What Should Fox Do With Terra Nova?

Monday, December 19 may be the last chance you'll ever have to see a kid named Josh Shannon shred on his acoustic guitar, a sci-fi show become a teen soap, or what maybe looks something like a dinosaur in the shadows. Fox's Terra Nova, which just a few short months ago was our most-anticipated show of the 2011 fall season (and is now our biggest disappointment of the 2011 season), will ends its 13-episode first season with its future up in the air.

By now you know plenty about the show's dirty laundry. It's incredibly expensive to produce—the pilot alone is estimated to have cost between $10 million and $20 million, and subsequent episodes carried prices tags much higher than the average dramas. The show's bottom line is most dramatically affected by hefty post-production costs tied to computer-generated prehistoric birds, fish, and baby Ankylosaurs, none of which should generate any technical Emmy buzz. Terra Nova has also become a punching bag for critics (myself included), and has received a split decision from fans who recognize that it's a children's show that's going Trick-or-Treating as an adult show. (Sorry, but that's the truth.)

Yesterday, star Jason O'Mara tweeted out this renewal news: "SCOOP: Decision to pick up #TerraNova for S2 deferred to New Year by @FOXBroadcasting. Everyone involved remains confident and optimistic." As for those of us who aren't involved, we're not confident and optimistic.

What would you do if you were Fox? Keep shelling out money for a second season of a critically beaten show that's only doing so-so in the ratings? (Note: I say "so-so" because it's fallen far below inflated expectations; by normal accounts, it's doing fine in the ratings.) Simply put: No. But the decision gets more complicated for Fox when you look toward the future.

I asked Bill Gorman, co-founder of ratings-hound site TVbytheNumbers, for his take on Terra Nova's chances, and he said: "Considering the weakened state that all of the Fox drama ratings are in this fall, Terra Nova ratings aren't terrible, and I think the way it could come back is if the costs can be brought down (vs. the conventional wisdom that they are quite high). Can that be done? Theoretically, yes. Will it be done? We'll have to wait and see."

Fringe may not be back for a fifth season. House is coming to a close. That leaves Bones and Glee as potentially Fox's only remaining veteran hour-long dramas. Bones spin-off The Finder, J.J. Abrams-produced Alcatraz, and Tim Kring's Touch all debut over the next few months, but none of them are drawing early buzz (I haven't heard a single peep on Touch, for better or for worse). Let's assume that only one of those three newbies earns a second season. That leaves plenty of open space in Fox's schedule. In short, Fox's dramas have some drama.

Fox could shrug its shoulders and bring back Terra Nova due to attrition among its other dramas, but all the network would be left with is a pricey series that hasn't shown any sign of getting better and that will lose a large chunk of the audience that right now is only clinging on out of curiosity. Nine months off the air—if renewed, the show wouldn't return until next September—will demolish any remaining intrigue. Or Fox could bring the show back with a drastically reduced budget, meaning that it'd be a dinosaur show with a lot less dinosaurs. Or hopefully, a man in a rubber dinosaur suit.

The execs at Fox will head to the table and make a decision about Terra Nova early next year because the show has one of those annoying long production schedules due to time-consuming post-production issues. I think they'd best serve the network by canceling the show and rolling the dice on new projects; otherwise they'll be saddled with another 13-episode run that will likely only solves half of one of its problems in a transition season.


Follow TV.com writer Tim Surette on Twitter: @TimAtTVDotCom

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My favourite part off Terra Nova (or one off many I should say) was the romance level in it wich is practically NON EXISTANT in this entire genre wich would´ve put it in the drama genre if not for the obvious (it WAS called a sci fi drama I think) it was more then refreshing to see a show where not everything was centered around gunfights,battles and sex all the time! Though like most fans i believe I came in very late(saw it two weeks ago) but I fell in love with this show emmediately! And I also hope for a revival! Though as long as sci fi have this certain "dork stamp" it will be hard to atract viewers from other genres a LOT off the fans off the show are non sci fi fans! But many off the bashers complain about the teen angst and general "mushyness" of the show(the VERY obvious romance between Maddy Shannon and gentleman soldier Mark Reynolds wich I found extremely endearing) and that the youngest daughter was TOO CUTE...what the? What is wrong with a kid being cute I thought that would be a normal thing for kids to be cute?!? And they also complained about how reckless Josh and his friends was going "OTG" ?He´s a teenager he´s suposed to be reckless (even if it was inside the perimeter off the colony though outside the walls off the settlement itself ! Such "critizism" is usually called "bashing"!
I think Terra Nova had (have) a depth that few if any sci fi shows ever had and THIS from me who thought I was a hardcore sci fi fan!

