Fox cancels ‘Terra Nova’ — endangered but not extinct?

The adventure is over — for now.

Should we count out the dinosaurs of “Terra Nova” just yet? Really, it just depends on how optimistic you are that a rival network is going to pick up a series with heavy production costs and ratings that are fairly middle-of-the-road.

Fox made the official decision Monday that the freshman series, despite the pedigree of Steven Spielberg, was not going to be returning for a second season. This dinosaur drama thus marks a major failure for the network, which invested millions in a show that was delayed for over a year thanks to perfecting some visual effects. Like with “The X Factor,” Fox invested in building a potential hit here — but while Simon Cowell and company underwhelmed, “Nova” never really caught on at all outside of some diehard fans.

Even with this somewhat-grim statement, we were actually starting to think that Fox would give “Nova” a season 2 based on the state of some of their other dramas. “House” is going to be gone for sure, and “Alcatraz” and “The Finder” both have fared worse in the ratings than this show did in the fall. With “Fringe” likely heading out the door as well, Fox may be looking to overhaul almost their entire slate. At the moment, “Glee,” “Bones,” and possibly “Touch” are the only three hour-long scripted shows that may end up coming back for additional seasons.

The good news for “Nova” fans? They are searching for another network to potentially pick up the show — and considering that it is shot halfway around the world in Australia, this would have to be a bit earlier than an 11th-hour decision. Are there any serious contenders? The ratings aren’t good enough for CBS or ABC to bite, it’s not the right audience for The CW, and most cable networks a la TNT or Syfy would probably want to clip the budget. NBC seems like one of the only viable options, and as bad as their ratings are they are more likely to try and take a gamble on their own show rather than pick up an expensive production that has ratings that are only slightly better.

Photo: Fox

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