Fox cancels Steven Spielberg’s sci-fi epic ‘Terra Nova’

by Scott Collins

Los Angeles Times (MCT)

6 March 2012


LOS ANGELES — The dinosaurs will roam no more: Fox has axed “Terra Nova.”

The time-travel epic executive produced by Steven Spielberg got the bad news Monday that it would not be returning next season, the network confirmed in a statement. There’s talk of selling the show to another network, but no formal pitch has been put together yet, according to a source connected to the series.

One of the most heavily publicized new shows of this season, “Terra Nova” was also one of the costliest TV shows ever, with a two-hour pilot that cost $20 million. Much of that expense went to creating special effects that included sophisticated renderings of dinosaurs that greet travelers who are zapped 85 million years into the past. The show required six additional weeks of post-production per episode (the typical drama gets about four weeks total) just to process the effects. The Australian locations also added up on the cost side of the ledger.

The premiere drew a respectable 9.2 million total viewers, according to Nielsen, but the show never grew or broke through in a way that justified its enormous outlay. The finale in December delivered just 7.4 million viewers.

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