Tiffany Vogt

Posts Tagged ‘J.H. Wyman’

Saying Goodbye to FRINGE: One Last Fight For The Future

In * By Tiffany Vogt, * Events, * Interviews, * Showcases, * TV Addict, * Video interviews, Fringe on January 18, 2013 at 12:00 pm

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The time has come to say goodbye and FRINGE fans across the globe are preparing for a teary-eyed finale. It won’t matter if it is a happy ending or a sad ending for our heroes, it will be just hard to say farewell to characters that become like family. Will Friday nights ever be the same again without Walter, Peter, Olivia, Astrid and Broyles? Will it be enough to know that somewhere out there a “fringe” division exists and they are working diligently to save the universe or multiple universes from mad scientists, wormholes, dark matter, converging timelines and much, much more?

When it came time for the cast and producers of FRINGE to say goodbye to the fans at last summer’s San Diego Comic-Con, there was not a dry eye in the room. Even the normally impervious press were not untouched by the extreme emotion displayed that day.

So recently when the FRINGE Benefit event was held at the Paley Center in Beverly Hills, it was similarly emotional. Attending to say one final goodbye were executive producer J.H. (Joel) Wyman and star Lance Reddick. They even took a few minutes to share a few last minute memories and final words for the fans:

J.H. Wyman:

Lance Reddick:

All along FRINGE has promised that it will deliver answers and which will not leave its fans hanging wondering what might have been; yet it is impossible to not suspect that, even after the end, whether we will wonder for years to come the final fates of our FRINGE heroes. Could they be living wondrous lives out there, somewhere? We certainly hope so. It is too painful to imagine that they would not be having more adventures – in our dreams at least.

The only thing for certain is that the 2-hour epic series finale of FRINGE, which airs Friday, January 18th at 8:00 p.m. on Fox, should not be missed. It is time to conquer the Observers and return the world to those who truly deserve it. It is one last fight for the future and we are certain that Walter, Olivia, Peter, Astrid and Broyles have one last trick up their sleeves – and with a twirl of one last red vine, Walter shall vanquish the Observes once and for all. That’s the FRINGE we know and love. So raise a glass and celebrate with them. The time has come to say goodbye. So long and farewell, long live FRINGE!

Related:

“Fun candid photos and video interviews with the cast of FRINGE at San Diego Comic-Con (2012)”

Where to find this article:

http://www.thetvaddict.com/2013/01/18/a-farewell-to-fringe/

The Beginning of the End! FRINGE EP’s Jeff Pinkner and J.H. Wyman Tease the Upcoming Two-Part Fourth Season Finale and Beyond

In * By Tiffany Vogt, * Interviews, * TV Addict, Fringe on May 4, 2012 at 9:32 pm

 

After last week’s announcement that FRINGE had been picked up for a fifth season, fans across the internet and around the globe celebrated.  It was just the news everyone had been hoping for as the show neared its final two episodes of the season. Executive producers Jeff Pinkner and J.H. Wyman talked with press in a recent conference call talked about what the two-part finale will hold and what may lie ahead in the fifth season.

 

 JEFF: As always, we are so entirely indebted to each and every one of you.  We have publicly and now privately on the phone want to make it clear that we know the pickup of this show in season five is largely due to all of you and your support, so thank you very much.

Leonard Nimoy as William Bell on “Fringe”

Between who we saw there in the amber in episode 19, what Joshua has said about episode 19 in forming season five, and what’s in the promos right now with Walter saying, “He’s alive!” are you going to have to bring back Leonard Nimoy as William Bell?

JEFF: We basically erected a sign outside of Leonard’s house which said, “Please come back to Fringe,” and we are hoping that by season five he says yes.

 

So you’re not writing yourselves into a little bit of a corner here if you need the character?
JOEL:  No, because I think that once you realize the extent of everything, that will probably all become clear, why we’re not.  I know it’s hard to say.  We don’t want to spoil too much.
The alternate ending in case you didn’t get the season five pickup, is that something people might get to see on the DVD release for season four?
JOEL:  No, we did not shoot an alternate ending.  We did not.  We thought about it, but we did not.

