Rumor of the Day: Fringe may return for a final, shortened season

Take this one with a big ole grain of salt, but there's a report making the rounds that a deal could be in the works to bring Fringe back for a final, shortened fifth season.

TV Line's resident television expert Michael Ausiello says he has heard rumblings that an agreement could be worked out between Fox and show producer Warner Bros. to bring the fan-favorite series back for 15 more episodes—despite some anemic ratings.

"Don't administer last rites to the show just yet. Despite those apocalyptic Nielsens, Fringe very much remains in the hunt for another season," Ausiello wrote. "One scenario allegedly being bandied about has it returning for a final 15-episode run. If that happens I will be an extremely happy person."

I'm sure fans are psyched at the option, but if you think about it on the business side, it also makes some sense. Fox has kept the show alive this long partly because of critical praise, but if the ratings get low enough, all the fan love in the world can't save it. But, once you factor in potential syndication revenue, this rumor makes a lot more sense. Series typically need at least 100 episodes to reach a syndication deal, but once the current fourth season ends, Fringe will only have 87 episodes in the bank. Add 15 more, and that puts the show at an attractive 102 episodes.

If those behind the series think gains from syndication outweigh the potential losses from producing a fifth season, this rumor could prove legit. Or, it could be a fan's pipe dream. Only time will tell.

(via TV Line).

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