By "editing out" nudity and profanity, I mean they wouldn't be there in the first place, not that there would be two separate versions. There's no need for separate versions since show creators know their audience and network in advance, and know what is tolerated and expected.
I'd say premium cable has more of an expectation of adult content vs. streaming. I often notice gratuitous sex and nudity in Showtime and HBO, scenes that add nothing in particular to the story.
House of Cards
also had adult content, but I noticed places where they avoided sex and nudity where I think HBO or Showtime would have been more graphic. Maybe it was just Fincher's decision. Sometimes having someone be naked in a scene is just a distraction from whatever the scene is actually about.
HBO and Showtime have a narrow focus: sophisticated grownup tastes. Netflix and Amazon are going for a broader approach, catering to a range of audience types and depending on their movie-style ratings to help people decide what to watch. Kids' programming is important to both, for instance. House of Cards
skews towards the premium cable end of the spectrum with some restraint, the Eli Roth series Hemlock Grove
will certainly be a hard R, Arrested Development
will probably stay close to what was permitted on FOX and Under the Dome
will have to be FCC friendly, even on Amazon.
So on streaming, there's no adult-content level they need to hit, and they could do a PG-13 Star Trek
series since that's in keeping with the franchise's brand image. Maybe take more liberties with violence, but not so much with nudity and sex. The adult content would be in the complexity of the ideas (hopefully).
Though, if you're not suggesting nudity and swearing, why aren't you suggesting them? It would certainly be a radical shift, but so would graphic violence.
It's not in keeping with Star Trek'
s brand image. Netflix or Amazon could do anything, in theory, from a show for toddlers to a XXX Vulcan Love Slave porn (assuming CBS let them). But the attraction of Star Trek
for producers of a series is that it's a brand that means certain things to the potential audience, and it doesn't mean graphic sex or nudity.
A certain level of violence has been considered acceptable. Not torture-porn violence, but something that pushes it towards the edge of an R rating would be within the scope of the brand. It also makes more sense for the premise, which is that Starfleet is the sheriff on the frontier, dealing with threats. Violence gives the show credibility - yes, the threats are bad enough that Starfleet should be there. Sex and nudity are not integral to the premise.
There really is no such thing as "contemporary taste." There are many audiences with many tastes, an the trend is towards greater niche-ization of tastes so that people who want to see soft-core porn can watch HBO and Showtime (and probably Netflix and Amazon will have shows that push it that far), but there will also be shows that hit everywhere on the G to hard-R spectrum.
I could see a hard-R space opera series being a big hit on streaming or premium cable - Deadwood
in space - but Star Trek
is a brand that already has an identity. The hard-R space opera needs to be a new brand, built from scratch.