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tv news

Terra Nova is cancelled by Fox

Posted by Patrick Sauriol on Tuesday, March 6, 2012

After 13 episodes on the air, Fox's expensive time travel/dinosaur family adventure series Terra Nova has bit the dust. The network has pulled the plug on ordering a second season of the series, which had netted about 7 million viewers an episode during its 2011 run.

Deadline got into the business mechanics behind Fox's decision to kill Terra Nova, and you should read their article if you want to understand some of the political games and creative deadfalls that a show can experience when it's on the bubble. One of the more interesting points raised in Deadline's piece is that Fox had been interviewing replacement showrunners and senior level writers that could bring a better creative vision to Terra Nova's second season. That indicates Fox had been open to bringing Terra Nova back for a second season, but only if they could be sold on the show improving itself.

The fact that Fox couldn't find anyone willing to work on the second season that had a grand vision speaks volumes.

After reading the pilot script and watching several episodes of the show, I've got my own personal views on it. One, the idea that Fox president Kevin Reilly said about Terra Nova still needing to find its "creative identity" was bang on. The Shannon family, their troubles to find a new way of life 65 million years in the past, the conflicts between the hard-lined Sixers group and the military compound where the Shannons lived, and then the dinosaur action all never fused together. There wasn't enough of a reason for people to care about these characters, or a big enough hook for them to wonder inbetween episodes of Terra Nova about the world and mysteries in it.

As a writer myself, it drives me crazy that, on a show with that much creative talent and money tossed at it, no one could make Terra Nova watertight before it went on the air. You think that a show about dinosaurs, time travel, technology versus ecology, exploration, mystery and starting over could find a creative path through the wilderness, but the problems probably were with what was going on behind the scenes in the writers room. There were a lot of executive producers credited on Terra Nova, and with that many cooks in the kitchen, perhaps there wasn't enough of a single vision of the series for anyone to anchor themselves to.

The production company that owns Terra Nova will shop it around to other networks to see if there is any interest. At a price tag of $4 million dollars an episode, the likely candidates that could afford that kind of expense are few.

-Deadline.
Jakester
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Posts: 5753
Posted: 7 years 24 weeks ago

 I enjoyed Terra Nova. My daughter REALLY liked it.

Things really came together by the finale, but getting to that point was pretty clumsy. I don't think we ever really cared about the Shannons, and the writers made Taylor a red herring a few times so it was difficult to always see him as earnestly caring about making a fresh start for humanity.

I'm re-watching DS9, and its first season is kind of uneven as well, but its characters are more interesting (except that Julian is more of a douche than I remember).

I think the most interesting characters on Terra Nova were Taylor and the dodctor dude who had a crush on Mrs. Shannon, but since I can't remember his name, that's not saying much.

Richard Gozinya, Harold Snatch and Wilbur Jizz. Together we are the law firm Gozinya, Snatch and Jizz.