For those who came in late, Terra Nova’s produced by Steven Spielberg and revolves around a time when our planet has become over-developed and 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 cast includes Jason O’Mara, Shelley Conn, Landon Liboiron, Allison Miller, Naomi Scott, Alana Mansour, Stephen Lang, Rod Hallett, and Christine Adams.
Terra Nova premiered last September with a pair of installments which 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 but held viewers through the two hours. The third episode drew about the same as the first two episodes. Episode four fell by 19% in the demo and later episodes hit a low of a 2.1 rating in the demo three times.
The season averaged a 2.5 rating in the demo and 7.52 million viewers. Those aren’t bad numbers but also aren’t good enough to ensure a pick up — especially considering that Terra Nova is expensive to produce. FOX entertainment president Kevin Reilly once noted that the network was committed to purchasing 22 installments if the show was renewed.
FOX initially had a December 31st deadline to make a decision on renewing Terra Nova but bought themselves some extra time by picking up the options on many of the actors’ contracts.
Reilly had concerns about the creative direction of the show so Terra Nova producers and 20th Century Fox Television began approaching showrunners and senior writers about possibly joining the series for next season. Reilly was reportedly pitched several potential scenarios and writers but he didn’t take to any of them. A last ditch meeting on Friday supposedly went well but Reilly ultimately decided late yesterday to cancel the show.
The decision comes as somewhat of a surprise since the network and studio both made money on the show and has Spielberg’s name attached. Word is that studio 20th Century TV will now shop the series to other potential outlets. The mediocre ratings and hefty price tag — reportedly about $4 million per episode — won’t make it an easy sell. The talent options supposedly expire at the end of June, keeping those castmembers from being in contention for potential new series.
What do you think? Are you disappointed that FOX has cancelled Terra Nova? Are you surprised?
Image courtesy FOX.