Tea leaf readers took note when Fox waited until after 6pm the day after a mega earthquake to drop the press release about Terra Nova's special spring premiere after American Idol being pushed to the fall. Fox attributed the delay to giving the special effects folks extra time on the "groundbreaking" visuals.
My first thought was there likely isn't anything groundbreaking about the visuals themselves. What would be groundbreaking is if they could do excellent movie-style visuals for much less money and in much less time than it takes on movies.
That seems to be the premise Dreamworks sold Fox on, and so far the results don't sound groundbreaking. As our virtual friend "Travis Yanan" tweeted, "So, this will be a weekly series how?"
Fringe: A New Hope?
Bill laid out a good case the week before last that all but one hour of Fox's 2011 fall schedule is already filled and that assumes no additional pickups from the current pilot season.
There's certainly no guarantee that Fox will bring back any of its ratings troubled shows, but it is pretty much a guarantee Fox won't bring back more than one of them. But could a troubled Terra Nova change that equation and improve the prospects for The Chicago Code, Fringe and Lie to Me?
Tea Leaf Reading
I'm sometimes not afraid to throw down the tea leaves and have them speak to me. What they have been telling me lately is: "You're a dope! Lie To Me's prospects are better than you think!" It's possible difficulties with Terra Nova played into the reading of the leaves, but that wasn't a result of yesterday's announcement.
My guess at this point is that Fox picks up an additional hour of drama or two and that it will also bring back Lie to Me as "just in case" schedule spackle. That can change if the ratings for The Chicago Code and/or Fringe improve, but if they stay where they are currently settled (or drop), I wouldn't expect either to be back next season.
My personal preference is that both Fringe and The Chicago Code return, but barring better ratings, there's no chance my personal viewing preferences will be satisfied.