Fox to Order 13 Episodes of Steven Spielberg Dinosaur Drama TERRA NOVA, Kyle Chandler in Talks to Star

     April 20, 2010

Fox to Order 13 Episodes of Steven Spielberg Dinosaur Drama TERRA NOVA, Kyle Chandler in Talks to Star.jpg

Last we checked in on Terra Nova, the in-development series that follows a futuristic family as they travel 150 million years to an era ridden with dinosaurs, there was talk that Fox might order it straight to series (rather than the usual pilot episode) to keep the elaborate production cost-efficient.  Deadline hears much of the same, and reports that the Fox has “unofficially” ordered 13 episodes of Terra and given producers Steven Spielberg and Peter Chernin the go-ahead to start staffing.

Behind the camera, that staff will be headed by Brannon Braga (24), who will serve as the showrunner and executive producer.  In front of the camera, EW reports that Kyle Chandler (Friday Night Lights) is in talks to lead the cast.  Details after the jump:

Braga has plenty of beloved experience in the sci-fi genre through his deep ties to the Star Trek franchise.  He’s worked in some capacity on all four post-original TV series (The Next Generation, Deep Space Nine, Voyager, and Enterprise), plus he scripted the seventh and eighth entries in the feature franchise (Generations and First Contact).  Recently, he’s worked on the last two seasons of the now-cancelled 24 and co-created the soon-to-be-cancelled FlashForward.  No sweat off his brow though, as Terra has one of the highest profiles among the broadcast series in development, and his new job is sure to net Braga a substantial paycheck.

With Spielberg producing and the high concept hook, Terra probably already falls into must-watch territory when it makes it to air.  But if they do sign Chandler for the lead role, a pack of wild velociraptors couldn’t keep me away.  Chandler has crafted an immensely authentic character during his five years on Friday Night Lights, and I imagine that kind of work could go a long way in grounding a show where the logline is composed of time travel and dinosaurs.  Fingers crossed.