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Old April 15 2005, 11:45 PM   #121
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Re: TrekUnited Proposed Season 5 Co-Production Dea

Posted by N-121973:
just a couple of words of warning (especially if key cast can't/won't be involved)...
Airwolf Season 4.

I never saw season 4 of Airwolf. Did they replace the helecopter with a Cessna or something?
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Old April 15 2005, 11:45 PM   #122
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Re: TrekUnited Proposed Season 5 Co-Production Dea

Well I saw this gigantic thread and I thought I would pop in here for an interesting discussion of the financial underpinnings of ENT, but it's mostly about the soap opera of TU, something in which I have no interest.

Does anyone want to address some of the following issues? Does anyone have solid information on the basics, such as, whether or not ENT is currently profitable at its level of production costs/ad revenues? That would certainly be a key question to answer before being able to put the rest into context.

I see the major holdup here as being the Trek brand. Is Paramount really going to allow an important brand like Star Trek to be taken over by others? Maybe Paramount wants to revive Trek someday. That means they want to retain control over the definition of what Trek is. The fact that they control the older series isn't gonna make up for the fact that someone else is controlling the content of the brand NOW and maybe turning it into something they don't want it to be.

Granted, we all think they've done a hideously bad job of managing the brand, and that someone else could hardly do worse (actually they could do lots worse) but I doubt Paramount thinks they've done a bad job. Corporations are usually very loathe to let go control of brands, even ones they aren't currently capitalizing on.

who believed they had found the secret to making a profit out of Enterprise, for instance by using new distribution methods or finding new sponsorship opportunities.
Well it's nice to see some "bean counters" thinking creatively. It isn't just the writers and directors and actors who can be creative. Howcome Berman couldn't be creative in the business end of things? Isn't that his JOB???

Any more info on the "new distribution channels" (direct to DVD??? internet download???) and the "sponsorship opportunities" (other than ads, what the frak could this be? how to squeeze more $$$ out of advertisers, considering the ratings? I hope this isn't code for some godawful idea like ads in the series itself, not that I could imagine how that could be done...)

And why not just solve the problem like BSG has: shoot the damn show in Canada, where it's cheaper and you can get taxpayers to subsidize the costs via tax breaks!!! Dammit, Jim, isn't it obvious? If BSG can surive on 3M viewers, why can't ENT???

In return, the Canadian group wanted to get a share of advertising income from certain markets, with Paramount retaining all other rights to Enterprise.
This actually just begs the question of profitability. If ENT was cancelled because the profit (revenue minus costs) couldn't justify its continued existence, giving a share of those insufficient ad revenues to another backer is not magically going to make it profitable.

I doubt the problem here is that Paramount can't afford to pony up the $$$ to fund ENT. They don't need Canadian backers! They have shitloads of money. The question is: do they think they'll get a return on their investment? This is the same question any backer would have.

In fact, I'm 100% certain that moving to Canada would do something to reduce costs, or else - why do it??? Especially if it is gonna cost you the series' lead character?

And my understanding of the Canadian tax deal is that you have to have a certain % of Canadian actors. I wonder if those actors must be lead characters, or if having aliens of the week would be sufficient? And if they need to be lead characters, does that mean that at least one actor would have to be replaced in any event, to get that quota satisfied?

Frankly, I've noticed in the Stargate series that there seems to be a real talent problem, with some of the guest actors (and even main characters) not being the people who I think would have gotten the role if the filming had been done in LA and a bigger talent pool could be called upon

To be blunt: some of the actors have been lousy. And the good ones are prolly already working steadily on the Stargates or BSG. What might happen if Archer and Phlox refuse to move and are replaced with sub-par talent? Ugh, those actors would already have an uphill battle vs angry fans.

The bottom line is they gotta get those production costs down. I bet that's part of the formula but they're keeping it quiet, because once you announce "we're lowering production costs," allasudden everyone starts noticing the series looks cheaper. This isn't necessarily the case, a cheaper series doesn't have to look worse, but it's a psychological thing. They don't want to start getting people looking for cost savings and feeling cheated. And if the cost savings/tax breaks is gonna be achieved by actually replacing actors, this is definitely not something that would be good PR.

Bottom line: if this Canadian group is so interested in space opera, and Paramount turns em down, let's see them whomp up an original series. If they can't get the Trek brand, who cares? Take that money they were gonna use and do something else with it. Could very well be better than ENT.

