The problem with ideas like this is that what people want from Star Trek
isn't the West Wing
. If that's what they want, why bother with the sci fi angle? Why not watch House of Cards
Space opera done right is expensive and appeals to a niche audience. That's just a given. The right approach is to find creative ways to address both the budget and audience problem, while still allowing Star Trek
to have the eye candy that is expected of the genre.
One way to address the budget problem is by getting additional revenue sources. CBS is funding Under the Dome
(expensive sci fi series this summer) by sharing costs with Amazon Prime, which will have streaming rights.
This also helps expand the audience for the show. CBS itself isn't really the right target market for any sci fi series (even an Earth based one) as CBS's track record of failures like Jericho
has demonstrated. But add in streaming customers, and you've boosted the audience. Plus I'll bet anyone who's already streaming TV is more likely to be a sci fi fan vs. the average CBS viewer.
This is a business problem, not a creative problem. The solution will not be to change Star Trek
beyond all recognition but to figure out how the changes in the TV industry can be used to its benefit.