We're moving Forums to the Community pages. Click here for more information and updates.

Fox Boss Says Fringe is a Money Pit, Season 5 Is In Doubt

Ouch, Fringe fans. We done got a bucket of ice water thrown in our collective face.

Reality reared its ugly ass over the weekend at Fox's executive panel during the Television Critics Association (TCA) press tour. Fox network president Kevin Reilly fielded the normal questions about shows from reporters, and when the subject of Fringe came up, the truth we don't want to hear came out.

When asked about the future of the sci-fi series, Reilly was less than non-committal. "The hesitation in my voice is that it's an expensive show," he said. "We lose a lot of money on the show. But with that rating on that night it’s almost impossible for us to make money on it. We’re not in the business of losing money..."

We all know what happens to shows that don't make money: They get canceled.

Reilly's words foretell the show's future: Unless things change, Fringe will almost end with Season 4, which returns this Friday. But he's not shutting the door entirely, and said that budgets could be reconfigured to make things more palatable. And there's always the long-shot possibility that Fringe could find a home somewhere else, though I don't know who would want to take on a show that only pulls in just over 3 million viewers.

Reilly's comments may anger some of you, but before you go on a Fox-bashing rant, remember this: Fox HAS stuck by the show and extended its life well beyond what it deserves from a business standpoint. By ratings standards, the show should have been canceled after Season 3, if not Season 2. While your first instinct may be to start a "Kevin Reilly Sux" Facebook group, get mad at him because he allowed Mobbed to happen, not because he's thinking about canceling a show that's killing his bank account. Every time a new episode of Fringe hits the airwaves, I thank my lucky stars.


Follow TV.com writer Tim Surette on Twitter: @TimAtTVDotCom

Comments (178)
Submit
Sort: Latest | Popular
Fringe has been the one show I have chosen to watch each season over other shows. I don't know if it is just me or I have grown bored in general with tv shows, but I don't get upset over shows ending anymore. I would however like to see Fringe actually end the show, not just cancel it. I want closure and more so to understand what needs to still be explained. I wish Fringe could be like the X-Files had been, but loyalty is difficult to get from a viewer, especially continued over a time span.
Reply
Flag
Just saw the ratings for 'Back to where you've never been' and they are not cool!! 2.88 mill viewers, which is the same as the midseason finale :( This however, doesn't include the 3 day DVR count so here is hoping that at least 2mill more will be added to the ratings!
Reply
Flag
I am gonna be SUPER pissed off if Fox do cancel fringe.. I love this show and it is freaken awesome.. Come on Fox stop cancelling all the damn good show DAMN IT..
Reply
Flag
I enjoyed Fringe much more in the days before they introduced the parallel world. There was plenty to hold my attention. In my area it also suffered from crazy scheduling and after missing a few eps I found it tough to follow for awhile. Networks should slot a show in their sked and then leave it alone for it's duration. Viewership drops when people can't find their favourite shows. (Yes, I'm Canadian, hence the 'u' in favourite). I'm finding Fringe to be suffering from the same lack of network support as Haven. Now also difficult to follow because of long term hiatuses and changes in scheduling. When will the networks learn?
Reply
Flag
in a world full of disappointing terra novas, flashforwards, the events, vs, etc, Fringe stands alone as a good network serial drama post 24 & LOST.



I really hope they give it a half season 5 (like Chuck got) to tie up loose ends.
Reply
Flag
Fringe is amazing. It's so sad they don't count in international ratings, almost everyone I know love this show.



I'd hate to see this show die before it's story is told. But then again, FOX has almost always disappointed me in it's cancellations of shows before their time.
Reply
Flag
They renew Psych and cancel Fringe? Shows where people's tastes are these days. Hopefully enough fans will protest and keep this excellent show on the air! Otherwise we will get another of Fox's stupid reality shows!!
Reply
Flag
Why does it seem like every freakin' show I love gets cancelled these days? Crap like Jersey Shore and other reality shows find an audience. Those shows are despicable. And who cares about American Idol and other such shows? I know people love it, but I find it to represent everything that's wrong with the music industry - mass produced crap. Where is the artistry? So someone has a great voice. Very nice. Can they write a song? Can they create something of lasting value? Probably not.



