Fox TV Pulls Terra Nova Off its May Schedule; Will Debut in the Fall

It’s been a while since we mentioned Fox TV’s upcoming “Terra Nova” from the Stephen Spielberg camp as its horror connection is admittedly light, but considering it’s Spielberg plus dinosaurs with the great Stephen Lang thrown in for good measure, we figured our readers would be interested in the latest bit of news to hit the Net regarding the show.

Variety learned that “Terra Nova” will launch in the fall of 2011, not in May as previously announced. The show was originally set to debut with two one-hour episodes as a sneak peek.

The network was hoping to air the first hour of the two-hour pilot May 23 behind the season finale of “House,” and the second hour May 24 behind the final performance show of “American Idol.” That strategy worked well for “Glee,” which premiered after an episode of “Idol” in 2009 and became a monumental hit.

Because it’s taking longer than expected to complete all the visual effects, the series will now likely debut in September — along with most of the other new shows competing for viewers.

“‘Terra Nova’ is one of the most ambitious television series ever produced,” said network president Kevin Reilly. “The cutting-edge visual effects used to create the world of ‘Terra Nova,’ which is of massive scope and scale, require more time to be realized. This aspect of the series is essential so we are pushing back the special early preview date to give the visual effects team the time needed for their groundbreaking work.”

Steven Spielberg is executive producing the series from 20th Century Fox Television, which follows a family who travel back in time to prehistoric Earth to save the human race. Jason O’Mara, Stephen Lang, and Shelley Conn star.

In the year 2149 the world is dying. The planet is over-developed, over-crowded, and over-polluted. With the majority of plant and animal life extinct, devotion to science has brought mankind to the brink of destruction but has also provided its only hope for salvation.

Knowing there is no way to reverse the damage to the planet, a coalition of scientists has managed to open up a fracture in the space-time continuum, creating a portal to prehistoric Earth. This doorway leads to an amazing world, one that allows for a last-ditch effort to save the human race … possibly changing the future by correcting the mistakes of the past.

The series centers on the Shannon family as they join the tenth pilgrimage of settlers to TERRA NOVA, the first colony of humans in this second chance for civilization. JIM SHANNON (O’Mara), a devoted father with a checkered past, guides his family through this new land of limitless beauty, mystery, and terror. Jim’s wife, ELISABETH SHANNON (Conn), is a trauma surgeon chosen through a global lottery as a new addition to TERRA NOVA’s medical team. JOSH SHANNON (Landon Liboiron) is their son, mourning the girl he left behind, as he’s torn between two role models – his father and the charismatic COMMANDER FRANK TAYLOR (Lang), leader of the settlement and the heroic first pioneer through the time portal.

MADDY SHANNON (Naomi Scott), Jim and Elizabeth’s teen daughter, is as independent and adventurous as her parents, but her distrust of authority soon leads her on a dangerous path.

In addition to blue skies, rolling rivers, and lush vegetation, TERRA NOVA offers new opportunities and fresh beginnings to its recent arrivals, but the Shannons have brought with them a familial secret that may threaten their citizenship in this utopia. Additionally these adventurers soon discover that this healthy, vibrant world is not as idyllic as it initially appears. The areas surrounding TERRA NOVA are filled with dangerous dinosaurs and other prehistoric threats as well as external forces that may be intent on destroying this new world before it begins.

But perhaps even more threatening than what lies outside the protective walls is the Shannons’ realization that something sinister may be happening inside TERRA NOVA as not everyone on this mission has the same intentions of how best to save mankind.”

More Details and Early Artwork: Steven Spielberg's Terra Nova

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Debi Moore

I'll see you on the other side...