Netflix HAVE picked it up and there is the slimmest off chances fro them to actually revive it so keep them hopes up I do!
PS: I´m currently watching the series for the third time in a row!
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I am so Happy to see Terra Nova on netflix! I watched TN religiously when it first came on out TV, want to know why I stopped? Baseball games... everytime I went to watch another game was on, I lost track of where I was in the show and gave up. Thanks to Netflix I have been able to watch season one and I'm really hoping someone picks it up for more seasons!
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bring back terra nova it is far better than several shows that are returning .
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Add a comment..ScyFy and Fox are run by accountants and impatient old men. In this day and age, a new show may take 3 or more years for viewership to mature. Ratings systems are more flawed than ever before. The quality of the viewer is grossly underestimated. Thought leaders are worth 25 or more than a normal viewer that leaves the tv on in the background. With iTunes, Netflix, Roku, Slingbox, Hulu, larger televisions with more viewers per television, networks are like Twitterers looking for followers, they don't care if they have spam or dummy accounts following, they just want followers. Welcome to a new world. Steve Jobs taught us to pursue quality at all costs, yet these network execs and accounts have their heads in the sand. They want inflated fake viewership numbers that background television produces, but more people are in control of when and where they watch television.



Read more: http://www.tv.com/news/what-should-fox-do-with-terra-nova-27330/#ixzz1oINrujrN
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i like this show
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i love this show
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i think they shouldn't cancel the show,

its a really nice show i think, give it a second chance
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Terra Nova <3

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I really like Terra Nova. It is a shame that people are always stuck with the same things that when something new and fresh comes along, they don't realize the uniqueness of it. These poor series always gets cancelled on the first season and we are stuck with the same crime dramas and flaky comedies. I really hope that there are enough people who would invest in Terra Nova. It has the capacity of becoming really good. I'd like a 2nd season.
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It's Jurassic Park + fantasy for little girls, & the middle finger for every one else. What's the point of that? Grow up or get out.

But it's a shame because it's got a good cast and potential. If only they had a worthy script. :-(
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Okay honestly, what the actual fuck are you saying? Do you not like dinosaurs? Do you not like futuristic apocalypse? and the last episode was such a cliff hanger, I honestly couldn't care less if the script was better. In fact they could drop the prices dramatically by having less shots of the future. This show has FANTASTIC potential and is already a great show, if they could somehow make it more along the lines like Jurassic park it would be twice as awesome. Dinosaurs rule, period.
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Sorry I saw this later, man you got me all wrong I fuckin love dinosaurs, I grew up with Jurrasic Park I still remember the day I went in to see that movie, I was 5 then and it blew my mind, and after all these years it's still an epic movie, it doesn't feel outdated like other 90s movies.
So naturally when I heard about Terra Nova and Steven Spielberg's involvement I had some expectations (also LOST has just ended so I was expecting another "sophisticated" show to fill the void), and boy was I disappointed it was about 5% Dinosaurs, 5% Science fiction, and a shit ton of corny dialogs on a sub-par script. To say 'it was a total and utter letdown' would be a fuckin understatement.
But all is good now this "show" is canceled as it should be, and by looking at recent Hollywood news we get Jurassic Park IV soon and it's gonna be awesome (not a stupid re-boot as rumored before).
And yeah, the Dinosaurs rule!!
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terra nova is so stupid and children's, it absolutely should be cancelled. i just hope alkatraz won't be the same disappointment. have a bad anticipation...
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You are stupid these show is one fox 50 best shows like House.. You can see out of all the comments you are one of the few that dislikes these show so i suggest you go some where else.
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Terra Nova doesn't stand a chance. One of the biggest ways that networks make money these days is product placement. That's why we now know what kind of car our favourite detective drives, or what kind of coffee the coroner drinks. Or what kind of laptop or smart phone the murder victim was carrying. And really, Terra Nova is set either 100 years in the future or 80 million years in the past. How are they gonna show off the latest iPod or computer game in either of those worlds? There's no way you can justify cutting off a revenue stream like that in a show that is already prohibitively expensive.
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pffft, when did tv become about product emplacement? oh shit wait....

