Fans propel 'Fringe' to fourth season
September 23rd, 2011
04:24 PM ET

Fans propel 'Fringe' to fourth season

The fans of Fox's cult sci-fi series "Fringe" are a big reason why the show has survived to premiere a fourth season this Friday night, and the executive producers, Jeff Pinkner and J.H. Wyman, are keenly aware of it.

"We were very confident that [Fox executives were] pleased, creatively, with where the show was going. They know that we have incredibly rabid fans," Wyman told reporters during a conference call on Wednesday.

The fans really outdid themselves on Sunday by posting a YouTube video that blew away the producers.

"Fans around the world stunningly put together this video piece, 'Where is Peter Bishop?,' literally making signs and taking photographs of images around the world sort of like the 'Where is Peter Bishop' [Fox ad] campaign," Pinkner explained. "It’s amazing, and a tribute to an entire cast and crew. The whole thing plays as sort of a love letter to the show."

So, what makes "Fringe" fans within geek culture so committed to keeping the series going? "I think they’re just fans of adventurous storytelling, and I think that they’re fans as much as the geeks are people that are willing to jump onboard a story and really follow it," Pinkner explained. "They’re sort of treated as this outsider element of fandom when the truth is they’re wildly passionate about the stories they like. What sort of separates them is their willingness to sort of really, really invest and make stories an important part of their lives."

Wyman chimed in to say, "Our fans, the ones who are kind of willing to embrace this form of storytelling and science fiction are people that are willing to go out on a limb with us and check out some really far out ideas. I think that’s the difference. I think they’re willing to just invest 150% because they’re in with the entire genre."

For the aforementioned Peter Bishop, played by Joshua Jackson, the producers say that his whereabouts will indeed be a mystery in the early part of the season.

"Peter is part of the DNA [of the show] and he’ll always be that," said Wyman. "Just because he doesn’t exist doesn’t mean that the three years that we’ve all invested in and watched does not exist. It really did happen, and it’ll unfold itself for you to understand."

In the meantime, Jackson has kept busy writing a new series of "Fringe" digital comics, on the suggestion of comic book fans Pinkner and Wyman.

"Josh’s story is a version of what happened at the end of last season when Peter planted the machine in the past in order to sort of like—the time loop that we discussed in last year’s season finale was continued on," said Pinkner. "[It deals with] Peter taking Walter’s machine from the future and planting it in the deep past, and Josh, who himself is a comic book aficionado/geek, sort of delves into that. That’s a version of the story that we would love to tell if only we had time on the show."

As usual, viewers can expect plenty of answers this season (and more scenes of the Observers revealing some of those answers), something that the producers say sets them apart. "There are a lot of shows that use secrets and string people along to keep people coming back every week and I don’t even know if those programs even have an answer. I don’t know how they build their shows," said Wyman.

"We want to give answers. We would both be frustrated if we were watching a show that we’re investing in and they weren’t giving us answers. We believe that the drama is enough in the program to keep people invested. So, the Observers are a large [part of that] and we feel it’s our duty to give some answers and back up everything that you’ve seen in the past with some concrete facts."

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  1. khách sạn sang trọng

    It's actually a nice and helpful piece of info. I'm happy that you simply shared this useful information with us. Please stay us up to date like this. Thanks for sharing.

    May 4, 2013 at 9:37 am |
  2. Forgotten Fringe

    "There are a lot of shows that use secrets and string people along to keep people coming back every week and I don’t even know if those programs even have an answer. I don’t know how they build their shows," said Wyman.

    I adored the first 2 seasons of Fringe but with the constant changes in air time and (in my opinion) LACK of answers on the show I eventually gave up my addiction. I abandoned the show for exactly the reason Wyman references in his quote (above). I just couldn't keep up with all the layers. Maybe need to grab the DVDs/HULU and attempt a rewatch as I still totally respect the show's ingenuity and style.

    September 29, 2011 at 12:42 pm |
  3. crabestraw

    im 58 loved fringe a little ashamed thought it a younger persons draw.
    decided, i was adicted to TV most my life, through it away,forgot about fringe damn.

    September 24, 2011 at 4:23 pm |
  4. ready

    This show has the added advantage of having Rupert Murdoch's niece as the lead role, this show is good I hope that influence to the head honcho can keep it on the air longer than fox usually keeps its great shows.

    September 24, 2011 at 2:52 am |
  5. RichardSRussell

    The good news is that it's a great show. The bad news is that it's on Fox. We all remember how they treated Firefly.

    Grudge much? OH, yeah! You get that a lot when you kick our favorite puppy in the face, not just once but repeatedly.

