24 alum Brannon Braga remains the showrunner of the series while a majority of the staff writers, including Chris Brancato, were let go. However, that doesn't mean the show will not debut with a sneak peek of the pilot in May, with the series debuting in the fall of 2011, as we reported in August.
Since most of the show's production won't happen until next summer, the show laid off any writer that didn't have a studio deal. When Terra Nova starts back up next year, the show will either re-hire the writers or, if they're not available, seek out new scribes.
An earlier report from The Wrap indicated that production costs were severely inflating, with reports that the pilot alone has already cost over $10 million and may cost over $20 million to produce, even though shooting hasn't started yet. The writing lay-offs likely happened to try and offset some of these enormous production costs.
Here's the plot breakdown for Terra Nova:
"Terra Nova, an epic family adventure 85 million years in the making, follows an ordinary family embarking on an incredible journey back in time to prehistoric Earth as a small part of a massive experiment to save the human race. In the year 2149 the world is dying. The planet is overdeveloped, overcrowded and overpolluted. Knowing there is no way to reverse the damage to the planet, a coalition of scientists has managed to open up a fracture in the space-time continuum, creating a portal to prehistoric Earth. This doorway leads to an amazing world, one that allows for a last-ditch effort to save the human race...possibly changing the future by correcting the mistakes of the past."
We'll be sure to keep you posted with any further details on Terra Nova as soon as we have more information.