Hint hint: bring back Farscape! Bring back Firefly! Or come up with an original concept. Don't be dazzled by the Trek brand name. You don't need to slap the Trek label on something in order for it to be good. There are plenty of other games in town.

Or hire some of the best of ENT (Trinner and Coto spring immediately to mind) and build a new series around them. If Paramount won't let loose of the sacred Trek brand, forget em. It's not Trek so much as TALENT I want to see on my TV. As long as it's sci fi, I'm happy.
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Old April 15 2005, 11:46 PM   #123
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Re: TrekUnited Proposed Season 5 Co-Production Dea

Wow, Canadian producer... Could work, I guess...

Still, they would need a place to show the thing...
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Old April 15 2005, 11:48 PM   #124
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Re: TrekUnited Proposed Season 5 Co-Production Dea

Posted by Reaperman:
Posted by Number6:
I can see that this development has changed nothing in the eyes and the minds of the sceptics and ENT haters. Big surprise there!!

Not everyone who disagrees with TU's campaign or their methods is automatically an ENT hater. Leave the sweeping generalisations at the door.

I never said that in this post. I said sceptics and ENT haters.

It may be a rash generalization, but it does seem that the facts don't seem to sway those who have already made up their mind, as several posts above me seem to indicate. Frankly I find that as nerve-racking as the effects of the kool-aid I am supposedly drinking to reach that conclusion.

Personally I like the fruit punch mixed with X.
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Old April 15 2005, 11:48 PM   #125
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Re: TrekUnited Proposed Season 5 Co-Production Dea

Posted by N-121973:
Well folks, it may already be posted elsewhere on these boards but here's the IGN article, well sort of.
Oh brother, a "computer problem" delayed the article for a week? Yeah, right. If it was just that they could've recreated an abstract version version of it with the highlights. My guess is they realized that they got in way over their heads. Or else they're waiting for other news to break?

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Old April 15 2005, 11:52 PM   #126
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Re: TrekUnited Proposed Season 5 Co-Production Dea

Posted by your_neighbor:
I never saw season 4 of Airwolf. Did they replace the helecopter with a Cessna or something?
No, they replaced the helicopter with a lot of stock footage from the first three seasons, and put in an all-new cast all of whom were total pants compared to the originals (even on Jan-Michael Vincent's worst drunk day of shooting).

Oh, and if Paramount announces that they're casting Barry Van Dyke as Archer's long-lost brother who's going to take over the ship in his absence, run. And never look back.
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Old April 15 2005, 11:55 PM   #127
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Re: TrekUnited Proposed Season 5 Co-Production Dea

A few I've seen around that I'll answer...

Scott Bakula will never move to Canada...
I think the article doesn't convey this so well, but the location is not actually mentioned, and that's because it's negotiable. The author writes that Canadian companies are interested and that other productions have been shifted to Canada as an example of cost-cutting. The fact of the matter is that the minute the sets move off the Paramount lot, the price plummets. LA is awash with soundstages and any of them for a start would be a damned sight cheaper.

You're not in talks with Paramount...
The byline says we *teamed up* with a number of companies. Whilst it mentions that the producer in question brought the formal plan to the table (and he did), TU was in discussions with Paramount well before this, at successive levels in the company. We orchestrated the talks, made the links, and ultimately agreed to have this producer pitch the idea on behalf of all parties.

You guys suck at PR
As stated before- yes, we've made a number of mistakes. We ARE NOT professionals. If anyone here thinks they could have done a better job and cares about the ultimate goal, then they owe it to themselves and to us to get involved and help. In the end we are not a few individuals- we are an entire group of fans fighting to this. Someone will undoubtedly point out that a vast majority of the fans have not been kept aware, which leads me to the next point...

We want more information!
And sadly, it can't come. We've already taken a big chance with this. Anyone who tells me they don't see why we can't release details has never worked with big companies on a deal of this scale. As I mentioned last week (and sod it, I'll name names) we were in discussions with the Space Channel and we posted something to that effect on our forums. You kind of assume that execs never read forums.

Next time we rang, we were blocked. They've not spoken to us since.

When we asked why, we were told. We ran this by the people we have with expertise in these matters and they told us why- it's just how the business world operates. And of course, now the usual crowd will tell me we shouldn't have mentioned it in the first place. You're right. We shouldn't have. And now we know for next time. I'm not sure I can give any more short of blood on that one.

