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'American Horror Story': 'Fringe' star Lance Reddick joining 'Coven' -- EXCLUSIVE

The supernatural world of American Horror Story: Coven just got a little more crowded: EW has learned that Fringe‘s Lance Reddick will be joining the FX show as Papa Legba when the horror anthology returns in January. The character, described as Coven‘s version of “voodoo Satan,” plays a pivotal role in the life of Marie Laveau (Angela Bassett) and will be an important figure in the series’ remaining four episodes. Show co-creator Ryan Murphy teased Legba’s involvement in our recent EW AHS: Coven cover story: “You find out that’s how come Marie Laveau looks so good — because she sold her soul!”

Your first 'Almost Human' crazy theory: Karl Urban is actually a robot

Karl Urban is a not a human being. Not in the technical sense of the term. Oh, sure, he might look human. He might walk and talk like a human. He might even like to think he’s human. But Karl Urban would be wrong! For Karl Urban is actually an extraordinary machine that has been programmed to think he is Karl Urban. Karl Urban does not know this, though sooner or later, he will, and when he does, Karl Urban will be very sad. Poor Karl Urban!

No, we speak not of the real-world Karl Urban, star of Star Trek and Dredd, but the character that this fine actor plays on the new sci-fi buddy cop drama Almost Human, which premiered Sunday night on Fox. Urban is John Kennex, a police officer in the near-future where human cops work side by side with robot cops. The pilot episode gives John a new partner, a humanoid android with buggy emotional components named Dorian, played by Michael Ealy. I am convinced that one of the big twists of this new series from J.J. Abrams and Fringe mastermind J.H. Wyman — both of whom are fond of big twists — is that John Kennex will mysteriously get younger as the saga progresses, while Dorian mysteriously, rapidly ages and corrodes. Okay, that was a joke. A literary joke! No, my very serious theory is that John Kennex ain’t a human being at all. He’s a robot, too! Or something very close to it. The pilot establishes that he has a bionic leg to replace the one that got blown off during a firefight with bad guys known as The Syndicate. But I assert that the rest of him is made of fabricated from sci-fi hoo-ha, too. Why do I believe in such a thing? Clues, man! Clues! Come, theorize with me.

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'The Good Wife' and the problem of too much good TV

The moment I finally became a fan of The Good Wife occurred just about three weeks ago. It came in the current season’s widely praised fifth episode, “Hitting The Fan.” This was the one where Will (Josh Charles) and Diane (Christine Baranski) fired Alicia (Julianna Margulies) and Cary (Matt Czuchry) for plotting to start their own firm. As Will progressed from betrayal (his reaction, a symphonically-performed shock-face culminating in a downbeat “what?!”, was priceless) to “commando mode” (rallying emergency quorums; hustling clients to keep them from bolting), and as Alicia progressed from resolute yet regretful to full-on “Oh, it’s so on!” (countering Will’s counter-attacks; wooing Chum Hum; an adrenaline rush quickie with Governor Hubby), it was thrilling to watch them find new energy and purpose in their lives amid the crisis, if slightly heartbreaking to watch the former lovers, now former colleagues, become enemies. It was impossible to take a side; I wanted both to win. In a story full of such grand drama and significant developments, it was a smaller, funnier exchange between Alicia and Will that grabbed me. As a contentious phone conversation came to a close (“Go to hell!” “No, you go to hell!”), Will remembered something very important. “Oh, your daughter called,” he said, suddenly civil. “She needs you to call her school to let her go on a field trip.” “Oh. When was this?” Alicia asked, equally pleasant. “About 40 minutes ago.”  “Thank you.” “You’re welcome.” Click. And then war resumed.

Not a terribly ingenious scene, I grant you. It hewed to a familiar screwball comedic structure. The whiplash tonal shift; two rivals abruptly making nice or banal in a way that almost feels out of character. Except here, the moment felt true to the characters, at least as I understand them so far. It was an effective way to dramatize that their relationship was more complex than their current conflict, to show that neither of them should be defined by the crisis/concerns consuming them at present; and it was a moment that was representative of all of everything else in the show that was converting me to rabid Good Wife fandom. READ FULL STORY

InsideTV Podcast: Stars from 'New Girl,' 'Orphan Black,' 'Scandal,' 'Fringe,' 'Parks and Recreation' call in to thank fans

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The 6th Annual EWwy Awards — in which readers on EW.com vote for the most egregious Emmy snubs in the 10 key categories — got the royal treatment this year. We announced the winners live on Entertainment Weekly Radio (SiriusXM, channel 105) and we had some very special guests to help us with the festivities. That’s right, several of the winners called into the show to formally accept their awards, thank the fans who voted for them, and slip a few spoilers about upcoming plotlines on their shows. The call-in sheet reads like a primetime all-star lineup. Joining the show were:

Amy Poehler (with Adam Scott in the background) (Best Comedy Series, Parks & Recreation)

Zooey Deschanel (Best Actress in a Comedy, New Girl)

Jake Johnson (Best Actor in a Comedy, New Girl)

Showrunners John Fawcett and Graeme Manson (Best Drama, Orphan Black)

