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Netflix Leaves 'Terra Nova' To History

Content distributor says it couldn't reach terms to pick up the dinosaur series

Not that the chances for revival were that great to begin with. But anyone hoping to see Fox's short-lived dinosaur drama "Terra Nova" finding a new home on Netflix will be disappointed.

Netflix has decided to pass on the costly series, believed to top about $10 million per episode. While the media distributor is working toward grabbing more and more original series, coming to terms with 20th Century Fox Television to bring "Terra Nova" to Netflix just didn't work out.

It's not clear if any other networks or cable channels were interested in the show, but all avenues are dried up. It is no surprise -- "Terra Nova" averaged a 4.7 rating/7 share in Fast National overnight ratings from The Nielsen Co., ranking it just inside the top 50 as of the end of February. While that might be enough to hold on to shows like "Glee," for something so expensive to make, Fox was expecting an audience closer to the size of what CBS typically gets -- double its actual take.

Even with a scaled down per-episode cost of $7 million, "Terra Nova" would've been a costly exercise for Netflix, especially with a series now considered to be "damaged goods." Netflix bought the library of AMC's "Mad Men" for $1 million per episode, and is said to be spending $3.8 million per episode of David Fincher's "House of Cards" series, but none of them come even clue to the price tag attached to "Terra Nova."

Fox was believed to have some wiggle room in how much it would charge Netflix, especially since international sales of the show were much stronger than expected. But even strong international returns accounts for just a small percentage of an overall budget, and any future revenue in DVD sales would likely be curtailed by Netflix's demand to be able to provide episodes to subscribers of its streaming service right away.

This now frees the stars to move on to other projects, as it's expected Fox will release the holds on their contracts. Jason O'Mara and Stephen Lang have joined a CBS western pilot while Allison Miller is attached to an NBC comedy pilot, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

"Terra Nova" is not expected to be alone when it comes to Fox's fabled ax. Freshman series "Alcatraz" is facing extinction as well, especially depending on how well its season finale does Monday.

About the Author

Michael Hinman is the founder and editor-in-chief for Airlock Alpha and the entire GenreNexus. He owns Nexus Media Group Inc., the parent corporation of the GenreNexus and is a veteran print journalist. He lives in Tampa, Fla.
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