 

Are we done with the alt-verse?  Are we going to see the alt-verse again?  In particular, what is Seth Gable’s position on the show if we don’t see the alt-verse again?
JEFF:  As always, we are really, really devoted to everybody and the people asking those questions, but we sort of have a no spoilers policy because we’re just of the mind that the entertainment value of watching the stories unfold is diminished if you already know what’s coming.  We love all those characters from the Redverse.  The door is closed because of the problems that David Robert Jones is causing, so if our team can somehow dispense with Jones, there’s absolutely a possibility of that door being opened again.  We can’t definitively say anything.
JOEL:  Like we’ve always said, nobody’s ever really dead on Fringe.

 

What about the year 2036?  Do you think we’ll be seeing any more of that either this season or in season five?
JOEL:  Yes, I think it’s safe to say you will.

 

The character of Sam Weiss, is there any plan to bring him back towards the end of the series?
JOEL:  There are no plans right now.  We loved him as a character and he did such a great job for us.  We know a lot of people are huge fans of his.  I think that in this moment he served his purpose.

 

Have you given any thought as to how these final 13 will play out?
JOEL:  Going down the road, the way that traditionally, as we finish the chapter, close it, and then start a new one, we definitely know.  When we’re thinking about the end of the season we’re always thinking about the beginning of the next one and where that’s going to take us and what kind of doors it can open.  That’s basically how it’s been since the get-go, and it’s no different this year.  We definitely know where the series is going to end and how it’s going to end and what we’re saying with the final season.

Jared Harris as Robert David Jones on “Fringe”

George Morales’ words to Olivia in the dreamscape when he said, “Massive dynamic is hell and its founder, William Bell, is the devil.”  Is it possible that David Robert Jones is not the penultimate bad guy here, that there’s someone higher on the baddie food chain, possibly like William Bell or someone else?

JOEL:  That’s interesting.  No bad guy really thinks that they’re a bad guy.  Jones is a pretty good bad guy.  Are you saying you want more?
JEFF:  What’s been fun for us is there have been two David Robert Jones’s on our show Jared Harris and both largely the same person almost in every way, existing in two different timelines—but even he has a doppelganger because it’s so incredibly fun to watch the … and see Jared Harris portray this character that for all intents and purposes could be a doppelganger in a much different alternate universe to David Robert Jones.  Jared is just spectacular.  In the world of is there another bad guy who is pulling his strings or above him, I think we’d be wrong to say anything other than just David Robert Jones … he’s pretty compelling and he’s pretty—nefarious is probably too loaded of a word.  He’s definitely a suitable opponent for our team.  It’s taken all of them to deal with him.
JOEL:  The ground will shift a little bit and you’ll understand him a little bit deeper.

 

How instrumental would you say is it for the fan social media—getting on social media and talking about the show—to getting your fifth season?
JOEL:  Massive.  It was massive.  This is actually a really cool time, I think, in television history, or it will be considered a cool time, where social networks are informing the big networks, like people are talking, people are doing things, people are moving.  They go into action for their show, which is great.  Before, it used to be like, “Well, we’re going to send a whole bunch of letters,” which is okay, but it’s not this.  What this is, what’s going on now, is really empowering for the fans because they feel that they have a platform and a forum to really express to people who may or may not be listening, but the chances are that they are, to express their deep gratitude and love of the show, their support.   Our fans are so incredible that they were calling the sponsors saying, “Hey, I don’t watch it live because I have a job, but you know what?  Here’s the thing—I love the show and watch it on DVR.  I’m going to buy your product.  You must have good taste because you guys are supporting Fringe.” It was huge for us.  I mean, it was a whole movement.  Honestly, there’s not a moment where I don’t think how lucky we are to have such incredible fans.
JEFF:  I think it is absolutely fair to say that without the support of the fans and social media there would be no season five.
JOEL:  Right.

Seth Gabel as Lincoln Lee on “Fringe”

Do you see this as a blessing to get this many episodes to tell the story so you can pace it out?

JOEL:  Yes.  Like I said, we know the end.  It’s a perfect amount of time to be done right and to be doled out in the right pace.  We feel really confident that we can have a satisfying ending for us but also, of course, for our fans and supporters within the timeframe of 13 episodes.  I think that’s really what we were hoping for.  Fox is so great to deliver and continues to demonstrate their incredible support.  So yes, we are very content.

