Fringe is a fantastic show with devoted fans, but its ratings have only ever been just barely impressive enough to justify the show's budget, which is a bit higher than a typical detective series.
Unfortunately, it seems like every season Fringe is kneeling at the block, waiting for the whim of the Fox axeman.
Earlier this season, we got a promise from the Fringe producers that if the show looked like it was going to end with this season, they’d give us a worth endin. While they still claimt this is the plan, the fate of the show is apparently too unknowable still, and the time has come to finalize the final episodes of season 4. They don’t have an answer, but they can’t wait any longer to see what will happen.
So, the promise to fans has now changed slightly. The producers claim they’re going to wrap up as much as they can at the end of this season without making a fifth season impossible, hedging their bets, in a sense.
However, if the show doesn’t make it to season five, the story won’t be over. The writers of the show will create a one-off comic line to wrap up whatever strings are left dangling when the show comes to a close.
This may not be as great as what the writers might do with a fifth season, but at least we can be assured that we will not simply be left hanging.
"[The comic] would be really elaborate, and we would go to town on it and make sure that everything you needed to understand about the show would be in that and pay off that way," said producer Jeff Plinker. "That's our backup plan."
Currently, Fox has more shows in its line-up than they have room for next year, and either Fringe or Alcatraz seems most likely to be cut.