Fox has finally delivered the news it promised us two months ago: Terra Nova has been canceled. The Steven Spielberg produced freshman show was ambitious and expensive, with its pilot alone rumored to have cost upwards of $20 million. Even though it averaged 7.5 million viewers over the course of its 13 episode first season -- a number which would be considered respectable for almost any other show on network television today -- the high production costs and declining ratings towards the end of its run, among other factors, has lead Fox to cut the show loose while they're still financially ahead (at the Television Critics Association press tour, Fox CEO Kevin Reilly claimed the network did profit from the show, though he never gave exact numbers).
But Terra Nova's studio, 20th Century Fox TV, isn't giving up so easily. They are currently shopping the show to other networks in hopes of a last minute save.It's unlikely that any network, cable or otherwise, will pick up the show, mostly due to its hefty price-tag and less than favorable critical reception (though the show's two-part finale did seem to indicate a creative upswing). If the show is saved, you can bet it will have to undergo significant adjustments just in its budget alone.
What this cancellation means for Fox's other shows is also up in the air. This might be an opportunity for the ratings challenged Fringe, and the slowly sinking Alcatraz, which has lost almost half of its original 10 million viewers since its premiere. With House and now Terra Nova gone, there might be room for Fox to keep at least one, if not both of its low-rated but critically approved shows. There's also the chance that network execs will see this as a chance to start fresh with properties that, unlike Fringe, will actually make them a profit.
In the meantime, Jason O'Mara, Stephen Lang, and the rest of Terra Nova's cast are now officially free to pursue other projects. As for all of the show's unanswered questions -- What's the deal with the Badlands? Will Taylor and son ever make up? Will the colonists be cut off from 2149 forever? -- we'll just have to use our imaginations.