    September 24, 2011 at 2:09 am |
  6. William Bell

    If they cancel this show I swear I'm going to move to an alternate universe! Now, where's my typewriter!

    September 24, 2011 at 1:10 am |
    • Tim

      Live long and prosper.

      September 24, 2011 at 1:58 am |
  7. Eh?

    This show is kinda weaksauce. Every show seems to have this formula:

    1. Good guys encounter some bizarre problem
    2. Regardless of what the problem is, Walter has a seemingly insane theory to explain the phenomenon
    3. Walter does a lot of drugs, giving him the supernatural power to conduct decades worth of research in a matter of days if not hours, but only if the gang provides him with a steady supply of junk food when he gets the munchies
    4. Problem solved

    September 24, 2011 at 12:30 am |
    • Adam

      So, if the show is "weaksauce" why would you waste your time posting in a thread on CNN about the show? Seems like you're trolling to me!

      September 24, 2011 at 1:19 am |
    • Dubz

      As if other shows are different???
      For example, House:
      1. Patient comes in with seemingly easy-to-diagnose problem
      2. Patient crashes because of treatment.
      3. Transverse Myelitis
      4. House says something incredibly offensive to Cuddy
      5. The team messes up.
      6. House fixes the problem mid sentence

      If it works, it works.

      September 24, 2011 at 1:59 am |
    • Lolbot

      Well look at House, tou only watch to see how the main plot changes.

      September 24, 2011 at 10:22 am |
    • LOL

      There is a regular role about every seriable. Mythology show on TV; they start with regular episodes... this formula you've spoken of.

      In the decription you provided about Fringe you only mentionned that regular part 'Formula' . Which is practically 9% from what's happening in the Fringe world. So basically, you've missed the huge Mythology part that, giving the nature of Seriable shows, starts to unravel slowly and in a way that offers viewers the possobility to join its pieces together, of course, you need to pay big attention, which is hardly effortless in your case.

      I say you've watching too little to judge it or too much and couldn't grasp it giving your superficial description.

      Also, that Formula -commonly known as an intrduction to deeper levels of Mythology- is Not only done in a unique way on Fringe, but major parts of it are directly linked in a genius kind of way to bigger essues, which is something you haven't picked up on....

      I advise you to watch shows that are simpler to grasp just from early episodes, take Hanna Montana for exemple.... . Seriables are obviously not you're cup of tea, thus you're superficial description of this show.

      I'm not even gonna start talking about the Hints/smart touches on each and every episode,... Well, ya know why....

      Anyway, if I were you, I wouldn't embarass myself critisizing a show I don't understand yet, and in a website filled with people that already know what Fringe is about, it kinda makes you look like someone who'd never tasted a particular type of food and is complaining about its ingredients. If you didn't like a show, it's an opinion nobody really cares to hear its causes, especially if those causes uncover blatantly the fact that you're disliking a show you don't even know or understand.

      September 24, 2011 at 10:55 am |
  8. MikeN

    Glad i hung on til the end of the episode! SO looking forward to this season. One thing: did they replace the writers? A lot of the dialogue in this new episode is *really* lame!

    September 24, 2011 at 12:22 am |
    • Killian6

      I think at least part of what you're seeing is the character's response to Peter not existing any more. That spark is missing in their lives that Peter brought to them. Olivia is wound a lot tighter. Shoot most of them are wound tighter. Walter has less of a grip on reality and his humanity. Some of it could be a behind the camera thing.They've had a certain dynamic that has changed now. I'm sure this season will be a great one. Different, yes,but that's what keeps a show from going stale.

      September 24, 2011 at 11:33 am |
  9. Smelly

    Incredibly imaginative show. Killer writing...Killer cast...Totally kick-ass.

    Thanks Fox. Fringe is amazing.

    September 23, 2011 at 11:51 pm |
  10. TCVAN

    My favorite show....my 19-year-old son likes it too.

    September 23, 2011 at 11:49 pm |
  11. sydney

    Fringe is hands down THE best show going right now. I have been a JJ Abrams fan since Alias so I immediately tuned in (having Anna Torv as the lead helped since I've been a fan of hers since I saw her on Mistresses). Love the show, love the conversation it creates and the thought-provoking scenarios and possibilities – this show was made for the nerd that is me!

