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AFTER a week off, Fox’s “Fringe” (9 p.m. Fridays) returns tomorrow, and if you’re still hoping to see how this particular war of the worlds turns out – or just how the story of Olivia (Anna Torv) and Peter (Joshua Jackson) does – you need to think about it watching it in real time.

And, OK, if possible, as part of a Nielsen family. Yes, and in this universe, the only one that currently matters to the people calling the shots for next season, who also aren’t as interested in Hulu and what you have on your DVR as you might be.

As “Fringe” continues to balance on that rickety fence between cancellation and a fourth season, I’ve been thinking about what J.J. Abrams, one of the show’s creators, had to say about endings when I asked him, at a Fox party in January, what he thought it would take to wrap things up.

“Having an end date on a series is actually a wonderful thing, but no one wants the end date to come too early,” said Abrams, who also co-created “Lost” (if not its still-controversial ending).

“I would argue that the show deserves to, you know, go on beyond Season 3. But if they did say we have to end the show at the end of Season 4, I would rather know that and then work our asses off to satisfy that story than to be told in a month it’s going to be at the end of Season 3. I would argue there’s no way to wrap it up in a truly satisfying way” this season.

“What I know is that the stories that [showrunners Jeff Pinkner and Joel Wyman] are thinking go beyond Season 4, but that’s not to say that if bad news came, that Season 4 was it,” that it couldn’t be done, said Abrams, who wasn’t happy about the move to Fridays but was satisfied that “Fringe” had remained true to itself.

The show is “about a woman who was experimented on when she was a kid, it is about a man who might not have come from here, it is about a father who is holding incredible secrets. . . . These are things that we talked about at the very beginning of the show. To not embrace that means that we will fail on other people’s terms. So if we’re going to fail, let’s go out having done the most bad-ass, weirdest, interesting, sophisticated version of a series that we can possibly do,” he said.

I’d certainly like to see that story through to some conclusion, and one that wasn’t slapped together at the last minute. If you would, too, think about staying in – or going out a bit later – tomorrow night.

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