Fox’s much anticipated sci-fi series Terra Nova, produced by Steven Spielberg, just suffered another set back. Reports are coming in that most of the writing staff on the show – which was delayed until Fall 2011 – was laid off this week. Show-runner Brandon Braga wasn’t let go though and apparently the layoffs could be temporary. They could either be due to a scheduling conflict or because the show needs to cut costs and having a bunch of writers sitting around when production doesn’t start until next summer isn’t cost effective. Either way, this is just another fascinating chapter in the story of a show that has had a very public behind the scenes life ever since it hit our radar. Centering on a family from the future who is sent into prehistoric times to save the world, there’s nothing but potential there. There’s much more info after the jump.

The Los Angeles Times first reported the layoffs on the troubled show. They also reference a Wrap report that costs on the pilot episode – which has yet to be shot – have been snowballing and may now be upwards of $10 million with much of the cost going towards paying high priced ghostwriters to sure up the script. And once shooting does start, that number could double to $20 million before marketing costs kick in or ads are sold.

According to another report, the pilot is finally scheduled to shoot over the next few months in Australia at which point the show will go on hiatus with plans for everyone to reconvene in the Spring. The pilot would then premiere on the network in May with the full series continuing in the Fall – following a premiere formula that was successful for Glee a few years back.

And while that’s the positive spin, other sources tell The Wrap the layoffs are because of “creative discord” which already cost them one high profile loss, executive producer and writer David Fury, who worked on 24 and Lost.

Despite all its dirty laundry being aired in the public, this really feels like a show that I could get into. It’s sort of Back to the Future meets Land of the Lost with a little An Inconvenient Truth thrown in for good measure. Do all the problems worry you or do you still think the show will be a success?

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