Tatiana Maslany (Best Actress in a Drama, Orphan Black)

Tony Goldwyn (Best Actor in a Drama, Scandal)

John Noble (Best Supporting Actor in a Drama, Fringe) READ FULL STORY

'Fringe' season 5 DVD: J.J. Abrams and company discuss bringing closure to the sci-fi saga -- EXCLUSIVE VIDEO

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A series finale is like a laboratory-conceived psychotic porcupine monster: It has a very long tail, and it will make you cry. Nearly five months after Fringe said goodbye by sending Walter Bishop (John Noble) into the far future to save Peter (Joshua Jackson), Olivia (Anna Torv) and the rest of humanity (thanks!) by changing history, the cult classic squirrels back into our field of vision one more time to drop its last DVD and take a bow. READ FULL STORY

'Fringe' secrets revealed: 'September's Notebook' authors discuss making the ultimate companion book

Fringe wrapped its five-year foray into the far-out realms of science and dangerous dimensions of the human heart back in January. (Sniffle.) But today, exec producer J.H. Wyman, who oversaw the Bad Robot drama’s swan song season, tweeted out a touching post-script for fans: A drawing of a white tulip.

More than just an allusion to several Fringe episodes (including our pick for best ever), the image — which is meant to be printed out — has additional significance to anyone who has purchased September’s Notebook, a uniquely designed, detail-rich tome that summarizes the saga and digs deep into the show’s mythology by re-telling the epic (parallel universes, multiple timelines, and all) through the perspective of near omniscient, always Fedora’d, bald-headed Observer September. (Except for those years when he was Hairy Donald.) (Another time.) (Or read the book!)

The last pages include a replica of the envelope that Peter Bishop (Joshua Jackson) received from his father Walter (John Noble) in the last scene of the last episode — except that unlike Peter’s envelope, which contained the white tulip drawing, the book’s envelope is empty. With Wyman’s print-and-save tweet, your copy of September’s Notebook is now complete. READ FULL STORY

Television's uneasy relationship with the World Trade Center

UPDATED: Carrie Bradshaw is New York. Sex and the City liked to remind us of that. The seminal HBO show exposed non-Manhattanites to a very specific island of clubs, restaurants, and stores that existed in the late 90s and early 2000s for a small group of wealthy people. It was a privileged world, yes, but in the almost seven years that the show’s been off the air, it has served as a kind of time capsule of an era — or at least a Manhattan that very few of us got to enjoy.

The Carrie Diaries, a prequel to Sex and the City which premiered on the CW this week, hoped to create a similar snapshot of New York in the 80s. But the show has made a significant choice in their decision to keep the skyline void of the Twin Towers. In an interview with The Atlantic Wire, executive producer Amy B. Harris said “when we really sat down to talk about whether we wanted to put the World Trade Center into any of our stock footage what we decided is this is a show about love and romance and coming of age.” She added: “If one 16-year-old who is watching the show possibly lost a parent—if we caused them pause or hurt in any way—it wouldn’t have been worth it.” (Clarification: The Carrie Diaries producers chose to avoid showing the Twin Towers, but did not delete images of the towers from stock footage of the skyline).

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'Fringe' ratings up for finale: How the show survived

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The final episode of Fringe delivered the drama’s biggest audience of the season.

Sure, it still wasn’t very much. The two-hour series closer had only 3.2 million viewers and a 1.0 rating in the adults 18-49 demographic, on par with its fourth season finale.

But that’s part of the Fringe story — a show Fox liked enough to keep on the air long past its ratings expiration date. In fact, Fox’s entertainment chairman Kevin Reilly has previous cited Fringe has the network’s make-up gift to the sci-fi community. Granted, one of his predecessors killed Firefly, but Fox let this fan-favorite play out. “Fringe has been a point of pride,” the executive once said. “I share the passion for the show the fans have. I love that Fox, after letting down genre fans over the years [came through with Fringe].”

There were, of course, other considerations for the show’s unusual longevity — a drama series surviving on a major broadcast network with a CW-sized overnight rating is no easy trick. Fox has really struggled on Fridays and needed to have something pulling a stable number, the show gained rather significantly from DVR playback (often gaining more than 60 percent), there’s a valuable relationship at stake with the show’s influential executive producer team (including J.J. Abrams), and the network was able to successfully make renewal deals with studio Warner Bros., which really wanted Fringe to hit that key five-season benchmark that helps sell a show into syndication (Science Channel picked up the rights to Fringe last year).

And creatively, Fringe was just a cool show that fans and critics felt passionately about. Sometimes, that makes a real difference. EW’s Ken Tucker gave last night’s finale a rave, saying Fringe “fulfilled nearly every promise it made to its audience over the course of five seasons. It remained true to its core values: the primacy of family, the sacredness of trust, the joy of a good joke, the exhilaration of intellectual inquiry, and the jolting power of love.”

Full Friday chart: READ FULL STORY

'Fringe': Michael Cerveris on the return of September and the series finale full of 'surprise and heartbreak'

As Fringe wraps up its universe- and timeline-jumping saga in Observer-controlled 2036 tonight, the show’s first Observer has become far more important than fans – and likely even the writers – ever imagined when he first appeared on the Fox show in 2008.