 

What can you tell us at this point about next season as far as how it relates to “Letters of Transit”?
JEFF:  Right.  We can tell you nothing.
JOEL:  It’s hard because part of our storytelling has always been revealed and recontextualizing what you think you know and what you’ve seen and putting it into a different mindframe for the viewer.  Let’s just say that that future is important to our storytelling, but it’s not the be all and end all; there is a reason. Like, somebody asked us a really cool question the other day—how did we decide to do flashbacks or flash-forwards or whatever?  For us, we can honestly say there’s always a reason.  There’s always a reason to do it.  We’re going to go into the past because we have to put you in that headspace so you can understand this … and figure out where the character is coming from or has been in order for you to get the full experience of what you’re watching today in the present.   That’s how we feel about the “Letters of Transit.”  It was for a reason.  Nineteen is traditionally the one that we go off the beaten path, and that was no different.  It was definitely off the beaten path.  Does it have further implications?  It does.  You’re going to definitely need to understand what “Letters of Transit” is or was in order to fully grasp all … things we like to tell this year.

 

So someone who was making that trailer for season five knew before you guys did that the show was getting renewed?
JOEL:  No, I think the way it worked, I mean, look, people plan for success and failure.  That’s just the prudent thing to do.  I think that everybody was feeling really good about it.  Like I said, and I’ve said it a million times, these guys in the building at Fox and at Warner Brothers are so supportive of the program and every step of the way they have done exactly what they are going to say.  I know that’s probably an anomaly because business changes.  Sometimes shows get bad ratings and then they stay on, and sometimes they get okay ratings and then they’re cancelled.  Then two years later a show that has worse ratings than that show stays on the air.  It’s a very strange, non-specific—I don’t even know the rules.  Do you, Jeff?  I don’t know.
JEFF:  No, but to answer your question specifically, you buy an engagement ring hoping she says yes, you know?  So the trailer was made in hopes, as Joel said.  The internal support at Fox is astronomical.  As they said to us, the support outweighs any expectation.  Like, a show that, quite frankly, performs like we do, usually people at the network are all running away from it, whereas with us, everyone recognizes, I think, to toot our own horn for one second, the merit and the value on what we’re doing.  They really love the storytelling and have been insanely supportive from the top down from the beginning.   I think that they made this trailer in hopes of a pickup, but of course the people charged with doing that kind of work are nowhere near, ultimately, the decision makers.  The decision makers made the decision and informed us.  Part of that time going by was getting the trailer ready to go online, etc.

 

Since you do have the 13 episodes to finish out how you’d like to, you’ve talked before and you’ve produced comic books.  Have you thought or have there been talk about creating alternate media ways to keep the mythology going, whether it’s comic books or in some other ways that you have thought about keeping the world alive after the show finishes?
JOEL:  That’s cool.
JEFF:  We thought about a traveling Fringe baseball game, that we’ll travel around the country and there’ll be a red team and a blue team and it’ll be populated by identical twins, but it’s a little tough to get off the ground.
JOEL:  Personally, I was responsible, and maybe not in the best way, because I was at WonderCon or ComicCon.  I said if there was no pickup we’re definitely going to try to finish off the stories by hook or by crook.  It’d have to be comic books that will actually try to give some closure to the fans.   We meant it at the time.  I think now that we have the 13, that’s not a far out idea.  I love comics, and Jeff does, too.  I think if there was a significant story where we were like, “You know what?  I think people really want to know more about this aspect of the show that really wasn’t maybe covered 100% and they’re really interested,” then yes, that would be something that we would consider, I’m sure.
JEFF:  I’m sure you’re aware, Tara, there’s a Fringe comic book that will continue.  Josh … wrote an awesome arc in the book this season and if we’re fortunate enough, if DC will continue to partner with us, that will continue to come out.  There are still stories to tell that are outside the universe of the TV show, but I don’t know that we have plans to—baseball joke aside, I don’t know, please nobody take that seriously, unless you can make it happen, in which case definitely take it seriously—aside from things that are already in the works, some of which are still kind of secret, some which you may know about.  I think largely, as Joel said, the TV show will tell the story.
JOEL:  The idea of a couple of very specific gold cover special editions may find their way.

“Fringe”

Because you’d put so many storylines in play to get to the end game just in case this season was the end game?  Was 13 just enough to get where you want to go?

