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

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Old August 28 2012, 04:55 PM   #46
Use of Time
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Re: DS9's growing popularity

^On a side bar that last quote that says "Evy wrote" was actually my post earlier in this topic. Does anybody know why the name changed and what the hell is that "high risk merchant account" link all about?
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Old August 29 2012, 04:57 AM   #47
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Re: DS9's growing popularity

DS9 is now and was during its original run my favorite of the Star Trek spinoffs. I remember during the show's original run, most of my 'Star Trek friends' either didn't like the show or had stopped watching it after its first season (which granted the first two years were pretty awful). Many of them would comment that it was too dark, or too boring, or not really star trek. Even Paramount treated the show a bit like the ugly middle child rarely promoting it. Rick Berman's daily involvement in the show pretty much stopped after the first season as he focused on Voyager (which is probably why it was so good). Even today it's easy to find TOS, TNG and VOY reruns but DS9 doesn't rerun very often.
Ah, the ugly middle child/stepchild, etc narrative. That's what DS9 fans tell themselves to make themselves feel better and try to play a Star Trek version of the victim card. DS9 got better ratings than Voyager. Matching up season by season from 95-99, Voyager only averaged 85% of DS9's ratings and episode by episode, only the smallest handful of VOY episodes beat the DS9 episode of the week. Indeed, many DS9 reruns beat VOY new episodes.

And advertising was a result of Voyager being on a network, DS9 being in syndication at a time when WB & UPN appeared, which affected what promos could be aired when. In my area, DS9 was on a WB affiliate and DS9 promos (and/or Herc, Xena, EFC, Andromeda) were only shown during an increasingly smaller block of time. You used to be able to catch the promos during the week at times but by 98 or 99, the promos were only on Saturdays, the same day the shows all aired (and only during that block of synd. shows). It wasn't that Paramount didn't promote it, it was the nature of syndication promos in general (if Paramount didn't promote it, neither did Renaissance Pics for Herc/Xena, nor Tribune for EFC, Andromeda).

And Berman ignoring DS9 is what made is so good is another cliche. They had oversight over it, they just chose to give the lead writers Wolfe, the other guy, Beimler, a freer hand. Voyager had more demands being a network show (UPN can make demands, network shows are regulated more than syndicated shows. This difference was hugely apparent in network vs. syndicated cartoons back in the '80s & '90s). And remember, Pillar had oversight to til 1996.


And while Voyager looked like it had a stable timeslot, it really did not. Many UPN affiliates were also NBA, NHL, MLB affiliates and would pre-empt Voyager for sports. This was especially the case when it moved to Wednesdays (more games on Wed nights than Mon nights). The Detroit UPN affiliate IIRC carried Tigers, Red Wings *and* Pistons, which meant loads of pre-emptions for Voyager & Enterprise. WB had a similar problem for a few years until WB started strongarming some of its affiliates to drop their sports to carry WB. I see this same mentality in CW in baseball games being bounced over to a secondary channel so they could air their May sweeps episodes without the ratings taking a dip from big markets missing.

In the '90s, syndication had better ratings than UPN or WB. Voyager was the best rated show on UPN til SmackDown in 1999 and factoring out that show as sports/not a scripted show (even though it *is* scripted), Voyager was the highest-rated show on UPN from Seasons 1-7. Voyager also had better ratings than any WB show until 7th Heaven I think in 98-99 and Charmed I think ~2000. Even then, it was the 3rd highest rated show between UPN & WB. Enterprise is the one whose ratings sunk lower and lower relative to the rest of UPN & WB. And compared to syndication, Voyager would finish in 4th until 99-01, when it moves up the pack. TNG always beat DS9 (except for the earliest DS9 eps) but from 94-95 to 98-99, DS9 was always ranked 1st, 2nd, or 3rd. DS9 (let me bold this) had higher ratings than Baywatch and when not in 1st, the only shows beating it were Xena & Hercules. If TNG was the King of Syndication, DS9 was the Prince (or the Queen).


