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Terra Nova: Premiere Ratings

Terra Nova ratingsFOX first announced this show back in 2010 and it took this long to bring Terra Nova to the small screen. Some viewers have been “chomping at the bit” to see it but, for the most part, it looks like the general audience isn’t all that interested.

Per the fast affiliate numbers, last night’s two-hour premiere of Terra Nova attracted a 3.0 in the 18-49 demographic and 8.99 million total viewers. Though those numbers are okay, the network was surely hoping for much bigger considering the size of this new series. It was in third place for its timeslots, beaten by ABC and CBS.

Aside from Friday night’s return of Fringe, this was the network’s weakest scripted series premiere so far this season.

Compared to last season’s 8pm premiere of House, the network was down by 29% in the demo and 16% in viewers. On the positive side, Terra Nova improved over last year’s Lone Star premiere by 230% and 219% respectively. That was, as you surely remember, the fist new show of the season to be cancelled.

So, while Terra Nova isn’t a out-of-the-gate bomb, it’s not an immediate hit either. Its fate will ultimately be decided as we see how future episodes perform.

NOTE: The weekly ratings are now available.

What do you think? Do you like the Terra Nova TV series? What’s your gut instinct? Do you think it’ll be cancelled like so many other sci-fi shows or be renewed for a second season?

 

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{ 32 comments… read them below or add one }

Momma October 10, 2011 at 12:00 am

Love Terra Nova. Don’t Cancel it. I wasnt to sure about it but once I watched it I love it and have my family loving it. Give it a chance.

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Thalidamide Baby October 9, 2011 at 1:44 pm

A MESS.
One of the characters explains WHY crushing an ant in this pre-historic second-chance for mankind won’t unpredictably alter the future – “…we are on a different ‘time path’….” if so, what the heck difference does it make what they do???? It would seem to be just as well, since they are all too fond of zooming around in their “FOSSIL” fuel powered dune buggies (incidentally – what ARE they using to fuel their jalopies?)

Really – those Ray Harryhausen/claymation birds didn’t poop all over everything? And what kind of viral (not internet) material might have lurked in that poop? Something none of these one dimensional stereotypes would have any immunity from that’s for sure…..
Honestly, this thing would have been a clunker on television circa 1966. Lose it.

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BellaDonna October 8, 2011 at 5:56 am

LOVE TERRA NOVA AND started watching because I enjoyed Shelley Conn in the BBC America series the “Mistresses “and wanted to see her acting in this Sci-Fi adventure and now I am hooked!! Great special effects and Jason and Shelley make a good pairing!!

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Darvedd October 3, 2011 at 10:44 am

I watched the pilot episodes but was very unimpressed with the pedestrian dialogue, poor CGI and many, many illogical plot actions by the characters and won’t be watching again-no real advance on ‘Earth 2′, another Spielberg production that only lasted one season.

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Anonymous October 3, 2011 at 3:24 am

So let me get this right, “we” in the future have figured out Time Travel, but can not fix the air quality or the planet. I would have thought that to be the at least easier to achieve than time travel, but I’m incorrect it seems. :)

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Bruce September 29, 2011 at 9:30 am

DVR’d the first episode. I have been trying to finish watching it, but it keeps putting me to sleep. Literally. I’m at the part where the cute girl is leading the grumpy son around by his nose, and they jump off the waterfall. I have turned over, and listened to them talking, and fell asleep twice there. I think I’ll just delete it.

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Kat September 29, 2011 at 10:22 am

It’s understandable that the slow-paced opening (which I personally don’t mind at all) is putting you to sleep, but it’s the first hour you need to really appreciate the developments in the second hour. All I can say is that Terra Nova is a lot more than a teen drama and if that part’s putting you to sleep, fast forward a bit and see if something else interests you. At the waterfall, they come across these cryptic equations scribbed on rocks, which lead to a greater mystery. Have you gotten to the explanation for “Sixers” (the rebel faction seeking to overtake Terra Nova) yet? I don’t think so… and you definitely haven’t gotten to the grim consequences of teenagers being teens in dinosaur-era Earth yet.

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Bruce October 1, 2011 at 8:21 am

Kat, you were right..I gave it one more chance, and the third time through since I was awake (lol), I picked up the things I missed, including them finding the markings on the rocks, the fact that the Commander doesn’t want people going to that area, etc. Also, the second hour, which finally had some action in it, where the commandos had to go out and extract the stupid kids, was pretty good. I will keep watching. The only thing I don’t like NOW, is since I now LIKE the show, it will turn out that FOX thinks the 16 year olds or whatever aren’t watching, so when the 4th episode draws “only” 7 million viewers, they will cancel it, and put on some “dance dance dance” thing instead. Ugh.

