Netflix in Talks to Revive TERRA NOVA

     March 7, 2012

terra nova

Reports on the cancellation of Terra Nova came with the requisite noise of the studio (20th Century Fox Television in this case) shopping it around to other networks.  I scoffed, because Terra Nova was a very expensive production that did not lead to big ratings.  (The two-hour series finale averaged 7.2 million viewers with a 2.2 rating in the 18-49 demo.)  However, The Live Feed reports that Netflix “has expressed interest” in continuing the sci-fi series.  I still scoff, for all the same reasons.  But the last time Netflix eyed a Fox castoff, I was just as doubtful.  Yet lo and behold, new episodes of Arrested Development are coming to Netflix in 2013.  The distinction is obviously price—it may have been difficult to negotiate deals with the now-stars that make up the AD cast, but a VFX-heavy time-travel series set in a prehistoric jungle costs a bit more to produce than a California sitcom.  Perhaps Netflix is looking for a flagship show to launch their rumored cable network and Terra Nova—a very pretty show that was never especially good—is the perfect candidate.  More after the jump.

All cynicism aside, I thought James Poniewozik wrote a wise piece about “Why You Should Care That Terra Nova Was Canceled.”  The storytelling always paled in comparison to the scope of the series, but a successful Terra Nova would have encouraged the networks to develop science fiction that was just as ambitious, and potentially much better.  As of now, the flameout of Terra Nova is another reason for risk-averse network executives to shun sci-fi and reduce costs.

So, in conclusion:

1) Netflix will not pick up Terra Nova.
2) But if Netflix does, I hope Terra Nova succeeds there and breeds evolutionarily fitter sci-fi shows.