“Fringe” returns Sept. 23 on Fox. It airs Fridays at 9 p.m. ET.