RSS iconTwitter iconFacebook icon

The Trek BBS title image

The Trek BBS statistics

Threads: 141,392
Posts: 5,505,401
Members: 25,129
Currently online: 473
Newest member: oorang

TrekToday headlines

Retro Review: The Emperor’s New Cloak
By: Michelle on Dec 20

Star Trek Opera
By: T'Bonz on Dec 19

New Abrams Project
By: T'Bonz on Dec 18

IDW Publishing March 2015 Comics
By: T'Bonz on Dec 17

Paramount Star Trek 3 Expectations
By: T'Bonz on Dec 17

Star Trek #39 Sneak Peek
By: T'Bonz on Dec 16

Star Trek 3 Potential Director Shortlist
By: T'Bonz on Dec 16

Official Starships Collection Update
By: T'Bonz on Dec 15

Retro Review: Prodigal Daughter
By: Michelle on Dec 13

Sindicate Lager To Debut In The US Next Week
By: T'Bonz on Dec 12


Welcome! The Trek BBS is the number one place to chat about Star Trek with like-minded fans. Please login to see our full range of forums as well as the ability to send and receive private messages, track your favourite topics and of course join in the discussions.

If you are a new visitor, join us for free. If you are an existing member please login below. Note: for members who joined under our old messageboard system, please login with your display name not your login name.


Go Back   The Trek BBS > Star Trek TV Series > Star Trek - Original Series

Star Trek - Original Series The one that started it all...

Reply
 
Thread Tools
Old January 13 2014, 12:00 AM   #16
trevanian
Rear Admiral
 
Re: Fact checking These Are The Voyages....

Warped9 wrote: View Post
Of course, it has to be said that Desilu wasn't happy with either situation. The studio suits pressured Lucille Ball to drop one of the shows, and since Mission: Impossible was considered more accessible as a concept they urged her to drop Star Trek.
Isn't part of the issue here that the overhead charged by Desilu was much higher than other studios of the time?

Maybe this info has been superseded over time, but I seem to remember reading more than once (TMOST, TWOST original edition?) that Desilu took a huge bite out of each ep's budget, practically to the degree that the CAA agency got a huge hunk of each series it successfully 'packaged' in the 80s, like THE COSBY SHOW.

In a sense, TREK already had another big 'overhead' in place that almost no other show of the era had, in that there would be a (for the time) indecent number of opticals in every ep, and so of course that also takes a big bite from the total budget.

This is just guesswork, but with the situation at Fox on the Allen shows, it is possible some of the costs of producing VFX weren't even charged to the shows, since the studio still had its own in-house FX dept., and the overhead for that wouldn't have been charged to the Allen shows, essentially saving them on having to pay for the creative/technical talent used.
If Trek had been able to get by just using Howard Anderson, perhaps a similar savings could have been effected, since they were on the lot at Desilu, and later Paramount.
trevanian is offline   Reply With Quote
Old January 13 2014, 12:11 AM   #17
MauriceNavidad
Vice Admiral
 
MauriceNavidad's Avatar
 
Location: Maurice in San Francisco
View MauriceNavidad's Twitter Profile
Re: Fact checking These Are The Voyages....

I also think Voyage did a lot more bottle type shows than Trek did. Many episodes took place almost entirely on the Seaview sets.
__________________
* * *
“Tact is the ability to tell someone to go to hell in such a way that they look forward to the trip.”
― Winston S. Churchill
MauriceNavidad is offline   Reply With Quote
Old January 13 2014, 12:12 AM   #18
M
Vice Admiral
 
M's Avatar
 
Re: Fact checking These Are The Voyages....

With all the talk about Nielsen ratings and such, I'm asking myself if there is an extensive list of all ratings for all episodes of Star Trek. Does such a thing exist somewhere online? Are they reprinted in the Cushman book? Why do they never seem to appear in any form of list?
__________________
Bashir: »Out of all the stories you told me, which ones were true and which ones weren't?«
Garak: »My dear doctor, they're all true.«
Bashir: »Even the lies?«
Garak: »Especially the lies.«
M is offline   Reply With Quote
Old January 13 2014, 12:22 AM   #19
Christopher
Writer
 
Christopher's Avatar
 
Re: Fact checking These Are The Voyages....

