Tonight, FOX is airing the season finale of Terra Nova, the network’s latest foray into science fiction. Does the TV series have a chance at returning for a second season or will it be cancelled instead?
On Terra Nova, our planet has been over-developed and is overcrowded. Mankind’s only chance for survival is to make use of a newly discovered fracture in time and try to colonize pre-historic Earth. The Shannon family is chosen to participate but they find their new home is far from paradise. The cast includes Jason O’Mara, Shelley Conn, Landon Liboiron, Allison Miller, Naomi Scott, Alana Mansour, Stephen Lang, and Christine Adams.
The TV show debuted on September 26th with a pair of installments. They attracted an average of a 3.1 rating in the 18-49 demographic and 9.22 million total viewers. It was third in its timeslots and held viewers through the two hours, a good indication that they’d be back the following week. And, they did return. The third episode drew about the same as the first two episodes.
Unfortunately, that didn’t last. Week three fell by 19% in the demo. Over the course of the season, the numbers have fluctuated quite a bit week to week, hitting a low of a 2.1 in the demo three times. Terra Nova currently averages a 2.5 in the all-important demo and 7.6 million viewers. It’s the seventh most-watched scripted series on the network, out of 14, and currently has a “C” on our season ratings report card. That’s not bad but certainly not a shoe-in for renewal either. It doesn’t help that the show is very expensive to produce.
In September, FOX head Kevin Reilly said that, because of the additional production time needed, a decision would have to be made, “Before the first of the year, at the latest. We couldn’t wait until the spring and see how everything else plays out; otherwise, we would never be able to deliver the following year.”
That decision has now been delayed until sometime in 2012. O’Mara recently tweeted, “Decision to pick up #TerraNova for S2 deferred to New Year by @FOXBroadcasting. Everyone involved remains confident and optimistic.”
While this delay doesn’t mean that the show is history, the network isn’t in any hurry to give it a renewal. The network is most likely waiting to see how well new shows Alcatraz and Touch perform before making a commitment to a second season of Terra Nova. If it does gets renewed, depending on how long they wait to make a decision, the episodes may not be ready until mid-season. Given the budget and the ratings, it seems unlikely to get more than a 13 episode order, if it returns at all.
What do you think? Do you hope that Terra Nova gets renewed for a sophomore season or should it be cancelled to make way for something else?
Image courtesy FOX.