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Go Back   The Trek BBS > Misc. Star Trek > Future of Trek

Future of Trek Discussion of future Trek projects.

View Poll Results: what TV channel do you think would be most realistic in 2010-2013?
Showtime - subscription TV channel (owned by CBS Corporation) 15 28.85%
Spike [formerly Spike TV] cable/satellite TV channel (a division of MTV Networks, owned by Viacom) 0 0%
SyFy - cable TV channel- (part of the entertainment conglomerate NBC Universal) 16 30.77%
CBS broadcast network (owned by CBS Corporation) 14 26.92%
The CW broadcast network (owned by CBS Corporation) 7 13.46%
Voters: 52. You may not vote on this poll

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Old August 23 2009, 03:20 PM   #31
Bluesteel
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Re: What channel should a new Trek TV series be on?

Wow, ENT sure used its budget well (or Stargate is profligate) because ENT looked much better while Stargate is eternally tacky.
To be fair on SG:1 they spent half the time outside while ENT was mostly filmed in sets. Atlantis looks great though.
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Old August 23 2009, 03:34 PM   #32
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Re: What channel should a new Trek TV series be on?

Even more astonishing that ENT produced arguably it's best season, in that last year when production costs had been slashed. No longer filming on 35mm and switching to Digital instead, accounts for a further drop from $1.6 million to something lower. Unless it was the same amount but reduced to 22 shows. The show also looked much more vibrant too, at least on my SD TV at the time. Season 4 had hardly any location work, extensive use of the studio backlot for Storm Front, probably a disused sandpit for the Vulcan arc and that's about it really, everything else was Planet Hell plus FX. A Romulan War Season 5 with little more than ship-to-ship action, the main cast and a minimal core of supporting actors largely confined to claustrophic sets would've cost even less...
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Old August 23 2009, 06:23 PM   #33
ambessalion
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Re: What channel should a new Trek TV series be on?

i would have chosen syndication had that choice been available but from the ones listed i picked CBS but every market has that...whereas not all markets have syfi or spike. and not every cable user has showtime. and not everyone has cable.
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Old August 23 2009, 08:38 PM   #34
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Re: What channel should a new Trek TV series be on?

Is syndication an option that still exists? TNG and DS9 were both sold to stations across the board back in '90s, regardless of owner (although most turned out to be FOX). It's not really a mystery how the viewership dropped off (VOY-ENT), if the ratings that were being totalled up came from fewer stations by the end. The exclusivity UPN had with Star Trek killed it, especially if they were expecting to have impressive figures from places that weren't even showing it, let alone at a time when it was supposed to be on.
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Old August 24 2009, 02:38 PM   #35
AviTrek
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Re: What channel should a new Trek TV series be on?

Legend of the Seeker ran in syndication last year and will return again this year. I don't know what it's ratings/revenue was, but it was at least profitable enough for everyone to sign up for a second season.

In regards to ENT's $1.6 million budget. Was that the season 1 budget or the season 4 price UPN paid Paramount? Paramount produced each episode at a loss in season 4 so that they would have enough episodes to sell in a syndication deal.
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Old August 24 2009, 04:26 PM   #36
Bluesteel
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Re: What channel should a new Trek TV series be on?

ChristopherPike wrote: View Post
Is syndication an option that still exists? TNG and DS9 were both sold to stations across the board back in '90s, regardless of owner (although most turned out to be FOX). It's not really a mystery how the viewership dropped off (VOY-ENT), if the ratings that were being totalled up came from fewer stations by the end. The exclusivity UPN had with Star Trek killed it, especially if they were expecting to have impressive figures from places that weren't even showing it, let alone at a time when it was supposed to be on.

If my memory serves me the Ratings started to drop after TNG Season 5 and just continued. DS9 lost viewers too.

ambessalion wrote: View Post
i would have chosen syndication had that choice been available but from the ones listed i picked CBS but every market has that...whereas not all markets have syfi or spike. and not every cable user has showtime. and not everyone has cable.
Well I was once told that a new season of Stargate would go straight to Sci-Fi and then a year later it would in to syndication or something. Why not?
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Old August 25 2009, 05:33 PM   #37
AviTrek
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Re: What channel should a new Trek TV series be on?

