It’s only been a few days since Fox announced that they weren’t renewing Terra Nova and already word is stirring that at least one network is interested in picking it up. Personally I think it was a waste of money for Fox not to try Terra Nova out for a second season with some adjustments. However, this is now an opportunity that another network can take advantage of.
So why would a network want to take up a show that was cancelled by another? The answer is simple, to make money. Fox decided not renew Terra Nova because they didn’t think it was making enough money to continue on with. But that’s because they started out with a huge budget (reportedly a whopping 10 to 20 million just on the two hour premiere) which was unnecessary. Most of the production money would have gone into the special effects on the show, mainly the dino’s, which could have been reduced greatly. Fans don’t need to see them every episode to know they’re there. Fox also spent a great amount of money on the shots of 2149 which the next network can chose to either not show at all or in a different (less expensive) way.
Fox learned the hard way that the fans were far more interested in the character development than big action every episode. When the first season started out the writers used stand-alone episodes. This meant that someone could start watching the show at any point in the start of the season and not be lost. The downside – it was really boring. Topics would be brought up and then forgot the next episode. When fans wanted to connect with the characters they were given big explosions and a few dino’s. The writers realized this wasn’t working and switched about halfway through season. This vastly improved the remainder of the season but in the process they probably lost fans.
So why should another network pick up the show? Terra Nova actually did pretty well with ratings. It averaged about 7.5 million viewers total and 2.6 million in the demographic of 18-49 year olds that advertisers look for. And when fans realized the show was in trouble they started campaigns to save it. This included many online petitions and a campaign to send toy dino’s to the producers. It doesn’t hurt that the show still has the back of executive producer Steven Spielberg and star Jason O’Mara. Plus they get the advantage of already knowing what doesn’t work for the show and can make it better without having the losses that Fox is taking. And what’s better than kicking off a show that already has a loyal fan base? It’s less risky than ordering a pilot not knowing how well it will do.
Do you agree that another network could gain from picking up Terra Nova or do you think the show is better off left extinct?