Maurice wrote: View Post
I have an easier time believing the latter than the former because by the time Star Trek aired NBC was the "All Color Network" so every show on it could sell color TVs. Maybe Star Trek's VERY colorful look was extra alluring?
Exactly. Star Trek was one of the most visually striking shows on the air at the time, with its exotic scenery and sets and visuals. Its special visual effects were groundbreaking stuff, using techniques that were new to television (for instance, using bluescreen mattes for spaceship shots rather than just hanging the models on wires like the Fox/Irwin Allen shows did). It was showing people things they'd never seen before. And that was a much more potent incentive for buying color TVs than just getting to see what color suit Efrem Zimbalist, Jr. was wearing. They actually conducted an audience survey asking what shows were motivating people to buy color sets in 1966, and ST was the leading answer, according to Solow and Justman. (I'd bet that Batman was a close second, though.)
__________________
Christopher L. Bennett Homepage -- Site update 11/16/14 including annotations for "The Caress of a Butterfly's Wing" and overview for DTI: The Collectors

Written Worlds -- My blog
Christopher is offline   Reply With Quote
Old January 13 2014, 01:01 AM   #20
CrazyMatt
Captain
 
CrazyMatt's Avatar
 
Location: Looking down the maw....
Re: Fact checking These Are The Voyages....

Based on the books by Solow & Justman, Shatner, and now Cushman, I think the key factor in Star Trek's cancellation was the often caustic relationship between GR and NBC.

While he was the head of Desilu (and later Paramount, albeit briefly) TV productions (official title: "Executive in Charge of Production"), Herb Solow was able to be a buffer between the 'combatants.' But when he left late in the second season, the buffer was lost.
__________________
"All I want for Christmas is my crew not ate!"
CrazyMatt is offline   Reply With Quote
Old January 13 2014, 01:25 AM   #21
Harvey
Admiral
 
Harvey's Avatar
 
Re: Fact checking These Are The Voyages....

Warped9 wrote: View Post
Another thing cited in These Are The Voyages is that Star Trek was a show comfortably within the Top 40. Meanwhile Mission: Impossible was supposedly coming in quite a bit behind (and definitely not in the Top 40) and yet there were no rumblings from CBS about possibly cancelling the show. Indeed all indications were they were very happy with the series.
Does Cushman actually say this? I know he reprints the list from Broadcasting Magazine, but that is only based upon the ratings for the second and third episodes broadcast, not a reflection of the program's performance over the course of the season. (The list is also, at least in the first edition, inaccurately reproduced).

The archival sources I've found have placed Star Trek around 50th place in the 1966-67 season. It certainly doesn't show up in any top (20, 30, or 40) series lists in Broadcasting Magazine after the first few episodes.

Warped9 wrote: View Post
See, the thing is if the show's ratings were truly disappointing then why renew the series (twice, after 1st and 2nd seasons) and continue losing money? Why not just be done with it?
The ratings weren't disappointing, per say, at least in the first season -- but the show definitely wasn't a "hit" in any meaningful sense of the term.
__________________
"This begs explanation." - de Forest Research on Star Trek

My blog: Star Trek Fact Check.
Harvey is offline   Reply With Quote
Old January 13 2014, 01:31 AM   #22
Warped9
Admiral
 
Warped9's Avatar
 
Location: Brockville, Ontario, Canada
Re: Fact checking These Are The Voyages....