    September 23, 2011 at 11:38 pm |
  12. GloSeattle

    Watched Fringe since first episode, wouldn't miss it! Excellent scripted television, and cast – a true must see :-)

    September 23, 2011 at 11:24 pm |
  13. Drakan

    Man, this episode was fantastic, though it did play around with my heartstrings too much. Fringe manages to do that anyway, though, haha. Never miss an episode for both worlds. Really curious to see how they'll get Peter back, but if I'm thinking right, it's going to be on helluva doozy. ;) So glad it got another season; it's my absolute favorite show - I just can't image it ending before they're ready. It'd be a tragedy, for sure.

    September 23, 2011 at 11:03 pm |
  14. FRINGEFAN

    Favorite show right now......more people need to check it out.

    September 23, 2011 at 9:46 pm |
  15. nate brogdon

    AHHHHHHHHH! HOW ABOUT A SPOILER ALERT! I'm halfway through season 3, and you ruined the season finale! DAMMMMMMMMMMMMIT!

    September 23, 2011 at 9:36 pm |
    • John Blackmore

      How many years do we have to wait for you to catch up? If you know you're behind in your viewing of a show, don't read columns discussing what's happened in the show. And just to piss you off – Darth Vader is Luke's father....

      September 23, 2011 at 11:47 pm |
    • Heather

      Spoiler alerts are typically used within the first 24-48 hours after an episode has aired. If you're not caught up that's your own problem. Use caution I guess is the only thing you can do, and you should kind of assume that season 3 is going to be talked about in this article since that's the most recent season and they can't really talk about much for season 4 without giving away secrets.

      September 23, 2011 at 11:55 pm |
    • Eviscerated

      Let's see... the season premier is on today... there's an article about the show.. today.... what did you think was going to be talked about...today? =D

      September 24, 2011 at 1:25 am |
  16. Matt

    They made another season because they wanted enough episodes to syndicate the show. Of course, the producers will credit the fans, but reality is that fan support was pretty dismal last season.

    September 23, 2011 at 9:26 pm |
    • kake79

      I don't really see Fringe going into syndication. The plot line is too involved. Similar to Lost, you don't just watch an episode here or there or out of order.

      September 24, 2011 at 12:19 am |
  17. demmie

    i like fringe until last season when the olivia was inhabited by Spock's Dentures and was giong around talking like Nimoy....soooooooooo annoying

    September 23, 2011 at 8:53 pm |
    • Karen

      Ryan, Dropping by to thank you for your visit to my blog. I'm glad you enjoyed the tip on how I made mainkg potato salad a little easier. I don't come up with great ideas on my own very often. As for the recipe – I can only tell you what I put in mine but not the exact amounts. You see, it's just kind of whatever I think looks right. Of course potatoes go in along with chopped boiled eggs, sweet pickle relish (or you could just chop up some sweet pickles very fine), chopped onions are good, and maybe some celery and green bell pepper. For the dressing I use Miracle Whip (can you get that in Scotland? – if not mayonnaise works well) and some yellow mustard (just a little – not nearly as much as the Miracle Whip.) A bit of garlic powder and some salt and pepper. That's it.I must say I love your blog. I've always wanted to visit the UK and maybe someday I'll be able to. Both my husband and I worked for an oil company before retiring. I worked with several engineers that at one time or another were assigned to Aberdeen. My husband (not an engineer) was sent to Aberdeen for a couple of weeks and was able to do a bit of site seeing. (I wasn't able to accompany him as it was a spur of the moment trip and I had no passport.) He visited Edinburgh and a few other places and brought back wonderful photos.Well, I've taken up too much of your time already so I'll just be off but I'll definitely be back. I've so enjoyed visiting your blog.

      November 16, 2012 at 3:04 am |
  18. David Fitzgerald

    Let me just say for the record, this is the best show in TV.

    September 23, 2011 at 8:39 pm |
  19. DD

    Fringe has a great cast. But the science as presented is ridiculous. Fortunately it can be mostly ignored because of the scripting. Did I mention the great cast?

    September 23, 2011 at 8:37 pm |
  20. The Dude

    TV is for mindless drones. I refuse to add to Fox Ratings.

    September 23, 2011 at 8:20 pm |
    • Eviscerated

      But apparently you don't refuse to be a troll. Know one here cares about your opinion anyway. have a nice day.

      September 23, 2011 at 8:26 pm |
      • Yoryi

        You can now buy winges from Larger TopShops, hair sanols and I think Debenhams are about to stock them too.Have fun finding the right one for you.

        November 14, 2012 at 7:54 pm |
      • Bit

        Hey William we spent a day in the three sisters pub, there was a free show every half hour or so and the aristts would come round with their flyers asking us in. Superb the small shows are the best.