JOEL:  Yes.  We’re always hoping for the best, and you have to plan for the worst.  A lot of the greatest things that people have loved about the program have come from ideas that we had had that sort of snowballed and became something else and forced us to look at something else in a different way and realize, “Hey, that’s a really cool story stream.  We should really give that a ….”  That said, and knowing that happens, when you’re telling 13, I’m sure there will be, and there are, things that we’ve discovered where, “That could be really cool.”  If we had 22, we could really take advantage of that, but the truth is that we could only operate on what we have.  We were hoping at the minimum we would get 13 so we could tell our story and have ways to do that.  If it was a 22 episode, we would have found ways to do that, too.  I think that Fringe has come such a long way.  We were just m ore concerned that we would have the ability to not have a couple of episodes to wrap something up but really an arc, like a real final season event.

 

Because you guys didn’t know you were going to get another season, obviously, until practically before we did, then you knew how you wanted the series to end.  How did you approach this final season then, knowing that you might not get to tell that entire story?
JOEL:  This is the analogy that I think that suits us the best.  Imagine you’re on an airplane and you start to read a great novel and something that you’re really enjoying.  You get through it, you get through it, and then there’s a whole other layover and you get to read four more chapters.  You sort of get to the end of a chapter where there’s going to be a new beginning and you realize okay, now it’s time to get off the plane and you need to go about your business. You’re stuck with that lost chapter and you feel like okay, that was very satisfying, although I can understand that there’s another book.  If I can get my hands on that other book in the next 15 minutes, I swear I would read it.  But I’ve just finished this version and while it’s complete, I still have a longing to understand the characters in a deeper fashion and to imagine where they’re going to go after this logical conclusion after I just read. So that’s kind of how we look at the end of every season.  That’s why we sort of felt like the inadvertent design of Fringe and how it became that ended up being a blessing.  You’re sort of protected because you’re closing one chapter and then beginning another.   You’ll see in the finale it’s like okay, I can understand how the show can end, but I’m interested in going further.  That’s sort of how we approach it.  It’s like look, we close every single season with a chapter.  When Peter disappeared, that could have been an ending.  I mean, it would have been, “Whoa, wait—what is that?  What happened?” but it would have been an ending of sorts.  Like okay, Peter had to sacrifice himself in order to save his family.  Okay, I’m not happy about that but I understand it.  Then you can imagine one day that they would meet again or something like that. So we just finished the conclusion.  We finished the season conclusion in a manner that we feel is authentic and real for that season and then we use that as a push-off point to go and tell another aspect of the story that we hope the people will be interested in.

FRINGE’s 2-part finale airs Friday, May 4th and May 11th at 9:00 p.m. on Fox.

Related:

“Why FRINGE’s ‘Letters of Transit’ Should Make The Series an Emmy Contender”

“Looking Through the Alt-Verse Lens: Who Died and Broke Our Hearts?”

“Counting Down FRINGE’s Final 8 episodes of the 4th Season (with video interviews with the cast from WonderCon)”

“Fun photos from WonderCon 2012: FRINGE”

Executive Producers Jeff Pinkner and J.H. Wyman Tease What’s Next and Where the Show Is Going on FRINGE”

“An Evening Celebrating the Mysteries of FRINGE with Anna Torv and John Noble

“Inside FRINGE’s Puzzle Box: Has FRINGE Lost Its Heart and Its Hero?”

 “A Twist of Fate: An Unexpected Love Story Blooms Amidst FRINGE’s Tragedy”

 “FRINGE: A Tale of Three Broken Lives”

 “FRINGE: Peter’s Journey From Hero to Villain”

 “Torn Between Two Realities: Is it wrong to love the alt-verse on FRINGE more than our universe?”

 “Anna Torv is having a ball playing Olivia and Alternate-Olivia on FRINGE”

 “FRINGE Executive Producers Jeff Pinkner and J. H. Wyman Share What to Expect in the Third Season”

Where to find this article:

http://www.thetvaddict.com/2012/05/04/the-beginning-of-the-end-fringe-eps-jeff-pinkner-and-j-h-wyman-tease-the-upcoming-two-part-fourth-season-finale-and-beyond/

Executive Producers Jeff Pinkner and J.H. Wyman Tease What’s Next and Where the Show Is Going on FRINGE

In * By Tiffany Vogt, * Interviews, * TV Addict, Fringe on February 24, 2012 at 4:00 pm

With so many twists-and-turns, alternate verses and timelines, wormholes, doppelgangers and more mind-binding mysteries that one could possibly conceive – let alone keep straight! – FRINGE has challenged fans to follow it into the “rabbit hole” and take an extraordinary journey.  To help clarify a little bit about the show and where it is going, in a recent conference call with press, executive producers Jeff Pinkner and J.H. Wyman shared their thoughts on the increasingly labyrinthine storyline and teased fun things to keep an eye out for as the FRINGE story continues this season.

