Terra Nova cost blow-out

Costs on FOX’s dinosaur series Terra Nova are said to be spiralling.

One report in the US says the pilot could cost as much as $20m, with cost overruns already blown out by nearly $10 million.

“It’s a debacle. The cost of the show is kind of a moving target,” one source told TheWrap. “They’re down in Australia building sets like it’s going to be the next Jurassic Park.’

The series has already undergone creative disagreements, with the exit of 24 writer / producer David Fury. The network has enlisted several high level screenwriters with a background in feature films who are being paid on the order of $200,000 a week, a rate more aligned with movies than TV, to do substantial rewrites.

Some indsiders say the network’s decision to pick up 13 episodes, which includes the two-hour pilot, account for the high pre-production costs.

The series is expected to premiere in the US following the American Idol finale. Might be tricky picking the dinosaurs from Steven Tyler….

Source: The Wrap

17 Comments:

  1. And like Spielberg’s previous TV shows Amazing Stories, SeaQuest DSV and Earth 2, it’ll likely look great, but collapse under the weight of its own expense and lack of writing focus. Also, is it just me, or do American shows shot in Queensland have a track record of not lasting very long?

  2. To the posts below saying no writer is worth $200k a week (or words to that effect) totally agree with you, but, think of how much money the production company itself makes for the end product. Although writers (and more to the point actor’s) salaries often seems obscene, when the production company/studio/network is making 50 times that from the end product, I think the writers are very deserving. With no script, no show.

  3. and i bet it will be a flop. anyhthing in America that is a bit different or not a remake of a 70’s show have been huge flops no matter how much money and talent go into it and no matter how good it turns out to be. just look at the ratings for Boardwalk Empire, The Pacific or LoneStar.

    @Grinspoon, i actually think FOX are trying to do that. this season their 3 new shows Lonestar, Raising Hope and Running Wilde could have all passed as unique high budge HBO shows but they have not been rewarded at all. i actually think if they knew this a few months ago Terra Nova would not have been greenlit. there was a rumour that Terra could be reduced to a telemovie a bit like NBC’s Day One last season which i think is getting more likely by the day.

    but any money spent in Australia is good news, so we hope that doesn’t happen.

  4. If they’ve invested as much as they have so far, it would be a colossal loss to scrap it at this stage, especially if they have commited to a 13 episode run. Isn’t Spielberg footing some of the bill anyway? It’ll just end up as a mini-series, like The Pacific, or something. I don’t see the issue… yes, the costs are rediculous, but what isn’t in Hollywood these days?

  5. $200,000 a week ….. for that kind of money you are not safe from the chopping block. American producers are renowned for firing crew if things go wrong, even screenwriters !!!!

  6. The networks can afford to make expensive shows, they just choose not to. HBO will spend the money to make unique, well done shows of high quality and do it with less resources. Yes their model is different, but there is nothing stopping Fox or an NBC making something as expensive as Boardwalk Empire or Rome. They just choose to not commit and invest as much.

  7. $200,000 a week to write the script! Nice work if you can get it. If this thing ever gets on-air (which is starting to look highly dubious) it’ll have to have more ads than program to pay for it.

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