Fans of FOX's cult Friday night sci-fi series 'Fringe' have long counted themselves lucky that the show made it through a full fourth season, let alone that it was granted an additional 13 episodes for a fifth season to close the show.  Now, there's a bit of troublesome news to report behind the scenes for the upcoming season 5, but one that J.J. Abrams assures won't impact the show.  Either way, there's going to be a shift in the writing talent for 'Fringe's final season, so how will it affect the story?

The Hollywood Reporter has now confirmed that longtime 'Fringe' show-runner, executive producer and head writer Jeff Pinkner will depart the series in advance of its final thirteen episodes.  No official reason was given for Pinkner's departure, but the former EP will move on to pursue new projects.

Fellow show-runner and co-executive producer J.H. Wyman however assured that he would remain with 'Fringe' "until the final frame," and even 'Fringe's co-creator and executive producer J.J. Abrams jumped in to comment, saying:

We’re so excited to begin work on a fifth season of Fringe and to be able to deliver the 13 final episodes to our passionate and devoted fans. For four years, J.H. Wyman and Jeff Pinkner have worked tirelessly as a team to keep all the worlds in order on Fringe. 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.

So while fans should remain happy we have a fifth season of 'Fringe' at all , it's understandably troublesome why Pinkner would depart so close to the finish line.  As a special gift to the fans however, Wyman took to his Twitter to deliver an image of the season 5 premiere episode script, revealing its title to be "Transilience Through Thought Unifier Model-11!"  Quite a mouthful!

What say you?  Will 'Fringe's final season be even more different now, especially considering that whopper of a twist for the show's setting next year?  What are your expectations for the final season of 'Fringe?  Let us know in the comments!