What about tonight’s episode “The End of All Things” were you most excited about?

JEFF: Well, I don’t think we would play favorites in the stories we’re telling.  It’s sort of like the episode was designed to tell a few things that all interacted, and the story between Olivia and Nina and any time Jared Harris as David Robert Jones is on the screen is just fantastic.  And allowing Michael Cerveris as our Observer to, sort of, like peel back some layers and reveal some truths about what his agenda has been and to really use that as an opportunity to revisit the things we’ve done before in the show.  All of it was really fun and exciting for us.

Has the Observer intel been something you’ve been wanting to let loose with for a while now?

J.H.: Well that’s an interesting point because we always said that you’ll find out about the Observer this season and that we’re going to investigate them a lot more.  So we’re excited about it all because that’s a highlight–the Observers are a highlight.  It’s just–for us to kind of constantly break what you think you know, and sort of reset, and have to go, “Wow, I didn’t see that coming.”  That’s kind of why we get up in the morning.  It’s to, sort of, like take people on for the ride.  So we’re excited about what’s coming up too for people.

How soon is it going to become evident exactly what David Robert Jones uber-plan is specifically and how Olivia fits into it? Is she a distinct key that he needs?

J.H.: Spoiler alert!  We’re restricted a little bit, right?  Obviously, we can’t tell anything.  But I think that David Robert Jones, just remember that on FRINGE we try to make like nothing is as it seems.  That there’s always a little more to the story behind the story.  He’s definitely a large part going forward.  I think a lot of things will come full circle.  But you’ll be like, oh, wow.  And again, I hate to use the word but recontextualize a lot of things that you’ve already seen.

How big a part is Nina going to play?  What kind of role is she going to play going forward because she’s been through a trauma that’s as bad now as anything Olivia’s been through?

JEFF: Tune in tonight. I think you’re going to enjoy it a lot.

J.H.: You know, it’s funny cause people have always been, since season one, they have always been saying, “Nina is such a great character.  We’ve got to give her something that’s kind of cool and show her” because you know she’s an incredible actress.  Dare I say, so much more capable of the things that we’re capable of giving her to do on the show just by the constraints of characters amount of screen time. So we’re always looking for something very special for her and we just wanted it to be right.  We didn’t want to just sort of give her an episode that was kind of, oh, this is the Nina-centric episode.  We wanted to make sure that you actually could watch a tour de force and allow her to do the things she does so well and have it be worthy of her ability.  So we feel like I think that’s where we are right now.  You’re going to see some stuff that you’ll be pretty blown away, I think.

JEFF: And we’ll reveal something to you, that is we have a lot of fun with the names of our alternate versions of our characters, Walternate for example, and Blair who named her alternate version, Meana.

There’s some online talk about Charlie Francis returning.  Can you guys touch on that?

JEFF: I think that we have been in talks with Kirk about coming back.  As we’ve said before there is nobody ever really dies on FRINGE or so it would seem.  But there’s no, hey tune in on x and such week to see him.  There’s nothing definitive yet.

With Peter accepting Walter’s hypothesis about how he is somehow transforming this Olivia into his Olivia, he seems to have discarded the thought that she has independent memories that he could not have created like the Semtex thing a couple of weeks ago.  So using that plot point as the reference, what do you see fan’s debating?  How do they react to,’ oh, that’s an error in continuity’?  Do they talk about it?  Do they really turn it over and does any of that ever influence the way you think about your own writing?

JEFF: Well, to take that part of the question first.  As you of course know, by the time we see feedback on any individual episode we have written and filmed several episodes ahead, TV show. We don’t have the ability to change our story telling on a dime.  It’s very much like trying to steer a cruise ship.  The reaction time is delayed.   Having said that, we’re well aware of how intelligent our audience is.  We’re well aware that, sort of, FRINGE is a show that you really need to lean forward to, into and pay attention to and think about.  It’s not designed to be a show that you can watch while you’re folding laundry.  So we’re well aware of the questions that our audience is inevitably going to ask.  We’re well aware of how carefully they watch the show and hold us to continuity.  We’re certainly aware of the debates that are going to occur.   Our audience holds us to an incredibly high standard of continuity and authenticity and emotional authenticity.  We don’t toy with that but being aware of that we oftentimes will write stories in order to spark debate.  But we’re very determined to always give the answer.  We don’t want to leave a lot of things open to debate at the end of the day.