No, but honestly I watch the show because it has less of that and it's got fucking dinosaurs.
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If it's a question of EITHER Fringe OR Terra Nova, then sure it's a no brainer. Fringe is smarter, and more compelling. But I'd like to see both of them get another season. Terra Nova has some very smart, very creative people attached to it, but most of them are too busy on their own projects to give it the attention it deserves. So instead they threw money at it. If they took some of that post production money and spent it on scripts, I think they could really have something. However, in the end it will still be a Science Fiction show, and they are never successful, no matter how good they are. Some make a go of it on SyFy, because they appeal to that niche market and they're not too expensive. But how many major network sci-fi shows have had legs? And I don't mean shows like LOST or Supernatural, which have some science fiction sprinkled on top of here-and-now, character driven shows. And LOST was a huge fluke anyway. To this day nobody can really explain it's success. So Kudos to Fox, I love that they keep trying to get creative shows like this off the ground. And I really hope they give Terra Nova another shot. But I just don't think there are enough geeks or grown ups with imagination out there to keep the advertisers on board.
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I think they should cancel it and instead use the money they're saving to fund a final season for Fringe. But that's just me ;p
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I don't hate Terra Nova i think i would like to see a 13 episode season 2 and then if its still just a middle of the road show cancel it.
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Only 2 choices: make it good or cancel it...
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I love Terra Nova.............
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Dear FOX, Here's a simple fix for your "Terra Nova" problems. CANCEL IT! Use all that money wasted, to work with Joss Whedon again and get "FIREFLY" back up and running again. If you want a Sci-Fi hit, hind sight should be crystal clear here!
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Go mind your own business you are welcomed here hater...
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@DouglasMcCast Well half a season ago (when Fringe season 4 hadn't started and Terra Nova was only half a season old) I would've agreed with you. Right now I don't. Terra Nova got really good at the end, while Fringe (which I loved from day 1) has disappointed me a lot this season.
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BIG News from xx\xx\2012



FRINGE CANCELLED

TERRA NOVA RENEWED



...this is the day I'll give up TV and humanity.. (it can't be save..LOL )
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they should totally renew this show it has the potential to be awesome
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Agree!
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I agree
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oh my god.. why? -.-
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i my self like the show and so dase my mother and farther inlaws, i think fox should stop making good shows then axing them they always do it and its sooo freaking fustrating.

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Cancel Terra Nova, and give all the money they have to the producers of Fringe. That is the only viable solution.
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Agreed
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PERFECT !!!
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this is what they should do. scrap this stupid show. The concept is silly, and either buy Sarah Conner Chronicles or Stargate Universe and finish those. Those are way better shows then this hack job.
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I have said it before. Although it fell into being mediocre, sometimes just bad in the first half of the season it really built up towards the end. If they manage to keep on pulling on that story they have set up season 2 might turn out to be some pretty good TV.

I am guessing that with the enormous amount of preparation and post-production this show requires time is of the essence on the decision to make season 2 or not. I figure we will hear something not too far in the future.
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In my honest opinion, I think the reason why Terra Nova hasn't become my "must-see tv show" is plainly because I'm not attached to the characters or the plot. I have watched all the episodes, each time hoping that it will improve. But its unfortunate that it hasn't, simple as that.



I keep reading that it's a expensive show to make etc, but honestly I just don't see where the money is spent... because for a show set in a time with dinosaurs, I haven't seen that many... should we all re-watch the show and count ?



Obviously, the running costs of the sets and the location would be a factor, but surely this should have been considered way before the show was even filmed ? I mean I don't work in television or have any background in what it costs to make a tv show. But common sense I do have !



I think what they (whoever writes or is in charge of the creative direction, casting, writers) needs to wake up and look at the series as whole and write out a Pros and Cons list. Cause I can see many problems in the first episode alone.



Now to make this show better, they need to hire better writers, find a good balance of character drama and action. Like give the characters more depth with character focused episodes in their point of view. Cause after 13 episodes, I still don't feel connected with the characters, I mean I can't even remember their names lol



more direction, I mean give us a reason to watch Terra Nova... maybe have a mystery or two or three... like what if other things start appearing all over Terra Nova... like things from the past, future and present day... like have it linked with the Bermuda Triangle.. maybe have the characters split up into different times - have some struggle... other than trying to get his girlfriend or battery for her tablet, or a psychotic son ...



