Prehistoric drama will launch in fall

“Terra Nova” won’t have the benefit of a head start on the competition.

Fox’s buzzed-about prehistoric drama will launch in fall, not in May, as previously announced. Show was originally set to debut with two one-hour episodes as a sneak peek.

Because it’s taking longer than expected to complete all the visual effects, the series will now likely debut in September — along with most of the season’s other new shows competing for viewers.

The network was hoping to air the first hour of the two-hour pilot May 23 behind the season finale of “House” and the second hour May 24 behind the final performance show of “American Idol.” That strategy worked well for “Glee,” which premiered after an episode of “Idol” in May 2009.

“‘Terra Nova’ is one of the most ambitious television series ever produced,” Fox prexy Kevin Reilly said. “The cutting-edge visual effects used to create the world of ‘Terra Nova,’ which is of massive scope and scale, require more time to be realized. This aspect of the series is essential, so we are pushing back the special early preview date to give the visual effects team the time needed for their ground-breaking work.”

Steven Spielberg exec produces the 20th Century Fox Television series, which follows a family who travels back in time to prehistoric Earth to save the human race. Jason O’Mara, Stephen Lang and Shelley Conn star.

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