A lot of DS9's problem stems from having a very dull Season 1. That alienated a lot of people. Season 2 was much better (underrated), Season 3 got better, Season 4 was better in some ways, but rather trying in others (Klingon war distraction), then Season 5 & 6 were pretty strong (Season 6's spring block tended to really suck though) and Season 7 felt kind of empty, dull... but not that dreadful style of dull Season 1 had, then came the final arc which went off on a strong note overall (though the final episode ended up with a mixed reception). Some of it was the Bajorans. People didn't care for Bajoran episodes and Season 1 was packed with 'em. DS9 fixed the space station issue by exploring the area around DS9 and exploring the other side of the wormhole finally in Season 2, then using the Defiant for missions that require a small starship in Seasons 3-7. A Star Trek show can be set on a space station, but it needs at least some exploration.


My question is, had DS9 come on the air a decade or more later than it did, do you think it would have achieved a higher degree of success? And do you think more Star Trek fans are embracing DS9 now?
No. Critical acclaim? It seems to have been the most acclaimed Star Trek series in the '00s with a lot of fans active online and a lot of high praise being written about it. In the '00s it was held well above Enterprise as well as Voyager. Ratings? No way! Syndication rapidly died over the early '00s. DS9 would have gotten really crappy ratings in syndication because primarily of audience fragmentation due to cable and syndicated shows getting bumped to ever-crappier timeslots (and not in DS9's case, but international funding/support for many shows, particularly in Canada, dried up).

DS9 did strongly use the themes of the '00s but I would say it was still a '90s show because it showed restraint. If it aired in the '00s, it would have been a lot more like BSG & 24. Heck, look at Enterprise and how it changed. Besides being sexed up more for ratings (rub on decontamination), it got a lot darker in tone and film style (e.g. during parts of the Xindi Arc it's most obvious). The darker, more edgy, less restained style may be seen as a good trend, but the '00s had many bad trends in tv shows and their style and those would have been at play too. Heck, DS9 got all its seasons in during the good years; Voyager's last 2 seasons suffer from the fin de siecle effect that was really strong in the late '90s (Xena, X-Files, even Voyager veer strongly towards comedy at times, trying to be a multi-genre show, which actually started to piss off viewers with the comedy overkill in serious shows. Xena, X-Files turned serious again in Fall 2000 and Voyager did except for "Body and Soul", "Q2") and from a kind of rot that started to show up around then in shows that premiered in the mid '90s and earlier.

It was best for DS9 to be produced in the '90s. It got the benefit of high production standards and more concern for the writing, it got higher ratings because the audience wasn't so fragmented and syndication was strong then, and it got better timeslots as the #1/2/3 show in syndication than it would in the '00s (just imagine most of the country needing to catch DS9 between Sat 10PM & Sun 4AM or Sun 10PM & Mon 4AM). DS9 is not the failure or shunned black sheep people think it is. They think the sheep is black; it's not black, it's just standing in the shadow of TNG.
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Old August 31 2012, 08:48 PM   #48
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Re: DS9's growing popularity

It's just that once Deep Space's Uniforms turned grey it was all about the war, it was a depressing show, and every show it seemed like was about the war. Thats another couple reasons why it was hard to watch toward the end to. The earlier episodes were more accessable to the casual TV watcher or Deep Space viewer.
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Old September 1 2012, 05:17 AM   #49
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Re: DS9's growing popularity

DeepSpaceWine wrote:
[...] DS9 is not the failure or shunned black sheep people think it is. They think the sheep is black; it's not black, it's just standing in the shadow of TNG.
TNG had a rough start too because of its earlier seasons, or so I've heard. I've also heard that it really took off in season 4 and onward. Do you know why, or at least have an idea, this happened for TNG but not DS9 which had a wonderful season 3-6 (imo)? I like all of DS9's seasons, and I think season one of that series is much better than what I've seen (half) of season one of TNG. If it's standing in TNG's shadow, do you think it's just because it came later or might it be something else, like it being more serialized?