        November 16, 2012 at 2:36 am |
  21. DarthWoo

    I'm very much looking forward to the premiere tonight. Something I've found over the past decade is that any show that dares presume that its audience is capable of keeping track of a continuous storyline without having a one hour recap special every half-season is probable to be doomed to a premature demise, no matter how high quality its writing and production. Too many people prefer mindless reality TV with its wannabe stars or shows whose every individual episode can be encapsulated into an independent story with no need to remember a single thing from the rest of the series. Among many other shows I can't name off the top of my head, I do recall such series as Kings, Journeyman, Firefly (Fox couldn't even be arsed to air the series in the correct order during its first run.), and Stargate Universe, all of which suffered premature termination.

    September 23, 2011 at 8:17 pm |
  22. ChuckFromAL

    Fringe has to be my favorite TV show now. I really love it. I half expected it to be canceled because that seems to happen to a lot of good shows. I also loved Firefly and that was canceled.

    September 23, 2011 at 8:06 pm |
    • Sue

      I know! I think if I like a show it is generally the kiss of death and it gets cancelled. I have been so happy that this has not been. This season opener is really the only one I have been anxiously awaiting. Almost here

      September 23, 2011 at 8:18 pm |
  23. maybeajoke

    Hope there are more of the same sci-fi there on public channel.

    September 23, 2011 at 7:58 pm |
  24. Zach

    The level of creativity on this show is amazing. The producers have allowed for an incredible array of scientific concepts while also allowing the actors to spread their wings to incredible levels of both depth and breadth.

    September 23, 2011 at 7:54 pm |
  25. rezart

    Have not missed an episode, I love the show. I also loved The Event, but for some reason the good shows get cancelled.

    September 23, 2011 at 7:52 pm |
  26. David

    I'm SO glad the show wasn't canceled. I've seen so many great shows die because they're not mainstream enough. One of my favorite, "Farscape", died looong before its time. SciFi channel had to allow them the opportunity to make a TV movie just because fans were so livid they killed it on a major cliffhanger.

    It's not just because it's Sci-fi that "Fringe" isn't big. It's because they don't explain every little thing. Like "Lost", the audience is challenged to fill in the blanks. It asks that you are invested in the story and have imagination. It's all to easy to accuse the writers of being lazy because they don't explain everything. It's not that difficult to tell when a show is being lazy versus one that purposely forces you to use your imagination.

    September 23, 2011 at 7:52 pm |
    • Eviscerated

      I'm still pissed about the cancellation of Firefly!!!!!

      Farscapes problem was they changed the show too much between season three and four (even between two and three there were some changes). I think they tried to MAKE it more mainstream, and failed.

      September 23, 2011 at 7:55 pm |
  27. Eviscerated

    I like how many times "sort of.." is used in this article. English teachers everywhere just keeled over.

    September 23, 2011 at 7:50 pm |
  28. joe

    Best show on network TV and the only show I watch on them. I find it incredible that John Noble has not won an emmy. Best actor on TV period.

    September 23, 2011 at 7:46 pm |
    • asouidhh

      I was going to post that. John Noble is the best actor on TV right now and is a perfect example of why the Emmy's are a joke. It is not an opinion, it is a fact. Fringe being Emmy worthy could be attributed to opinion, but John Noble gives a movie level performance to 2 very complicated characters in every episode.

      September 23, 2011 at 8:03 pm |
      • ChuckFromAL

        I agree. John Nobles is an awesome actor and the rest of the cast is very good too.

        September 23, 2011 at 8:08 pm |
    • DD

      I certainly expect to see John Noble nominated for a Best Supporting Actor Emmy next time! He's 1 of the reasons I like this show so much. Love Peter Dinklage but John Noble would've beaten him in that category this year.

      September 23, 2011 at 8:41 pm |
  29. Angellique

    Love the show since I saw it the first time! To be honest, I was never really interested in the Fox Channel, but Fringe changed that for me. Great show hope there are many more seasons in the future!

    September 23, 2011 at 7:41 pm |
  30. Tiffany

    Awesome show! Interesting without being sleazy. Whether or not you like Sci-fy, it is good!

    September 23, 2011 at 7:22 pm |
  31. SATMN

    My mother, who has never understood sci-fi and has always been completely uninterested in it no matter how much I begged her to watch it with me because I enjoy it so, LOVES Fringe. It is the characters and the interesting stories that make it work.

    September 23, 2011 at 7:03 pm |
  32. Damon

    Folks... if you have never heard of this show, you owe it to yourself to check it out. It's really that good.