Because he wants the show when it airs and is too cheap to pay for it. At this point I don't think there are very many(if any) US households that can't get SyFy or Showtime. People may choose not to pay for cable, or if they pay for cable may choose not to pay for Showtime, but I don't think there are that many households with no access to cable/satellite. And if they can't get cable I doubt they can receive CBS OTA now that analogue transmissions are shut off.
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Old August 30 2009, 05:37 AM   #38
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Re: What channel should a new Trek TV series be on?

BrownShatner wrote: View Post
Showtime (premium cable) is the only option where the show would have a half-decent budget, and not be immediately cancelled. CBS might work for an occasional mini-series or 'special event' movie.

SyFy/Spike would have lower production budget than Enterprise, although it might work for a secondary animated series.

UPN spent 10 years unsuccessfully trying to build a younger male audience around Trek, CW probably wouldn't repeat that experiment.
Two of my fav shows are Eureka on SyFy, and Burn Notice on USA. Eureka isnt flooded with FX, it has great/good plots and well thought out charactors. And that might be the best future for star trek. Junk the casual FX and the giant space battles too. Burn Notice on USA isn't sci-fi, it's a comedy drama, but it show what kind of shows USA can put on with a limited ( under two million ) budget. Plus I only get basic - plus cable, and I want to see the show too!
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Old September 4 2009, 11:20 PM   #39
Temis the Vorta
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Re: What channel should a new Trek TV series be on?

Bluesteel wrote: View Post
Wow, ENT sure used its budget well (or Stargate is profligate) because ENT looked much better while Stargate is eternally tacky.
To be fair on SG:1 they spent half the time outside while ENT was mostly filmed in sets. Atlantis looks great though.
No one had a gun to their head forcing them to be outdoors rather than on sets. If ENT could convey the wonders of space exploration* cost-effectively with sets, why couldn't Stargate do the same?

*Well they didn't actually do this well, but the writing, not the production values, was at fault.

Even more astonishing that ENT produced arguably it's best season, in that last year when production costs had been slashed.
Because the writing was so much better. Just goes to show what I keep saying: good writing is the best way to produce a fine show within a budget. I dunno why more shows don't adopt this strategy. Maybe there's a crying shortage of competent writers in Hollywood?
Eureka isnt flooded with FX, it has great/good plots and well thought out charactors. And that might be the best future for star trek.
That would be disappointing. Eureka is part of a big trend in sci-fi - holding down costs with modern-day-Earth-based shows. I have nothing against some shows being this way, but for all of them to be, is a huge disappointment. I want to see a decent space opera type show again, at least one?!? Too much to ask?
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Old September 7 2009, 03:10 AM   #40
Bluesteel
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Re: What channel should a new Trek TV series be on?

No one had a gun to their head forcing them to be outdoors rather than on sets. If ENT could convey the wonders of space exploration* cost-effectively with sets, why couldn't Stargate do the same?

*Well they didn't actually do this well, but the writing, not the production values, was at fault.
The whole point of Stargate was to explore new planets. The Gates were out in the open for primitive and Goa'uld planets. Now unless the Galaxy started to fill up with advanced aliens they had to do outdoors.

Personally I prefer it that way. Sure the Canadian geography gets boring after a while but it's much better then having a planet represented by indoors while the outdoors is basically just a painting or a model.

Because the writing was so much better. Just goes to show what I keep saying: good writing is the best way to produce a fine show within a budget. I dunno why more shows don't adopt this strategy. Maybe there's a crying shortage of competent writers in Hollywood?
That gets me annoyed too. For to long I have heard people using arguments for a reboot that can simply be solved by having better writing. They make it sound has if canon ruins the chances of good storytelling.

In my mind better writing could solve it. Why specifically have Ferengis or the House of Duras be the bad guys in ENT? No one is forcing the writers to use these guys. They could have just used some random Aliens and a random Klingon House.
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Old September 7 2009, 04:56 AM   #41
AviTrek
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Re: What channel should a new Trek TV series be on?