Also, in terms of critical acclaim, are you talking about just fans or professional reviewers/critics? From what I've read, Deep Space Nine tends to be the best rated Star Trek show by professional reviewers/critics.



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^On a side bar that last quote that says "Evy wrote" was actually my post earlier in this topic. Does anybody know why the name changed and what the hell is that "high risk merchant account" link all about?
I have no clue. I just hit quote and replied to the post.
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Old September 1 2012, 10:00 AM   #50
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Re: DS9's growing popularity

It's just that once Deep Space's Uniforms turned grey it was all about the war, it was a depressing show, and every show it seemed like was about the war. Thats another couple reasons why it was hard to watch toward the end to. The earlier episodes were more accessable to the casual TV watcher or Deep Space viewer.
Every season of DS9, Voyager, Enterprise saw its ratings fall vs. the previous season. The common pattern was a slight bounce up in fall over last spring, down in winter a bit, really down in spring. Except for spike rating episodes (e.g. Way of the Warrior, Scorpion I & II, Trials and Tribble-ations, series finales), nothing noticeably turned this around, not even Worf on DS9 or Seven of Nine. The final season did see DS9's ratings fall far less than Hercules & Xena, which started to fall off a cliff in 98-99 (evidently shows like Seinfeld and yes, even The Nanny were bumping it out of its timeslot. They entered syndication in reruns and the mantra switched from action hours to comedy reruns). It shows people were highly motivated to stay and watch the final season, but except for the finale, it didn't bring back anyone. The Dominion War didn't seem to drive more people away than the usual bleed rate, nor did it attract a bunch of people.


TNG had a rough start too because of its earlier seasons, or so I've heard. I've also heard that it really took off in season 4 and onward. Do you know why, or at least have an idea, this happened for TNG but not DS9 which had a wonderful season 3-6 (imo)? I like all of DS9's seasons, and I think season one of that series is much better than what I've seen (half) of season one of TNG. If it's standing in TNG's shadow, do you think it's just because it came later or might it be something else, like it being more serialized?
Its ratings were always good for syndication. It always beat Baywatch (though Baywatch was only against it from 91-94) and was said to have even beat Sea Hunt, the previous highest-rated syndicated series (I think Highway Patrol was the highest before Sea Hunt). Critically, yes, it was seen as uneven, not finding its footing until Season 3. Ratings IIRC went down a bit in Season 2, but kept going up til Season 6, then went down a little for Season 7. "Best of Both Worlds" seemed to get a lot of chatter. It was seen as a "Who Shot JR?" level cliffhanger, though I was just a kid then, so only know what I've heard from others who talked about online/in print about a few years to years earlier. That capped off a really solid season (there's a stretch in winter-spring 1990 that may be one of the best stretches of episodes in Star Trek history, the part with Yesterday's Enterprise, Sins of the Father, etc).

I think DS9 Season 1 was what drove so many viewers away. Season 1s for DS9, VOY, ENT were always a steep line down as many people tune in, then tune out, some staying for more eps than others, but DS9 Season 1 had many dreadfully dull episodes. The Bajorans came off in a really bad light, the lack of exploration (Season 2's strong point), a subdued Sisko (but still Sisko) compared to later seasons all hurt it. They had this wormhole to the unknown there and they didn't really explore it. "Battle Lines" didn't satisfy, "Vortex" was like testing the waters; only "Captive Pursuit" satisfied people's desire for exploration. People saw episodes like "Progress", "The Storyteller", "Past Prologue", "The Nagus" and just tuned out. I've read many people only tuned back around Seasons 3 or 4, though that doesn't show in the actual ratings (unless the ratings would have fallen more if not for those returners). Season 2 got missed by quite a few because when they tuned back, they saw more Bajorans in the season premiere (even though that story was decent). That was too bad because Season 2 had several excellent episodes ("Whispers", "Shadowplay", "Necessary Evil", "Crossover", "Tribunal", "Paradise"). As dated as TNG Season 1 was (with "Code of Honor" coming out of the 1940s), the series had enough going for it that it certainly wasn't dull (I don't think anyone can watch "Conspiracy" and call it dull. Yikes! The goriest Star Trek episode ever). Basically, Season 1 was too light on exploration, too heavy on the Bajorans. When Bajoran-centric episodes got reduced to like 2 a season and many of their episodes were made into Bajoran/Cardassian episodes, they got a better reception.

