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Go Back   The Trek BBS > Misc. Star Trek > Future of Trek

Future of Trek Discussion of future Trek projects.

View Poll Results: what TV channel do you think would be most realistic in 2010-2013?
Showtime - subscription TV channel (owned by CBS Corporation) 15 28.85%
Spike [formerly Spike TV] cable/satellite TV channel (a division of MTV Networks, owned by Viacom) 0 0%
SyFy - cable TV channel- (part of the entertainment conglomerate NBC Universal) 16 30.77%
CBS broadcast network (owned by CBS Corporation) 14 26.92%
The CW broadcast network (owned by CBS Corporation) 7 13.46%
Voters: 52. You may not vote on this poll

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Old August 18 2009, 09:25 PM   #16
Supreme Admiral
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Re: What channel should a new Trek TV series be on?

YOU has to ask me that question?!
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Old August 19 2009, 10:45 PM   #17
jefferiestubes8
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Re: TV channel programming

Borgminister wrote: View Post
It would be risky, but I'd prefer Showtime, even if it meant 12 episodes of a more adult-skewing show.
HBO is developing 2 sci-fi dramas at the moment.
The next 3 years may give Trek moving back to the small screen more of a possibility on the premium channel Showtime if HBO is successful with the genre.
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Old August 20 2009, 03:26 AM   #18
Temis the Vorta
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Re: TV channel programming

jefferiestubes8 wrote: View Post
Borgminister wrote: View Post
It would be risky, but I'd prefer Showtime, even if it meant 12 episodes of a more adult-skewing show.
HBO is developing 2 sci-fi dramas at the moment.
The next 3 years may give Trek moving back to the small screen more of a possibility on the premium channel Showtime if HBO is successful with the genre.
My hunch is that Showtime or HBO would rather develop their own space opera franchise than tap into one that, regardless of quality, is perceived as staunchly mainstream (which is great, that was what JJ Abrams was going for with Trek XI! But it's a mismatch with premium cable's objectives.)

Both Showtime and HBO position themselves as offering more exclusive content to their subscribers, that they cannot find elsewhere. That's how they justify their price tag. I hope they do space opera, but it would be more akin to Ron Moore's BSG than Star Trek. In fact, they'd probably strive to out-do BSG on all fronts because after all, they cannot afford to be behind any curve that a basic cable network is pioneering. That's like Mercedes trying to mimic Hyundai.
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Old August 20 2009, 03:45 AM   #19
jefferiestubes8
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Re: TV channel programming

Temis the Vorta wrote: View Post
My hunch is that Showtime or HBO would rather develop their own space opera franchise than tap into one that, regardless of quality, is perceived as staunchly mainstream

That's how they justify their price tag.

Paramount Home Video charges the most for a season of television I believe. Showtime & HBO put out their stuff on DVD & Blu-ray too.
A quick comparison with Buy.com current prices:
Sopranos-Complete Series
This 33 disc DVD collection includes all 86 episodes of The Sopranos!
$259.00

or by the season:
Sopranos 4th season
$38.00


Star Trek: Enterprise - The Complete Series
27 DVDs.
$168.22

or Star Trek Enterprise (Complete Third Season)
$48.49

It all depends on what kind of audience Showtime wants to bring to itself and new subscribers.
Look what Sirius satellite radio did with Howard Stern a few years ago. It is possible Star Trek could be on a premium cable channel and the fans who don't want to pay the monthly fee can just by the DVD/Blu-ray 6-10 months later. Is Star Trek that mainstream that is beyond being able to have its flagship TV series 1st run on a cable TV channel and it has to be broadcast TV? Can't it be elevated to nuBSG quality for the fans instead of 22 episodes of which 16 would be good. How about just 13 episodes?
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Old August 20 2009, 03:54 AM   #20
jefferiestubes8
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Location: New York City
premium cable channel/cable channel

Temis the Vorta wrote: View Post
My hunch is that Showtime or HBO would rather develop their own space opera franchise than tap into one that, regardless of quality, is perceived as staunchly mainstream

That's how they justify their price tag.
I understand.