Temis the Vorta wrote: View Post

Even more astonishing that ENT produced arguably it's best season, in that last year when production costs had been slashed.
Because the writing was so much better. Just goes to show what I keep saying: good writing is the best way to produce a fine show within a budget. I dunno why more shows don't adopt this strategy. Maybe there's a crying shortage of competent writers in Hollywood?
Eureka isnt flooded with FX, it has great/good plots and well thought out charactors. And that might be the best future for star trek.
That would be disappointing. Eureka is part of a big trend in sci-fi - holding down costs with modern-day-Earth-based shows. I have nothing against some shows being this way, but for all of them to be, is a huge disappointment. I want to see a decent space opera type show again, at least one?!? Too much to ask?
Well, let's remember Hodgkin's law of parallel planetary development. Star Trek had it's share of earth based episodes filmed on the studio back lot.
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Old September 13 2009, 08:15 PM   #42
Temis the Vorta
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Re: What channel should a new Trek TV series be on?

Star Trek had it's share of earth based episodes filmed on the studio back lot.
Somehow I don't think that stuff would come off as well today. The parallel Earths are probably one of the major things people think of when they think of Trek being "cheesy."

I'd like to see 'em get their butts out to the desert more often to film. We need at least one return to Vasquez Rocks. DS9 made some good use of Joshua Tree National Park. If they have the money to get out to Arizona, Utah and New Mexico, there are even better/less overexposed "alien" backdrops waiting.
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Old September 19 2009, 06:55 AM   #43
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Re: What channel should a new Trek TV series be on?

CBC. YEAH!!!
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Old October 5 2009, 04:12 AM   #44
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Re: What channel should a new Trek TV series be on?

A CBS owned channel would be the most likely outlet. Why? No one else to share the revenue with. Direct syndication, ala the TNG model would be 2nd most likely outcome. A 3rd party cable channel is least likely, and a premium channel (as previously posted) is not a good fit for Star Trek and will not happen.

A new series is a few years off from now. Development takes years for a high concept, big budget show. Plus, it will still be viewed as a risk given that the last series (right or wrong) was canceled. Risk won't be tolerated until advertising revenue picks back up after the current recession. At the earliest, a TV show will first air between Reboot Movie 2 & 3 (ST12 & 13). Probably after 3, definitely if there's legal issues outlined along the lines of what I describe below..

Bluesteel wrote: View Post
I just searched on the internet. The budget for Enterpirse was about $1.6 million per episode. The budget for Stargate was $2.2 million however when it comes to Stargate. MGM would pay 2/3 of the budget while keeping the DVD sales proceeds. Maybe the same arrangment can be made. Since after all if more people tuned into ENT in it's worst days then SG-1 on it's best days. Sci-Fi would win with the advertisers,CBS would get the DVD sales and the fans will get a show that isn't under a constant threat of canceling which won't lead to anymore 7of9s.

Maybe I'm just being naive.
You're not naive, but ST has more convoluted licensing than most properties. CBS owns the TV & media rights to ST, so TV series (past and future), books, toys/collectables, and video games. Paramount owns film rights and distribution rights, or past/new movies and DVD sales.

What's interesting, is that CBS may not automatically have the rights to base a new TV series off of Paramount's movie. They might have to pay Paramount to do so. Trek isn't unified under one entity like it was in the Paramount->Viacom days. It's split, and when things split, lawyers get involved and it all gets complicated. We aren't privy to the contracts, and there's a chance things could get dirty. It may be legally easier (and one less royalty to pay) for a show to be "Prime Universe" based. All these things have huge impacts on the subject and viability of a TV show.

Last edited by STR; October 5 2009 at 04:23 AM.
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Old October 7 2009, 05:30 PM   #45
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Re: What channel should a new Trek TV series be on?

There are some positive aspects for Star Trek if they eventually went to show time, some examples are, no commercials, decent budget with more money available through the anticipated profit gained from episodes available "On Demand" (cable only sadly) with new ones available a week before broadcast airing on the network this would probable increase the available budget for any new Trek show, and they will definitely have more freedom with the scripts.

Some thought I had for Trek is that on Showtime it can tell better stories because Trek needs to be less two-dimensional in its depiction of characters, it needs interpersonal conflicts of some kind to be more realistic reflecting human nature like in Star Trek XI, it also needs that same classic Trek humor we saw in XI; when Trek takes itself too seriously it gets insulting to watch when its messages become too obvious and doesn't allow the viewer to do his or her own thinking about the show (besides aren't Trekkies smarter than the average viewer). Also they would have the freedom to take the characters and let them change and/or grow making them much more three-dimensional and fascinating to watch, that make for stories that are more enjoyable and memorable.
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