Jason O'Mara and Landon Liboiron in Terra Nova.
© Brook Rushton/FOX
Netflix has decided not to get into the dinosaur business, which means that Terra Nova is probably gone for good.
The bad news in late March that Fox had dropped the extremely expensive, high-profile series despite ratings that were far from catastrophic was mitigated by the accompanying word that Netflix, expanding a bid to evolve into an online broadcaster that had already seen it salvage the cult sitcom Arrested Development, was considering taking on Terra Nova.
Even at the time, fans who were happy to hear of any white knight who might rescue such a worthy project wondered how Netflix could ramp up to such a huge project, which cost Fox tens of millions of dollars just to launch and was estimated at $4 million an episode, from its current, more humble original and exclusive programming, which also includes the comedy Orange Is the New Black, a political thriller called House of Cards, Lilyhammer, and the horror series Hemlock Grove. Could they possibly be ready for such a massive step?
One aggravating factor might be the international dimension. The high cost of entertainment production--both films and television--has long been offset by the promise of lucrative foreign sales. But Netflix does not yet have the status of a "broadcaster" in foreign markets, which made it less likely that Netflix would be able to massage the bottom line on Terra Nova with overseas sales.
Meanwhile, the debacle at Fox fueled Fox's reputation for ham-handed bungling, negligence, and outright scorn for sci-fi offerings that's thrived since the days of Firefly and wasn't assuaged by the network's blowing cold and lukewarm on more recent offerings like Dollhouse. In particular, some of the cast and crew of Terra Nova blame Fox entertainment boss Kevin Reilly for giving up on the show early and then--in a recurring problem this season--blowing off deciding on renewal until it was too late, despite the possibilities for new directions in season 2 made possible by the season 1 finale.
"Kevin took it to the last moment, and beyond a couple weeks when we could have even hit fall," one insider told TV Guide. "Once we couldn't hit fall, he wasn't sure he wanted to bring us back much later. The indecision became the decision."
As if to make the whole demise of a promising series even more of a wrench, ScienceFiction.com posted this weekend that in the wake of the Netflix decision, Fox had relented and uncanceled Terra Nova, drawing up big plans for the new season. That article, however, was posted on April 1...
One thing is clear: Terra Nova didn't fail--Fox failed Terra Nova.
|Tags: Terra Nova, Netflix, Fox|
Follow me on Twitter | Follow me on Facebook