The Sci-fi tv series Fringe ran for 5 seasons and became an absolute favourite for its brilliant production and highly entertaining episodes. The adventures, mysteries and drama of this show mixed with humour make it an absolute sci-fi classic. If you want to watch similar shows, we have made this list of awesome shows like Fringe that you must check out.
Fringe is a Sci-fi crime drama television series created by J. J. Abrams, Alex Kurtzman, and Roberto Orci. This is more than just a standard procedural drama, the show explores the concept of a parallel universe, alternate versions of people, and creative science experiments. Inspired by shows like Lost, The X-files and The Twilight Zone, the show excels in the mysteries of speculative fiction. The 5 seasons of Fringe begin with the casework of the Fringe division, a Joint Federal Task Force mainly supported by the FBI.
At the centre of the story are Agent Olivia Dunham, Scientist Dr Walter Bishop and his estranged son Peter Bishop who is known to be ‘Jack-of-all-trades’. Peter discovers that he is from a parallel universe and it is through such personal experiences that we see the scientific advancements of this incredibly created world. Exceptional story writing, the concept of the multiverse and great performances by the cast make Fringe truly worth all its praise. Check out the following list if you want to see shows similar to Fringe.
List of TV Shows Like Fringe
- The X Files (1993)
- Dark (2017)
- Person of Interest (2011)
- Once Upon a Time (2011)
- Counterpart (2017)
- Haven (2010)
- Lost (2004)
- Westworld (2016)
- The Leftovers (2014)
- Forever (2014)
1. The X Files (1993)
IMDB ratings: 8.6/10
Cast: Gillian Anderson, David Duchovny and Mitch Pileggi
Creator: Chris Carter
The X-Files was created by Chris Carter and first aired in 2002. This Sci-fi crime story revolves around two FBI Agents Fox Mulder(David Duchovny) and Dana Scully (Gillian Anderson), who investigate unsolved cases that often involve paranormal phenomena. At the beginning of the show, Mulder believes the paranormal activity is real while Scully, a medical doctor, is sceptical and hence is assigned to work with Mulder to review the reality of the cases.
The X-Files is a supremely-crafted show with phenomenal acting performances. The show was a great success and ran for 10 seasons. Known for its supernatural elements of mythology and mysterious ‘unknown circumstances’, The X-Files was filmed in a multi-genre style. Decades after it aired, The X-Files continues to be engaging and relevant today. If you’re looking for TV shows similar to Fringe, The X-Files will be a perfect fit for you.
2. Dark (2017)
IMDB ratings: 8.7/10
Cast: Louis Hofmann, Lisa Vicari and Gina Stiebitz
Creator: Baran bo Odar, Jantje Friese
Dark is a German sci-fi thriller drama, created by Baran bo Odar, and Jantje Friese and aired in 2017. At the beginning of the story, many children have suspiciously been disappearing in the German town of Winden. Such incidents bring to light the dark past of generational mysteries of 4 families living in the town. Families namely, Kahnwald, Nielsen, Doppler, and Tiedemann. These central families of the show discover a wormhole in a cave beneath a nuclear power plant. Dark is set in 2019, but with the element of time travel, it spans from 1986 to 1953.
The connections of the 4 families are exposed after the missing cases of children which compromises their lives. Dark’s cinematography is thrilling and the show writers have done a brilliant job writing an intensely gripping story. The performance by the cast is exceptional as well. If you want to see sci-fi time-travel investigation shows like Fringe, Dark is worth a watch.
3. Person of Interest (2011)
IMDB ratings: 8.5/10
Cast: Micheal Emerson, Jim Caviezel and Kevin Chapman
Creator: Jonathan Nolan
Person of Interest is a Sci-fi crime drama created by Jonathan Nolan that first aired in 2011. The show follows John Reese, a former special forces soldier and CIA operative. A bygone soldier, John is thought to be dead by everyone. He in fact is alive and now a homeless man in New York. Harold Finch, a billionaire software genius builds a computer called ‘the Machine’ that monitors all electronic media and communications to predict future terrorist activities. Harold approaches Reese to intercept the possible threats.
On the surface, Person of Interest seems like a standard procedural crime drama series but it is in fact a well-crafted action sci-fi that explores the concepts of AI vs human nature. The main characters of the show are phenomenal. If you want to explore more tv series like Fringe, Person of Interest is sure to keep you on the edge of your seat.
4. Once Upon a Time (2011)
IMDB ratings: 7.7/10
Cast: Lana Parrilla, Jennifer Morrison and Ginnifer Goodwin
Creator: Edward Kitsis and Adam Horowitz
Once Upon a Time is a fantasy adventure drama TV series that aired in 2011 and was created by Edward Kitsis and Adam Horowitz. Set in a fictional town called Storybrooke in Maine, we see that the residents are actual Disney fairytale characters but Regina, the Evil Queen, robs the memories of the residents and they are transported to the real-world town.
Once Upon a Time is a special kind of fantasy show where the live-action series follows Emma Swan (Jennifer Morrison) taking an adventure along with her son Henry to save the fairy tale characters. Emma enters a community where all the Disney characters are cursed, forget their past and never truly know their origin. The mysterious journey of uncovering secrets of life is very akin to TV shows like Fringe and which is exactly why you should watch Once Upon a Time. You can also check out its spin-off series Once upon a time in Wonderland.
