Jeff O'Connor wrote:
Showtime wouldn't be able to guarantee the numbers CBS would want. Stargate SG-1 was considered reasonably profitable on that network for the five initial years it was with them, and I think it pulled like 400k-600k viewers or so per week. Suffice it to say, that's not the kind of numbers CBS would want. Enterprise was shot dead after four seasons because it was only pulling like 1.6 million viewers. I mean, yes, it's a different environment. But I don't know that the production values and all that would mesh with that sort of thing. I will easily confess I don't understand much at all about how premium cable networks operate, though. HBO gets all these high-end dramas but never rakes in the digits that even regular cable networks aim for. How they get away with it I don't understand.
CBS doesn't care what ratings Showtime gets. All CBS cares about is what Showtime will pay for each episode. Showtime(and HBO) get a large portion of their revenue from subscriber fees. They don't need as many viewers since those viewers are paying ~$15/month to get the channel. If Showtime feels they can get enough people to subscribe to watch Star Trek they will be happy, even if they're not getting 3+ million/episode.