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Deep Space Nine What We Left Behind, we will always have here.

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Old February 23 2011, 06:48 AM   #16
ReadyAndWilling
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Re: Why didn't DS9 capture a large audience like all the other Treks?

Danoz wrote: View Post
TheGodBen wrote: View Post
Firstly, I dispute the claim. While both shows were on the air, DS9 consistently had higher ratings than Voyager, and it obviously had higher ratings than Enterprise. The show's ratings started out really well (Emissary had the highest ratings for any modern Trek episode when it first aired) but they declined considerably over the course of the 7 years. The same is true of Voyager; it started out with strong ratings and gradually declined from there. The only Trek show that didn't suffer from ratings decline during its first run was TNG.

If you're asking why DS9 didn't catch on in the public's consciousness, I think it suffered from being "that other Trek show" during its whole run. It started out playing second fiddle to TNG, which was one of the biggest shows on TV at the time, then Voyager came along and it got a lot of attention as it was the flagship show of the UPN network and they pushed it with advertising. DS9, being in syndication and not being TNG, was left to flounder.

Personally, I'm glad of this. Voyager was the focus of attention for Paramount and there's numerous examples of executive meddling screwing up that show and keeping the writers on a leash. DS9 didn't attract the same level of attention from the suits in Paramount so Ira and co were free to push the envelope more. For example, the Dominion War was originally meant to last only 4 episodes at most, but because the execs were more interested in shooting down Braga's idea for a year-long Year of Hell arc, DS9's writers got away with extending the war over two seasons.
Still sad that Braga never got his wish on that. There were so many problems with the structure of Voyager, an arch where they were actually "roughing it" could have been interesting.
a year of hell season would have been what voyager needed
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Old February 23 2011, 08:39 AM   #17
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Re: Why didn't DS9 capture a large audience like all the other Treks?

I used to confused as to why TNG was more popular than DS9, but I understand now that TNG had the audience to itself and was first to carry on the Trek legacy for the first couple of years.

But when compared with other shows, it does seem like Voyager got more mainstream press and appreciation.

I haven't seen any DS9 reruns on any channels, though I see Enterprise, Voyager and TNG.

Especially TNG- a resurgence -I count 3 different stations that it appears on weekly at different hours.

I recalled once on another thread, how the series finale of Voyager got a special mention on the news that appeared after it, along with interviews and such, but DS9's finale didn't get the same treatment.

It was given a two hour slot on Saturday but not as much fanfare.
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Old February 23 2011, 03:11 PM   #18
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Re: Why didn't DS9 capture a large audience like all the other Treks?

UPN ran a special before Voyager's finale aired because it was their show -- and their first show and probably their most successful drama at that -- whereas DS9 was syndicated.
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Old February 23 2011, 04:57 PM   #19
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Re: Why didn't DS9 capture a large audience like all the other Treks?

Are you people saying that the only reason why Voyager had good ratings is becuase of seven's breasts hmmm didnt think that was it lol

anyways I kind of agree with some of the comments here about why DS9 was not as popular or famous, maybe its due to timing issues wit voyager and DS9 also the seasons from 1-2 and maybe 3 are not as good but also you have the mother of all issues No starship to explore and well they basically sat in a station for the most part and had small runabouts to fly in until the defiant came along but that was a warship so it kind of goes against the star trek franchise theme having said that it is my fav show :P and in order to love it you got to give it a chance and watch the char development (quark + odo best friends :P, kira + odo and the fight wit dukat then you got my fav 2 chars Garak & Weyoun enuff said), and massive story arcs that span seasons and not end in the last 10mins of the episode, I personally grew up on DS9 and it will always be the best for me while others say TNG and the old school still dream of TOS.

I just think people never really gave it a chance and let the story develop over time, these days an audience wants action asap
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Old February 23 2011, 05:15 PM   #20
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Re: Why didn't DS9 capture a large audience like all the other Treks?

Part of the answer is that the premise isn't quite right - "all the other Treks" didn't capture a huge audience.

Star Trek should be looked at in the context of all television, not as if it's a special phenomenon that works by its own rules in terms of audience acceptance.

TOS probably had a big audience on NBC, when measured against the kinds of ratings the later syndicated Trek shows achieved - with only three networks dominating the prime time schedule in the 1960s, even the least successful shows had a lot of eyes on the screen.

TNG was the only post-TOS Trek that commanded a large audience for very long, and it's always hard to say (okay, impossible to say for certain) what the variables are that make one show popular and another less so. It almost always seems to have something to do with the audience really liking the actors, and there's no formula for this (just because - for instance - you may like Auberjenois better than Spiner or I find it painful to watch Charlie Sheen and Jon Cryer together means nothing; other people seem to lfeel differently).

From the POV of the general audience the post-TNG shows are purely and simply TNG sequels, each one a little more removed. Sequels to immensely popular TV series do not have a history of necessarily great success: M*A*S*H and AfterMASH, Mary Tyler Moore and Rhoda (and Phyllis!), Friends and Joey. The tendency, looking backward, may be to see Trek in the context of later successful franchises like CSI or Law & Order, but that kind of "branding" was an innovation which had not, up until then, been made to work. And - based on examples like the above - Trek managed to succeed to a greater degree with DS9, Voyager and even Enterprise than most other sequel series up to that time. About five hundred hours of post-TNG Trek was successfully produced, after all.