There are at least four universes going on at any one time.  Do you film them separate?  I mean, is it confusing?  How does that work for you guys and the actors trying to keep everything straight?

J.H.: I think that that’s actually funny.  The characters and actors are so, sort of, in tuned with what they’re doing that the minute that they get an opportunity to play in one universe or the other or one time or the other, they jump at it.  So this is a huge deal for them.   We don’t really have to talk to them much.  They’re so great.  They know exactly where they are.  What their characters are doing.  Where they’re coming from.  What version of the characters they’re playing which is a credit to the talent and their ability.   But for us, Jeff and I, no, we don’t get confused.  We don’t shoot them separately.  We shoot them as they come up and as we write them.  They’re sort of like, “Hey, okay.  We’re in this universe or this week.”  It seems to be very clear to us.  But I’m sure it’s not clear to everybody else.

JEFF: What’s actually amazing though is after a couple of years of living with these characters and writing these characters and talking about these characters, we and the writers as we sit in the writers room and break episodes or whatever, it strikes you every once in awhile that you’re talking about a character that’s played by the same actor who you’ve been talking about forever. But we talked about like the character dying or something, you get emotional and then you realize, oh but wait, the actor is still on the show.

This season we’ve had some really great singular cases and kind of just stand alone episodes.  But this next episode is mythology heavy and really speaks to the larger arc this season.  What can you say about how it’s going to affect what we see in the next couple of months in the final stretch here?

JEFF: Well it’s definitely, as they say, a game changer in that our characters learn a lot more and the audience is going to learn a lot more about sort of the uber-plot of our season, our season bad guy David Robert Jones.  Certainly for Peter this season and Olivia and Walter is going to start to unfold in ways that, hopefully, will be really both satisfying and challenging to our characters.  It’s sort of like, the 14th out of 21 or 22 episodes and it’s very much a hinge episode that’s going to launch us into the back half of the season.

Can you talk about the directing process? In particular, did you want to do that one particular episode or is it just how you came up into the rotation?

J.H.: Well, first of all it was the most incredible experience.  Directing, when you run a television show it’s kind of like it’s something that not many people actually get the time to do because you’re so consumed with everything that’s going on.  You can’t just disappear.   So fortunately, I have an amazing partner that allows us to do these different things who will be directing an episode himself soon I’m sure.  But it’s amazing.  I love directing and I think that it allowed me to get closer to the actors and actually work with them on a level that I haven’t before and really get down there with them.  I would jump at the chance to do it anytime I could.   The episode, itself, was something that was not in the rotation.  I was supposed to direct a couple of episodes last year and just time didn’t permit.  If I can’t go away then I can’t go away and somebody else has to step in.  So that’s sort of what happened last year.  This year, the same thing happened at the beginning of the season I was going to do one.   But work just put an end to that.  So I couldn’t do it.   But then one was coming up that we were thinking about writing and I really felt close to it.  The opportunity came up where somebody had fallen out and I felt that this is the perfect time because everything was completely under control.  It allowed me to go and do it.  But it is.  It’s an episode that’s really close to me.  It’s about love and it’s about all the great things that we talk about on FRINGE.   To us, Jeff and I, it’s kind of like a perfect version of what a FRINGE show is because it has a great terrifying element to it, which is very Fringey.  On the other hand it has this incredible love story aspect and things that people are going to be really, really excited for, we believe, as far as the relationships in the show.  So it was an honor to do it and it was just incredible.  It turned out really well.  We love it.  It was just an incredible experience.

Did you know that this was a break point here because it works out really well that you have a pivotal episode.  It works right up to the break to get people excited to come back a month later.  So were you able to plan it that way?  And second of all, when you refer to the fact that if the season ends and there isn’t a fifth season people will be satisfied.  Is that because you’ve already written the final episode of this season or because you’ve already shot it or what’s the deal with the final episode?