September, the once-mysterious bald man the Fringe team dubbed the Observer, played by Broadway alum Michael Cerveris, has developed into the rebel who has brushed aside his natural coding for emotionless logic in favor of the well-being of the man he now calls a friend, Walter Bishop.

Last week, after being absent for much of season 5, Cerveris returned as a September somewhat de-Observer-fied. The Fringe team learned about the part he plays in Walter’s plan to take the world back from the Observers, and they also learned about the connection between September (now known as Donald, thanks to his fondness for Singin’ in the Rain) and the Observer boy – turns out that Donald and Michael are now another of the show’s central father-son pairs.

Ahead of tonight’s series finale, Cerveris talked to EW about crafting that performance for the new, follicly blessed version of September, saying his goodbyes on the final day of shooting and how working on Fringe has more than made up for never getting to appear on The X-Files.

ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: Is it wild to think about how much your role has grown from what was originally intended to be a one-off?
MICHAEL CERVERIS: Yeah, it’s been kind of astounding. It’s true that in the very beginning I understood it as just being a one-off. Almost before I started working actually, they had already started to feel differently. Both [executive producers] Jeff Pinkner and J.J. [Abrams] – they saw September as having a crucial role to play, a role that was going to continue to play out throughout the series as long as it lasted. But you never know when people say that – no matter how well-intentioned, how much they believe it themselves – you never know if that’s how things are actually gonna play out. I certainly never could have imagined that the fate of universes and the existence of humanity was going to be in September’s, Donald’s hands at the conclusion. READ FULL STORY

The End of 'Fringe': 'September's Notebook' documents the show's mythology, reveals secrets -- EXCLUSIVE EXCERPT

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The end of Fringe comes with a parting gift for fans. Fringe: September’s Notebook – The Bishop Paradox, an officially licensed product published by Insight Editions, chronicles the history (or rather multiple histories) and maps the diverse and dynamic world (and parallel worlds) of the sci-fi saga starring Anna Torv, Joshua Jackson, and John Noble. The well-designed 192-page art-heavy hardback tome – filled with photos, newspaper clippings, FBI case files and Massive Dynamic memorandums — is told through the perspective of Fringe’s signature Observer, September, that time traveling, hot sauce chugging 20th century fanboy, played by Michael Cerveris.

The notebook (glimpsed in the Jan. 11 episode “The Boy Must Live”) is presented as “in-world storytelling,” meaning that it has actual significance to the Fringe narrative. It even promises to provide “new insight into the series.” This Fringe fan hopes September can summarize The Pattern in a succinct, cohesive way, as well as supply intel on my favorite unresolved bit of Fringe lore: Whatever happened to Phillip Broyles’ original Fringe Division team that preceded Olivia, Peter, Walter and Astrid? (See: Season 1, Episode 2, Act One, Broyles’ first line.) #NEVERFORGETNAGGINGLOOSEENDS!

The book will retail for $27.50 and goes on sale in March. More info can be found here. But before you click away, check out our exclusive excerpt in the pages that follow. (For a closer look at each page, your cursor functions as a magnifying glass. Scroll and scrutinize!)

Twitter: @EWDocJensen

'Fringe' series finale trailer: Walter cries (and so do we) -- VIDEO

It all ends here.

On Friday, TV fans bid farewell to Fringe, and it wouldn’t be a proper goodbye party without one final epic trailer.

Watch it below and savior these final moments. After Friday, the journey will be over — both here and in the other universe.

Related:
J.J. Abrams defends secrecy: ‘You’re ruining it before it even exists’
‘Fringe’ series finale will be ‘incredibly emotional’

'White Collar,' 'Arrow,' 'Revenge,' 'Justified,' 'NCIS': Find out what's next in the Spoiler Room

Hey, gang! How’ve you been?

Personally, 2013 is off to an insanely fun start. Just yesterday, for example, I spent the day on the NYC set of CBS’s upcoming procedural drama, Golden Boy. (Hence the column’s one day delay!) The show stars Theo James (a name/face Downton Abbey fans probably know) and debuts in February. I’ll have plenty from that visit soon.

I hope your New Year has been equally thrilling, but if not, spice up your life by submitting your spoiler Qs! (As usual, spoilerroom@ew.com is the best way!)

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'Fringe' series finale will be 'incredibly emotional'

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What does Fringe executive producer J.J. Abrams think of the upcoming series finale?

Abrams was taking questions from reporters following a TV press tour panel in Pasadena on Sunday for NBC’s Revolution. The writer-producer-director says he hasn’t yet watched last Fringe episode (the cut just came in), but he had high praise based on the script for the Fox cult favorite. “It will be great,” Abrams says of the Jan. 18 episode. “I mean, the script is unbelievable. I think it will be incredibly emotional.”

He then added, a bit jokingly: “If it’s not satisfying, I don’t know what satisfying is.”

NEXT: J.J. Abrams defends secrecy: ‘You’re ruining it before it even exists’

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