Why FOX hasn't yet decided about Terra Nova (but needs to fast)

Well, we were hoping to hear news in December that Terra Nova would get a second season, and it didn't happen. We're still waiting, but hopefully we won't have to wait much longer. It's almost decision time for FOX, and in the case of Terra Nova, time really is of the essence.

On Sunday, FOX (and all the other networks) will face reporters at the winter TV Press Association tour, and Terra Nova's fate is likely to be among the frequently asked questions. The show was not the runaway hit FOX was hoping for, but it did maintain respectable ratings throughout its first season, and the network has already locked down stars Stephen Lang and Jason O'Mara for a second season, even if one doesn't happen.

So, will Terra Nova get a renewal order this month or won't it? If FOX wants to bring the series back, they have to make the call soon. A show on the scale of Terra Nova—heavy on the special effects and post-production work—has to get rolling no later than April if it's going to be back in time for a September premiere. So why haven't network execs just made the call already? Well, because they're basically flying blind.

See, FOX has only four new dramas set to premiere during the 2011/2012 TV season, and Terra Nova is the only one out of the gate so far. The rest, including the J.J. Abrams-produced sci-fi series Alcatraz and the supernatural drama Touch, haven't premiered yet. It won't be clear whether any of those shows have staying power for at least a few more weeks, so Terra Nova might end up being the strongest new drama in the FOX lineup. Then again, if they renew the show too quickly, it could end up the weakest.

Added to this, Deadline is reporting that FOX's other new dramas—the ones still in development—haven't completely taken shape yet. That means more uncertainty further down the line in the 2012/2013 season. Such is the life of a TV executive.

So, FOX has a conundrum and Terra Nova is right in the center of it. Maybe come Sunday the network execs can give us a little clarity. In the meantime, how strong do you think this show's chances of renewal are?

(Via Deadline)

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