And TNG had elements that made it go mainstream, outside of sci-fi fans (years ago, many people [sci-fi fans] mentioned having relatives/friends who were cops, firefighters, etc were weren't sci-fi fans but they loved TNG back during its original run. It surprised them that they were into it). That led to many falsely assuming DS9, VOY, ENT were doing more wrong than they actually were that "so many" tuned out after TNG. TNG was the exception, not the base audience from which to work from. The best DS9, VOY, ENT could of had was trying to get as close to TNG as possible.


Also, in terms of critical acclaim, are you talking about just fans or professional reviewers/critics? From what I've read, Deep Space Nine tends to be the best rated Star Trek show by professional reviewers/critics.
I was talking just in general, the chatter online about it in forums. It seemed to have a very positive reception while TNG had some turn really negative towards it for seeming dated and cliched though some who had grown tired of it by the mid '90s grew to appreciate it again (Spike TV launched reruns of it in Oct 2001 and aired it around primetime for I think almost 2 years). I think Syfy was embarrassed recently by TNG reruns out of primetime beating new SGU eps in primetime. '80s fashions did not age well. Troi seems to be the only real punching bag over time (the therapist). DS9 by contrast didn't use '90s fashions that much (some of the clothing of extras).

Voyager had a downright toxic atmosphere during its run (I hate the people who spewed some of the most hateful, vile stuff I've ever seen written about a tv show and episodes during its run in online reviews and discussions). It's held for years though it finally seems like the radioactive isotopes are starting to breakdown/Hazmat cleaned it up and it's starting to get fairly looked out (that atmosphere seemed to stem from BSG whiners, the people who wanted to show to be like BSG, to be darker than DS9 or any network show at the time, except perhaps Profit, and for whom NOTHING ever made them abate their criticism (not "Year of Hell", not "Equinox", not "Scorpion", not "Night" or "Timeless"), and disappointment. *Everyone* was disappointed in Voyager, but to some, it ranged from somewhat good to mediocre, but for others, that disappointment festered and produced a toxic bile more copious than I've seen for X-Files Seasons 8-9, EFC Seasons 2-5). I remember that totally destroying trying to read anything online about Voyager during its run beyond basic synopses. And worst of all, these hatemongers absolutely loved the worst episodes of the show; they absolutely loved when Barclay & Troi appeared and took center stage from the VOY cast (they seemed to be the people B&B were appealing to in VOY Season 6-7 and with ENT "These are the Voyages"). I do hope Voyager gets looked at clearly because it's not as bad as many think it is, though it's not great (some individual episodes are really good though), but it was still quality television compared to so much of what was made at the time and a lot since.

Enterprise had people hold out hope in Season 1, but with "Shockwave Part II", the tide turned extremely negative. Season 2 showed people they weren't going to deliver on building the Federation and people realized they were making up the Temporal Cold War as they went along. The Xindi arc got high praise and was considered at the time one of the best blocks of Star Trek episodes ever. Season 4 was all fanservice, though some felt it was ultimately too late or was a little TOS-heavy (too much of a good thing, doesn't try to do something else at times). It had a very toxic atmosphere too, though less than Voyager, but a few individuals seemed to make it their life's mission to piss on every discussion being had about the series, episodes at time. They turned their inner disgust and hatred for the series outward and tried to make sure no one got even an ounce of enjoyment out of the series. They even sabotaged that fundraising drive (basically Kickstarter ahead of its time) for Season 5 with allegations of fraud, which were shown to be incorrect but dried up all donations. That made me wish some people could be banned from the internet for life because nothing good ever came from them online.

