- Associated Press - Tuesday, January 11, 2011

PASADENA, CALIF. (AP) - Fox network executives say they want “House” and “Bones” beyond this television season, although no deals have been set to keep them.

The network also said Tuesday its Steven Spielberg adventure show “Terra Nova” will get a sneak preview for two nights in May before officially joining the schedule next fall.

Fox also announced it had ordered a second season of the comedy “Raising Hope.” Announcements may take a little longer for “Bones” and “House,” which Fox says it wants even though its ratings have been sharply down this season.

“We want them both,” said Kevin Reilly, Fox entertainment president. “It’s really about whether we can make a deal.”

The network had announced last May it had ordered Spielberg’s “Terra Nova,” about a family traveling through a portal to prehistoric Earth. But it conceded the show might not be ready for this season. Fox said it would show the first two episodes May 23 and 24, and put “Terra Nova” on the regular schedule next fall.

The series is being filmed in Australia. The expense of essentially creating a new “world” meant it made more sense financially for Fox to order 13 episodes right away and not go the traditional route of making a pilot.

“It’s the most expensive first-year show we’ve ever had,” said Peter Price, Fox entertainment chairman. “It’s not the most expensive show we have on our air.”

Fox suffered through its traditional slow fall season in the ratings while waiting for the return of “American Idol” later this month. Its executives lamented how the failure of the soapy drama “Lonestar,” canceled after only two episodes, set a bad tone right away.

“When that thing went DOA,” Reilly said, “it was a gaping hole.”

The two executives joked about showing a PowerPoint presentation about how it did really well in the ratings with girls “12 to 14 who really love musicals,” Reilly said.

That reminder of Fox’s hit “Glee” shows how narrow the margin is between success and failure in today’s TV world.

Reilly begged TV writers “not to write the eulogy prematurely” for “Fringe,” which is moving to Friday nights _ usually a black hole in Fox’s schedule. If the show’s most dedicated fans make the move from Thursday, the show could be on for years to come, he said.

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