I personally don't care for nuBSG, but if TPTB had gone that route (something I wouldn't have liked to see myself) and it had been successful then from the business side the franchise would have been up and walking again.
Would that also have constituted as "saving the franchise?"
Of course it would've from CBS perspective. From mine, not so much because I simply don't think that's what Trek is (one of the reasons I'm not a big fan of Deep Space Nine).
I think J.J. Abrams did the best job that could possibly be done balancing what was there and updating it for modern audiences. Does it mean I agree with every creative choice they've made over two movies? Of course not. But they're fun movies and that's what I want from Star Trek, is to be entertained.
And honestly, I think Gene Roddenberry of 1966 would've loved these movies.