Could the end of Alcatraz mean a second season for Terra Nova?

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Dec 16, 2012, 12:07 PM EST

Terra Nova and Alcatraz have a lot in common. They're both sci-fi shows, they both air Monday nights on Fox, and they're both facing the possibility of becoming single-season programs. These days, though, Alcatraz seems to be the one in hotter water. If Fox cuts it loose, does that guarantee Terra Nova's return?

Just a few weeks ago, it was looking like Alcatraz wasn't going anywhere, thanks to high early ratings and good vibes from more than a few TV critics. But lately the ratings have been fading fast, leading people like Robert Seidman at TV by the Numbers to predict that the show is likely on its way out.

If that happens, then there's a Monday night timeslot open that Terra Nova could fill, right? Add that to the loss of long-running drama House and the possible cancellation of new procedural The Finder and it seems like Fox would have plenty of room to keep Terra Nova around.

Well, some experts aren't convinced. Seidman's cohort Bill Gorman calls the show a "toss-up" for renewal or cancellation and notes that Fox is still holding out on making the decision despite previous reports that they'd have to do it fast or risk putting the show behind on a second season production schedule.

"I called BS on that timing then, and figured Fox could hold off longer than the conventional wisdom accepted they could," Gorman said. "It's almost March, and still no decision from Fox! Be certain that the instant a decision is communicated to the producers it will become public information."

So what else could Fox be waiting for? Well, late March brings with it both the premiere (after a very successful preview episode earlier this year) of the supernatural drama Touch and the season finale of Alcatraz. Perhaps Fox wants to give Alcatraz a full (albeit short) season before minds are made up, or perhaps they want to see if Touch's numbers will stay high after a preview screening that drew 12 million viewers. Either way, all these shows (and Fringe) are tied together, and sometime soon something's gotta give.

(via TV by the Numbers)