So if anyone of you can stand there and tell me that in this situation, dealt these cards you'd have made details public- then you're either very short-sighted or lying. And yes. To reiterate. We should never have hinted at them, therefore. That was our pitiful, short-sighted attempt at trying to include the fans as much as possible, because we really DID want them to know. This was about all of us- not me, not Tim, not the senior staff, not the entire staff, not the entire forums- each and every person that supported us. We thought that with everything we'd achieved, with all we'd given, people might accept it and it would be great to boost them with what we could say, even if it wasn't much.

We thought wrong.

But no, we can't share any more details. When the deal is made or broken, we can probably share a lot more. Right now we were forced into releasing more than we wanted to, and we hope it's not enough to breach Paramount's trust by avoiding names.

It was however, clearly credible enough and concrete enough to be reported as gospel on TrekToday, whatever else is said. And I don't know an Internet media source for Trek more respected by its fans than TT.

So I'm afraid, much as I'd like to kiss-and-tell, any other details will have to remain silent until we're in a position where we can release them with impunity.

Mogh, you're an idiot and shouldn't be gloating.
Yup. I'm human too. And sometimes I get carried away. Ask any of the staff here about "God" and you'll know what I mean. If the TU crowd think I'm too volatile to be at the head of this campaign, go over to TU and say it. I take responsibility for my own actions and I pay the consequences when they're warranted.


Those are your issues. Now here are mine. They're addressed to whom they apply to; not everyone who doesn't support TU.

Stop accusing us of spin. We don't spin. We fuck up, sure. We release details we now know we shouldn't, sure. We don't release details you'd like us to, sure.

But we are not some sleazy government, a big corporation, attention-seekers, scam artists, liars, opportunists or anything else. We're fans, like you. We've been fans for god knows who long, all of us, and all we want is the continuation of Enterprise, the continuation of Trek, good quality from both (because they're not one and the same), the chance to make a difference, and a unity of all Trek fans, whatever their opinions.

People seem to forget that we have nothing to gain from this other than those things; and they are all that any of who works closely on the campaign wants. There's no other reason I'd do it for. We just want what we think is best. If you disagree with our goals, I understand that and I respect your viewpoint, because I can see the logic of a number of other perspectives.

But at the end, when people really do sink their teeth in, what they're sinking into is other fans. People like me, or Tim, or anyone else in this campaign. You're not bashing some big corporation or faceless organisation. If you call TU scam artists, liars, question their integrity- you're only doing it to a few fans doing their best for what they believe in.

And I mean this as no attack on those who rightly question our choices or methods. It's not aimed at them. It's not aimed at people who just don't agree with our goals; it's not aimed at those with no interest in Enterprise. It's aimed as those few that have made this almost a personal vendetta- those people that just espouse negativity not because they have a valid point of view they wish to suggest, but because they can't respect hours.

People who do not support TU are not TU's enemies
One last point I needed to address.

I have friends who think what I'm doing is not in Trek's best interest. I have friends who think TU has made some huge cock-ups. I have friends who think Enterprise sucked.

And it doesn't bother me, because I'm not a mindless fanatic with a narrow view. I have just simply chosen my own path, and they've chosen theirs, and that doesn't affect the fact that we respect and get on with each other.

And so I want to extend a thank you here and now to those people who do NOT support TrekUnited's efforts- and are still civil and pleasant.

It's easy to bash. It's easy to yell. It's easy to pontificate self-importantly on the Internet. It's easy to attack.

But you people- and I've seen a number in this thread and the other- impress me, and you are the people I am thankful to for keeping some perspective, and for showing the kind of spirit that I have always wanted TU to embody the most- IDIC. You're different. You don't like the show, or you don't think it's worth saving, or you want it gone for the good of Trek, or you think are methods aren't good. But you respect me and the other TrekUnited members as individuals. So don't let anyone try and tell you that TU are lumping you in with "the enemy". There are no enemies when it comes to wanting to do what's best. The only enemies are those who have ulterior motives and selfish ones at that, that they prioritise over others. You do not qualify for that.


Finally, on the future. Paramount may accept this, and they may not. We're still gonna stay here, because there's so much to work on. We will keep fighting until we can't fight any more. And win or lose, TU will keep going for a long time to come. Our current focus might be Enterprise, but our long-term goal is still doing what's best for Trek. And we will continue to do what we can to achieve that and more importantly, bring Trek fans together.

