DS9's growing popularity

Discussion in 'Deep Space Nine' started by timtonruben359, Aug 17, 2012.

  1. Harvey

    Harvey Admiral Admiral

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    I suspect the ratings decline had less to do with Trek saturation (although direct competition between two Trek shows may have played a role) and more to do with the decline of the first-run syndication market and the failure of UPN as a viable fifth network (ultimately forcing it to merge with WB and form the CW in 2006).
     
  2. PKTrekGirl

    PKTrekGirl Arrogant Niner Thug Admiral

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    I also think that as cable grew by leaps and bounds (which was occurring at exactly the same time DS9 was on) viewers had more choices of shows to pick from, and the casual fan (who might not even care that much about scifi, but started watching TNG because there were a lot slimmer pickings) just picked something else. In the cable market we have now, TNG would certainly not enjoy the kind of ratings it got during it's first run. That is not the way the market is structured any longer.

    And frankly, DS9's ratings back then really don't have much to do with it's growing popularity now.

    I think that audiences are more mature now...and now that there is some distance from all these shows, they can be viewed more objectively. I 100% agree with the assessment that DS9 is the most closely related of all the Trek shows to TOS. TNG is so heavily weighed down with 80's ideology it's become very dated. DS9 has real characters who are flawed and much more believable - much more like Kirk and Co. than TNG...whose characters are all so tediously 'evolved'. :p
     
  3. BillJ

    BillJ Admiral Admiral

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    I'm still waiting for someone to provide some tangible proof of its growing popularity.
     
  4. Ryan8bit

    Ryan8bit Commodore Commodore

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    It's hard to prove any kind of popularity, but if you went by Netflix ratings, DS9 is one of the highest rated of the Trek series, although only marginally. Generally all the series are rated the same there, even Enterprise. While that doesn't really indicate a rise in popularity, it may show that there isn't such a large disparity that people think exists.
     
  5. Dream

    Dream Admiral Admiral

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    Not all good dramas require it's main character to be at each other's throats. The characters constant bitching at each other in NuBSG was one of its biggest flaws for me. At some point it turns into a soap opera, which thankfully DS9 didn't reach.

    The TNG cast not fighting all the time didn't mean the characters was evolved, they were just being professionals. ;)
     
  6. Dream

    Dream Admiral Admiral

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    TNG still does very well in rerun syndication. I think it is the only Trek still being rerun right now in America. Was it on SyFy?

    TNG reruns were even beating new episodes of Stargate Universe in the ratings!
     
  7. BillJ

    BillJ Admiral Admiral

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    TOS runs on MeTV Saturdays at 9PM EST.
     
  8. Distorted Humor

    Distorted Humor Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    One thing to remember is that with Star Trek, TNG, is that the only real competitors was live sports and what the Major broadcasts networks had on.

    For example, in 1990, in my market even if you had Basic cable you had

    Major Broadcast Networks: ABC, NBC, CBS, FOX
    Sports: ESPN and TBS (TBS main feature was that it showed Atlanta Braves Games and reruns)
    A few cable channels, which consisted of reruns of old shows and perhaps nature documentaries.
    PBS
    "Independent" Channels - On my area it was WJZY (which turned off at midnight!!) and a Chicago broadcaster (wgn I think)
    And a few assorted channels like the Home Shopping network.

    The Independent channels would buy both reruns of stuff that was on broadcast TV, but also first run syndication, which in 1990 or so was Baywatch (Babewatch) and Star Trek, TNG.

    Thus, MANY people would click though the TV, see that Star Trek TNG was on, and sit and watch it. Or they would sit there kids in front of Star Trek TNG as they knew it would be kid safe and wholesome.

    Just a few year later in say, 1994 many of those Non-network stations had signed up on to one of the new networks (Which eventually merged into the CW.) and the whole idea of producing a expensive show for first run syndication died. In addition, the number of cable channels doubled and then tripled, balkenizing TV viewership.

    So for example, almost EVERYONE knew who Picard, Data, Worf, The Borg, and so on where. Even my friends who HATE SF will have fond memories of Data.

    By the time DS9 rolled around, the market was fracturing. Heck, out of all the Syndication shows out there, only DS9, Xena, and Babylon 5 really survived (Babylon 5 survived the ending of its "syndication network" IIRC)
     
  9. Dream

    Dream Admiral Admiral

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    Yes, TNG didn't have any real competitors since it was the first very popular syndicated drama.

    But it was still the first Trek to follow TOS. Paramount was still taking a big risk by making a series with such a large budget and not going to the networks. Many Trek fans were outraged that a sequel was being done, and believed that Kirk, Spock and Bones could never be replaced. They complained about very silly things like how the captain of the Enterprise shouldn't be bald.

