In recent months there has been a lot of talk about ‘The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power’ and ‘Citadel’ due to the fact that they are the two most expensive series of all time. Obviously, there were other titles that achieved that honor before and today I am here to talk to you about one of them. I refer to ‘Terra Nova’, a series that seemed to have everything, from time travel to dinosaurs, but which it failed and was canceled after the broadcast of just 13 episodes.
Released in 2011, ‘Terra Nova’ featured a bleak future in which the Earth has become uninhabitable as a result of heavy pollution. This leads a small group, including the Shannon family, to travel back in time to start a new civilization 85 million years ago, when dinosaurs still roamed our planet.
All delays and problems
The first episode of ‘Terra Nova’ broadcast on September 26, 2011 was surrounded by that aura of being the most expensive of all time. With an estimated cost of 20 million dollars -exceeding the 18 million that the ‘Boardwalk Empire’ pilot directed by Martin Scorsese just two years earlier – the series had to be a huge success to justify such an investment. It mattered little since the upcoming episodes lowered their cost to a more affordable 4 million.
unfortunately for Steven Spielberg, who served as executive producer of the series, the first episode of ‘Terra Nova’ had to settle for just over 9 million viewers, a figure that paled compared to the 20.5 million that a chapter of that same night achieved. ‘Two and a half Men’. There was always the hope that the following would grow in later episodes, but that was quite rare and ‘Terra Nova’ did not manage to be one of those rare exceptions.
The strong investment or counting on its distribution with a stephen lang quite fashionable thanks to his intervention in ‘Avatar’. I suspect the various release delays worked against it, as well as the fact that the episodes weren’t going to be ready on time, which, according to a Fox spokesperson at the time, “it was not the way to create expectation for this show in which we all have a significant investmentHence those delays.
The problems in the filming, because in Australia it did not stop raining, and the need to gradually adjust the project to the available means made everything more complicatedand that was noticed, as an anonymous source assured: “They should have $100 million to make it, and they’re doing it for a fraction of that amount. There is no single person to blame: it is a combination of circumstances with a really complex production…“.
The lukewarm reviews did not help either and ‘Terra Nova’ was losing audience until the last two episodes were broadcast on December 19, 2011. The future of the series was then up in the air, since it is true that everyone considered it cancelled, but Fox did not make that decision official until early March of the following year.. Then there were rumors that there could be others interested in staying with it, but ‘Terra Nova’ died permanently when Netflix decided not to rescue it because of its high budget.
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