One can also cite examples of sequel series that were successful, but this just brings us back to Goldman's dictum: nobody knows anything. Most new series fail or fall short of hoped-for success, and it's rarely because the producers and financial backers didn't absolutely believe they had it right based on their industry experience and careful observation of the market.

Really, a better question would be "why was TNG so successful to begin with?" and that, despite our enthusiasm for the Franchise, has no better answer in hindsight than "because people liked it a lot."

Each Star Trek series that succeeded TNG fell a little further down the curve of diminishing returns. DS9 started out with higher ratings than TNG for a few weeks, then started to fall off. Voyager spiked for a couple of weeks, then fell onto the same curve, likewise Enterprise. When the curve of audience attrition bottomed out somewhere around two million viewers a week, it was over.



(Above is partial data, but it demonstrates the curve. I'm missing a chunk of one Voyager season, there, and I dropped the Voyager and DS9 premiere weeks just because at the time I made the graph my mistaken reasoning was they made the falloff for both shows look worse than they actually trended - DS9 in particular spiked very high for its first week and then fell a lot in week two. Data for TNG, DS9 and Voyager is sweeps data; Enterprise is week-by-week. I believe someone on the board has a complete week-by-week graph that makes the point more definitively; I can't find it in the archives but hopefully someone will post it).

Last edited by Admiral Buzzkill; February 23 2011 at 05:59 PM.
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Old February 23 2011, 06:39 PM   #21
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Re: Why didn't DS9 capture a large audience like all the other Treks?

sonak wrote: View Post
wait, it's "narrow-mindedness" that DS9 didn't capture a larger audience? That's a pretty arrogant view.


I like DS9, but I don't think that people who were previous Trek fans but couldn't get into DS9 are "narrow-minded."
There is a certain element of that though. Sure, plenty of people have watched DS9 and just don't like it, that's fair enough, but there are also people that didn't like DS9 just because it was a stationary show.

Back in 2001, the BBC had a Star Trek night including a documentary about the various shows. TOS had plenty of time devoted to it, as you would rightly expect, and TNG had plenty of time devoted to it, which is also to be expected. When they came to DS9 they mentioned that it broke new ground by having a black captain, then there was a clip from some British celebrity saying something like "DS9 was weird because it was like a bus station in space and people sat around waiting for something to happen". And that was it, on to Voyager where they spent a few minutes discussing that show, then they talked about the upcoming Enterprise. The final word, the only word, about DS9 came from someone that clearly hadn't bothered watching past the first season, because it was much more important to discuss Janeway's various hairstyles.

And I thought as a public service broadcaster the BBC was supposed to be impartial.

Danoz wrote: View Post
Still sad that Braga never got his wish on that. There were so many problems with the structure of Voyager, an arch where they were actually "roughing it" could have been interesting.
It kind of happened with the third season of Enterprise, with the irony of Braga being pushed to the side most of that season to make room for the other writers.
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Old February 23 2011, 09:36 PM   #22
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Re: Why didn't DS9 capture a large audience like all the other Treks?

Dennis wrote: View Post
I believe someone on the board has a complete week-by-week graph that makes the point more definitively
Close enough:





Source
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Old February 23 2011, 10:13 PM   #23
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Re: Why didn't DS9 capture a large audience like all the other Treks?

TheGodBen wrote: View Post
Firstly, I dispute the claim. While both shows were on the air, DS9 consistently had higher ratings than Voyager, and it obviously had higher ratings than Enterprise. The show's ratings started out really well (Emissary had the highest ratings for any modern Trek episode when it first aired) but they declined considerably over the course of the 7 years. The same is true of Voyager; it started out with strong ratings and gradually declined from there. The only Trek show that didn't suffer from ratings decline during its first run was TNG.

If you're asking why DS9 didn't catch on in the public's consciousness, I think it suffered from being "that other Trek show" during its whole run. It started out playing second fiddle to TNG, which was one of the biggest shows on TV at the time, then Voyager came along and it got a lot of attention as it was the flagship show of the UPN network and they pushed it with advertising. DS9, being in syndication and not being TNG, was left to flounder.

Personally, I'm glad of this. Voyager was the focus of attention for Paramount and there's numerous examples of executive meddling screwing up that show and keeping the writers on a leash. DS9 didn't attract the same level of attention from the suits in Paramount so Ira and co were free to push the envelope more. For example, the Dominion War was originally meant to last only 4 episodes at most, but because the execs were more interested in shooting down Braga's idea for a year-long Year of Hell arc, DS9's writers got away with extending the war over two seasons.
Agreed with everything you wrote there, especially your second and last paragraphs. And I submit another example of non-suit meddling in DS9: the Dax and Lenara kiss.

I know some people who started out watching DS9 but let it go because it was too dark (physically) and too complicated.
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Old February 23 2011, 10:15 PM   #24
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Re: Why didn't DS9 capture a large audience like all the other Treks?

sonak wrote: View Post
DS9 had higher ratings, but Seven of Nine helped Voyager pop-culture wise, I'd guess.