It's really the fault of the bubble-headed TV audience who'd rather watch a bunch of morons fight each other and get drunk rather than good, quality entertainment. This is what the American public has been reduced to...RUBBLE.
Reply
Flag
Here is how to fix your network ratings. Move Fringe Back to Mondays With Terra Nova second. Move House to Fridays with Ramsay . Leave stupid Idol and its clones on Wed/Thurs. Don't follow with Any sitcoms at 8;30 Knowing Live shows Always run over-why they moved Glee and Fringe away from the fake ''talent ''contests in first place. Let Them compete with regular Grey's and other faves on Wednesdays. lol Sorry for over posting.
Reply
Flag
Oh and Fox killed Fringe due to baseball and that One Friday there was no rain out or baseball and aired a Rerun when it was all clear. Maybe am just mad cuz my team lost. lol
Reply
Flag
Sell it to USA, the land of TV Marathons on weekends, look at L/O , NCIS etc. Don't ask ABC, NBC or SYFY- they kill shows just as easy if not sooner than Fox does. lol USA keeps shows alive!
Reply
Flag
Fringe is the only tv show i watch, without it, i may as well get rid of my tv. FOX need to find a way of calculating ratings, not only by how many people watch it on the night, but also counting how many people record it or download it or even looking at the ratings it gets in other countries (all the channels in my country have a ratings count for each show, and FRINGE rates pretty highly here). It is not good enough to see truly good shows being cancelled while terrible shows that don't deserve to be there continue on.
Reply
Flag
*sigh*. I've been holding my breath for a few seasons now, because I love Fringe, but I knew that someone would pull the plug on it soon enough. But in good Fringe spirits, maybe some sort of sci-fi miracle will happen, and it will be saved. One can only hope.
Reply
Flag
As long as they have an actual finale, I am ok with that. To end it in a cliffhanger would be insane.
Reply
Flag
what the heck is costing so much?? It's not Terra Nova so I can't see where all the money is going. Is it the amber domes? sheesh.
Reply
Flag
Uhuuuum, how can we internationals viewers can help? I know there's a tweet meeting on friday, but what can we do... irt's so unfair, this show is awesome, its one of a VERY few shows that got sustance in it, and we always get the letfovers from you guys, so if the american public don't like it, we must just get over it! and thats that????? so the question remains... what can WE do?

thank you so very much
Reply
Flag
exactly. what can we do? will turning on the TV and leaving it to run the show help ratings? Let's be realistics, some on other parts of the world catch it through other means, Tivo, catch-up tv, websites of FOX. They are the ones putting up "video not available in your country" warnings all the time. So what can WE do?
1
Reply
Flag
Wasn't this show supposed to be resolved after 3 seasons? At this stage they're just rehashing, alternate universes, shapeshifters all that jazz. It's still watchable, I'd probably watch if they kept it up, but I wouldn't be pushed if it did end. Iit's not exactly edge of your seat stuff anymore. They've basically revealed everything of interest.
Reply
Flag
There is not many good show on Fox to watch.Fringe is a good show,if drop,I may just drop Fox.
Reply
Flag
Geez!! 4 seasons and 72 episodes and now you are saying that it is ALL for NOTHING!

