Sci-Fi Fringe (2008-13)

Fox scares up J.J. Abrams' 'Fringe'
Two-hour pilot budgeted at over $10 million

Posted: Thurs., Oct. 4, 2007, 7:00pm PT

Nearly 15 years after "The X-Files" launched, Fox is looking to scare a new generation of viewers with "Fringe," a spooky skein from the minds of J.J. Abrams, Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci.
Net has made a series commitment to the Warner Bros.-Bad Robot production, which will start off with a two-hour pilot budgeted at more than $10 million. Abrams, Kurtzman and Orci -- the brain trust behind Par's new "Star Trek" feature -- wrote the project on spec and shopped it to nets this week.

Trio will exec produce "Fringe" along with Bryan Burk ("Lost"). A search has begun for a pilot helmer as well as a series showrunner.

Deal also marks Fox's acceptance of a new digital template hammered out by Warners and ABC last month (Daily Variety, Sept. 6). Pact gives Fox broad streaming rights to Warners shows in their first season and lets Warners start monetizing skeins via digital platforms by season two.More than one option(Co) Daily Variety
(Co) Daily Variety

"Fringe" mixes elements of "The X-Files" and Paddy Chayefsky's "Altered States" with what Abrams calls "a slight 'Twilight Zone' vibe." It will focus on brilliant but possibly crazy research scientist Walter Bishop, his estranged son and a female FBI agent who brings them together.

Episodes will explore self-contained mysteries of the paranormal, as well as the relationships between the three leads.

"So much of the story is relatable people in extraordinary situations," Abrams said. "The show is definitely a nod to 'Altered States' and 'Scanners' and that whole Michael Crichton/Robin Cook world of medicine and science."

There'll also be an overriding mythology that will come into play from time to time, as well as a healthy dose of humor.

"It does the stuff my favorite TV shows and movies do, which is to combine genres that shouldn't fit together," Abrams said. "It's definitely meant to scare the hell out of you, but it's also meant to make you laugh... It pushes all the buttons of things we loved from our childhood."

Driving the show will be the Walter Bishop character, a larger-than-life figure who bears some resemblance to the titular character in Fox's "House." In the pilot, he's in a mental hospital.

"Imagine that your father is Frankenstein mixed with Albert Einstein," Orci said. "He's someone who has the mental ability to solve so many problems but is so different that communicating with them is almost impossible."

Fox Entertainment chairman Peter Liguori said he's been circling "Fringe" for months, starting with a meeting he had with Abrams in February. Project hadn't taken shape yet, but Liguori knew he wanted to be in business with the hyphenate.

"I was really impressed by how much he felt his voice was a Fox voice," Liguori said. Exec then heard that "Fringe" was coming together on spec and, along with Fox Entertainment prexy Kevin Reilly, began keeping tabs on it.

"With the sensibility of those guys and the territory they were exploring, it felt like it had to end up at Fox," Reilly said. "It feels like it's a bull's-eye for us."

While Reilly and Liguori have already set up several major projects in recent weeks, Liguori said he thinks "Fringe" will particularly benefit from Reilly's hand during the production process.

"He can drain every bit of quality out of this and help create something that will be a standout," he said.

Abrams said he and his co-creators didn't want to go the usual development route and pitch an idea without a script.

"We wanted to write the script we wanted to see (on the air) and just put it out there, rather than pitching something that may or may not result in the show you want," he said.

Greenlight for "Fringe" means there are now three projects at three different nets centering on characters exploring freaky mysteries a la "The X-Files."

CBS has given a series order to the Warners- and Jerry Bruckheimer-produced "11th Hour," which is based on a Brit format (Daily Variety, Sept. 19). And ABC has ordered six episodes of the Zak Penn-produced "Section 8," which involves a team of investigators with mental abnormalities (Daily Variety, Sept. 27).

Reilly said he believes the Eye and Alphabet shows are a bit more science-oriented, while "Fringe" delves a bit more into sci-fi.

"May the best show win," he said.

"Fringe" marks the first series commitment for Abrams since he signed his mega-deal with Warners last year. It also comes in the wake of news earlier this week that Abrams had set up a drama pilot, dubbed "Boundaries," at ABC with scribe Jill Soloway (Daily Variety, Oct. 4).

Abrams has turned in a pilot for HBO but is still talking to the cabler about the fate of the project. Kurtzman and Orci, who worked with Abrams on "Lost," are now readying a sequel to their summer smash "Transformers."
This series doesn't speak of originality. We've had so many different variants of the theme in tvshows, from Psi Factor to The Chronicles, X Files to Threshold that one more can only confuse the viewers?

Jackson signs to Abrams sci-fi 'Fringe'

Friday, February 8 2008, 10:38 GMT (05:38 ET)
By Dave West, Media Correspondent
Rex Features

Joshua Jackson has signed up to star in a major new sci-fi drama for Fox.

A two-hour $10m pilot is in production for Fringe, devised by Lost creator JJ Abrams, Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci.

The show will see Dawson's Creek star Jackson play Peter Bishop, who investigates the paranormal. His team will include his father, scientist Dr Walter Bishop (John Noble), and FBI agent Olivia Warren (Anna Torv). Bishop is a dropout with a high IQ and a large gambling debt.

It is produced by Warner Brothers TV and Bad Robot. Filming for the pilot, directed by Alex Graves, has begun in Toronto.
From J.J. Abrams ("Lost"), Roberto Orci and Alex Kurtzman, the team behind "Star Trek," "Mission: Impossible III" and "Alias," comes a new drama that will thrill, terrify and explore the blurring line between science fiction and reality.