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Meladi September 28, 2011 at 11:51 pm

Dear God I hope they don’t cancel it. I want at least three seasons out of this show. Fox breeds to get with modern times – just because only 9 million watched the premier as it aired, doesn’t mean only those people watch it. I and millions of others ditched over the air television, and get all our shows with hulu plus or Netflix. Nielson ratings mean nothing in the age of streaming video.

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Bruce September 29, 2011 at 9:37 am

Meladi, I cannot agree with you MORE. I have been visiting this site for quite awhile and of my most frequent complaints is regarding the network exec morons and the fact that they use tech that is 60 years old to compute their “ratings.” No, its not 1952 anymore, everyone is not watching in real time, with a black and white TV with an indoor antenna. We’ve now got cable, satellite (with east coast feeds), DVR’s, Hulu, NetFlix, Itunes, and so on. Personally I DVR most of the shows that I watch, because I work at night, and also so that I can watch them when *I* want to, and zip through most of the ads. The network boneheads don’t realize that “ratings” these days are composed of ALL of this most importantly the millions of people (like me), that RECORD something and watch it LATER. For example, I watch NIKITA every single week, but NOT at Friday at 8pm. I might get to it on Sunday at 2pm.

Network morons.

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Steven Watson September 28, 2011 at 8:01 am

I enjoyed the show but I’ve said from the start it will get canceled with no season 2 unless it pulls in massive numbers. Unfortunatly, anything sci-fi doesn’t last at all. They need to ditch the Nielson Rating system and just track through the cable and other tv providers what people are watching. I think they would find that the shows they keep canceling have a lot more viewers than they give them credit for. For every 10 people with a Nielson box or diary there are probably 50-100 people that don’t have one that watch the show. Get with the times TV exec’s, drop Nielson and use the tech you have to get the truth!

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mike September 28, 2011 at 1:10 am

Terra Nova is far from perfect, but it’s a joy to watch and just about anyone should find something to like.
At its heart, Terra Nova wants to be equal parts Avatar, Jurassic Park and Lost. The unspoiled sci-fi setting gives the characters (if not the audience) the exploratory wonder of Pandora, while the monsters share a lot of creative DNA with Stephen Spielberg’s prehistoric opus. But these things do not a serial story make, and that’s where the Lost-style mystery comes in.
There are several questions and conflicts established in the pilot, with the best among them being the rebellious Sixers. These anti-establishment pilgrims have their own agenda, and while not exactly evil, their past and present intentions could certainly be considered insidious. Since you can’t have all dinos all the time, look for this group to provide a lot of the human conflict throughout the first season.
The mysterious apparitions that point towards previous settlers of the supposedly uninhabited timeline can be taken one of two ways. It’s either a promising beginning towards a multi-season mystery… or a groan-inducing start to a multi-season mystery. While intrigue is always welcome, I fear that science fiction fans jaded after disappointing ends to Lost and Battlestar Galactica may be tired of the suspense-payoff game. You be the judge
The more subtle aspects of the pilot are hit-or-miss. The squabbling between protagonist Jim Shannon (Jason O’Mara, Life on Mars) and his teenage son Josh (Landon Liboiron) falls flat, as do pretty much all of the adolescent performances. But the interactions between Jim, wife Elisabeth (Shelley Conn, How Do You Know) and their illegal daughter Zoe are genuinely touching, and given the events in certain parts of the world, surprisingly timely.
As a matter of fact, the Dystopian future world that the Shannon family is escaping seems at least as interesting as their past paradise. While the world of 2149 is collapsing, the civil authority still has control in some terrifying ways. The crumbling, Blade Runner-inspired sets and cityscapes are breathtaking. I hope there’s more communication between Terra Nova‘s separate worlds in the coming episodes.
As far as speculative fiction goes, the show plays with some established big ideas without adding anything new. The bifurcated time travel idea is well-trodden, but not unwelcome (the show deals with A Sound of Thunder-type paradox quickly). The intrigue will come organically from the characters and the setting – while Doctor Who is throwing around fresh ideas every week, a more tame telling is probably appropriate for a broadcast audience.
Headliner Stephen Lang lights up the screen whenever he appears, and his character is complex enough to hold the viewer’s interest in its own right. Unlike the gruff marine from Avatar, Commander Taylor is hard, but strategically sympathetic. Likewise, the rebel leader Mara (Christine Adams, Tron: Legacy) is fun to watch. The interaction between these two is a highlight of the pilot, and should continue to be so.
The show shines on almost every single technical aspect. To say that Terra Nova is ambitious is an understatement of mammoth proportions. Never before has a network show attempted to create a serialized effects-heavy summer blockbuster on a television budget, even one as massive as this one. Every aspect of the production design oozes quality, from the huge on-location sets to the computer-generated dinosaurs that are the real stars. Make no mistake: Terra Nova would not be possible ten (or possibly even five) years ago. The movie magic on display, especially that of the tooth and claw variety, is far and away the best that’s ever been seen on television.
A scene inside a disabled Jeep is the high point of the episode. Panic-stricken kids facing Slashers (Raptors with more style) create an intense feeling of real danger for the characters. This is rare in a network pilot, and the short moments give the remaining screen time an edge.
This isn’t to say that there aren’t compromises. To make the prehistoric setting a reality on a TV budget, the dinos and a lot of establishing shots are almost 100% computer-generated. There are none of the brilliant practical effect hand-offs that made Jurassic Park an instant classic – frequent moviegoers may find their jaded suspension of disbelief on autopilot. Compounding that, the scenes in the Terra Nova settlement are all beautifully realized, but sterile. They bring to mind a more earthy version of the Starfleet Academy campus from the later Trek series: too clean and natural to be real, especially considering the more wild segments on the jungle and grasslands.
That’s not the only thing Terra Nova has in common with Star Trek. The entire setting seems just a little bit too clean, a little too orderly (once they leave the future, that is). This extends to the dialogue and action – serviceable and at times exciting, but still a little stiff. I sense the hand of Trek veteran producer Brannon Braga. This may loosen up in future episodes as the cast and crew become more confident. On the upside, Terra Nova should be just fine for most children in the 10-12 range, a welcome decision for parents hoping to enjoy an evening with the family.
Aspects like music and costumes are… well, they’re there. The soundtrack is appropriately epic without being anything you’d hum the next day. The costumes and gear are typical near-future commando and natural warrior fare, though the futuristic vehicles and weapons make interesting viewing. However, the stalking monsters and beautiful setting outshine these more pedestrian parts of production. Some of the little details will nag paleontology buffs (“That’s not what an oviraptor looks like! Those pteranodons weren’t there for another ten million years! Wouldn’t a domesticated brachiosaurus need miles of grazing land?!”) but the overall effect will thrill the young and imaginative.
On the whole, my complaints are nitpicks on an impressive accomplishment. Viewers looking for action will be satisfied and then some. While the dinosaur appearances are a relatively small part of the 120-minute premiere, their presence is felt throughout, and help to smooth over Terra Nova‘s dramatic wrinkles. There’s competent acting and storytelling to fill in the gaps, and enough mystery to keep people coming back for more.
The long wait was worth it. Terra Nova is the scripted television event of the fall, and with good reason. You owe it to yourself to check the premiere out.
…..from ScreenRant

