Fans of the Steven Spielberg-produced time travel drama, your days at Terra Nova are now over. Today FOX pulled the plug on the special effects heavy prehistoric sci-fi series, despite all the speculation that the show was tipping towards renewal. With House out of the way next year, there will be at least one vacant spot left open on Monday nights next season. But due to moderate ratings and a lack of creative focus, FOX prez Kevin Reilly made the final decision to close Terra Nova for good.
Back at the Winter TCAs, Reilly foreshadowed this decision. “There were a lot of chefs in the kitchen. The show was hunting for itself creatively through the season. I loved some of the episodes. If this is all we make [of Terra Nova], we made money on it, the studio made money on it, and it seems to have resonated with the family audience. If we had more holes in our network, we’d be thrilled to lock that right in.” I suppose the subtraction of House wasn’t enough to keep Terra Nova afloat on the schedule.
Am I surprised Terra Nova was erased from TV? No, not really. Though the thirteen episode first season managed to output a handful of exciting hours, overall the series disappointed due to poor writing, character development, and acting, plus the dino CGI was mostly lackluster. Props to Stephen Lange (Nathaniel Taylor) for commanding this show on his tired back. It’s certainly sad to see a show that started with so much buzz, potential, and pedigree lose its way so early on.
Can we lay Terra Nova to rest forever? Not quite yet. Backing studio 20th Century Fox TV has plans to shop the show to other networks to see if anyone else will bite. Unfortunately for fans, in all likelihood networks will not show much interest in resurrecting the show simply because it is extremely expensive to make. The question remains: is Terra Nova worth saving?
This is an “evolving post.” This means that I will be coming back to it throughout the fall TV season and updating it accordingly when news breaks concerning the fate of new programming. Get it? Got it? Good.
*Bolded shows denote the latest updates
Pickups: 2 Broke Girls, Unforgettable, Person of Interest
Cancellations: How to Be a Gentleman
Other: A Gifted Man (received 3 additional scripts on 11/15, season will contain 16 episodes total)
Pickups: Up All Night (episode count increase to 24 on 11/21), Whitney, Grimm
Cancellations: The Playboy Club, Free Agents, Prime Suspect
Still waiting on: (received additional 6 scripts on 10/12)
Sophomore status: Harry’s Law (received full season order on 11/15)
Pickups: New Girl, Terra Nova (before the season started FOX committed to do 13 episodes), The X Factor
Cancellations: Allen Gregory
Still waiting on: Napoleon Dynamite, Alcatraz
Pickups: Suburgatory, Revenge, Last Man Standing, Once Upon a Time
Cancellations: Charlie’s Angels, Work It
Still waiting on: Pan Am* (received 5 additional scripts on 11/3, 1 additional script on 11/29), Man Up! (pulled from schedule on 12/8, 8 of 13 episodes produced have aired)
*ABC released this statement: “Pan Am will wrap production on its first season in early January after completion of its 14th episode. A decision about about a second season will be made in May.”
*At the 2012 TCA winter press tour ABC said regarding Pan Am: “We have new and original shows right through February.”
Sophomore status: Happy Endings received full season order on 11/3, season will contain 22 episodes total; Body of Proof received full season order on 11/18, season will contain 20 episodes total
Pickups: Ringer, The Secret Circle, Hart Of Dixie
Today at the Television Critics Association’s winter press tour, FOX became the second big network to address its current status. Network president Kevin Reilly spent most of his time on stage addressing the future of FOX’s staple shows like House and Glee. He also made sure to feed critics with status updates on newbie Terra Nova and cult-hit Fringe. While NBC’s Greenblatt made it his mission to address head-on the ratings woes at his panel, Deadline reports that FOX’s Reilly barely had time to discuss his network’s 14 percent year-to-year ratings increase because so many of his shows are on the bubble. Let’s dive in.
Reilly on House: “It’s hard to imagine the network without House. This is not going to be the pink slip goes out and this is the end of House. We haven’t had the big meeting [with the producers] about what we want to do. It is no secret that it will be a close call, we said in May that it would probably be the show’s last year, but we just haven’t made the decision. Should it be the last season, this is not going to be an unceremonious finish, I can tell you that…It will absolutely have a satisfying conclusion on FOX. There’s no way [series creator] David Shore isn’t going to let fans feel it wasn’t properly capped off.” Though there was a period when Reilly and Shore discussed a potential House spinoff, Reilly confirms “that time has come and gone.”
