Terra Nova pre-cancelled
October 3, 2011 (delayed broadcast from... oh... let's say September 1, 2010)
Spokesmen for the FOX Network have announced the cancellation of upcoming science fiction series Terra Nova -- even though the network's fall schedule has not yet been determined and the show has not begun filming.
"This was strictly a business decision," said Peter Rice, chairman of broadcasting for FOX. "We have nothing against Terra Nova or its creators, and we wish them well with their future projects. But the show simply wasn't performing up to our standards.
"We gave the show every chance. The producers and writers have had three weeks to earn our confidence. But we can only eat low ratings for so long, and the fact is, Terra Nova had the worst ratings this network has ever seen. We had to check the numbers three times before we believed them. It's like nobody was watching the show at all.
"There are networks where that sort of thing is acceptable. Maybe on Total Podunk Broadcasting they'll call a thousand viewers a success or give Sarah Silverman money. But these are the big leagues, and there's just one FOX. You've gotta prove yourself to us. We don't have the unlimited forgiveness of NBC."
According to Mr. Rice, the network is not worried about a fan backlash. "That crowd doesn't know what to think of us after we gave Joss Whedon's latest show two seasons. Which was the point, of course. Did you watch that thing? We weren't exactly renewing it for its artistic merit."
Terra Nova showrunner Brannon Braga was frustrated with the network's decision. "We were doing the best we could. It takes time to get a show off the ground, even one like ours that gets a head start by ripping off The Lost World and Avatar. I wish FOX had given us time to get our sea legs. Or at least to get actors and sets.
"The worst part is that we had just brought a whole bunch more talent aboard. The day before the announcement, we signed Tim Minear, David Greenwalt, and Bryan Fuller. Bryan and I worked together on Voyager, and we were looking forward to doing it again, but so much for that. I was even thinking of giving Ron Moore a call, although he's been a bit capricious lately."
Reaction to the announcement has been muted, with most observers merely giving a jaded shrug. One of the few to weigh in was actor Anthony Montgomery: "Ever heard of Emily's Reasons Why Not? Disappeared in the early twenty-first century. How about Australia's Naughtiest Home Videos? 1992. Cut off in mid-pilot and no one ever found a trace. A lot of people spent years, decades, trying to figure out what those shows did wrong, but when it comes to unrealized potential, neither of them held a candle to Terra Nova. And we cancelled it! Woo!"
Montgomery's comments, the first he has made since 2005, were dismissed by Mr. Rice as "shale".
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Copyright 2011, Colin Hayman. A product of This Just Inc. All rights reserved. You may be wondering if there were going to be any dogs on Terra Nova. You may also be wondering what's for lunch. Any more questions?