TV News: Fringe, NBC, Dexter, Bad, 24

Fox has officially renewed the J.J. Abrams-produced sci-fi procedural “Fringe” for a third season.

A hit on Monday nights in its initial season with between 8-12 million viewers an episode, the series was moved to the far more competitive Thursday timeslot.

An initial rash of poorly received episodes and the new time hit the viewership which at one point fell to 5 million viewers and raised concern over its renewal chances.

However the show seems to have righted itself creatively in its mid-season batch of episodes with viewership returning to between 7-9 million viewers per episode.

NBC Pickups
NBC has officially renewed, for another full season, all four shows in its critically acclaimed if only modestly rated Thursday night comedy block.

This means in the Fall we’ll see a fifth season of “30 Rock”, a seventh of “The Office” a second for “Community” and third for “Parks and Recreation”.

NBC network president Angela Bromstad recently told press that a fifth season of the beleaguered “Heroes” is still undetermined.

“Dexter” executive producer Sara Colleton tells EW that the fifth season of the series, scheduled to air in the Fall, will avoid the big guest-star antagonist next season it seems.

“John Lithgow is a tough act to follow. If there was ever a year that we could take a step back from the big bad formula and go deeper into Dexter and his psychology, this would be that year” says Colleton, who is quick to add our favourite serial killer will still do some murdering.

More immediate though will be dealing with the emotional fallout from the last scene of the fourth season finale.

Breaking Bad
AMC’s acclaimed cable series returns with its third season this month and /Film reports that filmmaker Rian Johnson (“Brick,” “The Brothers Bloom”) has directed an episode for it.

The decision hasn’t been made yet about whether the series will be renewed for a ninth season due to falling ratings and the show’s considerable expense to produce.

Fox president Kevin Reilly tells The Live Feed that “It’s a very tough call. It’s a huge part of our legacy, and there’s not a lot of shows that could do a 9 share against the Olympics. Tremendous sales asset for us still; a show we’re so very proud of creatively. So it’s not an easy call.”