Fox has chosen to send the dinosaur drama Terra Nova from executive producer Steven Spielberg and starring Jason O’Mara into extinction after dragging out a decision regarding its fate since the Season 1 finale in December of last year.
Terra Nova was originally billed as one of the highest profile new pilots and shows last fall, a lavish and expensive science fiction serial drama with dino-sized visual effects and extensive sets built entirely on location in Australia. Fox went all-in on the production with Steven Spielberg’s name attached, even bringing in Stephen Lang in a manly role reminiscent of his turn in James Cameron’s Avatar.
Ultimately Terra Nova was not a cheap show to produce and it failed to attract the kind of domestic ratings Fox was hoping for. The two-hour pilot alone is said to have cost Fox around $14 million to produce. The 11-episode first and currently only season pulled in an average of 7.5 million viewers per episode, 2.6 million of those falling in the 18-49 demo that ultimately determines a show’s fate. The final nail in the coffin was the two-hour series finale that put up the lowest ratings of them all: 7.2 million viewers and a 2.1 in 18-49.
Terra Nova performed better overseas which currently is the last string of hope for the show to go on. Fox is reportedly shopping it to other networks with the international appeal as the main hook. To get production underway in a timely manner, someone would have to scoop up the rights quickly and get the ball rolling. Stars Stephen Lang and Jason O’Mara are already locked in for a second season materialize elsewhere; however, other members of the cast are already starting to lock into other roles for the fall, and each one that jumps ship lessens the likelihood of Terra Nova emerging elsewhere.
Terra Nova executive producers Brannon Braga and Rene Echevarria have openly talked about having ideas for a second season, ideas they already shared with Fox as part of the potential renewal process. Fans of the show were also behind a second season, even petitioning online for the show to go on – aided by star Jason O’Mara who has been very vocal about pushing for a renewal on Twitter.
In the end, no amount of lobbying or petitions could save Terra Nova at Fox, and its now just as extinct as the dinosaurs that co-starred in it.