Costly "Terra Nova" sci-fi TV show lands in May

Tue Jan 11, 2011 9:21pm EST
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By Jill Serjeant

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Lost without "Lost"? Couldn't get enough of "Avatar"?

Big budget, time-travel, mystery adventure series "Terra Nova" is coming to U.S. television in May, from the writers behind hit shows "Star Trek" and "24."

Executive produced by filmmaker Steven Spielberg, "Terra Nova" is set in 2149 on an overdeveloped, polluted planet. The show follows the adventures of a group of pilgrims who are transported back 85 million years to prehistoric Earth -- complete with dinosaurs -- through a time portal.

"At the core, it is a very emotional show. It is really about a family surviving in this incredible place, trying to give humanity a second chance.

"The philosophical crux is, can Utopia be built? Is it possible?" writer Brannon Braga told television journalists on Tuesday.

Fox said it would broadcast a two-hour preview of "Terra Nova" on May 23 and May 24 before the show returns for 13 episodes in the fall of 2011.

Fox executives said it was the most expensive first-year show ever for the network, but declined to give figures. The program is being shot entirely on location in Australia.

"It's a very expensive television show. It's a very ambitious television show," said Fox entertainment chairman Peter Rice.   Continued...

<p>Actor Jason O'Mara takes part in a panel discussion for the show 'Terra Nova' at the Fox Broadcasting Company Winter Press Tour for the Television Critics Association in Pasadena, California, January 11, 2011. REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson</p>