Terra Nova executive producer/showrunner Rene Echevarria has signed an overall deal with 20th Century Fox TV, the studio behind the upcoming pre-historic drama series, which recently scored high marks in network testings of the pilot. Under the two-year, seven-figure pact, he will continue to run Terra Nova, which is set to begin production on the remaining episodes of its 13-episode order on June 1 in Australia. The deal also includes potential development but, at least for the time being, he is expected to focus on Terra Nova full-time. Echevarria has a resume that features both sci-fi and character-driven shows, and 20th TV chairman Gary Newman called him “probably the perfect person to assume leadership of Terra Nova,” which he described as a compelling family drama with action and special effects. “This is the most ambitious special effect show ever done in television, which shoots on the other end of the world, so it requires somebody with the maturity, leadership and strength that Rene possesses,” Newman said.
Terra Nova, originally slated for midseason, was eventually pushed to next fall, with plans for a May preview scrapped to finish special effects and address some issues in the two-hour pilot. While the first hour is considered very solid, in the second hour “there were scenes that didn’t play as well as we had hoped,” Newman said. To fix that, there will be 4-5 days of reshoots, mostly new scenes, late this month leading into the June 1 start of production. Star Trek veteran Echevarria, repped by WME, also co-created USA’s The 4400 and worked on Medium and Castle.