5. Counterpart (2017)
IMDB ratings: 8/10
Cast: J. K. Simmons, Harry Llyod and Nazanin Boniadi
Creator: Justin Marks
Counterpart is a Sci-fi thriller TV series created by Justin Marks and it follows the Academy award-winning actor J. K. Simmons as the central character Howard Silk. In a universe where there are parallel Earths, Harold is an office worker who has been working for the United Nations agency, Office of Interchange (OI) for over 30 years. Harold engages in mindless tasks in this company which sees over the checkpoints of the Parallel Earths: Alpha and Prime.
The parallel worlds came about in 1987 in an experiment in East Germany, the scientist present during the occurrence begins to interact with his parallel self to understand the divergence. As time goes by, certain events like a pandemic in the Prime world completely change the advancements of the two worlds, and differences create a cold war between the two. This thrilling and deeply complex story of Counterpart is compelling to watch. Counterpart is one of the best new TV shows similar to Fringe that you can watch.
Also Read: Shows like Twin Peaks
6. Haven (2010)
IMDB ratings: 7.5/10
Cast: Emily Rose, Lucas Bryant and Eric Balfour
Creator: Sam Ernst and Jim Dunn
Haven is a mysterious supernatural drama show. Loosely based on Stephen King’s novel The Colorado Kid, the show was created by Sam Ernst and Jim Dunn. The show deals with strange and unprecedented events in the fictional town of Haven in Maine. An FBI Agent Audrey Parker is dispatched to haven for a routine case when she gets entangled in a plague with supernatural afflictions.
The seemingly paranormal activity of the town leads Audrey to shocking secrets related to her mother. Haven builds a world where the protagonist discovers her life and memories might not have been her own and her actions a part of a pre-arranged circumstance. Haven’s story will remind you of Peter’s experience and so, if you’re looking for tv series like Fringe, Haven is the right choice for you.
7. Lost (2004)
IMDB ratings: 8.3/10
Cast: Jorge Garcia, Evangeline Lilly and Josh Holloway
Creator: Jeff Lieber, J. J. Adams and Damond Lindelof
The sci-fi/supernatural show Lost was created by Jeffrey Lieber, J. J. Abrams, and Damon Lindelof. In the premise, A commercial passenger jet en route from Sydney to Los Angeles crashes on a remote island somewhere in the south of the Pacific ocean. Lost features a large ensemble of about 70 actors, 14 with recurring roles. The show explores supernatural and sci-fi elements on the mysterious island. Lost is like a spiritual precursor of Fringe.
Lost was inspired by the movie Castaway and became one of the most expensive pilots to be shot at the time. Lost is appreciated for its originality in storytelling and dynamic character arcs. The story is incredibly thought-provoking. If you’re looking for TV shows like Fringe, the sci-fi survival show Lost is a great choice.
8. Westworld (2016)
IMDB ratings: 8.5/10
Cast: Evan Rachel Wood, Jeffrey Wright, Thandiwe Newton, Ed Harris and Anthony Hopkins
Creator: Jonathan Nolan and Lisa Joy
The TV show Westworld was created by Jonathan Nolan and Lisa Joy. Airing in 2016, this Sci-fi show revolves around the dawn of Artificial intelligence consciousness. A dark odyssey that witnesses an intersection of such kind in the 2050s, the show re-imagines the past before the intersection.
Westworld focuses on the evolution of sin. Emotionless AI robots are used by humans for advantageous activities. Dr Robert Ford (played by Anthony Hopkins) while updating a robot causes a few robots like Dolores to gain consciousness of previously removed memories and become sentient. Themes of dehumanisation, suffering and hyperreality make Westworld worth a watch if you are searching for similar shows like Fringe.
9. The Leftovers (2014)
IMDB ratings: 8.3/10
Cast: Carrie Coon, Justin Theroux, Amy Brenneman and Margaret Qualley
Creator: Damon Lindelof and Tom Perrotta
Also known for creating shows like Lost, Damon Lindelof created The Leftovers along with the novelist Tom Perotta whose book this is adapted from. The Leftovers is a supernatural drama tv series, the story begins 3 years after an unexplainable global event called ‘Sudden Departure’ where almost 2 per cent of the population, nearly 140 million people, disappear.
This sudden event causes many changes, giving rise to cult groups like the white-clothed nihilists’ Guilty Remnant and the decline in mainstream religions. The show is dystopic in nature and quite surreal to watch. With a brilliant cast and genius writing, The Leftovers should definitely be on your list if you’re searching for shows like Fringe.
10. Forever (2014)
IMDB ratings: 8.2/10
Cast: Ioan Gruffudd, Alana de la Garza and Judd Hirsch
Creator: Matt Miller
The show Forever aired in 2014 and was created by Matt Miller. Forever is a critically well-acclaimed show, however, due to lack of viewership, it was cancelled after its first season. The show follows a man Dr Henry Morgan who works in the NYC morgue, he is a man of deep knowledge which is astounding for people who work with him.
Henry solves criminal cases along with his own mystery of being a 200-year-old immortal man. The entire premise of Forever was so engaging to watch, I especially thought Henry’s origin was fabulously written. The show is quite philosophical in nature and the quest of understanding immortality has a dark sense of aura. Forever unfortunately does not have more seasons but is great to watch if you are bored and want to see shows like Fringe.
Here are a few thrilling shows like Fringe that didn’t make the list, but you should still check them out.
- Twin Peaks
- The Twilight Zone