    The first season of TNG was pretty shaky, but was decent enough to get more and more viewers. People starting talking about it and its ratings and fanbase grew steadily. The show started to get pretty good too.

    It's pretty sad first run syndication which TNG made so popular is dead these days. The last first run syndicated show I watched was Legend of the Seeker, which had good enough ratings for a season 3, but was still cancelled anyway because they couldn't any place to air it.

    One of the issues I had with Voyager was that they couldn't take any risks with the writing since it was on a network like UPN. They wanted the show to be pretty much TNG lite.
     
  10. BillJ

    BillJ Admiral Admiral

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    When me and my wife first got together in 1992, we had QUBE cable through Time Warner and had sixty channels. TNG may have had the playing field to itself as far as sci-fi shows go, but it had general competition throughout its run. There were more than a handful of channels to watch.
     
  11. Distorted Humor

    Distorted Humor Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    But how many of those channels where showing first run broadcasts?

    I did include "A few cable channels, which consisted of reruns of old shows and perhaps nature documentaries." and I did forget CNN which had a a near monopoly on the 24 hours news.

    Today there is most likely over sixty channels producing original content of some sort. Between 1990-2000 you lost most independent TV channels to the newer UPN and WB networks, and doubled the number of cable channels, many of the cable channels producing original content.

    In 1994 there was more then 20 firsts run syndicated hour shows for broadcasting. You had shows ranging from Star Trek : TNG and Star Trek: DS9, Baywatch, Xena: Warrior Princess, Hercules, Renegade (forgotten show, had over 100 episodes.), B5, Kung Fu, and so on.

    In just a few years, between UPN/WB taking up stations, and the rapid development of cable stations producing original content, first run syndication as a whole fell off the deep end. Lets say that there was a Dozen or so options on TV when TNG was on. By the time season 4 of DS9 was on, there was most likely 100 options for the viewer.
     
  12. BillJ

    BillJ Admiral Admiral

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    That's fine. But let's not pretend TNG was on the DuMont Network of the early fifties.

    I still think it boils down to too much in to compressed a timeframe. All those people who watched TNG began looking for other things to watch when it was over, they had just watched 178 hours of Trek over a seven-year span.

    There were 250 episodes of Trek in the can by the end of TNG.
     
    Last edited: Sep 12, 2012
  13. dub

    dub Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    I'm one of those fans who only recently discovered DS9 on Netflix. I grew up a fan of the movies and TNG. I started watching DS9 back then, but just couldn't get into it. As a teen, the little I watched of it seemed so stationary and boring. But I've heard people over and over again praising DS9 through the years. Now that it's available on Netflix, and now that I'm several years older, I decided I should give it a shot. I'm so very glad I did. I've posted on several sites about this because I'm so excited about this show! It was wonderful. Easily the best finale of any show ever. Definitely my favorite Trek series, and one of my all-time favorite shows. My wife isn't much of a Trek fan, but somehow I think she'll get into this show once it gets to serial episodes (yes, I'm watching it again and taking my wife along for the ride).
     
  14. Spock/Uhura Fan

    Spock/Uhura Fan Captain Captain

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    I glad to read that you're enjoying DS9. It's my favorite Trek series too. And welcome!!! :)
     
  15. Neutral Zone

    Neutral Zone Captain Captain

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    I've always liked DS9, to me it adds another dimension to the world of ST. But I would say it's not my favourite of the shows, I'm first and formost a TOS fan followed by Voyager.
     
  16. dub

    dub Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    The funny thing is, I was very excited about Voyager when it first started because I assumed by its nature that it would be a serial. I thought the ship design was very cool. I loved Jerry Goldsmith's theme music! The opening sequence was beautiful. But then, the story didn't go where I thought it would. I was expecting more conflict on the ship. I was expecting a story arc that would, say, leave them stranded on a planet for a few episodes, have the crew split up at some point (Maquis & Starfleet) and then be forced to come together episodes down the road. Anything like that with a little more risk would have been ideal for the show. I stopped watching shortly after 7 of 9 was brought in -- so I do still need to give Voyager another chance through my awesome Netflix subscription. But anyway, I think it's funny because the one thing I wanted in the show I was watching at the time (Voyager) is exactly what was happening in the show I was completely ignoring (DS9).
     
  17. DeepSpaceWine

    DeepSpaceWine Commander Red Shirt

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    Your expectations were way out of line with Star Trek and television then. In 1995, that level of serialization and being set away from a staple (in this case the starship) was quite rare (outside of soaps). Networks didn't risk it. They had a (misguided) notion that most of their viewers didn't see the previous episode or indeed at least a dozen of the past 2-3 dozen episodes. They felt continuation would deter viewers unless it was from a tight, action-packed story with a cliffhanger (e.g. a 2-part story, season finale cliffhanger). Syndication wasn't arc-heavy either. Xena's Dahak arc & Twilight of the Gods was quite loose, Hercules' Dahak/travel Europe arc was as well.