When an international flight lands at Boston's Logan Airport and the passengers and crew have all died grisly deaths, FBI Special Agent OLIVIA DUNHAM (newcomer Anna Torv) is called in to investigate. After her partner, Special Agent JOHN SCOTT (Mark Valley, "Boston Legal"), is nearly killed during the investigation, a desperate Olivia searches frantically for someone to help, leading her to DR. WALTER BISHOP (John Noble, "Lord of the Rings: Return of the King"), our generation's Einstein. There's only one catch: he's been institutionalized for the last 20 years, and the only way to question him requires pulling his estranged son PETER (Joshua Jackson, "Dawson's Creek") in to help.

When Olivia's investigation leads her to manipulative corporate executive NINA SHARP (Blair Brown, "Altered States"), our unlikely trio along with fellow FBI Agents PHILLIP BROYLES (Lance Reddick, "The Wire"), CHARLIE FRANCIS (Kirk Acevedo, "Oz") and ASTRID FARNSWORTH (Jasika Nicole, "Law & Order: Criminal Intent") will discover that what happened on Flight 627 is only a small piece of a larger, more shocking truth.

FRINGE is directed by Emmy Award-winning Alex Graves ("The West Wing") and produced by Warner Bros. Television and Bad Robot Productions.

Is anyone gonna be watchin this show??? Looks interesting!
it should be a good show ... unfortunately we don't get FOX here in Aruba, so I'll have to wait to see the episodes online ...
Fringe Re-Run Offers All Manner Of SF Extras [Fringe]

Fringe Re-Run Offers All Manner Of SF Extras [Fringe]

Even if you watched the Fringe premiere on Tuesday, Fox are giving you two reasons to tune into Sunday evening's re-run: Not only will they be showing the first four minutes of next week's episode following the final credits, but they'll also trail the show with a special preview of the remake of The Day The Earth Stood Still - and if both of those reasons aren't enough for you, there'll also be an exclusive preview of November's 24 TV movie for fans of Keifer Sutherland and torture. If there's a better way to spend two hours to finish your weekend that involves watching Fox, I can't wait to learn about it. [Variety]

(Via io9)
I've got the DVR set to record this Sunday. I've seen the previews already for The Day The Earth Stood Still but it is the pilot of Fringe that I really want to catch.
Re: Joshua Jackson signs to Abrams sci-fi 'Fringe'

I got to watch the Fringe pilot last night and, I must say, so far I am intrigued.

It seems to be a cross between The X-Files (e.g.: A secretive association of US Federal agents investigating bizarre cases) and Lost (e.g.: A deep pocketed corporation responsible for said bizarre cases). The scene with the 'shared consciences' reminded me a bit too much of The Cell.

I'm not sure I cared for how the screen titles were done, with the words 'floating' in the air. It is the same technique that was used in the Jodie Foster film The Panic Room and, while that film used the technique only for the opening credits, it was a bit annoying to see them being used for all screen titles in the show.

Joshua Jackson was surprisingly good in his character as somebody who really does not want to be there. Anybody expecting some Dawson's Creek moments should look elsewhere.

As Tim noted above, the premise is not exactly the most original out there but it shows promise. I will be keeping the DVR scheduled to record it this season. :smiley:
I also just got a chance to see it last night. Superb acting, plotting, special effects. Just enough weirdness to draw you in -- not too much so that you spend the whole time saying "WTF"?

I'll definitely be watching it this season.
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Episode two has aired and the theme of the storyline was most definitely implied horror, with some screen time of things that could never be seen in the past at the time it aired!!

Some people have been saying this second episode is merely passable, but I thought it was done fine.
nah, I'm going with the Bashir principle, genetic modification of the DNA.
HHHhmm... I didn't think of that angle. That would explain the supposed 199 IQ though.

OK, we've got one bet down on cloning, one down on genetic engineering.

Who else wants to place their bets?
Fringe Goes the Distance as Fox Orders Full Season

Fringe Goes the Distance as Fox Orders Full Season

Touting Fringe as this fall's most popular new show for 18-to-49-year-old viewers, Fox is promising a full season of J.J. Abrams' sci-fi series.

The network announced Thursday that it's ordering nine additional episodes of the FBI-investigating-paranormal-events hybrid after seeing a steady increase in ratings since the show's early September launch. Fringe now attracts 10.7 million viewers weekly, the network says.

The series debut got mixed reviews from Underwire readers. But Fringe, which stars Anna Torv with John Noble and Joshua Jackson (pictured), has cranked up the freak factor for its most recent three shows.

A human test subject surgically extracts adrenal glands from his victims in order to keep from aging at lightning speed. A psychic civilian compulsively draws images of catastrophic events before they happen, while an undercover agent has an implanted disk ripped right out of her corpse. This week's show introduces The Observer, a creepy bald guy who pops up in the background to witness one global disaster after another.

Fringe will skip a couple weeks before returning Oct. 14. Is the show improving? Are you looking forward to more Fringe? And what the hell is going on with "The Pattern?" Comment below.

(Via Wired)
I'm glad to see this show get at least a full season on the air. It's been a while since there has been any real competition to take over the X-Files type of drama.
Was the bald guy (without eyebrows) a robot then? Was he left by an alien race to ensure that the subterrenean torpedo kept staying underground (for 17 years at a time?) until it was available for a certain task? Or was he sent back from the future to ensure that the weapon is there for something crucial?

Good or bad, how could a robot be anything but neutral and merely dedicated to the task. He didn't kill unnecessarily, he used a stun weapon. He didn't torture, except by his lack of ready information.

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