One important thing to note is that by DS9's time, quality television sci-fi was no longer so special. 1993 saw "X-Files" and "Babylon 5" start.

DS9 never got to "go it alone" as a series like TOS and TNG did. It always had other Trek on TV.

TNG was just in another era, whered there wasn't much in the way of good tv sci-fi.
Not to mention Buffy. DS9 was, to me, the forefather of all the story-arced, continuity-laced shows. IOW, yes, quality tv.

To me, it's still very significant that Emissary had the highest viewership of all Trek premieres. That means there was a LOT of interest in the so-called sequel for TNG. The steepness of the ratings graphics after that is difficult to digest.

Last edited by indranee; February 23 2011 at 10:41 PM.
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Old February 24 2011, 02:09 AM   #25
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Re: Why didn't DS9 capture a large audience like all the other Treks?

Jeff O'Connor wrote: View Post
UPN ran a special before Voyager's finale aired because it was their show -- and their first show and probably their most successful drama at that -- whereas DS9 was syndicated.
What special? I don't recall seeing any special for Voyager before their finale.
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Old February 24 2011, 03:57 AM   #26
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Re: Why didn't DS9 capture a large audience like all the other Treks?

indranee wrote: View Post
To me, it's still very significant that Emissary had the highest viewership of all Trek premieres. That means there was a LOT of interest in the so-called sequel for TNG. The steepness of the ratings graphics after that is difficult to digest.
A new series is more heavily promoted through advertising and through "free media" - magazine, newspaper and TV interviews, etc - than the studio invests in week-to-week promotion of an ongoing series.

We can safely assume that the first-week viewership of DS9 consisted of virtually every TNG viewer plus millions of folks who were curious based on the publicity.

Just about every series sheds viewers for the first few weeks after its premiere, as the folks who were "sampling" but aren't grabbed by the premiere move on.

This is true for the Trek series following DS9 as well - it's true for just about any TV series. Notice that the premiere viewership for Voyager was higher than the same week viewership for DS9, and that Enterprise premiered quite a bit higher than Voyager left off.

BTW, comparisons of TNG and DS9 ratings with Voyager and Enterprise ratings usually involves a certain apples-and-oranges aspect - reported ratings for first-run syndication shows were generally "gross average audience" (GAA) ratings for several airings during the week while network shows are simply the rating for a single airing (Paramount's syndication contracts for TNG and DS9 with local stations permitted two first-run airings within a seven or eight day window). One can choose to assume that DS9 was watched by more people than Voyager or vice versa, but that's not exactly what the ratings represent.

Last edited by Admiral Buzzkill; February 24 2011 at 04:11 AM.
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Old February 25 2011, 04:59 AM   #27
ReadyAndWilling
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Re: Why didn't DS9 capture a large audience like all the other Treks?

i just don't see why DS9 character's didnt have the same affect as the other shows.

most recognise the really distinctive looking characters like picard, worf, data, spock etc. but DS9 had a VERY distinctive looking quark and odo and yet nobody knows about them.

everyone knows that klingons are some kind of warrior race. yet nobody knows what a jemhadar is even though they're IMO better characters. to be honest, i didn't even know about the jemhadar until i started watching DS9. i had watched all of VOY and all of ENT and didn't know about them.
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Old February 25 2011, 05:32 AM   #28
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Re: Why didn't DS9 capture a large audience like all the other Treks?

ReadyAndWilling wrote: View Post
i just don't see why DS9 character's didnt have the same affect as the other shows.

most recognise the really distinctive looking characters like picard, worf, data, spock etc. but DS9 had a VERY distinctive looking quark and odo and yet nobody knows about them.

everyone knows that klingons are some kind of warrior race. yet nobody knows what a jemhadar is even though they're IMO better characters. to be honest, i didn't even know about the jemhadar until i started watching DS9. i had watched all of VOY and all of ENT and didn't know about them.



Dude, the reason the CHARACTERS from TOS and TNG are widely recognized was because the SHOWS themselves were pop culture phenomenons.

Had DS9 been a massive hit, its characters would've been recognized too.
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Old February 25 2011, 08:22 AM   #29
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Re: Why didn't DS9 capture a large audience like all the other Treks?

Voyager was the focus of attention for Paramount and there's numerous examples of executive meddling screwing up that show and keeping the writers on a leash. DS9 didn't attract the same level of attention from the suits in Paramount so Ira and co were free to push the envelope more. For example, the Dominion War was originally meant to last only 4 episodes at most, but because the execs were more interested in shooting down Braga's idea for a year-long Year of Hell arc, DS9's writers got away with extending the war over two seasons.
This is the first time I'm actually almost grateful that "Star Trek: Voyager" exists. If it was the sacrificial lamb that allowed "Star Trek: Deep Space Nine" to do some of its best material while it suffered all the meddling that might have held DS9 back, its mediocrity was not for naught.
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Old February 25 2011, 02:18 PM   #30
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Re: Why didn't DS9 capture a large audience like all the other Treks?

I also dispute the initial premise.

And what's with all the season 1-2 hate??
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