    Even DS9 didn't start to do close running arcs (and even then the episodes had very distinct identities. i.e. no one will confuse "Rocks and Shoals" and "Sons and Daughters" or "When It Rains..." and "Extreme Measures") until 1997-99 and in the first case, they still showed the station by having some cast still on it (Odo, Quark, Rom, Kira, Jake). Babylon 5 was doing it, but it didn't get heavily serialized (deep into its arc) until parts of Season 3 (95-96). Season 4 (96-97) was heavy, one arc after another (Shadow and later Shadow-Vorlon War, Minbari Civil War, Earth Civil War), Season 5 got heavy in the back half, though there was a smaller Telepath arc early in the season. DS9 did remember its past episodes though. Most of the series wasn't serialized. Serialized shows took off in niche venues, like cable channels. B5 & DS9 bucked the trend. X-Files did a little too, even though other than introducing elements (syndicate, black oil, etc), its mythology arc had a short-term memory and was just adding to the mystery, rarely ever solving it (it had the illusion of continuity). It would be hard for Paramount to produce multiple episodes of Voyager for a network, or even syndication where Voyager is nowhere to be seen, even if a recreation, impersonation, whatnot ("Living Witness", "Course: Oblivion") or where a bunch of rebels commandeered Voyager for more than part of 1 episode and it took 3+ episodes to get it back. "Basics, Part II" only had the Kazon in control for most of the episode and the takeover was part of a cliffhanger so everyone would expect a resolution by the end of Part 2. And the Hirogen takeover, the entire crew was still on the ship, it was just occupied.

    Look at it another way, even besides networks not liking heavy serialization, production studios might be risk adverse, particularly since there wasn't much precedent, and soaps had a rather trashy reputation, at least from the perspective of writers. Until arc pioneer shows proved themselves, many shows wouldn't touch an arc.


    And yeah, Voyager's opening is excellent. It still looks beautiful and sounds wondrous 17 years later. I think that gets ignored. It hands down had the best sounding and best looking opening of *any* Star Trek series. DS9's wasn't bad, but it felt like it was missing something from making it great and the rather unremarkable background/visuals made it no contest (the big wormhole reveal was all it had going for it there). TNG sounded a bit pompous. DS9 sounded dignified (definate airs of that Olympics theme and some other work I think from the '40s. By Copeland?). Voyager sounded majestic and wondrous and looked the part too.
     
  18. dub

    dub Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    You're right. Perhaps "serial" was too strong of a word on my part. I'm not sure. Anyway, I was young and I definitely built up too much excitement for Voyager before it premiered, so anything would have disappointed me.

    But back to DS9... :-) It was more than the story arcs that made DS9 stand out. There was so much rich, deep character development there -- and not just for primary cast members. It was great. As the show started getting really good, I remember I would turn off so many episodes and say to myself, "what a great show!" Of course part of me, the overindulgent part of me, would love to see a movie or reunion or something -- but at the same time, the finale was so amazing and the the entire collection of shows as a complete work was so great, I'd love to just leave it there. How often can you say that about a television series? (Plus they're all getting older, what can you say). I guess I'm mostly sad that this show is just as lost now as it was back then. I wish more people could discover and appreciate it. I'm so thankful for Netflix and Paramount releasing the entire series to Netflix.

    Anyway, I was just about to burst at the seams with excitement about this show having just discovered it, and I wanted to share my thoughts, not that they're anything special -- I'm just excited! Thank you for this message board! I'm looking forward to watching the series one more time with my wife and reading what you guys have to say about this series. Thank you guys for allowing me to rave for a bit (better than a rant, eh)!
     
  19. MacLeod

    MacLeod Admiral Admiral

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    ^The difference is that the premise of VOY seemed to lean more towards being a serial based show. Could VOY have been better if was more serialised who knows, the fact is the networks (for the most part) where wrong back then and the audiance was willing to watch serialised shows, after all in recent years we've had the likes of Lost, 24 etc..
     
  20. M'rk son of Mogh

    M'rk son of Mogh Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I disagree completely.

    We are given a premise where it is STATED that resources are at a premium, energy must be conserved, we are alone and we have teamed with the enemy.

    Any intelligent viewer would make the logical assumption that this would be carried out throughout the series, not necessarily through strict serialization, but just as a main concept.

    And it was practically ditched after the first episode. The premise set the expectation. And there was ZERO adherence to it.

    You don't have to have serialization to have continuity.
     

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