'Fringe' Renewed for Season 4

Fox’s cult drama Fringe has been renewed for a fourth season.

From J.J. Abrams, Roberto Orci and Alex Kurtzman, the mindbender -- which follows the adventures of a group of government agents investigating the supernatural side of science -- has been bounced around Fox’s schedule for years. It launched on Tuesday, Sept. 9, 2008, moving to Thursdays at 9 p.m. the following season.

In mid-January, Fox moved Fringe from the ultra-competitive Thursday night time period to the otherwise-dead Friday slot, with Kitchen Nightmares as its lead-in.

The 22-episode order comes after the show garnered a series low 1.3 rating in the 18-49 demographic in its most recent episode"Stowaway," down 13 percent from the previous week, in which Fringe reached a low in viewership with 3.6 million tuning in.

Season to date Fringe, which stars Anna Torv, John Noble and Joshua Jackson, has averaged 3.3 million viewers in the ad-favored demo including its Thursday run, according to Nielsen. So far, it has averaged 6.3 million total viewers.

Since premiering on Fridays, the series has averaged 4.1 million viewers.

Though ratings have slid since the first season, the show tacks on significant DVR numbers. Through Feb. 20, Fringe has seen a 44 percent increase in its key demo rating, rising to a 2.6 (vs. a 1.4) when live-plus-7 numbers are factored in.

Fox entertainment chief Kevin Reilly made his case for the series' survival at the Television Critics Assn.'s semi-annual press tour earlier this year. "It's a fantastic show," he said, "and honestly I'd be heartbroken if it went away."

Executive producer J.H. Wyman tweeted the news Friday evening, saying, "Fringe was picked up!!!! Thanks Fringedom!"

Peter Oberth
News by Peter Oberth
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