Tuned In

TV Roundup: Dino Trouble, Fox Tsunami, Mini Conan

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* Let me make clear that, for all I know, Steven Spielberg’s sci-fi/time-travel/dinosaur show Terra Nova for Fox may be the greatest thing ever created for television, if it comes to exist. But it continues to make the kind of news you don’t want an upcoming show to make. First it was announced before a single frame was shot, raising the specter of vaporware shows past. The the premiere date moved, from midseason to fall-with-a-May-preview. Then writer-producer David Fury left. And now comes word from the LA Times that the show has laid off most of its writing staff. Despite that, the report says insiders say that the writers were simply dismissed to avoid salary costs during a production layover and that the mega-expensive show is not in trouble. Why would anyone get that idea?

* It wasn’t just Republicans who won a massive victory last night. It was also, well, Fox News. (I’m not saying there’s no overlap.) The network crushed its competition with nearly seven million viewers, followed far behind by CNN and then MSNBC. It’s another sign that the Obama era, providing a foil for the channel’s conservative hosts, has been very very good to Fox, giving it renewed energy after it had been relatively flagging toward the end of the Bush administration. (In the 2006 midterms, CNN nearly tied it in the election ratings.)

* Finally, if you haven’t seen it yet, Conan O’Brien very briefly previewed his show online Monday night. Here’s Show Zero: