Eccentric storytelling proved potent selling point

'Fringe' 100th Episode

Many television series fall into a pre-existing template or clear genre classification.

But when it comes to “Fringe,” which is ending with its 100th episode, perhaps not so much. The hourlong drama defies such easy categorization, blending elements of science fiction with those of traditional television procedurals and serials.

Congruent with its title, “Fringe” has not been the sort of show that appealed to the masses. Yet its audience is extremely loyal and grew even more passionate as the series evolved from a “mystery of the week” format to become more serialized in later seasons.

“Fans have responded to its uniqueness,” says co-creator J.J. Abrams, who brought his own fan base from his hit series “Lost” and “Alias.” “We’ve always had an incredibly wonderful and compact audience that has been less mainstream and more awesome and unique, if not great in numbers.”

“Every show has its own DNA and unique rules and I would say while there are some similarities to ‘Lost” — as in serialization and longer storytelling — in part because the audience is so small and specific, it allowed the show to go wonderfully deep in terms of inside jokes, references and nuance. It felt very true to its nature,” Abrams says.

“One of the things that’s so interesting and rewarding about watching ‘Fringe’ is that you get fantastic genre stories, within an epic battle of good and evil, but all through the eyes of this makeshift family whom you love,” says Fox Broadcasting chief operating officer Joe Earley. “We’re proud to have been its home.”

Those close to the production feel it is leaving Fox’s airwaves on a high note, including Peter Roth, president of Warner Bros. Television, who summed it up this way:

“In a perfect world, ‘Fringe’s’ legacy will be that it continued to raise the bar for genre programming and was a strong piece of intelligent, contemporary, emotional dramatic storytelling executed in outstanding fashion by a talented team of executive producers and a brilliant cast.”

‘Fringe’ 100th Episode
‘Fringe’ exiting on sci-fi high | Noble’s ‘Fringe’ dialogue often off-kilter | Eccentric storytelling proved potent selling point | ‘Fringe’ finale to answer character questions

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