Harvey wrote: View Post
Warped9 wrote: View Post
Another thing cited in These Are The Voyages is that Star Trek was a show comfortably within the Top 40. Meanwhile Mission: Impossible was supposedly coming in quite a bit behind (and definitely not in the Top 40) and yet there were no rumblings from CBS about possibly cancelling the show. Indeed all indications were they were very happy with the series.
Does Cushman actually say this? I know he reprints the list from Broadcasting Magazine, but that is only based upon the ratings for the second and third episodes broadcast, not a reflection of the program's performance over the course of the season. (The list is also, at least in the first edition, inaccurately reproduced).

The archival sources I've found have placed Star Trek around 50th place in the 1966-67 season. It certainly doesn't show up in any top (20, 30, or 40) series lists in Broadcasting Magazine after the first few episodes.
He cites Star Trek being in the Top 40 (around 30-33). In one list he has in the book it does show Mission: Impossible at 68 although he doesn't actually mention the show in his text. The book the Mission: Impossible Dossier which chronicles the development and production of the series (although not nearly to the same extent as TATV) cites Mission: Impossible as being about 51 during its first season.

trevanian wrote: View Post
Warped9 wrote: View Post
Of course, it has to be said that Desilu wasn't happy with either situation. The studio suits pressured Lucille Ball to drop one of the shows, and since Mission: Impossible was considered more accessible as a concept they urged her to drop Star Trek.
Isn't part of the issue here that the overhead charged by Desilu was much higher than other studios of the time?

Maybe this info has been superseded over time, but I seem to remember reading more than once (TMOST, TWOST original edition?) that Desilu took a huge bite out of each ep's budget, practically to the degree that the CAA agency got a huge hunk of each series it successfully 'packaged' in the 80s, like THE COSBY SHOW.

In a sense, TREK already had another big 'overhead' in place that almost no other show of the era had, in that there would be a (for the time) indecent number of opticals in every ep, and so of course that also takes a big bite from the total budget.

This is just guesswork, but with the situation at Fox on the Allen shows, it is possible some of the costs of producing VFX weren't even charged to the shows, since the studio still had its own in-house FX dept., and the overhead for that wouldn't have been charged to the Allen shows, essentially saving them on having to pay for the creative/technical talent used.
If Trek had been able to get by just using Howard Anderson, perhaps a similar savings could have been effected, since they were on the lot at Desilu, and later Paramount.
Star Trek did have more than the usual post-production costs on average as well the costs of costuming, props and sets beyond what already existed. Of course we know they also canabalized what they could from things they had already made and could be used again. Mind you this was expected going in when the series sold given the series' concept. But Mission: Impossible also spent a lot of money in similar fashion and perhaps more so in production. M:I had to have new gadgets designed and built for most every episode as well as have f/x of their own. In production a lot of time and money was spent for far more than average number of camera setups, certainly more than even Star Trek.

It basically came down to this: Star Trek's expenses were in how many new things it showed on camera in sets, costumes, makeup, miniatures and special effects. Mission: Impossible's expenses were extensive camera setups, new gadgets and special f/x. Star Trek could be expensive because of what it shot while Mission: Impossible was expensive because of how the show was shot.


In comparing the two and the studio and network reactions to the respective shows it seems to come down to a familiar bias we still see today. Science Fiction can be somewhat ghetto-ized and is seen as something that usually appeals to a more niche like audience. In contrast a show like Mission: Impossible, even with its innovative format, is still basically a cops-and-robbers type idea that's seen as far more accessible to the average person or viewer. It's easier for more people to identify with a show like Mission: Impossible than a show like Star Trek, and that would certainly include old guard studio executives. M:I could even be costing the studio more than Star Trek, but it was a show studio execs could understand more easily.

There's also the additional factor that CBS would periodically kick a little extra money to Desilu to help offset some of the M:I budget overruns while NBC never offered any such thing to help out Star Trek.
__________________
STAR TREK: 1964-1991, 2013-?

Last edited by Warped9; January 13 2014 at 01:51 AM.
Warped9 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old January 13 2014, 01:58 AM   #23
Harvey
Admiral
 
Harvey's Avatar
 
Re: Fact checking These Are The Voyages....

