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'Terra Nova' won't be picked up by Netflix

'Terra Nova' loses one of its chances at being picked up by another network after Fox canceled its sci-fi show.

By Kevin YeomanScreen Rant / March 28, 2012



After weeks of discussions with 20th Century Fox, Netflix has had a change of heart and is no longer seeking to rescue Terra Nova from cancellation, leaving the studio free to shop the expensive sci-fi series to other possible suitors.

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Despite the news that Terra Nova‘s best chance for survival has ceased being interested, 20th century Fox is not remanding the series to the dust bin just yet. For now, as a modicum of hope still lingers that some network will take a shine to the thought of Stephen Lang and a horde of CGI dinosaurs gracing its airwaves, the studio has kept all the actors’ contracts in place.

After a certain point, though, the cost of keeping everything and everyone on standby, while the last glimmer of hope slowly fades, will become prohibitive to doing actual business; so if Terra Nova can’t successfully woo another network, it’s going to be lights out for any more prehistoric shenanigans.

Meanwhile, perhaps as an indication of their faith in the show’s chances, many in the cast have already signed on to appear in other upcoming pilots. Most notably, series lead Jason O’Mara (Jim Shannon) has joined the impressive cast for CBS’ period drama based on real-life Las Vegas lawman Ralph Lamb. The series touts Dennis Quaid, Carrie-Anne Moss and Michael Chiklis amongst its cast and comes from screenwriter Nicholas Pileggi (Goodfellas). Meanwhile, Christine Adams (Mira) has signed on to appear in ABC’s fashion-centric drama Americana, alongside Emilie de Ravin (Lost) and Anthony LaPaglia (Without a Trace).

So why did Netflix pass? For one, Terra Nova cost around $4 million per episode, which may have been seen as too risky, especially since the company is seeking to define it’s brand with content created solely for its subscribers. And with word that Netflix and Media Rights Capital – the studio behind the upcoming House of Cards -are currently battling director and executive producer David Fincher on matters of that series’ budget, one can see why avoiding another series where dollars are certain to add up was part of Netflix’s decision.

Meanwhile, in addition to House of Cards, Netflix has Hemlock Grove from Eli Roth in the works, as well as a new series from Weeds creator Jenji Kohan. To catch a glimpse of Netflix’s first original offering, subscribers can currently tune into the complete first season of Lilyhammer.

Whether this announcement will play into Netflix’s interest in The River is not clear, as the found-footage series’ fate on ABC has not yet been determined.

Kevin Yeoman blogs at Screen Rant.

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