Tuesday, March 06, 2012

Terra Nova Gets the Axe

The media is now reporting the cancellation of the time-travel/sci-fi/family drama Terra Nova.

From Yahoo News: 

"The prehistoric drama "Terra Nova" is history on Fox.
The network said late Monday it is dropping the pricey sci-fi series after a single season.
The ambitious series, filmed in Australia with expensive special effects, got a lukewarm reception from viewers despite high anticipation from sci-fi fans. It averaged less than 8 million viewers weekly.
The series followed a family on its journey back to prehistoric Earth on a mission to save the human race. It starred Jason O'Mara and Stephen Lang, with behind-the-scenes principals including Steven Spielberg."
I must confess, I never tuned back in to this series after the dreadful pilot episode. Terra Nova struck me as hopelessly dumb and hackneyed, and yet I always, sincerely, intended to go back to it and give it a second go.  In fact, all the episodes are still safely ensconced on my DVR.   I hate to see science fiction programs cancelled, but also can't help but think, given what I saw, that Terra Nova was a very poorly-conceived standard-bearer for the genre on television.
Also, the news of Terra Nova's cancellation reminds me how totally arbitrary programming choices truly are.  The series was drawing eight million viewers a week on Fox.  On the CW, such numbers would have made it a blockbuster.  On Sy-Fy, those numbers would have been historic.  So, was axing Terra Nova the right call, or was mainstream success/acceptance of it just around the corner?


  1. Claudiu1:41 AM


    I saw an article today about it, and it explained everything. Extremely high production costs, firing the writing staff right before the series started, the extremely unimaginative and downright offensively moronic writing, etc.

    I gave it a few more episodes after the pilot, but it was hopeless. I'm really sad to say, but I kinda gave up on the american TV industry. If I want a quality show, these days, I head on to a Japanese anime. They are always trying something new and exciting, while adhering to the same formula, more or less.

    Speaking of which, I wanted to recommend Fortress Macros as part of your 1982 series. http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0142183/


  2. Hi Claudiu,

    I agree with your conclusions about Terra Nova, alas. Why does mainstream (big network) sci-fi have to be so dumb and generic? Why can't we get something smart like we see on AMC (Walking Dead), FX (American Horror Story) or Showtime (Dexter)?

    I will check out the link you sent!