Fox late Monday decided to pull the plug on its ambitious dino-drama “Terra Nova” after the show delivered middling ratings in its freshman season.
Studio 20th Century Fox said it would shop the series to other networks. A last-minute attempt to give the show an infusion of fresh creative talent was made late last week, as drama vet Ed Bernero (“Criminal Minds”) was courted to help guide the show’s second season as an exec producer. But Fox entertainment topper Kevin Reilly ultimately decided to pass on another round of the costly drama lensed in Australia.
The project came together with ultra high-profile auspices, shepherded by exec producers Steven Spielberg and Peter Chernin.
It went straight from script to a 13-episode order, in part because the vfx requirements of the show were so great as to demand that costs be amortized over multiple episodes rather than just a pilot.
The show faced an uphill battle on the creative front almost from the start. Its premiere was delayed from its initial planned launch as a midseason entry in the 2010-11 season to last fall.
“Terra Nova” revolved around a futuristic world where humans have discovered a portal to travel back to prehistoric times to escape rampant pollution on Earth. Skein featured a large ensemble cast toplined by Jason O’Mara and Stephen Lang.
Exec producer Aaron Kaplan pulled the original pieces together in early 2010 from a concept generated by scribes Kelly Marcel and Craig Silverstein.
The cancelation of “Terra Nova” likely boosts the odds of a renewal for one or both of Fox’s other frosh dramas, “Alcatraz” and “The Finder,” both of which have delivered only so-so ratings. And still to come is Kiefer Sutherland starrer “Touch,” which bows March 22.