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Go Back   The Trek BBS > Star Trek TV Series > The Next Generation

The Next Generation All Good Things come to an end...but not here.

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Old January 15 2013, 03:48 AM   #1
Steven321
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Do you agree with TNG being cut short for the movies/other shows?

I had never really looked to much into it before as I was only 11 when the last TNG movie came out lol, but recently I have started a re-watch of TNG and started to read into the final season, with the actors being contracted to 8 seasons, and only 7 being made, reasons being that the cast would be available sooner to start on the movies,and to prompt fans to watch more of DS9 and Voyager (among other reasons).

But do you think that they were right in their decision to cut the series down by one season?
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Old January 15 2013, 04:01 AM   #2
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Re: Do you agree with TNG being cut short for the movies/other shows?

By most accounts, season 7 was the weakest since Seasons 1 and 2.

Of course, by my own argument, Let's take a poll...

TNG 8, VOY 1, You Decide!
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Old January 15 2013, 04:04 AM   #3
Melakon
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Re: Do you agree with TNG being cut short for the movies/other shows?

I have never heard of an 8-season contract in any Star Trek series, what is your source?

Contracts were originally six seasons, with an option for a seventh (which is how DS9 lost Terry Farrell). Seven seasons was ideal for the studio, as contractural salaries (actors and crew) increased every year and after X seasons, there would have been reduced revenue from syndication rights.
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Old January 15 2013, 04:08 AM   #4
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Re: Do you agree with TNG being cut short for the movies/other shows?

@Melakon

The original place I seen it was on Wikipedia, so far I haven't done any further reading up on it as of yet, but here is the quote from Wiki.

Although the cast members were contracted for eight seasons,[33] Paramount ended The Next Generation after seven, disappointing and puzzling some of the actors, and an unusual decision for a successful television show. Although doing so let the studio begin making films using the cast, which it believed would be less successful if the show were still on television,[34] the main reason was that additional seasons would likely have reduced the show's profitability due to higher cast salaries and a lower price per episode when sold for stripping. The decision also encouraged viewers to watch Star Trek: Deep Space Nine and the forthcoming Star Trek: Voyager, both of which were much cheaper to make than The Next Generation. The show's strong ratings continued to the end; the series finale was ranked No. 2 among all shows that week, between fellow hits Home Improvement and Seinfeld.[33]
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Old January 15 2013, 04:12 AM   #5
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Re: Do you agree with TNG being cut short for the movies/other shows?

I agree with it. The cast was getting expensive to keep on, and the show was running out of gas. Season 7 was the worst season of TNG since season 1. A TNG season 8 would have likely been pretty bad. The movies didn't work out as well as the studio hoped, but you can't use that as an argument, since they were basing their decision on the info they had available at the time.


TNG's future appeared brighter on the big screen.
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Old January 15 2013, 04:15 AM   #6
Steven321
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Re: Do you agree with TNG being cut short for the movies/other shows?

I liked First Contact and thought that it was a fairly solid movie. Likewise with Insurrection, although I think that the story it's self could have been expanded a bit more. I was reading that a few of the cast (Frakes especially) expressed his disappointment with Nemesis, and that he wanted to direct it, had that been the case I think it would have been a lot better, It still had it's moments with a fairly strong ending.
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Old January 15 2013, 04:30 AM   #7
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Re: Do you agree with TNG being cut short for the movies/other shows?

Steven321 wrote: View Post
@Melakon

The original place I seen it was on Wikipedia, so far I haven't done any further reading up on it as of yet, but here is the quote from Wiki. . .
I followed Wikipedia's referenced source.

They may be referring to a contract option that was originally offered, which would have presented 6, with options for possible 7th and 8th seasons. TNG was somewhat innovative in that it was distributed via syndication, which was unusual for a dramatic series at the time.
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Old January 15 2013, 04:36 AM   #8
Steven321
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Re: Do you agree with TNG being cut short for the movies/other shows?

