I have no idea what FOX was expecting when they went through the trials and tribulations of setting up a dino action TV show. Multiple delays in production, rising costs, a climbing number of executive producers, and a cast that is certainly not making any show look that good. The expectations for TERRA NOVA to be a major hit (because dinosaurs) must have been huge. The disappointment for FOX, after looking at the premiere ratings, must have been huge as well. To generate even a chance of monetary returns, the show should have premiered way above a 5.0 rating in the target demo, to give FOX even a chance to make a hit out of TERRA NOVA, even if the ratings would have sunk down around 3.0. But that didn’t even happen, and the show had all the time in the Fall season of 2011 to try kissing a 2.0 rating, essentially meaning a cancellation.
FOX must be applauded for creating a show like TERRA NOVA and sticking with it, even if it was clear that the network paid more money for the production than they will get in advertisements. Sometimes you need to dream big before you can be big. But maybe, just maybe, FOX could have steered TERRA NOVA towards a hit by not including about a dozen executive producers, each of them cooking their own mean within the show. What eventually came out of it was a STAR TREK-like family show about time travel and dinosaurs, not giving a shit about anything that isn’t washed down to a PG rating. With less executive producers, the show could have been a little more special. Sure, less family-friendly, but the show was never about bringing a family together in front of the TV to watch a show about dinosaurs. That’s not what TV is about now, and it wasn’t what TV was about in 2011.