Avatar baddie Stephen Lang has closed a deal to star on Fox’s upcoming series Terra Nova, just as Deadline predicted. He will play the lead opposite Jason O’Mara on Terra Nova, a colony of humans from 2149 who take a second chance at building a civilization by going back 85 million years. Lang plays the charismatic and ruthless leader of the Terra Nova settlement. Alex Graves is set to direct the pilot produced by DreamWorks TV, Chernin Entertainment, Kapital Entertainment and 20th TV.
Allison Miller has become the second actor after Jason O’Mara cast in Fox’s upcoming adventure series Terra Nova. The project, produced by Steven Spielberg and Peter Chernin, follows an ordinary family from 2149 led by Jim Shannon (O’Mara) who are transported back 85 million years to prehistoric Earth where they join Terra Nova, a colony of humans with a second chance to build a civilization. Miller will play Skye.
Anticipating an avalanche of American Idol-related questions, Fox Broadcasting’s entertainment chairman Peter Rice made an opening statement at the top of the network’s executive session. “The only thing I an tell you with absolute certainty is there are no signed deals with anyone on either side of the camera who wasn’t on the show last year,” he said, referring to judges as well as returning executive producer Nigel Lythgoe. Rice did confirm that Ellen DeGeneres met with him at the beginning of June. ”We talked about the season and her feelings about the season, the idea that she wasn’t comfortable and that it was not a good fit for her,” he said. “I tried to persuade her that it would be different in the future, but we ultimately came to an agreement. We were going to begin looking for new judges anyway, because Simon was leaving, so as that was going to play out over the summer, we came to an agreement to go to her and say: we can’t replace you, or we can move on without you. [DeGeneres is in the middle of a 2-year deal with Idol.] That’s where we got to last week. We felt confident that we could come up with a panel that didn’t include Ellen as a judge, and at the same time we knew we were coming here on Monday. We felt it was disingenuous to sit here and talk about Ellen being …
There’s no question this marquee Steven Spielberg- and Peter Chernin-produced adventure drama series is important to Fox. So the network has decided not to rush it to air and give it the full-on Glee treatment. Terra Nova, originally slated for midseason, will now premiere in fall 2011 after a preview in May. “Terra Nova will be one of the most visually stimulating and dramatically grand series to air on network television,” Fox’s entertainment president Kevin Reilly said in a statement. “It deserves to have an equally unique launch to distinguish that the show is unlike any other, and the spring promotional platform will give us the perfect opportunity to introduce this bold show to audiences.”
Terra Nova follows an ordinary family going back in time to prehistoric Earth as part of an experiment to save the human race. The series, which will feature elaborate sets and visual effects, was never given a firm midseason launch date because of its complex production process. It also has been slow in casting its leads, with Jason O’Mara the only actor locked in so far. Terra Nova is produced by 20th Century Fox TV, DreamWorks TV, Kapital Entertainment, and Chernin Entertainment. Spielberg, Chernin, Brannon Braga, David Fury, Jon Cassar, Aaron Kaplan, Katherine Pope, Justin Falvey, Darryl Frank, Craig Silverstein and Kelly Marcel serve as executive producers. Alex Graves is set to direct the pilot.