You have to wonder, at some point, why Fox keeps making science fiction programming if the network is never really going to give it a chance. In recent years Fox has made and then quickly cancelled such shows as Firefly, Terminator: The Sarah Chronicles, Tru Calling, and Dollhouse. Now you can add Terra Nova to that list.
The somewhat surprising thing is that, ratings-wise at least, Terra Nova was closer to being a success than any of those shows. By modern standards Terra Nova’s ratings were only mediocre, not terrible, which is probably why Fox took so long to decide they wanted to swing the axe. Ironically, out of all the shows I listed Terra Nova is probably the worst of the bunch and the one that least deserved to go on.
The news of the dino-show’s cancellation comes from Deadline, where Fox admits they made money off the season and that’s pretty much all they wanted from it. They’re cashing in their chips. They further admit that, well, it wasn’t very good. Fox entertainment president Kevin Reilly says, “creatively, the show was hunting (for its identity).”
Basically they were only willing to bring it back for season 2 if tweaks were made to improve the quality of the product, and even though it earned money for them, Fox has decided it’s not worth the trouble.
I’d probably think they’re right, if this wasn’t the network that cancelled Firefly. Because of that, it’s always safe to assume Fox is wrong where science fiction is concerned.
There’s one small, very small, ray of hope out there for determined Terra Nova fans. The show is being shopped to other networks. It’s unlikely to happen, but maybe someone else will pick it up.