You know the channels must give us an insurance that they are gonna finish a series in a right way instead of wasting hours and in the end give me a middle FINGER!
Reply
Flag
Season 3 brilliantly showed the differences between the twin universes and how they affected each other: Olivia's spy-double here and her predicament "over there"; Walternate and the DoD; Peter and his destiny with the machine, etc. To have it all culminate with a jaw-dropping finale that had fans buzzing, and follow it up with a tepid 4th season that literally erases the most important character for most of it, had to be a factor in the low ratings aside from the shift to Fridays. I also think the Sam Weiss arc was anticlimactic for such a cryptic character. A few more implications of the universes merging in last season's finale wouldn't hurt either, but I agree with other posters that an end date would force the writers ramp things up significantly for a stellar finish in the second half of this (final?) season.
1
Reply
Flag
Bottle up those tears everyone, maybe we can sell them off to get Fringe some more money to stay on air!
Reply
Flag
Taking a show off the air that doesn't make any money may make sense. But if you take a show off the air, don't you have to replace it with something? Sounds to me like Fox has a good show in Fringe. Very high quality, good writing, established characters, and awards to prove it. Sure, they can remove it, but are they going to find a quality show to match it? Economic performance is important of course, but maybe Fox should think less about getting rid of it's products, and more about what they can do to help those products grow.
Reply
Flag
well I still hate Fox for cancelling Firefly
Reply
Flag
Amen!
Reply
Flag
ME TOO!!!! travesty!!
Reply
Flag
What I really dont understand about all this is WHY? I mean, Fringe is NO DOUBT one of the best shows on tv, and has been since the start, then why does it have such low ratings? I really dont understand. And God V??? OMFG.... That was the worst thing I ever had the misfortune to lay my eyes upon.
Reply
Flag
I think shows like Fringe has an audience that is young and hrm..creative in ways of watching shows. Why tune in on friday when you can download or stream it on saturday after a fun night out? Why choose between Supernatural and Fringe when you can see them both whenever.
Reply
Flag
They need to come up with a new process of making money of tv shows and movies, the current system is ever failing and great shows get cut most of the time before they have chance to really blossom, *cough* V * cough*. Don't get me started. I hope Fringe finds a way to stay!
Reply
Flag
to cancel fringe is just pure evil
Reply
Flag
Bravo fox, you just gave one of the last great tv shows its death sentence. What does it say about society the fact that crap like jersey shore and keeping up with the kardashians can thrive, but decent shows get canned? Go out with a bang fringe, RIP.
Reply
Flag
Where is Karl Pilkngton because I need Bullshit Man there is no way this show looses money, the worldwide sales alone not only on dvd but overseas networks. These execs are the biggest dummy's on the face of the earth!!!!!!!
Reply
Flag
TPTB at Fox deliberately moved Fringe to Fri night so it would pull crappy ratings to give them a reason to cancel it. I will miss this show.
Reply
Flag
The Fox execs follow the rules of mental warfare by the book.

Make you root for something, sabotage it, tell you in your fears everything is ALLRIGHT so they take it away and leave you disoriented, emotionally numb and in deepest despair.

They dont do it with any show, but it seems their target audince is well defined.

Did I went overboard Or am I close ?
Reply
Flag
it is all about profit maximization so I find it pretty naive that money spared from terra nova or House could be used on Fringe.. they already lost a lot on terra and house can easily be replaced with another, fresh low budget high profit show, like.. a reality show.. also as tim suggests, it has nothing to do with programming or other things: obviously the show's ratings were not that high even by the end of second season.. so though I loathe Fox, the problem is with the audience and the show, not the channel.. a serialized show hardly gets new viewers after its second season, unless it is some sort of a phenomena -like Lost- and science fiction is one of the hardest genres to attract average viewer, let alone, attract them in the 4th season.. nbc's Grimm made its way against fringe and supernatural on friday nights, and supernatural is surviving its zillionth season with decent ratings.. so if people watch those over fringe, maybe there is something about the show that does not match with everyone's taste, just like community.. these two are really not for the big channels, they should be sold to smaller, more focused channels with enough spacing and flexibility in their programs, investment and concentration on limited number of shows and a solid viewer profile that will pay the attention these shows deserve.. Fox is so not that channel..
More+
Reply
Flag
Am I the only diehard Fringe fan who finds this news comforting? As long as the showrunners are given notice and they can write the series finale that they intended, I think this is a good decision. Fringe can go out strong instead of becoming the next sci-fi series that goes on for too many seasons and loses steam. Doesn't it already feel like they're doing a final season with all the throwbacks to past episodes anyway?
Reply
Flag
Penguin, I agree there has been a very different "feel" to this seasons episodes ... but the thought of getting Peter back to our reality has me chomping at the bit for new episodes.

If Fringe HAS to end, I prefer it be done with the writers/producers best efforts at closure, or a set up for an afterlife.

I despise reality TV, so without Fringe :( might as well toss out the cable box!

FOX has always had a Love-Hate-Hate relationship with me ... lots of foreplay then a less than stellar climax.
Reply
Flag
This is all wrong! From now on I forbid all of you with FOX to go out on fridays, tune in ffs! Don't download, watch in on FOX FOX FOX! Keep it alive!