So it was pretty much a take it or leave it offer that was presented to them selves sort of, which was obviously never taking up. It makes you wonder if it was all done pretty quick and that it was a general assumption among the cast etc that there would be another season after 7.
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Old January 15 2013, 05:59 AM   #9
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Re: Do you agree with TNG being cut short for the movies/other shows?

It would have been nice if TNG could have continued on for a very long time like a Gunsmoke sort of deal. But that is very very rare, and by the end they had a long and successful run and they managed to finish with a bang in All Good Things and be able to barely pull off those flashbacks given that the cast had aged some. So I'd say it worked out okay in the end, certainly a more fitting end than TOS achieved.
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Old January 15 2013, 06:36 AM   #10
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Re: Do you agree with TNG being cut short for the movies/other shows?

It was a good thing TNG ended. The problem is everyone just kept going anyway.

I've long felt that the period in the mid-nineties ultimately had a bigger impact on the franchise's demise than ENT or NEM did (directly).

What I mean is, TPTB just had way too much on their plates then, and they quickly became creatively exhausted to the point there was a huge creative void in the Trek department at Paramount. It was like they were stuck in a quagmire or banality. And instead of thinking forward, the spent the next decade trying to get out of it.

Had they instead put everything on hold then and got all the ducks back in a row, I think the franchise would have been much better off in the long run.
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Old January 15 2013, 06:47 AM   #11
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Re: Do you agree with TNG being cut short for the movies/other shows?

To be completely fair to Rick Berman, I recall he mentioned these very concerns himself in an interview circa 1999-ish (around the time of INS). He basically said he feared "going to the well once too often and finding there isn't any water left". But he was on staff at Paramount, and essentially had to do what Paramount told him. Which was make more Star Trek. So yes, Trek did ultimately end up going to the well too many times. I've always felt Berman himself wasn't too keen on it by the end but he was just doing what he was told.
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Old January 15 2013, 06:53 AM   #12
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Re: Do you agree with TNG being cut short for the movies/other shows?

Oh, I totally agree. I often defend Berman, and think he takes way too much flack. He gets blamed for a lot of stuff that I think was obviously a corporate decision.

The need to sex-it-up, for example. Everyone blames Berman (And Braga! ) for that, but I just think that screams snapping briefcases.
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Old January 15 2013, 06:56 AM   #13
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Re: Do you agree with TNG being cut short for the movies/other shows?

Like I said, it makes you wonder how far in advance the cast new that any potential season 8 was a no go. Season 7 has always had mixed reviews (obviously with the final being the best bit), I don't know though, it just seemed as though at times that it was a very long good bye.
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Old January 15 2013, 07:02 AM   #14
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Re: Do you agree with TNG being cut short for the movies/other shows?

I have full faith in the power of imagination, and even though you have a world that is so heavily explored as Star Trek, there are places you can go with it that Berman never could have conceived. While it's true the public were growing tired of Trek, they were ultimately tired of the sameness of Trek through all those shows. The one thing I think typifies the TNG-era shows is they are dramatically flat. There are no true peaks and valleys. Even the music is flat. Compare that to TOS which is positively melodramatic. And that's why the predominant experience while watching a TNG era show is one of, at best, mild amusement, but not the engrossing feeling of watching, let's say, City on the Edge of Forever, or Balance of Terror. That's why people remember TNG episodes like Inner Light, because in a few of them, they really hit a deep emotional chord that is largely absent while the crew sits around debating the most political correct way to proceed. The high drama is the one aspect of TOS that was never truly recaptured, and it has nothing to do with the basic rules of the TNG universe. It's how you write the show and the style of how you present it.
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Old January 15 2013, 07:27 AM   #15
Steven321
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Re: Do you agree with TNG being cut short for the movies/other shows?

I think it just depends on the viewer as well as to what they perceive to be good compared to TOS etc. An example for me is (even though a small one) as in Yesterday's Enterprise, Picard's speech about history and the Enterprise, and when he is ordered to surrender by the Klingons before leaping over tactical and continuing to fire phasers. Smaller, more significant scenes tend to stick out more.

There's still a whole world of ideas and plots that could be explored.
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