Well, here comes a curveball. In a mildly surprising move, Fox has announced that the current eighth season of the medical drama House will be the show's last, ending a back-and-forth over everything from the show's budget to a recent decline in viewership.
What does it mean for sci-fi fans? A plump, hourlong slot on the fall schedule has just opened up.
Sci-fi series Fringe and Terra Nova have both been bouncing on the bubble of Fox's fall schedule for months now, with the network biding its time before making a decision on whether they will be back for another year.
Recent midseason hits Alcatraz and Touch have done well with critics and viewers, leading many to predict that both could get picked up, which makes that fall 2012 schedule even tighter.
Both Fringe and Terra Nova have seen a drop in ratings, with J.J. Abrams' cult favorite Fringe bringing up the rear (though, to be fair, it is in the Friday Night Death Slot). Terra Nova has already concluded its freshman season, and reports that the show is expensive to produce have led many to think the so-so ratings would be enough to kill it.
The House news could change all that, for one show at least.
Fan of Terra Nova, which follows a group of colonists living millions of years in the past, have already started a campaign to mail in plastic dinosaurs in an effort to save the show. The ratings aren't awful, and if the budget is trimmed, it could prove viable. But I'm sure the House cancellation could do more for the show than a million tiny plastic velociraptors ever could.
On the flip side, Fringe is a critical darling despite the low numbers, and rumor has it that Fox would still like to bring it back if Warner Bros., the show's producer, is willing to cut the licensing fee.
What do you think? If Terra Nova and Fringe face off in a renewal cage match, which would you want to survive?