JEFF: Well, in fact we did not know that this was going to be a break.  We thought that the break was going to come after the next episode which also is a wonderful episode to take a break on.  We’re sort of in a zone of episodes right now where each one is pretty amazing.  Each one either turns the story or resolves something important or leaves a cliffhanger.  So the several episodes, each is pretty awesome in itself and also is very important to the overall patchwork of the season.  We are very happy that this ended up being one before we went on a little break.  But I think the fans are going to be very well satisfied to come back and watch the next one as well.  As far as the finale, no, we have not written it.  In fact, we are talking about it sort of specifically as soon as we get off this phone call.  But we do know what it is.  We’ve known the shape of our season before we even started this year.

Do you think that part of the reason the ratings have gone down this season is being opposite SUPERNATURAL and GRIMM?

J.H.: I don’t know.  Honestly, because if you look at the DVR numbers, Friday night is a tricky spot.  I truly believe that there needs to be some new way of measuring who’s watching what and some way.  Because I feel like there’s satellites that can see a Levi’s tab on the back of your jeans but they can’t tell you who’s watching which television show.  I’m a little suspicious.   But, look, the truth is that people–it’s changed.  Times have changed.  People, it’s busy.  People have hard lives.  They’re making it work.  They’re coming home from work.  They’re telling us when they want to watch the show because the DVRs, they go up like crazy.  I mean, 80% is nuts.   So they’re watching.  They’re just not watching on Friday.  You know, those other shows that you mentioned are great.  I don’t know that their ratings have gone up so much that it would be like they’re taking viewers or anything.  I just think that, in general, people are–there’s only the people who have the Nielsen boxes and if they’re not watching live or they’re not watching it, you’re done.   It has nothing to do with what the mass is because when the big numbers come out on DVRs you understand there are a lot of people watching the program, just not on Friday nights.  So they’re dictating to us, well, another time.  I don’t want to watch it right now.  I want to watch it tomorrow morning or I want to watch it on Saturday night with my girlfriend or I don’t know.

JEFF: There are TV producers, we can tell you how they experience it.  They spend a lot of time analyzing numbers and analyzing the competition and sort of knocking on the doors of the people that work at the studio and saying, “Change our night.  Change our time.  Don’t you see what you’re doing to us by having us on …?”  We don’t do that.  Our approach has always been, and maybe to our detriment, but our approach has always been that the best thing that we can do for our show is to write the best show possible.  So as Joel said earlier, we sort of leave these questions and these issues that we can’t control to people who can and we just write the best version of FRINGE we know how.  The one that satisfies us.  The one that makes us excited to go into work everyday.  The one that makes us feel something.  We’ve been really, really gratified that the people that watch the show respond to it in the way that they do.  Beyond that, we just sort of leave it to the gods.

How important do you think social networking is to the success and especially with the new Fringe-inuity in Twitter and GetGlue campaigns and everything?

JEFF:  I think we all operate now in a world that is so different than it was even two or three years ago.  The fans have access to the show and access to the creators even if it’s not direct.  I don’t know any television creators that don’t follow the message boards.  Just the feedback is so immediate to see what is working and what isn’t working and what’s working better than you anticipated.   Then there’s such a temptation to just constantly write things that are going to make the fans happy — constantly just want to satisfy the fans and not sort of stay true to whatever the vision was of – oh, sometimes it takes a little bit of unhappiness to make those happy payoffs work better.  That’s something that is fascinating to us and has really changed the way that stories are told I think.

J.H.: Yes.  You get an immediate reaction.  Jeff is right.  I think, Twitter for us is important because we have incredible fans that are always fighting for us and trying to spread the word and so devoted.  For us, that’s why we do it.  So to hear them and to like see the responses instantaneously it’s really amazing because you get to see, like Jeff said, what’s working and what’s not.   But I feel really close to the fans because we have dialogues with them on Twitter.  I think they feel closer to us and I don’t think that was possible several years ago.  Nobody kind of felt connected to the show.  I think our fans are really connected to the show in a deep way not just because they’re fans, but because we interact with them.

What have the conversations been lately with Fox and what are you guys hearing about for next season?

J.H.: Obviously that’s a big question.  We get that every year.  This is the God-honest truth.  We, Jeff and I, just do what we do.  You have no control.  We didn’t have control last year, the year before either, and the year before.  So we can only do what we do and that’s make the show that we love, continue to follow the path, the stories that we want to tell, great compelling stories, week to week that interests our fans and really hope for the best.   I think that any show that doesn’t have huge ratings that’s kind of what you’re always up against.  Meanwhile, conversations are ongoing.  Everything is running the way that things usually run in these types of situations.  I guess, we’ll find out like everybody else.  But we don’t fret about it because, really, it’s out of our control.  We can only step back and do our work and therein lies the past serenity.  So we’re hoping for the best and just doing what we love.