On Glee: Reilly confirms that there will not be a Glee spinoff following Rachel and Kurt to New York City. In a nutshell he explained, “We’re graduating the characters that are arcing toward graduation. What’s come out of it is [series co-creator] Ryan Murphy has come up with a really cool idea. There will not be a Glee spinoff. But those characters will graduate and that’s led to a really interesting idea that I think will give us something to dig into next season, and it [starts with] the spring batch of episodes. That’s all I can say about it now.” He added that Lea Michele is definitely back next season (should Glee be renewed and it will), but he wouldn’t confirm the return of Chris Colfer and some other actors. “What I said before is creatively, we’d want everybody back,” he explained. “I’ve got to look at the contractual situation for all of those. And we will…I’m just trying to whet your appetite. But I think [what’s planned] is going to be a good thing for the show…It’s cool. It’s different.”
On Terra Nova: “It was an exciting bet to take, and it’s proven it was worthwhile. It is the second highest-rated new drama, one of the highest-rated new shows of the season. It has a distinct audience [and they] enjoyed it; they had amble opportunity to reject it and they didn’t. There’s a show there to bring back, there’s an audience to access. There were a lot of chefs in the kitchen. The show was hunting for itself creatively through the season. Creatively it was hunting. I loved some of the episodes. If this is all we make [of Terra Nova], we made money on it, the studio made money on it, and it seems to have resonated with the family audience. If we had more holes in our network, we’d be thrilled to lock that right in.” He admitted that “we won’t be able to drag our feet for much longer because it does need to get back into production in the next month” if it’s granted season 2 renewal.
On Fringe: You take the good and take the bad. First, the good: “Fringe has been a point of pride for me, I share the fans’ passion for the show. I love the fact that with it FOX put genre back on the network. I’m grateful to the fans who followed the show to Fridays, and with Fringe there, we have a real Friday night for the first time.” And now, the bad: “We lose a lot of money on the show. At that rating on that night it’s almost impossible for us to make money. We are not in the business of losing money, so we’re trying to figure out if there is a number at which we can continue with the series. He added, “I do not want to drop the ball on the end and let the fans down. Please don’t start the letter writing campaign now. I can’t take it. We haven’t even sat down with the producers and the studio yet. I hope we get some credit with the fans for seeing through a great show.”
Series co-creator J.J. Abrams even through in his two cents on the matter. “For some sick reason I’m hopeful,” Abrams said. “There’s some stuff coming up this season that’s so great. Maybe it’s dumb optimism that the good work [of the Fringe showrunners] will be rewarded. “And if not on FOX, maybe somewhere else,” he teased. Executive producer Jeff Pinkner addressed fans of the show as well. “Worst case scenario, if this were the last aired season of Fringe — and as we’ve said before, there are other outlets where we could continue our stories, be they graphic novels or webisodes — we know what the end of this season is going to be, and it can function as a series finale.” He matter-of-factly shared that even last season’s finale could have rightfully served as a proper series finale. “Had Peter, the lynchpin for the reason the show existed, been the one to sacrifice himself heroically to save the two universes and the woman he loved, it would have been a very authentic end.” And it seems like things will go the same way this time around, too. Reilly says that Pinkner and fellow exec producer J.H. Wyman will not know if the show is coming back as they come up with the season 4 finale. The episode will be written before FOX and Warner Bros. talk about a potential renewal. But if there’s anything we’ve learned from the Fringe creators thus far, it is that we can trust them.
Reilly wrapped up the panel by touching on failed animated series Allen Gregory, the fate of Ryan Seacrest on American Idol, and changes to The X Factor. On Allen Gregory: “We will not be making more Allen Gregory. Our goal was to keep as many as possible of our the legacy shows intact but continue to take shots with the next-generation (animated) shows. It turned out Allen Gregory wasn’t one of them.” On a related note, Reilly sees Bob’s Burgers joining FOX’s next generation of animated shows. On Ryan Seacrest: “As we know it is a much harder job than meets the eye. I think everyone has come to realize the value of Ryan Seacrest. It’s very hard to imagine American Idol without Ryan. We certainly want to keep him.” Seacrest’s contract is up after this upcoming season of American Idol and the network is working hard to land a new deal with him. On The X Factor, Reilly teases that “there will be some changes” and one of them might be replacing host Steve Jones with someone new. Says Reilly, “Whether Steve is the guy or not, it comes under the heading of growth in general.”
All in all, many of FOX’s shows are up in the air concerning their renewal status. With Alcatraz, Touch, The Finder, and Napoleon Dynamite still waiting to be thrown into the midseason schedule, Reilly has many things to take into consideration before making final decisions to bring back the aging House, the potential hit Terra Nova, and the genre darling Fringe.
Last year I posted my Fall TV Preview. This time around I’m breaking that idea in pieces with a new kind of post called This week in NEW TV. Essentially they will serve as expanded versions of my usual TV Reminders. These posts will crop up through October as new TV shows premiere this fall. I will recommend new shows to watch and remind you when returning favorites are coming back. If you want a broader overview of all the new series airing on the big four networks, check out 2011-12 Upfronts coverage.
