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General Trek Discussion Trek TV and cinema subjects not related to any specific series or movie.

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Old February 26 2013, 11:32 AM   #46
yousirname
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Re: Direct-to-DVD Trek movies?

As I see it, streaming models will have more in common with subscription channels than network broadcast in terms of their demographics, and thus in terms of their content also. I think this could spell trouble for a proposed Trek show planning to use the streaming model. House of Cards, for example, could not be broadcast as is on network television - too much profanity, nudity, etc. That kind of material could only be broadcast on a subscription service, whether through a box under your TV or through your modem.

And I think that the success and cultural penetration of those shows - The Sopranos, The Wire, even Sex and the City and Curb - has changed the expectations of the audiences using those models. Arrested Development is the only streaming-only show I know of that could in theory be broadcast on network TV. Now, while it is 50% of all the streaming-only shows I can name (HoC being the other one) I think it's worth noting that AD is a show that itself couldn't survive on network TV. What demand for it there was existed, sure, but not in enough numbers to be economically viable.

So while Trek might appear to be in a similar position to AD and thus potentially ripe for a return, I'm more skeptical. I think Trek's traditional network-safe style will likely not appeal to the demographics that the streaming providers will be courting - even if a large chunk of that demo are in fact fans of previous incarnations of Star Trek.

Assuming I'm right, what would people think of a Trek show adapted to the expectations of the audience in question? Could Trek still be Trek if it had profanity? Nudity?

Part of me thinks it would be awesome and part of me thinks it would be terrible. And CBS would never allow it. But it might possibly be the only way we'd ever get new serialised Star Trek again.
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Old February 26 2013, 11:52 AM   #47
C.E. Evans
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Re: Direct-to-DVD Trek movies?

If think we're as likely to get a R-rated Star Trek series from CBS as we're likely to get a R-rated Star Wars movie from Disney.
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Old February 26 2013, 11:58 AM   #48
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Re: Direct-to-DVD Trek movies?

I agree it's unlikely. But I worry that if we did get a streaming original Trek series that was more or less in line with network broadcast standards, it might flop. And that would probably be the end for at least another decade, if not forever.
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Old February 26 2013, 12:10 PM   #49
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Re: Direct-to-DVD Trek movies?

Are some people actually saying that a sitcom starring Majel Barrett would've been better for the franchises long term health than the J.J. Abrams film?
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Old February 26 2013, 01:21 PM   #50
C.E. Evans
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Re: Direct-to-DVD Trek movies?

yousirname wrote: View Post
I agree it's unlikely. But I worry that if we did get a streaming original Trek series that was more or less in line with network broadcast standards, it might flop.
I think if such a series flopped, it would have less to do with it being in line with network broadcast standards and more to do with it being too expensive to produce and not having a big enough audience to justify that expense even on a streaming platform. The alternative is to make a Trek series as cheaply as possible so its returns will always be bigger than its investment.
And that would probably be the end for at least another decade, if not forever.
I definitely wouldn't say forever, because things tend to be reinvented for a new audience over time, and I definitely can see Trek being periodically reinvented every so often as long as there's some form of onscreen entertainment (we probably wouldn't recognize it 40 years from now, though).
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Old February 26 2013, 07:01 PM   #51
Temis the Vorta
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Re: Direct-to-DVD Trek movies?

House of Cards, for example, could not be broadcast as is on network television - too much profanity, nudity, etc
The profanity and the nudity could have been edited out. The real reason why a show like that couldn't survive in broadcast is that it has a niche appeal, and can't get the 10M or so you need in order to survive (more on CBS, less on NBC).

Netflix has 25M subscribers in the US and I saw an stimate that 10% of subscribers watched HoC, sounds about right for what Netflix expected but that's just 2.5M viewers. Not acceptable for broadcast but on par with what a premium cable station would expect.

That's a reasonable level because each subscriber is worth more than an ad viewer or to put it a different way, if you want your individual tastes catered to, you have to be worth enough $$$ to make it worth someone's while.