Paramount Home Video charges the most for a season of television I believe. Showtime & HBO do put out their stuff on DVD & Blu-ray too.
A quick comparison with Buy.com current prices:
Sopranos-Complete Series
This 33 disc DVD collection includes all 86 episodes of The Sopranos!
$259.00

or by the season:
Sopranos 4th season
$38.00


granted Trek is 22-26 episodes/season...
Star Trek Next Generation Sixth Season
7 disc collection includes all 26 episodes
$48.49

Star Trek Next Generation Complete Series
49 disc collection includes all 176 episodes of Star Trek: The Next Generation!
$294.65

It all depends on what kind of audience Showtime wants to bring to itself and new subscribers.
Look what Sirius satellite radio did with Howard Stern a few years ago. It is possible Star Trek could be on a premium cable channel and the fans who don't want to pay the monthly fee can just by the DVD/Blu-ray 6-10 months later. Is Star Trek that mainstream that is beyond being able to have its flagship TV series 1st run on a cable TV channel and it has to be broadcast TV? Can't it be elevated to nuBSG quality for the fans instead of 22 episodes of which 16 would be good. How about just 13 episodes?
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Old August 20 2009, 03:02 PM   #21
barnaclelapse
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Re: What channel should a new Trek TV series be on?

Showtime isn't a terribly realistic choice, but I'm going with it anyway. They could get away with just about anything.
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Old August 20 2009, 05:49 PM   #22
AviTrek
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Re: What channel should a new Trek TV series be on?

With HBO now developing 2 Sci Fi shows, I can see Showtime picking up Star Wars and Star Trek. Can you imagine Showtime marketing itself as the home of both Star Wars and Star Trek? It would lock up the space Sci Fi market and force HBO to be the 2nd premium and/or take the Sci Fi fans who don't like either Star Trek/Wars.
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Old August 20 2009, 06:51 PM   #23
BrownShatner
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Re: What channel should a new Trek TV series be on?

Showtime (premium cable) is the only option where the show would have a half-decent budget, and not be immediately cancelled. CBS might work for an occasional mini-series or 'special event' movie.

SyFy/Spike would have lower production budget than Enterprise, although it might work for a secondary animated series.

UPN spent 10 years unsuccessfully trying to build a younger male audience around Trek, CW probably wouldn't repeat that experiment.
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Old August 21 2009, 02:05 PM   #24
Bluesteel
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Re: What channel should a new Trek TV series be on?

I'm not American but is there a channel in that option that has low rating compared to the big ones? I'll give you an example.

Our main channels here are BBC1/2,ITV,Channel 4 and Channel 5. We have other smaller channels that you can only get digitally or cable. But their ratings is very low.

A good show for BBC1 will get 5-9+ million viewers. The other main channels can expect lower but generally above a 1 million viewers. Sky One (the Premier Digital channel) gets around 800,000 viewers for a good show.

If we want Trek to come back and be successful for 7 years we should expect to set our sights lower. I'm just looking over at the ratings for Enterprise. In the last season the average rating was 3. That is something Stargate never got and that show lasted to long for it's own good.

Why not put the next Trek show in a channel/network what ever you call it in America and make in in such a way that a rating of 1.5 is ok.
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Old August 21 2009, 03:00 PM   #25
jefferiestubes8
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Premium cable channels

BrownShatner wrote: View Post
Showtime (premium cable) is the only option where the show would have a half-decent budget
I agree with everything in your post. AviTrek mentions Star Wars. Yes Lucas' live action TV series I read on the Internet _MAY_BE_ on premium cable HBO. Is Star Wars too mainstream for a 13 episode live action series on cable? Is Trek really too main stream as someone mentioned up a few posts?
Will we see HBO have Star Wars and Showtime or the new EPIX HD channel have Star Trek? That would be interesting!
Highly doubtful either show will be syndicated for the first run but live on one nationwide channel in the USA.
Another thing to consider networks like CBS offer their shows on the CBS.com website for streaming the same week or iTunes store for download $/per episode of a 1 hour show.
Highly doubtful Trek would do that if on Showtime or Epix. 6 months after the season you can buy the Bluray or DVD instead. That should help ratings on premium cable if it were to be there...
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Old August 21 2009, 08:10 PM   #26
AviTrek
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Re: What channel should a new Trek TV series be on?

Bluesteel wrote: View Post
I'm not American but is there a channel in that option that has low rating compared to the big ones? I'll give you an example.

Our main channels here are BBC1/2,ITV,Channel 4 and Channel 5. We have other smaller channels that you can only get digitally or cable. But their ratings is very low.

A good show for BBC1 will get 5-9+ million viewers. The other main channels can expect lower but generally above a 1 million viewers. Sky One (the Premier Digital channel) gets around 800,000 viewers for a good show.

If we want Trek to come back and be successful for 7 years we should expect to set our sights lower. I'm just looking over at the ratings for Enterprise. In the last season the average rating was 3. That is something Stargate never got and that show lasted to long for it's own good.