Anyway, I hope the show continues with a bit more bite



Still puzzels me WHY IS THIS SHOW EXPENSIVE ? there's hardly any special effects other than the first and last episode... and even those were lame
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PLOT??? REALLY? WHERE?!?!?!
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Steven Speilberg made an est. $330,000,000 last year!! Considering his production company won't speak to any offer under 15% percent of budget, do the math!! All for a man that may or may not show up once a week to throw a nod of approval and walk away with a smirk. Executive salaries ate up so much of this budget that the crew used a staff member with a cardboard drawn dino head as their "Dino stand in" during green screen shoots.
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As I said much earlier on, keeping this mediocre money pit will cost OTHER Fox series their budget or cause cancellations. I beleive Fringe was sent to TV HELL(Fridays)so Fox could lure advertisers over to Terra Nova. If Fox does renew this thing, I will contact each advertiser's PR rep and let them know that I will NOT buy, use, or borrow their product or service again.

The last time viewers spoke up was for Chuck's cancelation. What happened?? A sponsor(Subway) got smart and made a placement deal with NBC resulting in Chuck's renewal.

We DON'T have to accept the trash and lose the quality programming just because a suit makes more of a bonus with trash!! So, Speak up or SHUT UP!!
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I think you basically ignored one of the biggest cancellations IE Stargate Universe and how many people got behind it and nothing still happened.
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Differences there are many. SciFi versus Fox. Fringe having an established fan base and willing advertising commited to the timeslot. This move to Friday was more about Terra Nova's budget and how to finance the project than Fringe not being able to sustain it's audience. If Fox actually wanted to support the show, it would have been moved to Monday with Supernatural rather than death row.

SGU was a decision based more on increasing costs to budget to maintain a slipping fan base and reluctant advertising.
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I REALLY REALLY HOPE TO SEE A SECOND SEASON OF THIS, I THINK IT IS A FANTASTIC SHOW!!! AND VERY EXCITING!!! I LOOK FOWARD TO THE NEXT EPISODE.
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Not that bad :P, hope to see a second season, and with all bases set, better season!!!
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Another season of Terminator?
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Every series my wife and I watch is given the first three episodes to peak our interest and continue watching. Terra Nova failed 'the 3-episode test'. Really weak, overly procedural writing, bad science, no real interest in the characters & predictable plot twists. Also, 2011 is about 15 years too late for CGI dinosaurs to be a technical draw card.
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-.-



jesus....
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While I have enjoyed Terra Nova and hope that they get a chance at a second season, it reminds me of a sort of modern day Gilligan's Island, except they went to Terra Nova by choice. I hope if they get a chance at another season, they try to keep it more "real" to the present times and the "what if".

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I have the final episode on my DVR, still haven't watched it, and I won't until I know it won't get a second season. If it gets a second season, I delete it and never look back.
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This show shou;d be cancelled.What started as a great premise,simply fizzeled out due to a lack of creativity,plot, and the way the story line was portrayed.
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I haven't been keeping up with Terra Nova as much as I wanted to, but the first few episodes are really enjoyable. I just haven't had time to watch it. However, I doubt they will give it a second season. Remember, this is the same station that didn't give Firefly a second season. I want to see them keep Terra Nova in the lineup, unless canceling it allows them to revive Firefly, haha, but I don't think it will happen.
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Terra Nova is really bad, I don't know why it went so far. Definitely needs some unplugging! As for Fringe, Fox couldn't do much worse. The show draws a joung audience and with the syndication deal going finishing the show after the 4th season wouldn't be a wise thing to do. A fifth 13 episode season as an epic conlusion would make everybody happy! House had a good run and should be applauded into the archives. Just my 0.02
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Please Fox, don't cancel Fringe ... Any show on Fox but Fringe.
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Cancel it and keep Fringe!!!!
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I like TN and I am confident that it will be picked up for a 2S no doubt...
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Considering all of the good shows that Fox have scrapped over the last couple of years, I would be surprised if they carry on pouring money into the Terra Nova pit.



After all of the expectation leading up to the launch and considering the huge amount of money spent, it's largely been a huge disappointment. With a few exceptions the cast and plot have been wooden. The star of the show is the set. Even the CGI was disappointing.



The highlight of the series was watching Josh getting a beating. If that happened every week, I'd watch it over and again.