And that's the calculation that governs Star Trek's future in a serialized, small screen format. Where are there viewers who can make a series worth someone's while? That's where the next series will appear.

I think Trek's traditional network-safe style will likely not appeal to the demographics that the streaming providers will be courting
So why does the next series need to be "network safe" if its not under the FCC's thumb? I'm not suggesting nudity or swearing (except in Klingon and Romulan of course), but more violence and disturbing material might be appropriate, space is a dangerous place.

And Netflix/Amazon are different from HBO/Showtime in that the latter have established a brand based on snob appeal and being anti-traditional TV (especially bland broadcast) while the former is embracing broadcast style as well as the more adult stuff. Netflix was considering reviving Jericho and Amazon is partnering with CBS on a series to be shown both places.

And that's why I don't expect the next series to be on premium cable, even though the numbers would add up just as they do on streaming. A franchise associated with free TV doesn't fit their brand image.

Last edited by Temis the Vorta; February 26 2013 at 07:17 PM.
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Old February 27 2013, 01:56 AM   #52
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Re: Direct-to-DVD Trek movies?

mos6507 wrote: View Post
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Majel Barrett wanted Gene Roddenberry to write a Mrs Troi sitcom...
(It also would have guest starred Majel as her mother, of course.)
No, you missed the point of my post. Majel wanted to star in it. A Lwaxana Troi "Aunty Mame goes wild" starring vehicle!
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Old February 27 2013, 04:12 AM   #53
Temis the Vorta
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Re: Direct-to-DVD Trek movies?

Did somebody have a question about Netflix's international strategy?

Asked about Netflix's international strategy, he said the firm will take a breather in terms of new market launches in the first half of 2013 but continue to focus on Europe. "We'll be ambitious again going forward," Hastings said without disclosing details. "We are growing internationally. We are going to continue to invest."

He said that in each foreign market the company faces competitors, such as Amazon and BSkyB, that have money to spend. But the executive emphasized that pushing for a strong market position is key. "We have somewhat deep pockets" as well, Hastings said. "If you are the one that has gotten to scale, you have a heck of a franchise. So we are pushing hard at that."
They haven't forgotten about taking over the world (they are a technology company, after all) but it must be a chore to negotiate rights of thousands of movies and TV shows in each territory. And they have to look at each region separately and come up with a launch plan because the competitive situation is different in each country.
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Old February 27 2013, 04:45 PM   #54
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Re: Direct-to-DVD Trek movies?

With the success of JJ Trek, I could totally see a new Trek television series (serial would be awesome), and I could see each season becoming available on Netflix shortly after each season concludes on TV since that seems to be the pattern with some shows. If you missed it on TV, catch up with it on Netflix, get hooked, then tune in for season 2 on TV because you just can't wait.

I wouldn't arrange funeral services for broadcast or cable television just yet. And I think Netflix as an exclusive outlet has yet to prove itself as a lucrative alternative for a large budget series like Trek (which would need to have a large budget to match the standards already set for the franchise). Once we have hard proof that something like Trek could bring decent profit, then streaming as an exclusive or premiere source could be a contender.

...but I should say if we do happen to get new Trek on Netflix, I will be just as excited as the next guy!
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Old February 27 2013, 06:10 PM   #55
Temis the Vorta
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Re: Direct-to-DVD Trek movies?

But there's no place on TV now that is likely to want a new series. Too nichey for broadcast; premium cable wouldn't go for something associated with free TV (off brand for them). Basic cable is possible, someplace like TNT, but CBS has no basic cable stations, so it would have to negotiate with an outside party. Neither CBS nor TNT has an overwhelming motive to bother, there are plenty other types of shows they could do.

But Netflix and Amazon do have a motive to want a big brand name that appeals to techy types - who are the most likely to already be subscribing to streaming, or considering it. They're in competition with each other right now to make noise and establish themselves as king of the hill.

