Stephen Spielberg’s Terra Nova television series has been cancelled by Fox after one season, despite being the most expensive TV series ever made. Terra Nova, which had a budget of $14m for its two-hour pilot episode and $4m for subsequent installments, followed the story of the Shannons, a modern family who travelled back in time to prehistoric ages after the earth became overpopulated. The new civilization, called Terra Nova, was a huge compound surrounded by the other inhabitants of that earth, including dinosaurs. The human settlers had brought modern conveniences with them, but unfortunately they also brought many of their problems, including the antagonistic relationships and instincts that helped doom their more recent civilization.
The series was received well by critics and enjoyed fairly buoyant ratings throughout its run, but Fox execs have now decided not to renew Terra Nova.
The decision comes just over a month after Fox’s entertainment president Kevin Reilly discussed the possibility that the series might be renewed after the show ‘resonated’ with audiences.
The Terra Nova trailer:
Reilly said in January: “If this is all we make (of Terra Nova), we made money on it, the studio made money on it, and it seems to have resonated with the family audience. There is a show, which if we are to bring back, there’s an audience there. But creatively, the show was hunting (for its identity). If we had more holes in our network, we’d be thrilled to lock that right in.”
Brit Kelly Marcel wrote and produced the series. Fans are now hoping that Terra Nova is picked up by another network in time for a second series to be made, with Fox promising to try to sell the show to other US TV channels.
20th Century Fox, which produced the series, says it will shop it to other networks to keep it alive. “Terra Nova” got off to a rocky start when production problems forced Fox to postpone its original premiere date, and when it did debut, many sci-fi fans said they were disappointed by early storylines.
The departure of “Terra Nova” and the likely demise of several other Fox dramas, including “The Finder” and quite possibly “Fringe” and “Alcatraz,” means Fox could have openings for a number of new shows in the fall.