Sorry to get long winded, but compare DS9 to that. There's little complaints besides Season 1-2 being dull, Season 3 being a bit uneven, Season 4's Klingon War being a distraction. And of those, the criticism is light. Only Season 1 gets a lot of flack. Worf has gotten some criticism for not really fitting in to the show or adding much to it. It didn't have a toxic atmosphere, it hasn't come to be seen as dated (episodes like Homefront/Paradise Lost have become timely, though TNG had a few go up in the '00s too. Heck, I remember people noticing the attack on the Odyssey in "The Jem 'Hadar" had airs of 9/11 [the angle of approach of the Jem 'Hadar kamikaze ship]). Being ahead of the time in subject matter and some tone/style (e.g. "In the Pale Moonlight", "Wrongs Darker Than...") definately helped it. It may very well hold up for decades like The Twilight Zone has.
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Old September 1 2012, 03:17 PM   #51
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Re: DS9's growing popularity

Crossover will never be an excellent episode to me. That's one of the very few episodes I have no desire to rewatch. The other mirror episodes were alright, but for some reason, that one is a no-no for me. I guess I can understand how people might not have liked the Bajorans, even though I liked them. For me, it was Kira that was a little hard to take until she settled in, but even then it was understandable why she was the way she was during the first season. Perhaps it was the religious aspect that was the turn off. That's my suspicion.

I think the lack of exploration might also be tied to the series being more serialized. TNG was more episodic, very much so, during its first season where this week the crew comes across some nebula thing, and the next week it's a new planet. When the exploration has more to do with people exploring themselves and each other in one place, you kind of have to know what's been happening to be able to fully appreciate that, so I guess that might be it.

I thought Worf was a great addition to DS9, and I liked the fact that he didn't take over. Sometimes that happens, and it's good that it didn't happen here; he just fit in (to me). It's sad to hear about VOY's fan response, but I've always believed that people should be able to say what they think. And certainly what was probably an online minority couldn't have hurt the show, could it?

Thank you for the response and your insights.
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Old September 1 2012, 04:57 PM   #52
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Re: DS9's growing popularity

I don't know who made this chart, but it shows the ratings for all of the Trek seasons in graph form.

The premier for DS9 was the highest rated Trek episode ever it seems, but then it was quite the drop after and a continuous trend down with a few upticks here and there.

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Old September 2 2012, 05:28 AM   #53
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Re: DS9's growing popularity

M'rk, son of Mogh wrote: View Post
I don't know who made this chart, but it shows the ratings for all of the Trek seasons in graph form.

The premier for DS9 was the highest rated Trek episode ever it seems, but then it was quite the drop after and a continuous trend down with a few upticks here and there.

What a sad image.
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Old September 2 2012, 05:54 AM   #54
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Re: DS9's growing popularity

I'm a DS9 fan myself, but didn't the repeats get cancelled on SPIKE a few years ago? DS9 doesn't do that well with general audience these days.

Maybe it's just that arc heavy shows just don't rerun very well compared to episodic shows like TNG.
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Old September 2 2012, 01:24 PM   #55
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Re: DS9's growing popularity

Mr_Homn wrote: View Post
M'rk, son of Mogh wrote: View Post
I don't know who made this chart, but it shows the ratings for all of the Trek seasons in graph form.

The premier for DS9 was the highest rated Trek episode ever it seems, but then it was quite the drop after and a continuous trend down with a few upticks here and there.

What a sad image.
The legacy of oversaturation.
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Old September 2 2012, 01:36 PM   #56
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Re: DS9's growing popularity

It's too bad. I am happy to be saturated. Stupid other people!
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Old September 2 2012, 05:00 PM   #57
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Re: DS9's growing popularity

Dream wrote: View Post
I'm a DS9 fan myself, but didn't the repeats get cancelled on SPIKE a few years ago? DS9 doesn't do that well with general audience these days.

