Fox orders final season of ‘Fringe’

WBTV series enjoys rabid fan base

“Fringe” is coming back for one last season in the fall.

Fox has reached a deal with Warner Bros. TV for a fifth season of 13 episodes of the drama, which airs Fridays at 9 p.m.

“Bringing it back for a final 13 allows us to provide the climactic conclusion that its passionate and loyal fans deserve,” said Fox president of entertainment Kevin Reilly.

While the “Fringe” renewal has been an open question for a while given the series’ weak ratings, it’s always been seen as having a good shot to return given the series’ rabid but small fan base. Having J.J. Abrams, Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci as creators/exec producers didn’t hurt either.

Terms of the deal were not disclosed, but the studio likely trimmed the license fee Fox pays for the program. WBTV may have been willing to ease up on the fee in order to get enough episodes to make the most of “Fringe” in the off-net market.

“Fringe” has averaged a 1.9/6 among adults 18-49 and 4.6 million total viewers. Adding to its value: The series has the highest lift among primetime broadcast series in post-sameday DVR viewing, with an average 67% gain.

In recent weeks, Fox has taken to Twitter to rally the network’s cult following by placing hashtags generated by the fan base on the screen.

The renewal comes just as Fox is expected to formally ax Abrams’ frosh drama “Alcatraz,” which never clicked with viewers.

“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 Abrams.

Bryan Burk, Joe Chappelle, Jeff Pinkner and J.H. Wyman are also EPs on “Fringe.”

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