    September 23, 2011 at 6:55 pm |
    • Eviscerated

      Yes but start with season 1. I tried watching this show a couple years ago, and hated it. I had no vested interest in the characters or story. My friend told me to take a chance and watch the first 5 episodes, and I was hooked ever since. That's a big problem with shows with large complex story lines, vs shows where each episode stands alone.

      September 23, 2011 at 7:52 pm |
  33. Steve

    For once, a good TV show that's not about sex. I can't believe how Americans have slipped so low on the morals score. Nothing left to the imagination anymore, like we don't have a thinking brain.

    September 23, 2011 at 6:49 pm |
  34. Anomic Office Drone

    I never miss an episode of Fringe. It's the best sci-fi on TV right now by leaps and bounds, and it's not just good for sci-fi. It's good for any genre. .

    September 23, 2011 at 6:46 pm |
  35. Ricky

    A show that's creative, well produced, and unique. Something we rarely get with network television.

    September 23, 2011 at 6:44 pm |
  36. Tonimc

    My husband and I are glued to our seats each week! Best show on TV. And, we are OLD Geeks, in our 70's

    September 23, 2011 at 6:34 pm |
  37. Peter Bishop

    Hello? HELLO!!??

    September 23, 2011 at 6:10 pm |
    • kake79

      Dude! We've been looking EVERYWHERE for you!

      September 24, 2011 at 12:26 am |
      • Ann

        Totally agree with your review. The shtsfphieaers developing real emotions instead of just mimicking them is very intriguing. I guess Newton didn't develope any emotions as he kept himself isolated from people as opposed to the other shtsfphieaers. I do think that this will be Bolivia's downfall. She too is developing feelings for Peter. Will she be able to complete her mission? One thing I was uneasy about in this episode was the incident where Peter brought to light that he has noticed changes in Olivia/Bolivia. In light of what happened with the senator's wife why did he not investigate his hunches further? Maybe we'll see him do that in the coming episodes. PS I am glad you guys are still reviewing this show.

        November 14, 2012 at 8:35 am |
  38. L. T. Fang

    Where is Peter Bishop?

    September 23, 2011 at 6:09 pm |
  39. Awesome Show

    I watch Fringe and the Daily Show – that's it.

    I'm anxiously awaiting the new season.

    I hope they're taking Hulu views into consideration when determining the commerical success of the show.

    September 23, 2011 at 6:06 pm |
    • Awesome Show

      Oh yea, I'm in total love with Olivia, the alternate version though, the regular version is kinda meh. ;-)

      September 23, 2011 at 6:07 pm |
      • Tizroc

        No way!! Now that Olivia has Fauxlivia's memories and talents as well?!?! She is Uber Oliva.. Although in the beginning I would have agreed with you. Sharp shooter, olympian.. etc... Awesome!

        September 23, 2011 at 7:32 pm |
      • Eviscerated

        I have to agree with "awesome show". I like the fauxlivia a bit better. manly because of the red head. ;P

        September 23, 2011 at 7:53 pm |
      • kake79

        Fauxlivia's kind of a b--. I definitely prefer Olivia. And Walter. And Astrid. However, I would take the alternate Lincoln over ours.

        BTW, does the alternate Lincoln have a clever nickname?

        September 24, 2011 at 12:30 am |
    • Nadia

      Great review. I liked the eidpose but it felt like the First Act of a three act story and it stopped in midstep. So it does not stand on its own. Need to see the other two eidposes before I can give this one a true mark. Interesting that the breakdown on our side results in sheep going missing which we know no longer exist in the RedVerse. Also found the fact that baby's blood is being used to power a device that could destroy an entire universe very symbolic. Finally the fact that after all this season long buildup, the Machine rejecting Peter totally blew me away. Having Peter going to the Machine now instead of in the final eidpose, and having Walternate starting up the other Machine unfortunately given away in last week's promo, were great twists. Still think Peter will be going back to the Machine again before season's end. Love your review, understand your Inception remarks which did not detract from my enjoyment of LSD IMO, a great eidpose, and keep on Fringing!

      November 14, 2012 at 6:25 am |
  40. Mare0568

    Love, love, love FRINGE. Can't wait!!!

    September 23, 2011 at 6:04 pm |
  41. Dan

    I'm a big fan of the Observers. Obviously, they are borrowed from Marvel Comics' "Watcher" characters. I wonder if we will be seeing an encounter of the antithesis of the Observers? Marvel had the Watcher, and his brother was the evil Galactus! Who will be the Observers' evil twin? When will he appear? The good going bad. The devil to the angels.

    Should be another interesting season!

    September 23, 2011 at 5:59 pm |
  42. Filtered

    Best show on the major networks.

    September 23, 2011 at 5:56 pm |