My Name Is Legion wrote:
No, because they respond to it with a built-in bias. Star Trek fans are inclined to like Star Trek (duh) and quite often rate it more highly in just about every respect than TV viewers and movie audiences in general do.
I have to disagree, if the near universal trashing of VOY, ENT and most of the TNG movies are any indicator.
You're mistaken, and bias enters into it - looking at it from the wrong end of the telescope. First, because the trashing of those shows was far from "universal" - just loud on the Internet - but more importantly only
Trek fans cared
about those productions as time passed. It was the hard-core audience that kept Voyager
on for years and in the end it was only dedicated Trek fans who turned out for movies like Nemesis
. Just about nobody who wasn't nuts about Trek bothered.
The inclination of fandom to like Star Trek
was why these shows weren't cancelled in their first or second seasons. Again, Trek fans may have liked these things little, but the rest of the world had already tuned out.
Saying "the fact that Trek fans are critical means that they're not biased in favor of the Franchise" is like saying that Braves fans don't favor Atlanta - as proven by the fact that they bitch when the team plays poorly.
The number of people who got into Star Trek
because of TNG was astonishing. At its height it was not as widely watched as TOS had been on NBC, but it was also largely a different group of people. Most folks who turned on NBC on Thursdays back in 66-69 did not continue to follow Trek into syndication; if they had, the studio would have moved on a movie/new series much faster than they did. Trek built a new audience in the 1970s around the nucleus of fans who wouldn't let it go when the network dropped it, and TNG built a considerable following of casual viewers beyond the fans who turned out for the early-80s TOS-based movies. That was never true for the TNG "sequels" - DS9 started dropping viewers in its second week, and the number of "oh, I like that show and watch it with my family" folks who'd made TNG into something of an early '90s phenomenon fell away year by year.