Why not put the next Trek show in a channel/network what ever you call it in America and make in in such a way that a rating of 1.5 is ok.
Here is a rough ranking of those channels by size CBS > CW > SyFy > Spike > Showtime

CW is roughly the size of UPN(the network VOY and ENT were on). The problem with SyFy, Spike, and Showtime is that they are all on cable and are available to much fewer viewers. Also because they got a smaller audience SyFy and Spike have less money to spend on each episode. That's why Enterprise was able to go to alien looking worlds while SG1 always visits the pacific north west(the same type of forest in every episode).

Showtime is considered a premium channel. People pay $5-$15/month to get the channel. As a result there are a lot fewer viewers, but there is a larger budget because the viewers pay more. Also, because people chose to subscribe to Showtime it is allowed to (and quite often does) include adult content. The SG1 pilot is a good example. There is full frontal female nudity. It doesn't really fit with the show, but Showtime thinks its viewers expect nudity, so it makes sure its shows have nudity.

So basically the lower tier you go, the fewer viewers you need to survive, but the cheaper the show needs to be also. Unless you go the premium route which can survive with a higher budget and fewer viewers but results in a very different show from what previous Trek has been.

I hope that explains the issues involved to foreign readers.
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Old August 21 2009, 09:53 PM   #27
bigdaddy
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Re: What channel should a new Trek TV series be on?

If it were on CBS the show was fail within 13 episodes. It would need an adience of at least 12-15 million and that won't even happen.

I voted Showtime because I heard they regret getting rid of Stargate so it could be their replacement.

AviTrek wrote: View Post

CW is roughly the size of UPN(the network VOY and ENT were on). The problem with SyFy, Spike, and Showtime is that they are all on cable and are available to much fewer viewers. Also because they got a smaller audience SyFy and Spike have less money to spend on each episode. That's why Enterprise was able to go to alien looking worlds while SG1 always visits the pacific north west(the same type of forest in every episode).
But Stargate was on Showtime for 5 years and there were a lot of tree episodes.
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Last edited by bigdaddy; August 21 2009 at 10:09 PM.
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Old August 22 2009, 12:03 AM   #28
Bluesteel
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Location: London,UK
Re: What channel should a new Trek TV series be on?

AviTrek wrote: View Post
Bluesteel wrote: View Post
I'm not American but is there a channel in that option that has low rating compared to the big ones? I'll give you an example.

Our main channels here are BBC1/2,ITV,Channel 4 and Channel 5. We have other smaller channels that you can only get digitally or cable. But their ratings is very low.

A good show for BBC1 will get 5-9+ million viewers. The other main channels can expect lower but generally above a 1 million viewers. Sky One (the Premier Digital channel) gets around 800,000 viewers for a good show.

If we want Trek to come back and be successful for 7 years we should expect to set our sights lower. I'm just looking over at the ratings for Enterprise. In the last season the average rating was 3. That is something Stargate never got and that show lasted to long for it's own good.

Why not put the next Trek show in a channel/network what ever you call it in America and make in in such a way that a rating of 1.5 is ok.
Here is a rough ranking of those channels by size CBS > CW > SyFy > Spike > Showtime

CW is roughly the size of UPN(the network VOY and ENT were on). The problem with SyFy, Spike, and Showtime is that they are all on cable and are available to much fewer viewers. Also because they got a smaller audience SyFy and Spike have less money to spend on each episode. That's why Enterprise was able to go to alien looking worlds while SG1 always visits the pacific north west(the same type of forest in every episode).

Showtime is considered a premium channel. People pay $5-$15/month to get the channel. As a result there are a lot fewer viewers, but there is a larger budget because the viewers pay more. Also, because people chose to subscribe to Showtime it is allowed to (and quite often does) include adult content. The SG1 pilot is a good example. There is full frontal female nudity. It doesn't really fit with the show, but Showtime thinks its viewers expect nudity, so it makes sure its shows have nudity.

So basically the lower tier you go, the fewer viewers you need to survive, but the cheaper the show needs to be also. Unless you go the premium route which can survive with a higher budget and fewer viewers but results in a very different show from what previous Trek has been.

I hope that explains the issues involved to foreign readers.
I just searched on the internet. The budget for Enterpirse was about $1.6 million per episode. The budget for Stargate was $2.2 million however when it comes to Stargate. MGM would pay 2/3 of the budget while keeping the DVD sales proceeds. Maybe the same arrangment can be made. Since after all if more people tuned into ENT in it's worst days then SG-1 on it's best days. Sci-Fi would win with the advertisers,CBS would get the DVD sales and the fans will get a show that isn't under a constant threat of canceling which won't lead to anymore 7of9s.

