Pricey prehistoric Fox drama Terra Nova has been cancelled, ending months of ongoing speculation.

According to online reports, Fox has made the dinosaur series extinct, however it will be shopped to other networks.

Despite Terra Nova – the most expensive TV series ever – running a profit, the move comes as no surprise. Season two needed to go into production in February for the heavy visual effects to be completed before the fall (September).

This is a major sting for the local industry which had hopes for a second series being shot in Australia. Hundreds of locals were employed for the 13-part first series, which was shot in southeast Queensland. They included Oscar-winner John Cox and Emmy-winner Angelo Sahin (their work can be seen in the February/March issue of IF Magazine).

It would’ve been a major boon for the local industry after big-budget feature film Paradise Lost was cancelled last month because of budget problems.

Fox Entertainment president Kevin Reilly said earlier this year that it was the second-highest rated drama of the fall, in the midst of declining ratings for dramas.

The first series – backed by Hollywood heavyweight Steven Spielberg – followed the Shannon family as they were transported 85 million years into the past to help restart civilisation. In the US it reportedly averaged 7.5 million total viewers. Reviews were positive at the start and at the end of the series, however the show slipped in the middle.

Fox will instead focus on developing five new drama pilots, including a project from The Vampire Diaries’ Kevin Williamson starring Kevin Bacon. Its new series Alcatraz, starring Sam Neill, and Touch, starring Kiefer Sutherland, have opened with impressive numbers.