JEFF: One of my favorite stories when I was a kid was The Little Engine That Could.  So I think we’re the little engine that could constantly.  You know, I think I can, I think I can.  We’re always struggling, and struggling, and struggling, and hoping, and hoping, and hoping.  We just keep making the shows that we love and the good news is we can never rest on our laurels of just like knowing we’re going to be on forever.  So we’re constantly challenged to write the very best story we can week in and week out hoping that that will just allow us to keep telling more of them.

J.H.: Yes.  I mean, it’s a strange thing.  It’s a sci-fi show on network television and everybody knows that that in itself is an amazing feat that we’ve been on for so many years.  It’s like, you guys, the press and everything has been so incredibly kind and so incredibly supportive that we feel like it’s a success in any way, shape or form.  It’s an expensive canvas, everybody knows it.  To do what we do every week it costs a lot of money and you have to have a return on it.  That’s show business and you’ve got to do it.  We just hope that the dollars and cents can make sense and we can continue doing it.  But if this was the last season, at least I’ll speak for myself and Jeff can comment on it.  If this is the last season I would feel, obviously, incredibly sad because I know how much of the story that we have left to tell and that we would love to tell.  But in the same breath I kind of feel like I would feel that I could take care of the fans.  That’s the most important to us that we feel like we have an ending that would leave people feeling like, wow, I feel sad but satiated.  I feel like that was definitely worth my four years of investment.  I really love these characters and I can see where it would have gone.  But I feel good.  That’s all we’re concerned about is to make sure that the fans don’t feel like, wait, what?  What happened?  I’ve invested four years of my life and I don’t get any kind of resolution that makes sense.  That’s not what’s going on.  And to be 100% frank, our partners at Fox would never want to consciously allow that to happen.  So everybody knows that Jeff and I are very prepared.  We’re ready for anything.  Hopefully we go on.  But it’s out of our control.

With shows like FRINGE, ALCATRAZ, TERRA NOVA all having a tough time in the ratings.  How do you guys see the state of sci-fi on TV today and how it can survive in the future?

J.H.: Well, like I said in the last answer.  You’re right.  It’s the strangest thing.  Jeff always says, it’s kind of a funny point.  He says that, you know, in the cinema everybody goes to sci-fi.  They’re like the biggest movies and in television nobody wants to touch it with a barge pole.  It’s strange.  I think it’s because maybe there’s a legacy of television shows that sort of felt a certain way or depicted sci-fi in a certain way that turns off a lot of viewers.  And maybe there’s a negative connotation.   What was so great about Lost is that it sort of came to the front door as a drama that was straight up and really gave you these sci-fi underneath it all.  So it backed into sci-fi show, at least in my opinion.  So people were like, as soon as they got hooked, they were like, okay, I’m there.  But the minute you show it’s about this, it’s about strange science, things out of control, it takes an investment.  I think that in the future when people start to realize that sci-fi is probably one of the only genres.  I actually love the genre because it allows you to tell such human stories.   I think once people start to realize the consistency of quality that is coming, and maybe not getting recognized at the moment and then in retrospect we’ll be recognized.  But they’ll start to sort of open up their minds a little more, saying like, “Wow this is great.  I’m going to tune into this.”  It’s not just for the geeks and the people that are into it.  It’s actually really fascinating.  That’s my take on it.

Will fans be satisfied if there isn’t a season five, like will this season have a pretty good finale?

J.H.: Oh, yes.  I mean, fortunately, at the end of every season we sort of close the chapter and start a new.  That’s the sort of the language of the series now.  So it just sort of organically can come to a conclusion that we love.

To see the big reveal with the Observers and what Nina and her alt-verse counterpart are really up to, be sure to tune in for the new episode of FRINGE entitled “The End of All Things” which airs tonight at 9:00 p.m. on Fox, and definitely tune in after the 3-week break for the reveal of the final mysteries.  FRINGE returns Fridays starting March 23rd on Fox.

Where to find this article:

http://www.thetvaddict.com/2012/02/24/fringe-spoilers/

 

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