moved on with another Trek to cover in the box office.
As I said, none
of the latter three series were viable properties for the big screen. Paramount had hopes that ENT would be the next movie franchise, and Scott Bakula's five-year contract guaranteed him an option of two movies made by Paramount.
But DS9, VOY and ENT's audiences were miniscule
- and falling - compared to their TV predecessors. Yes, INS and NEM failed to provide the numbers needed by Paramount. The law of diminishing returns, which happens to most film sequels in a franchise at some point. But, as fans said at the time of NEM flopping, they'd had 18 years straight
of new ST on TV, which they could watch for free
. Movie studios were spending huge amounts on blockbusters, and ST hadn't been receiving blockbuster funding since TMP in 1979. The cheaper films were also more profitable and less risky.
Star Trek had to get pretty special again, all of a sudden, to make audiences want to start paying for it again. A post-Sisko DS9 movie, or a Voyager in the Alpha Quadrant movie, was never gonna cut it. Too few people know those shows. Even today.
And thus... JJ Abrams remade TOS for new generations.