Maybe it's just that arc heavy shows just don't rerun very well compared to episodic shows like TNG.
I think that's true. You kind of don't get anything out of a show that runs in syndication where the episodes play out of order, but it's that very order that the series depends on for it to make any sense. Episodic shows do well because it doesn't matter nearly as much if the episodes are played out of order. Still, I think DS9 does okay.
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Old September 2 2012, 09:05 PM   #58
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Re: DS9's growing popularity

TNG had a rough start too because of its earlier seasons, or so I've heard. I've also heard that it really took off in season 4 and onward. Do you know why, or at least have an idea, this happened for TNG but not DS9 which had a wonderful season 3-6 (imo)?
TV was changing during the time TNG and DS9 were on, and is still changing. Audiences are lower across the board. More competition means everything is being forced into a niche audience. Star Trek will never have the mass audience of TNG ever again. DS9's niche approach - smaller audience, less accessible material - is the right approach for all space opera now, and for sci fi in general.

Serialzed shows do great and dark shows do great - on cable, which is the only place for a space opera series nowadays. Broadcast is spiraling the drain except for CBS, which is all cop shows, sitcoms and reality TV - the lowest common denomenator.

In addition to cable, streaming services like Netflix and Amazon are other good places for original Star Trek. Moonves already is on friendly terms with Netflix. Something may be brewing there...

The handy ratings chart demonstrates that the approach is not what drove ratings down. Serialized or episodic, dark or fluffy, it made no difference to the trend line. Any Star Trek series, regardless of how good, would have suffered from the huge increase in competition for people's entertainment time.
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Old September 3 2012, 02:24 AM   #59
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Re: DS9's growing popularity

BillJ wrote: View Post
Mr_Homn wrote: View Post
M'rk, son of Mogh wrote: View Post
I don't know who made this chart, but it shows the ratings for all of the Trek seasons in graph form.

The premier for DS9 was the highest rated Trek episode ever it seems, but then it was quite the drop after and a continuous trend down with a few upticks here and there.

What a sad image.
The legacy of oversaturation.
Indeed. If that yellow line didn't exist, I'd be willing to bet the Pink line wouldn't have gotten quite so low. It was at 10 million before the yellow line started.

Edit- But then again, if that yellow line didn't exist, the Pink line probably wouldn't have been as entertaining, due to more meddling from the usual suspects.
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Old September 4 2012, 01:37 AM   #60
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Re: DS9's growing popularity

Temis the Vorta wrote: View Post
TNG had a rough start too because of its earlier seasons, or so I've heard. I've also heard that it really took off in season 4 and onward. Do you know why, or at least have an idea, this happened for TNG but not DS9 which had a wonderful season 3-6 (imo)?
TV was changing during the time TNG and DS9 were on, and is still changing. Audiences are lower across the board. More competition means everything is being forced into a niche audience. Star Trek will never have the mass audience of TNG ever again. DS9's niche approach - smaller audience, less accessible material - is the right approach for all space opera now, and for sci fi in general.

Serialzed shows do great and dark shows do great - on cable, which is the only place for a space opera series nowadays. Broadcast is spiraling the drain except for CBS, which is all cop shows, sitcoms and reality TV - the lowest common denomenator.

In addition to cable, streaming services like Netflix and Amazon are other good places for original Star Trek. Moonves already is on friendly terms with Netflix. Something may be brewing there...

The handy ratings chart demonstrates that the approach is not what drove ratings down. Serialized or episodic, dark or fluffy, it made no difference to the trend line. Any Star Trek series, regardless of how good, would have suffered from the huge increase in competition for people's entertainment time.
Very insightful. Thanks. I like Person of Interest and it's on CBS. You definitely don't have to be a brainiac to watch it, but it's entertaining.
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