Give this pilot episode a chance: Pan Am (ABC, 10PM)
Returning shows you should be watching: The Simpsons, The Cleveland Show, Family Guy, American Dad (FOX, 8PM-10PM)
Terra Nova — FOX — 8PM
The high budget sci-fi series involving time-travel and dinosaurs from Steven Speilberg, Peter Chernin, and Brannon Braga premieres Monday night. FOX is promoting it as a “TV event” since the pilot runs two hours long. With such a high pedigree behind it, a promise for spectacular visuals and special effects, and an intriguing premise (man is sent back in time to prehistoric Earth in an attempt to save a futuristic, disintegrating human race), Terra Nova is sure to please genre fans and pique the mass viewer’s interest.
Reminder: 2 Broke Girls airs at its regular 8:30PM slot Monday night.
Returning show you should be watching: Happy Endings (ABC, 9:30PM)
[Images via IGN]
Today FOX released a trio of promotional posters for the upcoming sci-fi drama Terra Nova. It wouldn’t take a rocket scientist for one to suspect that Jurassic Park director Steven Spielberg serves as executive producer on the dino-inhabited show. The posters scream “Warning”, “Do Not Feed”, and “Be Aware” and they pertain to the wild, carnivorous creatures that the time-traveling humans will run into. Now don’t expect to only see the typical T-Rex kind of dinos on this show. Says producer Brannon Braga, “We have dinosaurs we know existed from the fossil record, but what’s fun is that you get to make up your own dinosaurs.”
Terra Nova follows Jim Shannon (Jason O’Mara), a man who is sent back in time 85 million years to prehistoric Earth with his family in an attempt to save the human race. The show’s garnered a ton of buzz. Those who have seen the pilot say its going to sit well with audiences. And that select group of people is about to grow; FOX has announced that they will screen the pilot and hold a panel consisting of the creative team behind the show and the main cast at Comic Con next month in San Diego. I’ll be there and let you know if all the hype is worth generating.
Jump after the break to see the other posters.
Aw man. For those of you who have been wildly anticipating the upcoming sci-fi epic from Steven Spielberg and Peter Chernin Terra Nova, I have some unfortunate news to share with you. Citing that the production team needs more time to work on the show’s elaborate visual effects, FOX has removed the show’s special two-night sneak peek from its schedule.
Says Fox president Kevin Reilly: “Terra Nova is one of the most ambitious television series ever produced. 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 groundbreaking work.”
Adds executive producer René Echevarria: “The world of Terra Nova is visually stunning on multiple levels, and effects play an enormous part. Premiering in the fall will give us the proper time to create a world never before seen on television.”
Terra Nova was originally planned to premiere midseason this year, then it was delayed until the fall but with promise of the now-axed two-night preview. FOX has decided to fill those vacant slots (May 23 & May 24, 9PM) with the season finales of The Chicago Code and Glee. Expectations are high for this prehistoric drama; the new fall season cannot come soon enough.
This shouldn’t be much of a surprise, but #BrandBowl was trending right next to #SuperBowl in the Twittersphere during the big game today. While the sports-loving percentage of the country kept their minds focused on the Packers and Steelers, the rest of us admittedly didn’t care so much for the game and instead invested our time in watching the commercials placed neatly between timeouts and end of quarters. As you know, companies spend millions of dollars for a 30-second spot during the most watched (sporting) event on TV. So how did they fare this year? All in all they were alright; nothing wildly spectacular caught my attention but they were definitely some stand outs worth mentioning and watching again. From beer to cars to Doritos, tech, and movie trailers–it’s all after the break for you to peruse. (Click here for more…)
Mark your calendars, people. The Steven Spielberg/Peter Chernin sci-fi drama Terra Nova will air its preview event across two nights: May 23 and May 24 at 9PM. Just like FOX did with Glee, the network is going to preview the new show before its fall 2011 debut in attempt to generate buzz.
Refresher: Terra Nova follows Jim Shannon (played by Jason O’Mara), a man who is sent back in time to prehistoric Earth with his family in an attempt to save the human race. At the Television Critics Association press event, the producers screened an action-packed trailer; unfortunately it did not reveal the dinosaur design since production on the pilot episode recently wrapped and the special FX have yet to be finalized. However, many people connected to the show shared their thoughts on what to expect. Executive producer Brannon Braga (24, FlashForward) explained, “Earth is essentially dying – most animal life is extinct. They’re hoping to re-start humanity through this time fracture they’ve discovered.” The plan for the Shannons and over 1,000 time-travelling colonists is to re-colonize the planet in the past. “What effect that will have on the future, they hope it’s a positive one,” said Braga. “The characters are hoping for a second chance.” The show will have “continuing elements of suspense…[but] at the core of this show is the Shannon family.” Director Alex Graves (Fringe) says that Terra Nova is “not a scary show. It’s an adventure show. My kids have seen some of it and they love it.” He continued, “You’re going to see dinosaurs you haven’t seen before.” When asked to compare this show to groundbreaking series Lost Graves said, “It’s so made for a massively broad audience, I cannot tell you.” Insinuating that Lost catered to a very specific audience he then noted, “Terra Nova, more than anything I’ve ever done in my life, is for everybody.”