Maybe I'm just being naive.
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Old August 22 2009, 09:38 PM   #29
Temis the Vorta
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Re: What channel should a new Trek TV series be on?

If we want Trek to come back and be successful for 7 years we should expect to set our sights lower.
There are far more modestly-rated channels in America now than big-ratings one - that's cable (basic or premium) vs network (tho the situation is equalizing fast).

Cable shows can have reasonably high production values a la Mad Men with ratings levels that would get them cancelled even on the CW. Part of the reason is that some % of cable subscription fees find their way back to the shows; also I'd imagine having a higher-income and more targetted audience carries a premium for advertising. And some shows pinch the pennies pretty well and don't show their limited budgets too obviously - I suspect BSG was in this category.

The problem with basic cable is that it contradicts Paramount's efforts to turn Star Trek into the mass market phenomenon it used to be. It's mass market in movies; it would be weird for it not to be on TV. But maybe that's the reality of TV now - there is no "premium blockbuster" outlet. It's either cheap popular nonsense on networks or targeted niche stuff on cable.

If it goes to cable, it needs to be basic cable. Premium cable wouldn't bite; that would contradict their own strategy of giving the audience more exclusive, edgier content than they can get elsewhere. HBO and Showtime are a total mismatch with the Hollywood blockbuster movie, which is ironic since showing movies is how they started out...

With HBO now developing 2 Sci Fi shows, I can see Showtime picking up Star Wars and Star Trek.
I can't. They wouldn't want to pick up any franchise that is so well known and so mass-market. They can't justify higher subscription fees that way; they have to be more exclusive and original than that, or their audience will wonder what they are paying for. I could see either doing a space opera series, but they would use Moore's critically lauded BSG as the touchstone.

Is Star Trek that mainstream that is beyond being able to have its flagship TV series 1st run on a cable TV channel and it has to be broadcast TV? Can't it be elevated to nuBSG quality for the fans instead of 22 episodes of which 16 would be good.
If they're going to provide exclusive, premium product to their audience via the BSG route, then why destroy that strategy by using a mass market franchise? Instead, either adapt something highly respected from the print world (Foundation, RAMA, Ubik, The Moon is a Harsh Mistress) or come up with an original concept.

If I were running HBO or Showtime, I'd use the former strategy - you get credit for being daring and creative enough to adapt something the Hollwyood lame-brains wouldn't touch, and you get the cachet of print sci fi, which is far more respected than movies or TV. And you get a solid premise to build a series on.

Can you imagine Showtime marketing itself as the home of both Star Wars and Star Trek?
Anyone at Showtime who dared suggest such a strategy would be immediately fired, because it would demonstrate that that person doesn't understand the marketing strategy of the company they are working for.
It would lock up the space Sci Fi market and force HBO to be the 2nd premium and/or take the Sci Fi fans who don't like either Star Trek/Wars.
HBO would be laughing its ass off that its chief rival would make such a basic mistake.

HBO and Showtimes' audience does not think of Star Wars and Star Trek as "good things" or worth their attention. You gotta think "snob appeal," the thing that Mad Men has (a basic cable show that "belongs" on premium). Envision a New Yorker reader with a glass of chardonnay in hand. What would they discuss at a fancy Manhattan party? BSG maybe. Nobody would make themselves a laughing stock by touching on any other topic of sci fi on TV. In fact, even discussing TV at all would be dangerously lowbrow. BSG's accomplishment was to be a rare exception to that rule. Any other sci fi series on premium cable would have to follow BSG's steps.

I voted Showtime because I heard they regret getting rid of Stargate so it could be their replacement.
They don't regret it now, because in the years since then, they've changed their strategy to be a successful rival to HBO. (However if they'd kept Stargate they might have evolved the show into something very different from what it's become.)

The budget for Enterpirse was about $1.6 million per episode. The budget for Stargate was $2.2 million
Wow, ENT sure used its budget well (or Stargate is profligate) because ENT looked much better while Stargate is eternally tacky.

Last edited by Temis the Vorta; August 22 2009 at 09:57 PM.
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Old August 22 2009, 10:06 PM   #30
KingstonTrekker
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Re: What channel should a new Trek TV series be on?

Hopefully there won't be another TV series until after Trek XIII...trek needs a break on TV, otherwise it risks oversaturation again....
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