Warped9 wrote: View Post
He cites Star Trek being in the Top 40 (around 30-33). In one list he has in the book it does show Mission: Impossible at 68 although he doesn't actually mention the show in his text.
Right, that's the list from Broadcasting Magazine that I mentioned. (You can actually view the whole magazine online, including pages 68-69, where the list is printed; notice that after item #81 Cushman's list is totally off from his source -- at least in the first edition -- and also that he labels it "Trendex Ratings" when it is in fact "the Nielsen nighttime list" according to the magazine).

The list only takes data from September 12-25, 1966; therefore it only accounts for the broadcast of "Charlie X" and "Where No Man Has Gone Before."

My point is this: Star Trek was in the top 40 for a few weeks, but it's ratings (as I showed above) did not stay at that level -- they began falling immediately.

EDIT: The first edition of the book doesn't list any ratings for the initial broadcast of "Where No Man Has Gone Before." The Roddenberry files do not have Nielsen ratings for this episode, but they do have the "Arbitron Overnight Ratings" for it (a competing service to Nielsen and Trendex). They were:

8:30

ABC – Tammy Grimes – 21.0
CBS – My Three Sons – 34.0
NBC – Star Trek – 32.0

9:00

ABC – Bewitched – 30.0
CBS – Good Neighbor Sam – 33.0
NBC – Star Trek – 28.0

EDIT #2: To be fair, these are the same ratings the series got from Arbitron in the previous week (for "Charlie X"):

8:30

ABC – Tammy Grimes – 21.0
CBS – My Three Sons – 34.0
NBC – Star Trek – 32.0

9:00

ABC – Bewitched – 29.0
CBS – Music Man, Part I – 36.0
NBC – Star Trek – 28.0
__________________
"This begs explanation." - de Forest Research on Star Trek

My blog: Star Trek Fact Check.
Harvey is offline   Reply With Quote
Old January 13 2014, 02:05 AM   #24
Warped9
Admiral
 
Warped9's Avatar
 
Location: Brockville, Ontario, Canada
Re: Fact checking These Are The Voyages....

He looks to be giving snapshots of the ratings in terms of the samples he gives and that does include each episode. It's possible he might have thought that including a lengthy list of competing shows for each episode would have added substantially to the page count without adding much more to the point he's trying to make.

So if you want to do an episode-by-episode tracking you would need a list of all shows for every week Star Trek aired a new episode and then ran a rerun during the summer hiatus. And, mind you, presently we only have the information for the first season. I'm interested to see what's in the second and third volumes. I do know that in an online interview Cushman does assert that even on Friday nights during its third season TOS was NBC's Number 1 show.

I suppose what Cushman could have done was simply reprint all the lists with the top shows for every episode when it first aired and when it was rerun in an appendix at the end of the book.
__________________
STAR TREK: 1964-1991, 2013-?
Warped9 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old January 13 2014, 02:09 AM   #25
MauriceNavidad
Vice Admiral
 
MauriceNavidad's Avatar
 
Location: Maurice in San Francisco
View MauriceNavidad's Twitter Profile
Re: Fact checking These Are The Voyages....

Again, a lot will depend on which ratings he's citing: national or regional. They aren't always in line.
__________________
* * *
“Tact is the ability to tell someone to go to hell in such a way that they look forward to the trip.”
― Winston S. Churchill
MauriceNavidad is offline   Reply With Quote
Old January 13 2014, 02:12 AM   #26
Harvey
Admiral
 
Harvey's Avatar
 
Re: Fact checking These Are The Voyages....

Do you mean it was NBC's number one show on Friday nights in the third season? There's no way it was the top rated NBC show while it was in the so-called "Friday night death slot."

And, if it was NBC's top-rated show on Friday night's...that actually tells us very little about how the show was doing in the ratings.

