It seems like only yesterday, and while not exactly a year ago, fifty-two weeks ago on Thursday, March 24, 2011 sometime around 6:30pm the news broke that Fox had renewed Fringe for a fourth season.
With the official premiere of Touch already started on the east coast as I write this, I’d be very surprised if any Fox pick up announcements broke tonight (NBC sneaking in an announcement about Bent wouldn’t surprise me though). Of course, I will be a little surprised (not shocked) if Fox renews Fringe as I’ve had it likely to be canceled after this season for a while. Though that was the case last year as well, last year we weren’t factoring proximity to the 88 episodes needed for stripped syndication into our renewal predictions. This year we are factoring that in, so no show within a season of the necessary episodes for syndication will drop lower than a toss up/on the bubble .
Fringe will have 88 episodes at the end of its fourth season. For anyone rushing to Wikipedia or IMDB to count the number of episodes who only come up with 87, that’s true, but the pilot was a double episode that will be broken up into two for syndication purposes even if it was only counted as one in the episode listings.
Rumors continue to swirl about a short (13 episode) final fifth season similar to what NBC did with Chuck. Bill has prudently kept Fringe as a toss up in the Renew/Cancel index.