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Old April 6 2013, 07:20 PM   #48
Temis the Vorta
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Re: 10 Things a New Trek Series Must Have

Dukhat wrote: View Post
^Nonsense. All a new Trek show needs to survive is to be popular with CBS's target audience. None of what you wrote has any bearing on that.
Is that "all"? How could they manage that? Here's the puzzle:

CBS's target audience watches procedurals, mass-market comedy and reality TV. They show little interest in sci fi of any sort, much less the off-putting type of sci fi that space opera represents. The last sci fi series of any type on CBS was Jericho. If that can't survive, then how can Star Trek?

Another key factor: CBS doesn't greenlight as many new shows as the other networks because it doesn't have to. It has a deep bench of shows that are successful year after year. So that means fewer slots for any show, and a tougher road for any new pilot, even the ones that are procedurals or mass market sitcoms.

Here's what I mean: look at all the CBS series that have been renewed. Go look at the cancellation bear lists for the other networks to see just how healthy CBS really is.

Vegas a rare failure for them, going to be cancelled. That was a pretty minor departure from the CBS formula - a cop show, just set in the 60s instead of modern day. If the CBS audience will reject that, that's not a good sign for their ability to accept something radically different.

Vegas is getting 7.6M viewers now (after debuting last fall at twice that). Can you envision any space opera series getting even that large of an audience on any network or cable channel? I can't. Factoring in all the people who won't watch green people on their TV sets under any circumstances, all the competition shows face nowadays, and piracy, I'd say 3-4M would be a healthy number. Twice that level isn't survival level on CBS.

Star Trek and CBS don't fit, at least not without some kind of creative approach like they're taking with Under the Dome. If NBC owned the rights, then maybe broadcast would still be a possibility, simply due to NBC's sheer desperation, but CBS is not desperate enough to waste a prime timeslot on a show that they know won't deliver the ratings they expect.

And I wouldn't hold out much hope for syndication being a factor. The syndication market has changed greatly since the days of TNG. The global audience for Star Trek is definitely one of its strong suits, and Abrams' movies are really helping in that regards, but how to capitalize on that audience in today's environment is another thing entirely.

One day, the changes we're seeing in TV distribution will cut out the middle men and make reaching a worldwide audience a wonderfully efficient thing, making expensive niche shows more viable (because of the sheer number of the potential audience and the cheapness of reaching them) but that's still in the future.

Star Trek is also a bad fit for the CW (unless its changed in ways we don't want to contemplate) and Showtime (a name brand associated with free TV is a bad fit for premium cable). That gives Star Trek nowhere to live in the CBS ecosystem.

The way out of this is for someone with real clout to champion a series and cut through all the negatives that are working against it, and that means Roberto Orci - associated with recent franchise success. And Les Moonves needs to be willing to take a real leap of faith.

That's where CBS's secure position might help - they are secure enough now that they can afford to take risks that will point the way forward, when their current audience finally ages right out of that 18-49 demo and CBS faces the same armegeddon their competitors face now.
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