I feel sick..I love TV-shows but I really really hate TV! Today people watch what they wanna watch whenever the feel like it, legal or illegal. TV is so out of date and they will loose in the end. I mean, even my 7 year old sister knows how to see her shows when she feel like it, not when TV tells her.
Reply
Flag
Couldn't you have posted this earlier?I just spent my day trying to catch up with this show :P

i've seen have a season today!!!
Reply
Flag
No!!!! fringe is an awesome show and i would hate to see it canceled I only hope that if that is the decition the give it a good ending, but i want it to survive!!!!!!!!
Reply
Flag
But Fringe is the best thing on Television...
Reply
Flag
I guess the Mayans were about 11 months off.
Reply
Flag
That's so funny, I was gonna make a Mayan related joke as well....it's a simple formula really:



TV - Fringe - Community + Work It x The bachelor= Apocalypse 2012.
Reply
Flag
This show has a hard fanbase, but I found it unwatchable...

So no tears here, for once I agree with fox execs!

Reply
Flag
FOX is dumb as shit seriously. Fringe is like the best show on television and they are not advertising it to the best of its ability.
Reply
Flag
And Terra Nova walks? There's no way Fringe is losing more money than Terra Nova. That show sucks terribad. The CG is the worst. I cringe every time I see a dinosaur. The characters are shallow and one-dimensional save maybe Skye. Why on earth would you let something like Terra Nova on the air versus Fringe? This is ridiculous. I didn't expect a full fifth season, but enough to wrap it up.
Reply
Flag
It's funny, the way I see it, it's FOX who doesn't know how to make money on the best show on earth. I thought they had marketing and commercial teams, with brains and all. I guess I was wrong.
Reply
Flag
NOOOOO, THEY CAN NOT CANCEL FRINGE!!! THEY JUST NEED TO MAKE IT MORE LIKE THE FIRST AND SECOND SEASONS! THIS IS LIKE ONE OF THE BEST SHOWS ON TV RIGHT NOW! I LOOK FOWARD TO FRINGE EVERY FRIDAY NIGHT!!! PLEASE DO NOT CANCEL FRINGE!!!
Reply
Flag
First Community and now Fringe. What the hell. WTF are Americans watching?
Reply
Flag
I concur. Though, I can not speak for my country. I have good taste in television.
Reply
Flag
The bane of my existence. Reality TV.
Reply
Flag
FOX, I don't care how excited I am for Touch. If you cancel Fringe. IM GONNA STOP WATCHING ANY SHOW ON YOUR NETWORK.



Cancel Terra Nova if you want to save money...



You bunch of chimps in suits.
Reply
Flag
One final complaint. This is just a self-fulfilling prophecy from Fox. They move Fringe to the death (time) slot, and then say "look, the show is losing too much money!"



They should have moved it to Monday night (for ex.) and given it a fair last chance, instead of sabotaging it. I haven't been this upset with tv since the series finale of Lost.
Reply
Flag
Tim's being too kind to Fox. They could have done so much more to help Fringe. I don't think it ever really had a good time slot. Thursday's are packed with quality competition and Friday is where shows go to die. (Here's the proof - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Friday_night_death_slot#Fox_and_Fridays)

I honestly believe Fox organizes their schedule around their horrible (but incessantly popular) reality shows. Others have said it and they're right. American Idol and SYTYCD take precedence over actual television (I consider reality programs to be abominations).

And how Reilly could say, "We're not in the business of losing money..." while keeping a straight face is beyond me. I seem to recall a certain show where its epic failure was only matched by its gargantuan budget. What did you call it? - The "dumb-ass dinosaur disaster" (I like that). One season of Terra Nova probably cost the same amount as four seasons of Fringe.

I remember like it was yesterday the tidal wave of emotions I felt after the finale of Lost - anger, frustration, disappointment, malice, more anger - Yep. That about sums up how I'm feeling right now.
Reply
Flag
Networks ALWAYS do this though. They move it to time slots they know won't garner a lot of viewership then blame the show itself for the poor ratings. Any one who has ever watched Fringe knows it's a good show but Fox likes to sabotage any show they feel like.
Reply
Flag
"Fox Boss Says Fringe is a Money Pit". No, Fox boss says, "We lose a lot of money on the show." A money pit is a derogatory comment, something that had many unforseen expenses and should never have been started. He said nothing derogatory about the show, only a statement of fact. Not very good headline writing.



On a separate note, I'd love to see Fox move House to another night and pair Terra Nova with Fringe on Mondays. I think the two shows could feed off of one another's audiences.
Reply
Flag
@CyberWolfToo AFAIK the tv network finances most of the production cost but revenues from DVD sales go directly to the studio, so no gain for FOX in DVD sales. At least that was the case with SGU (I miss that show a lot, SGU was just great, especially towards the end!)