And yes. We need a publicist
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Old April 15 2005, 11:56 PM   #128
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Re: TrekUnited Proposed Season 5 Co-Production Dea

Or they could have had a real computer problem. When you start looking for conspiracies, you will always find them.

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Old April 15 2005, 11:58 PM   #129
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Re: TrekUnited Proposed Season 5 Co-Production Dea

It truely proves to those that doubted them that TU were acting in Enterprise's best interest, unfortunately, i seriously doubt this will do anything to sway Paramount's decision.They have taken great joy and gone to great length to make sure they've pounded the "IT'S CANCELED, AND THAT IS THAT!" idea into our skulls and hearts.T o go back on all they've said and done would require them to "eat crow", and that's just not gonna happen.Are they losing out and will they be sorry they did this in the long run? I'd say YES, especially after Trek 11 bombs ion a year or two.

Hat's off to the gents and ladies at TU.You did all you could do and MORE, but Paramount/Viacom has resigned themselves to not cooperate, right or wrong.They'll be crying in a year when they realize they f**ked up all the profit potential of the 40TH Anniversary.We can all have a good laugh when they do, but i am afraid that's all we're gonna get in the near future.
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Old April 15 2005, 11:58 PM   #130
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Re: TrekUnited Proposed Season 5 Co-Production Dea

Posted by Ninjawitch:
With the problems of moving sets and actors working a distance from hoem placed aside for the moment here, this allows those actors continued work and adds their contributions to the legends which is Star Trek along with Manny Coto.
However, would the lead actors want to do this? There's no guarantee that they would want to do something like that.
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Old April 15 2005, 11:59 PM   #131
Location: Middle Village, NY
Re: TrekUnited Proposed Season 5 Co-Production Dea

Posted by Number6:
It may be a rash generalization, but it does seem that the facts don't seem to sway those who have already made up their mind, as several posts above me seem to indicate. Frankly I find that as nerve-racking as the effects of the kool-aid I am supposedly drinking to reach that conclusion.
What facts? There hasn't been a single fact offered to support any of the claims that TU has made. That's what bothers me. I don't care about the money or that stuff, cuz I don't think there's a scam. That's just nonsense, and there hasn't been a shred of evidence to support that rumor.

I like ENT. I would have liked a 5th season. I'm not looking to bash anyone or anything. But TU has done a poor job explaining themselves, and that's a problem. And instead of learning from multiple mistakes, they insist on simply making new ones.

I wish them all the luck in the world, but man, they've made this mess and I haven't seen one thing that shows they're looking to clean it up.
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Old April 16 2005, 12:01 AM   #132
Re: TrekUnited Proposed Season 5 Co-Production Dea

Here is what I know about this from those I have talked to in Paramount. Paramount arent interested in any joint ventures with other producers. They arent interested in selling off any parts of the rights to the franchise which they value very highly still. I was told that Paramount will always take new ideas under consideration, but in this case they value the franchise asset highly and just cannot see any kind of 'coproduction' deal being good for the franchise or Paramount or Viacom.

The letter from John Wentworth still stands

TU and others can collect money, make phone calls, talk to various people and make as many proposals they want to Paramount, but those who can make the real decisions are not changing their minds.
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Old April 16 2005, 12:01 AM   #133
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Re: TrekUnited Proposed Season 5 Co-Production Dea

Posted by Dorian Thompson:
We are all well aware that Paramount can and most likely will say no.
Or already said no a week ago, after already saying "no" back in the middle of March.
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Old April 16 2005, 12:02 AM   #134
Location: Waipahu, Hawaii
Re: TrekUnited Proposed Season 5 Co-Production Dea

Posted by J. Allen:
Or they could have had a real computer problem. When you start looking for conspiracies, you will always find them.

Like I said, nope. I'll call him an outright liar. News articles on IGN can be posted from any PC with an internet connection. I don't think for one second he doesn't have access to another computer. Also, the article would be written in advance, not on the fly. If he had enough time to post what he did post today, he had enough time to upload the real article. Also in news 1 day is an eternity....1 week is the scale
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Old April 16 2005, 12:07 AM   #135
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Re: TrekUnited Proposed Season 5 Co-Production Dea

Posted by Temis the Vorta:
The bottom line is they gotta get those production costs down.
I think that Paramount's more immediate concern with Star Trek is to make a product that will satisfy the huge build-in audience that they have.
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