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Will FOX cancel Terra Nova?

By now you’ve probably seen one of our posts about this season’s new fall TV shows. For a few weeks, we’ve been using TweetReach to track tweets about all 25 new shows (we’re down to 22 now), and using the tweets to try to predict which ones will be canceled. And we thought it would be fun to bring a guest blogger who knows even more about TV than we do to help make predictions.

So, welcome Adam Rucker to the TweetReach blog! Adam’s been blogging and making videos about TV and pop culture for a long time. He’s even appeared on TV a few times. Here on our blog, Adam will sharing some of his – and Twitter’s – thoughts on new fall shows. And if you like what you see here, you can find Adam on Twitter at @ruckermore, on his YouTube channel, and on his blog

This week, Adam takes on FOX’s new show, Terra Nova. Will it be canceled? Let’s see what Adam thinks!

One of the biggest bets of the fall season is the one FOX took on its new sci-fi series Terra Nova. The show, which begins in the year 2149, stars Jason O’Mara as the head of a family that travels 75 million years into the past to live amongst the dinosaurs in “Terra Nova.”

The premise of the show is exciting in nature: super director Steven Spielberg produces the time-traveling mix of Lost, Jurassic Park, and Avatar. It’s also the most expensive new show in production this year with a pilot that cost a rumored $20 million to create and subsequent episodes that cost around $4 million each.

Unlike most shows, FOX ordered 13 episodes of Terra Nova when the original pilot was greenlit, meaning it’s unlikely that FOX will pull the plug on the show before it shows all the episodes it’s already paid for. Still, it is the viewer response to these episodes that will determine if FOX decides to continue pouring money into its investment or fill Terra Nova’s valuable Monday night time slot with another spinoff of Hell’s Kitchen starring Gordon Ramsay.

So what is the Twitter world saying about the big budget drama? In its first week on the air, Terra Nova generated nearly 90,000 tweets from more than 50,000 contributors reaching about 18.2 million people, which is nearly 10 million more than reached the recently cancelled Playboy Club (12K tweets from 9K contributors, with a reach of 8.6 million). Interestingly, the several weeks since the premiere haven’t generated much more attention for the show. In total, 111,000 tweets have reached 20.7 million pairs of eyes. But the attention doesn’t mean anything if it’s bad attention.

A look at the top four highest exposure tweets includes three from Entertainment Weekly linking to articles on the show, but number four is a simple review from English television host, Jonathan Ross:

This tweet was retweeted 111 times, reaching even further beyond @wossy’s own 1.2 million followers.

A tweet by E!’s television critic, Kristin Dos Santos, mocking the show’s inferiority to one of her favorites, Lost, reached her 73,000 followers and was retweeted 28 times.

Personally, I wasn’t a huge fan of the show either. Despite the big bucks spent on production, it came off as cheap and even cheesy in some parts.

But to be fair, not all of the Twitterverse had bad things to say about the show. Drew Carey’s positive review went out to his 627,000 followers and gained a spot as one of the highest exposure tweets about the show.


Jared English, founder of the incredibly popular celebrity gossip blog,, also had far-reaching kind words for the dino-thriller.

But what does it all mean anyway? For an expensive show like Terra Nova, my guess is a lot. A thumbs up or thumbs down from any one of these influential tweeters could very easily result in the loss or gain of hundreds of thousands (or in some cases, millions) of viewers. While various reports show that Terra Nova’s ratings have been “respectable,” there’s no getting around the fact that it is up against some stiff competition, including ABC’s ratings behemoth, Dancing with the Stars.

It just depends on what FOX executives are looking for. The network recently picked up its new comedy series, New Girl starring Zooey Deschanel, for a full season. While the budget of this good-natured, apartment-based comedy is probably a tenth of Terra Nova’s (and also generated far fewer tweets and tweeters), New Girl has reached nearly two million more Twitter users during its time on the air.

There’s still time for Terra Nova (at least 10 more episodes), but my guess is that, unless it gains a devoted following (quickly), FOX is going to stop paying the bills and its 13th episode will probably be its last.

Do you think Terra Nova is headed for extinction? Leave your thoughts in the comments!