All good things must come to an end, and it was a good five years for Fringe.
Where a lot of last shows end badly when its finally time to say goodbye (think The Sopranos and Seinfeld), the last episode of Fringe got good reviews and decent ratings, which brought the series to a nice conclusion after all.
The final ratings for Fringe weren’t enormous, Entertainment Weekly
reports it got 3.2 million viewers with a 1.0 rating which put it "on par with its fourth season finale," but it makes sense because Fringe was "a show Fox liked enough to keep on the air long past its ratings expiration date."
Meanwhile, the Hollywood Reporter confirms the series finale “gave [Fringe] its largest audience in a year.”
Fox needed a good show that could bring in stable ratings on Friday, and Fringe fit the bill very nicely. Like a lot of shows these days, it also did well from fans watching it later on DVR, which increased the ratings by 60%. If the show was able to make it five years on the air, you could also sell it to the Science Channel, and they indeed picked up the rights to Fringe last year.
Now for the reviews.
EW wrote that the last episode of Fringe "fulfilled nearly early promise it made to its audience over the course of five seasons." The Hollywood Reporter notes, "For the viewers who stayed on it, the two-hour series finale capped off in a way that the entire series was meant to, hitting an emotional chord with a sacrifice that gave arguably Fringe’s best relationships its due."
As JJ Abrams told Variety, "Hopefully people will continue to discover it. My favorite show is The Twilight Zone, which is 60 years old now, so it’s a comforting thing to think there are Fringe fans that aren’t even born yet."
And as Peter Roth, the president of Warner Brothers Television, explained , Fringe "further legitimized genre television in the broadcast network marketplace…[it] helped to enable network buyers to continue to feel confident about the value of these kinds of shows."
So all’s well that ends well, and it’s nice to see Fringe leave the stage with dignity, with the potential for its cult to keep growing as the years go on.