Fox Cancels Terra Nova

Fox has officially cancelled the Spielberg-produced beleaguered spot-the-dinosaur drama Terra Nova , reports Deadline .

After months of speculation, the axe finally fell when desperate attempts by the production company to find a new showrunner who could convince Fox that the show could be re-energised for a second season failed. All hope for the show isn’t lost, with the producers hoping that some other network will pick up the show. “Bad news guys,” star Jason O’Mara tweeted late Monday. “ Terra Nova has been cancelled by Fox…We’re gonna try and get another network to do it. Stand by.”

Don’t hold your breath, though. Because while the show was a moderate ratings hit – averaging just over seven million viewers an episode in the US, with a healthy pick-up on DVR – and was selling well to other networks around the world (it was getting undeniably phenomenal ratings for Sky 1 HD here in the UK) it was also legendarily expensive. The pilot allegedly cost $14 million, with subsequent episodes checking in at $4 million each. For that kind of moolah, Fox was expecting much bigger ratings (and the audience was expecting more dinosaurs).

The show seemed cursed from the start, with numerous delays to its pilot, and a rapid turnover of producers and writing staff. If another network does pick up Terra Nova , it seems likely it would need to have a severe budget cut. Meanwhile, the Primeval spin-off, New World , being made in Canada – and which will air on Space over there and on Watch in the UK – will no doubt be currently looking for buyers among US networks as well, and that show may look like a more attractive (ie, cheaper) dino-alternative.

So what does that mean for Fox’s other sci-fi shows, Fringe and Alcatraz ? Both have far from certain futures, though Deadline hints that Fox’s current thinking with Fringe is 13-episode season five to wrap up all the plot threads (again, Fringe is far from a ratings hit for the network, but it does sell well overseas).