I actually used to work for Nielsen (would still were it not for the economic downturn--they are very
good employers) and can tell you they take their market research extremely seriously. Constantly re-examining methods, tinkering with quality control, etc.
Frankly, you look around at the current world of mass media, seems to me television can still sustain a Star Trek
, given that the basic special effects needed have become cheaper. Like anything, it requires good stories and fascinating characters, while not going crazy on the budget. Me, I see one extremely valuable element in ST there's no getting around--automatic recognition. Means in terms of publicity you get a lot more bang for your buck. The success of Abrams' films have raised awareness of the franchise, quite possibly whet the appetite for more.