Fox has cancelled drama series Terra Nova after just one season. The series, from high profile producers Steve Spielberg, Peter Chernin and Jon Cassar, has been in limbo since it aired it’s finale in December 2011 and Fox’s President of Entertainment Kevin Reilly has now decided to pull the plug.
Terra Nova followed the Shannon Family who, due to rapidly dwindling resources on earth in the year 2149, must travel back in time to an alternate timeline with the tenth pilgrimage to the settlement of Terra Nova in the hopes of preserving the Human race. Terra Nova stars Jason O’Mara as Jim Shannon, Shelley Conn as Dr Elisabeth Shannon, Stephen Lang as Nathaniel Taylor, Landon Liboiron as Josh Shannon, Naomi Scott as Maddy Shannon, Alana Mansour as Zoe Shannon, Christine Adams as Mira and Allison Miller as Skye.
The series premiered on September 26, 2011 with its two hour premiere attracting an average audience of 9.22 million total viewers and a 3.1 rating in the 18-49 demographic in live + same day. The ratings dropped consistently across the show’s 13 episode run with the series finale pulling in 7.24 million total viewers and a 2.2 rating, leading to a season average of 7.5 million total viewers and a 2.5 rating.
Those numbers, which were only ever “ok” for Fox, were counterbalanced by the high cost of the series. According to various sources, the pilot episode cost around $14 million, with the remaining episodes costing $4-4.5 million dollars per episode. As such a second season of Terra Nova was far from guaranteed, but given the high profile names attached to the series, strong international sales, as well as the performance of two of Fox’s other new drama series, The Finder and Alcatraz, the cancellation of the series is a surprise.
I have also been told that the series may not be dead just yet. Production studio 20th Century Fox Television is trying to sell the series to a new network for next season. If they are successful in doing so, given the lead time needed for the extensive CGI used on the show, the show’s second season would likely not premiere until mid-season 2013. That said, I have been told that the chances of another network picking up the series are slim to none. The feeling is that it is not something ABC or CBS would have any interest in, NBC may feel it too risky given their relative performance in the ratings and Syfy, where the series may be the best fit, are likely to consider the series far too expensive to even contemplate picking it up.
We will be monitoring the situation with Terra Nova and will bring you more as we have it.
TVWise’s Broadcast TV Scorecard has been updated with this new information