J.H. Wyman will be the sole showrunner on Fringe for the sci-fi drama’s upcoming 13-episode fifth and final season as Jeff Pinkner is departing. Both Pinkner and Wyman have been on Fringe since the first season, which was run by Pinkner, with Wyman joining him as co-showrunner in Season 2. According to TVGuide.com, Pinkner is leaving to pursue other projects.
Fringe executive producer J.J. Abrams, who created the Fox/Warner Bros. TV drama with Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci, issued a statement about Pinkner’s exit. “For four years, J.H. Wyman and Jeff Pinkner have worked tirelessly as a team to keep all the worlds in order on Fringe,” he said. “We’re thankful for the invaluable contributions Jeff has made to the show and of course wish him well and look forward to working together in the future. J.H. Wyman’s importance to Fringe cannot be overstated, however, and I’m thrilled that he will continue as showrunner for the concluding chapters of our story. We can’t wait for our fans to see what we have in store for them in the wild conclusion of Fringe.”
With the prospect of an abbreviated final season, it is not unusual for series writer-producers to move on as their shows don’t need full staffs, and a departure would allow them to get a jump on development. Recently, a slew of 30 Rock producers, including executive producer John Riggi and Emmy winner Matt Hubbard left the NBC comedy, which will wrap its run with a 13-episode final season.