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Bizzle September 28, 2011 at 1:08 am

This show was really good! To many wannabe TV critics hating on every new show these days! I hope it doesn’t get cancelled I can’t believe I’m even talking about it being cancelled after one episode! Give it a chance for Christ sake

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mike September 28, 2011 at 12:44 am

I loved it, which a bad sign. Most shows that I like get cancelled quickly.
New shows that I see once or twice and decide are not worth it, end up
running 4 or more seasons.

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Jeremy Rynek September 27, 2011 at 11:55 am

Well it’s fox. THEY WILL CANCEL AT LEAST BY SEASON 3. I was surprised as hell when they renewed raising hope. But they did. This show is much more expensive. So just know YOU ARE NOT GONNA GET ANYTHING GOOD FROM THIS SHOW. YOU WILL BE DISAPPOINTED BY THE END!!!!

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Kat September 27, 2011 at 11:09 am

I’m saddened to hear that this show and Fringe didn’t do well. Those are pretty much the only shows I watch on FOX, now that they’ve cancelled Dollhouse, Human Target, etc. And Terra Nova was fun! You had to stick around for the second hour to really get the pay off, but it was worth the wait. Of course, the emotional payoff in the first fifteen minutes or so, the Shannons’ journey to escape an unlivable future and their hope to remain together as a family in a new place, was pretty amazing. The rest of show didn’t quite live up to the opening, but I think they managed to set things up well enough for an entire season (it’s a new timestream, mysterious equations, two warring factions, etc.). Their numbers probably would’ve been bigger if it hadn’t taken so long to premiere.

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Daniel H. JAYD September 27, 2011 at 11:03 am

Hi,
OK, I am french from Montreal Canada. Sorry if my english is not perfect.
This first episode of Terra Nova is honestly great. The cast (Stephen Lang and Jason O’Mara…).Stephen bring me to the series after his outstanding performance in Avatar. He’ s back ! And the question is. Who are the most dangerous, All dinosaurs or Commander Nathaniel Taylor?
For the nostalgic audiences of The Jurassic Park movie series and most recently Avatar, Terra Nova are the best you can expect from (the ingredients) of this two huge success. With minor slight weakness on CGI effect,(You quickly forget this point because of the pace.) the first episode look like more a $150 millions bluckbuster movie budget then television series pilote. We must now follow the evolution and depth of the characters.
Congratulation FOX, Stephen Spielberg and the whole team and cast for the good work.

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Jason September 27, 2011 at 10:58 am

No second season for this one, methinks. I’ll watch it, but I hope the dialogue improves.

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