Abrams' movies haven't caused Star Trek
to "contract" as a story. Someone could come along and do a TV series and completely ignore his parallel universe. All the potential that was there, is still there.
Abrams simply shaped Star Trek
to the medium - the big budget summer popcorn flick that must have global appeal. That means zap-pow-bang and not a lot of time left over for such quaint elements as character development and dialogue. He did as much of the latter as he dared, while still ensuring that the movie would be a solid success, in the top ten for 2009.
And that helped Star Trek
in exactly the way it needed - in the business realm. After Abrams' success, the franchise was no longer some old fuddy duddy crap nobody cares about anymore. Instead, it became a shining success, something to take seriously, and that's the one essential thing needed to get it back on TV. Not the only thing, but without Abrams, getting it back on TV would be far less likely.
Hollywood doesn't care about a good story, it cares about a sure thing. Star Trek
has always had the potential to be a good story, and always will. But it hasn't always been a sure thing or even close.
A real Star Trek show would be popular enough to give a cable channel its best ratings ever.
I wouldn't make that assumption at all, and I'm sure Les Moonves wouldn't. For starters, if space opera is so wildly popular, why has it vanished from TV? That alone makes it hard for Star Trek
to get back on the air. Maybe after another space opera series or two has returned and been a solid success, that hesitation might change. The TV business is not very daring, and CBS is less daring than most.
And it all depends heavily on which cable channel you're talking about. If it's TNT, then the Falling Skies
approach - mainstream, broadcasty approach, set on Earth with relatable, modern-day characters - is probably the best you're going to do with the ratings.
On premium cable, the approach would have to be very different, much more adult and "gritty" in a way that would infuriate a lot of fans. And even if HBO or Showtime decided to do a space opera, is Star Trek
the first thing they'd think of? Or would they take a page from Game of Thrones
or The Walking Dead
, and adapt a well-regarded title from novels or graphic novels, that would have more snob appeal than a franchise associated with bland broadcast?
And remember, premium cable wants us all to think that everything
on broadcast is bland and contemptable. That's premium cable's message to consumers - pay us for what you get elsewhere for free, because the free stuff is lowbrow crap. If they undermine that message, then they're undermining their whole reason for existence.
All you need is people with talent and artistic integrity.
To make a good story, sure. To make a good story that has a snowball's chance in Sto'vo'kor of being greenlit much less surviving for long on TV, you need a lot more.