Distorted Humor wrote:
One thing to remember is that with Star Trek, TNG, is that the only real competitors was live sports and what the Major broadcasts networks had on.
Yes, TNG didn't have any real competitors since it was the first very popular syndicated drama.
But it was still the first Trek to follow TOS. Paramount was still taking a big risk by making a series with such a large budget and not going to the networks. Many Trek fans were outraged that a sequel was being done, and believed that Kirk, Spock and Bones could never be replaced. They complained about very silly things like how the captain of the Enterprise shouldn't be bald.
The first season of TNG was pretty shaky, but was decent enough to get more and more viewers. People starting talking about it and its ratings and fanbase grew steadily. The show started to get pretty good too.
Just a few year later in say, 1994 many of those Non-network stations had signed up on to one of the new networks (Which eventually merged into the CW.) and the whole idea of producing a expensive show for first run syndication died. In addition, the number of cable channels doubled and then tripled, balkenizing TV viewership.
By the time DS9 rolled around, the market was fracturing. Heck, out of all the Syndication shows out there, only DS9, Xena, and Babylon 5 really survived (Babylon 5 survived the ending of its "syndication network" IIRC)
It's pretty sad first run syndication which TNG made so popular is dead these days. The last first run syndicated show I watched was Legend of the Seeker, which had good enough ratings for a season 3, but was still cancelled anyway because they couldn't any place to air it.
One of the issues I had with Voyager was that they couldn't take any risks with the writing since it was on a network like UPN. They wanted the show to be pretty much TNG lite.