Terra Nova profitable but second series yet to be given the green-light
Twentieth Century Fox Television is close to deciding whether to green-light a second series of Terra Nova.
Fox entertainment president Kevin Reilly, speaking at the Television Critics Association winter press tour over the weekend, said the series had spent much of its first season "hunting" creatively but was profitable for the company.
"We made money on it, the studio made money on it, the audience enjoyed it," he said, according to Reuters. The show was the second-highest rated drama of the fall despite declining ratings for dramas, Reilly said.
A decision to proceed would be a boon for Australian cast and crew – the initial 13-part series was filmed in south-east Queensland, employing hundreds of locals. Production needs to start in February to meet the lengthy lead times the effects-heavy show requires.
Terra Nova, initially set in an over-populated and polluted Earth in 2149 before following the ordinary Shannon family as they are transported 85 million years into the past to help restart civilization, is one of the most expensive TV series ever produced.
The last Queensland-filmed screen project of similar scale was fantasy feature The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader, which began production in 2007, although local production has remained relatively robust since then.
Terra Nova, backed by filmmaker Steven Spielberg, started shakily: the pilot began filming in November 2010 but was hit by floods, budget overruns (partly due to the strengthening Australian dollar) and visual effects difficulties.
New executive producer (and director) Jon Cassar oversaw the production's turnaround.
“It’s an expensive ambitious show that’s taking a massive chance in today’s world of cutback-cutback-cutback – here’s something that is doing the exact opposite,” Cassar told IF Magazine mid-last year.
Fans have started an online Twitter petition aimed at encouraging Fox to make a second series.