@topic I have to say that Fringe has sort of disappointed me this season. It's just not building up the suspense the previous sessions did. I mean: What was at stake? The fate of the entire universe, two universes even and now? Not even the fate of ONE man, just the memory of one man. So right now I wouldn't miss Fringe too much but I still hope they let the producers wrap things up properly at the very least.
Reply
Flag
Ok, so let me get this straight... take a decent show, give it an inconsistent schedule (with breaks where there shouldn't be breaks, reruns every other week, etc), then move it to Fridays and continue the same breaks and reruns... and wonder why it's losing viewers?

Maybe if you ever actually ran a complete season.. you know, a new episode each week until the season is over -- maybe even play last week's immediately before the new episode so people can catch up if they miss one -- then people will watch it.



Instead, you tick off the loyal viewers, make countless number of 'on the fence' viewers jump ship, and make it impossible for new viewers to start watching.



And you wonder why it's not pulling in massive viewers and profits? It's not rocket science. Imagine if every time you went to the movies, you saw 15-20 minutes of the feature, then it skipped over to the movie playing on the screen beside you, then back to the first 15 minutes of this movie, then continued on eventually, etc.. how are you expected to watch it? Sheesh.
Reply
Flag
Right on Adam! it is not the time slot or night , does Fox not know Supernatural and Grimm suffer because of Fringe on Fridays. CBS audience is a different age group anyhow. Nothing against Selleck, he is still good. Hawaii 5-0 is done by Fringe creators and it is perfect on Mondays at nine. House is not returning so move That to Fridays after Ramsay. [Which I also like even though ''reality'' TV].
Reply
Flag
Don't they get their money back with DVD and Blu-Ray sales? If I see how much of those boxes went over the counter over here (Belgium), you should think there would be even a bigger sale in the USA! Or... is that money going to other people?



The least they could do, is maybe extend it to a fifth season with 10 to 13 episodes to give it a proper farewell. Please!!! Don't do a SGU style of ending where we viewers keep wondering about the fate of those marvelous characters!
Reply
Flag
That money goes to other people. The network pays the studio a fee to air the show first. The studio often loses money on that deal... but payments from the network cover enough of the expenses to keep production going. Then, the studio gets all the money from DVD sets and secondary reruns (syndication) and merchandising (if any).

There's a reason that DVD sets started out with shows that were long over, and now in some cases are available when only half a season has aired.
Reply
Flag
you made me log in.....gettting to the point.....hey you a**hole....Reilly......r u f**king crazy?

You kill the show just because it doesn't bring you some $$$......i know it's been filmed in vancouver sometimes because it costs little less than shooting in US....

Don't you even think that there are royal viewers for Fringe all over the world???? I have been watching for 4 years....and waiting every week to watch Fringe.....and you don't even give a chance to wrap the show up???? WTF.....Screw you Reilly!!!!
Reply
Flag
Load More Comments

Like TV.com on Facebook

  • 8:00 pm
    Survivor: Kaoh Rong - Brains vs. Brawn vs. Beauty Now's the Time to Start Scheming
    NEW
    CBS
  •  
    Heartbeat Permanent Glitter
    NEW
    NBC
  •  
    Arrow Genesis
    NEW
    CW
  •  
    The Middle Not Mother's Day
    NEW
    ABC
  •  
    Rosewood Sudden Death & Shades Deep
    NEW
    FOX
  • 8:30 pm
    The Goldbergs Smother's Day
    NEW
    ABC
  • 9:00 pm
    Criminal Minds The Storm
    NEW
    CBS
  •  
    Law & Order: Special Victims Unit Fashionable Crimes
    NEW
    NBC
  •  
    Supernatural Don't Call Me Shurley
    NEW
    CW
  •  
    Modern Family Promposal
    NEW
    ABC
  •  
    Empire The Lyon Who Cried Wolf
    NEW
    FOX
  • 9:30 pm
    Blackish Super Rich Kicks
    NEW
    ABC
  • 10:00 pm
    Criminal Minds: Beyond Borders The Matchmaker
    NEW
    CBS
  •  
    Chicago P.D. In a Duffel Bag
    NEW
    NBC
  •  
    Nashville The Trouble With the Truth
    NEW
    ABC