It's nice (and useful) to have the ratings for each broadcast (and re-run) -- and, could you check, did he include the ratings for "Where No Man Has Gone Before" (first run) in the second edition, or explain their absence? Nonetheless, it actually doesn't give us the information you, I, or Cushman would need to determine if the show was a "hit" or even a success.
__________________
"This begs explanation." - de Forest Research on Star Trek

My blog: Star Trek Fact Check.
Harvey is offline   Reply With Quote
Old January 13 2014, 02:15 AM   #27
Warped9
Admiral
 
Warped9's Avatar
 
Location: Brockville, Ontario, Canada
Re: Fact checking These Are The Voyages....

He says it was their Number One show on Friday nights, but until we see some hard number we can't assess what that really means.

Here you go, Harvey,

__________________
STAR TREK: 1964-1991, 2013-?

Last edited by Warped9; January 13 2014 at 02:34 AM.
Warped9 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old January 13 2014, 02:35 AM   #28
MauriceNavidad
Vice Admiral
 
MauriceNavidad's Avatar
 
Location: Maurice in San Francisco
View MauriceNavidad's Twitter Profile
Re: Fact checking These Are The Voyages....

"Number One show on Friday nights" could mean the whole night was a ratings wasteland for NBC and Trek just peaked above the other badly performing shows. You can make statistics prove anything you want if you cite them selectively.

EDIT: The Tammy Grimes Show was a bomb which was quickly pulled after a few weeks, which could explain why Trek got a larger share than it would when the schedule got re-arranged.

Again, the only way to make a case for Trek being a success is to see the overall ratings for the season, and especially "sweeps" periods. Data from a few nights isn't useful for discussing overall trends. For instance, if My Three Sons was also a repeat against the repeat of WNMHGB, people who previously saw that Sons episode might switch over to another show that one night, which doesn't necessary provide a trendline.
__________________
* * *
“Tact is the ability to tell someone to go to hell in such a way that they look forward to the trip.”
― Winston S. Churchill

Last edited by MauriceNavidad; January 13 2014 at 03:07 AM.
MauriceNavidad is offline   Reply With Quote
Old January 13 2014, 02:45 AM   #29
Harvey
Admiral
 
Harvey's Avatar
 
Re: Fact checking These Are The Voyages....

I'm working on a spreadsheet compiling the individual ratings for each episode, but these numbers will need to be put into the context that Maurice specifies.
__________________
"This begs explanation." - de Forest Research on Star Trek

My blog: Star Trek Fact Check.
Harvey is offline   Reply With Quote
Old January 13 2014, 02:46 AM   #30
Warped9
Admiral
 
Warped9's Avatar
 
Location: Brockville, Ontario, Canada
Re: Fact checking These Are The Voyages....

Harvey wrote: View Post
I'm working on a spreadsheet compiling the individual ratings for each episode, but these numbers will need to be put into the context that Maurice specifies.
Do you have all the info you need to do that? Doesn't that basically mean taking the ratings for each night a new episode was aired and then averaging that over the season?

Maurice wrote: View Post
"Number One show on Friday nights" could mean the whole night was a ratings wasteland for NBC and Trek just peaked above the other badly performing shows. You can make statistics prove anything you want if you cite them selectively.

EDIT: The Tammy Grimes Show was a bomb which was quickly pulled after a few weeks, which could explain why Trek got a larger share than it would when the schedule got re-arranged.

Again, the only way to make a case for Trek being a success is to see the overall ratings for the season, and especially "sweeps" periods. Data from a few nights isn't useful for discussing overall trends. For instance, if My Three Sons was also a repeat against the repeat of WNMHGB, people who saw that Sons episode might switch over to another show that one night, which doesn't necessary provide a trendline.
In fairness he does give ratings for each night NBC aired a new episode.
__________________
STAR TREK: 1964-1991, 2013-?
Warped9 is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Bookmarks

Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump



All times are GMT +1. The time now is 06:55 AM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.6
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
FireFox 2+ or Internet Explorer 7+ highly recommended.