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Fans of Fox's paranormal sleuthing show Fringe have always lived with the spectre of cancellation. Ratings have been right on the bubble between renewal and termination, but fortunately Fringe's network execs have always given the show a reprieve from the TV gallows.
But unfortunately ratings for Fringe's fourth season have been steadily progressing downward. While the season hasn't been a washout for Fox, the ratings slump was seen as a probable indicator that Fringe would see its end this year.
The good news is that Fringe will be back for a fifth season. The bad news is that it will be shorter than previous seasons, lasting only 13 episodes, before Fringe officially ends.
"We are thrilled and beyond grateful that FOX - and our fans - have made the impossible possible: Fringe will continue into a fifth season that will allow the series to conclude in a wild and thrilling way," said Fringe executive producer J.J. Abrams. "All of us at Bad Robot are forever indebted to our viewers and the amazingly supportive FOX network for allowing the adventures of Fringe Division to not only continue, but to resolve in a way that perfectly fits the show."
"On behalf of the cast and crew, we applaud our fans and FOX for allowing us to imagine the impossibilities together for so long. Season Five is going to be a conclusive thrill ride for all of us," added showrunners/executive producers Jeff Pinkner and J.H. Wyman
"Bringing it back for a final 13 allows us to provide the climactic conclusion that its passionate and loyal fans deserve," said Fox's president of entertainment Kevin Reilly.
With two more remaining episodes left in Fringe's fourth season, now its creators will have ample time to wrap up all of the dangling story arcs and mysteries. Who are the Observers, and how do they fit into the two parallel universes? How will the Fringe divisions prevent the shapeshifters from realizing their plans to destroy both universes? And will Olivia and Peter finally hook up (and if so, which universe's Olivia will be the lucky woman?)