Then Braga shared some concluding remarks about the promise of this show. “It’s just a great concept. Philosophically, it’s the closest thing to Star Trek I’ve worked on since I read that show years ago. I wanted to gravitate back to a science-fiction premise with big, humanistic ideas. ” He is compelled about the focus on “people from the distant future coming to the distant past.”
The show is being shot in Australia, so you can expect a beautiful backdrop. After watching the teaser trailer, IGN described certain aspects of the show as having a Jurassic Park meets Aliens vibe.
Today FOX released some stills from the two-part pilot episode slated to air this May; check ’em out after the break along with some character profiles. And if you’re interested in reading about the trailer shown at the TCAs today click the source link.
FOX is ready to push forward with the Steven Spielberg/Peter Chernin sci-fi drama Terra Nova. The series regulars have been cast and they are: Jason O’Mara (Life on Mars; who will play lead Jim Shannon), Shelley Conn (Charlie and the Chocolate Factory; Elizabeth Shannon), Allison Miller (Boston Legal; Skye), Mido Hamada (he was baddie Samir Mehran from the last season of 24), Landon Liboiron (Degrassi: The Next Generation), and Christine Adams (The Whole Truth, Pushing Daisies). According to EW, Adams will play “a battle-hardened resident of Terra Nova who gets to know the Shannon family.” And here’s a bit of disappointing news. 24 alum David Fury–who was signed on as executive producer with pal Jon Cessar–has left the show due to “creative differences.”
Terra Nova follows Jim Shannon, a man who is sent back in time to prehistoric Earth with family in an attempt to save the human race. Production begins next week in Australia. The show premieres next fall, but FOX plans to preview the pilot this May.
Wahhhh! That’s the sound I made when I read this breaking news. The time-travelling, prehistoric journey to save mankind is being pushed back an entire year. Terra Nova, from the minds of Steven Speilberg, Brannon Braga (24, FlashForward) and David Fury (Lost), simply isn’t ready for its big debut so FOX made a swift decision to remove it from its fall 2010 premiere slot. Essentially the highly anticipated show is going to pull a Glee. Remember how FOX delicately handled the rollout of arguably network TV’s most successful new hit? Instead of premiering Glee in fall 2008, FOX aired a “preview” episode (the pilot) in May after American Idol. This allowed the show to generate tons of buzz during the summer and resulted in a huge audience wanting to see more by the time fall 2009 rolled around. FOX thinks they can do it again with Terra Nova; they plan to preview the pilot this May, generate buzz with an intense marketing campaign over the summer, and officially premiere the show in fall 2011. Read what FOX President of Entertainment Kevin Reilly has to say about the situation:
“Terra Nova will be one of the most visually stimulating and dramatically grand series to air on network television. It deserves to have an equally unique launch to distinguish that the show is unlike any other, and the spring promotional platform will give us the perfect opportunity to introduce this bold show to audiences. .. We went into it knowing it was going to be ambitious. It really became apparent that we had to do this show right. We’ll have an enormous jump on the pilot, and on the marketing side, we’ll let people understand the show.”
It will take time than anticipated for the showrunners, writers, and special FX leads to come up with “ground breaking effects” and an “entire world and mythology.” And you know what? I’m not so disappointed about all this. If the creative teams needs an additional few months to make this show the best it can be, I am certainly willing to wait the extra while until things are properly locked and loaded. This show promises to be explosive both in storytelling and visuals–I’m already hooked! I have no doubt that the May preview pilot will wow audiences and everyone will be counting the days until its proper fall 2011 launch.
Terra Nova just keeps getting better–and it hasn’t even started yet! The Steven Spielberg/Peter Chernin sci-fi drama is starting to look like a 24 reunion nowadays. Executive producers Brandon Braga (24, FlashForward) and David Fury (24, Lost) are joined by Jon Cessar who served as executive producer and recurring director on every season of 24 (with the exception of season 8). Cessar joins Terra Nova as executive producer and regular series director. He will take over as director for a multi-episode arc after taking the reins from Alex Graves (Fringe) who is set to direct the pilot.
Terra Nova stars Jason O’Mara as Jim Shannon, a man who is sent back in time to prehistoric Earth with family in an attempt to save the human race. Production is set to being at the end of this summer in Australia and the show is expected to debut its thirteen-episode order midseason on FOX.