This is a new industry and it's a crucial time to establish dominance. Both would be motivated to invest in an expensive, high profile show, even at a short term loss, because it would pay off in the long run by helping them knock out the other guy.
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Old February 27 2013, 07:41 PM   #56
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Re: Direct-to-DVD Trek movies?

Oh, no doubt. I'm sure Netflix, Amazon or Hulu would jump at the chance to stream a new Trek series. I don't think anyone would argue with that. But would streaming provide enough profit to warrant Paramount to produce an expensive Trek series exclusively for streaming? I think the answer right now is -- that remains to be seen. Could be "yes" at some point in the future, but it's not clear right now. I think television to netflix would be the more likely scenario at the moment for Trek. And honestly, I don't think Trek is as "nichey" as it once was. Whether you love it or hate it, JJ has (so far) successfully made the idea of Trek more mainstream and appealing to the masses these days. If someone pitched a Trek series with the cool factor and sex appeal of JJ Trek and a premise that had a Lost-like serial nature, then I could easily see any of the big 4 networks picking it up AND it would be profitable for the studio. Re-airing season by season on Netflix, yes. That would just be icing on the cake and perhaps good marketing for the series. But like I said, if the tables turn in the future I would be all about it! I love Netflix!
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Old February 27 2013, 08:00 PM   #57
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Re: Direct-to-DVD Trek movies?

C.E. Evans wrote: View Post
You could make a whole season of Trek TV out of JJ's lens-flare budget.
Doubtful. It's not 2001 anymore when ENT left the air. I would wager that a new Trek TV series would probably be budgeted around 3 million dollars an episode these days.
Even at $3 million a pop, and even if you did the longer 26-episode season they did in the TNG days, that's still only $78 million for a season, which is over $100 million less than the budget of the latest Abrams flick.
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Old February 27 2013, 08:42 PM   #58
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Re: Direct-to-DVD Trek movies?

CoveTom wrote: View Post
C.E. Evans wrote: View Post
You could make a whole season of Trek TV out of JJ's lens-flare budget.
Doubtful. It's not 2001 anymore when ENT left the air. I would wager that a new Trek TV series would probably be budgeted around 3 million dollars an episode these days.
Even at $3 million a pop, and even if you did the longer 26-episode season they did in the TNG days, that's still only $78 million for a season, which is over $100 million less than the budget of the latest Abrams flick.
My response was in regards to "JJ's lens-flare budget," but the primary thing is the question of CBS (not Paramount) wanting to sink 80 million dollars a year into a new Trek series, when they could just do another crime procedural drama or sitcom for less and get bigger ratings for it too.
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Old February 27 2013, 11:14 PM   #59
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Re: Direct-to-DVD Trek movies?

CoveTom wrote: View Post
C.E. Evans wrote: View Post
You could make a whole season of Trek TV out of JJ's lens-flare budget.
Doubtful. It's not 2001 anymore when ENT left the air. I would wager that a new Trek TV series would probably be budgeted around 3 million dollars an episode these days.
Even at $3 million a pop, and even if you did the longer 26-episode season they did in the TNG days, that's still only $78 million for a season, which is over $100 million less than the budget of the latest Abrams flick.
I don't think you can compare TV budgets to blockbuster film budgets like that. I'm no expert on Hollywood, but that comparison strikes me as like comparing apples to warships.
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Old February 27 2013, 11:41 PM   #60
C.E. Evans
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Re: Direct-to-DVD Trek movies?

Pavonis wrote: View Post
CoveTom wrote: View Post
C.E. Evans wrote: View Post
Doubtful. It's not 2001 anymore when ENT left the air. I would wager that a new Trek TV series would probably be budgeted around 3 million dollars an episode these days.
Even at $3 million a pop, and even if you did the longer 26-episode season they did in the TNG days, that's still only $78 million for a season, which is over $100 million less than the budget of the latest Abrams flick.
I don't think you can compare TV budgets to blockbuster film budgets like that. I'm no expert on Hollywood, but that comparison strikes me as like comparing apples to warships.
Yeah, there are different business models between theatrical movies and TV shows. The dollars don't quite equal up, IIRC.
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