Fringe has had its ups and downs, but overall is a vastly superior show to TN. I hope they can manage to put some life back into it.
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My wife and I happen to love this show. Of course, it seems like they kill off everything we like. I am not sure who the networks are using for the ratings data but most of them must be idiots.
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I so totally agree
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They really do need to let these shows have a chance, the first series of any show is usually a little stiff and highly criticized they've chopped so many series that we're just starting to get interesting and build up fan bases, SGU, V... In any case I think the only logical solution for a new Tv series at the Moment is a new Star trek series, is already got a huge fan-base and people are getting impatient waiting for the new movie that's only coming in 2013.^^
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I really hope that they don't cancel Fringe, it is the most exciting and innovative show (not just sci-fi) on at the moment IMO. House probably is reaching its end, and Bones is a little past it's end already, I'm only watching it now because I'm a completist and it sometimes comes up with a good ep. BTW the episode where they introduced "The Finder" was absolutely terrible, and there is NO WAY I am watching that show.



For Terra Nova, I think they should plagerise Primeval, and reveal that there are multiple time portals in different time periods all leading back to Terra Nova time.
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If they cancel Fringe, I'm going to be very pissed off. If they plan on cancelling it, at least give it another season or two to finish it properly.
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+1 Fringe is good televison. Simple as that.
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I don't think fox would be that stupid... I mean they have been in the past cancel new series without giving them a chance, but when it comes to Fringe, this show is one of the best right now when it comes to si-fi... I know some people are not feeling TN right now, but that show to is not bad I look forward to it...
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As they got Terra Nova to a place most of us wanted it to be - cut off from all those useful 2149 gadgets, and with a few mysteries beyond the dinos - then I really think they should at least give it a second season to see if it gets better and pulls in the fans. Here in the UK I noticed word spread and more people were watching it by the end. A lot were saying, admittedly, they should've *started* it about two episodes from the end of S1 and then had most of the first season with them trying to survive without all their gadgetry; at least we all know that's where S2 will, hopefully, go. Give it a chance Fox, remember shows that were slow burners in the start, that the critics hated, and that turned into huge hits - classic example is 'The X Files'; had only a few fans in the beginning, hated by the critics, yet it ultimately went 9 seasons and became a cult classic. So, cut it some slack and PLEASE just give it a chance.
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Just because some brilliant shows like TXF were criticized by the critics, it doesn't mean that every new show that gets criticized by the critics is also a "misunderstood" masterpiece or the potential to be one.



TXF right from the start had an interesting premise, characters, and actors. It also had original stories, great dialogue, and a unique look. The entire season of TN has been one cliche, stereotype, and hackneyed plot after another, filled with lazy sets and with the exception of Stephen Lang, stocked with catalog models with no screen presence whatsoever. The first 3/4 of the season literally were rewritten scripts of previous TV shows and movies (example-- pterosaur attack episode was scene for scene ripoff of The Birds). How you can even put this show (TN) in the same category of TXF is beyond me.



BTW, I'm fairly sure that your memories of TXF being scorned by critics is completely off base. I remember when the show first started and there was a lot of buzz about it precisely because it was capitalizing off the whole "conspiracy theory"craze at the time, which was started by the movie, JFK.
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What makes this show interesting is (besides the whole rip in time thing) that the end result of 2149 is a very real possibility. Some of the regulation from the proposed 2149 should be implemented in our current society to help prevent that from happening. For example "a family is four."



The utopian idea that is Terra Nova is incredibly interesting. It allows the viewer to get immersed in the challenges that go into creating a perfect society.



So what if the details are a little muddy? This show is infinitely more enjoyable to watch than the typical sci-fi type show--for example The X Files.

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They should let Fringe finish its story in 2 more seasons, and come to think of it, with the latest episodes, I want Terra Nova back for a 2nd season.
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make it less of a teen drama fest!
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it early days yet give the show 2nd season. its a great show
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I love how people are saying that TN is a good family show. In other words, your kids liked it. My family watched it and thought it was rubbish.

People here are saying it has good effects. I saw better effects in Jurassic Park.

People are saying it has a good cast. Try Firefly or Stargate Universe.



Fox dropped Firefly, they should certainly drop this.
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Yes, It IS a good family show. You can all watch it. It's not aimed at a single age-group. I loved Firefly, but it is too adult for my youngest son and my wife doesn't like it. Ditto for SGU. "Cancel this show because they cancelled one I liked" is a juvenile response.
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