Making a Star Trek series that fits in with today's TV landscape

Discussion in 'Future of Trek' started by The Overlord, Aug 23, 2013.

  1. SeerSGB

    SeerSGB Admiral Admiral

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    I wouldn't mind a Clone Wars style for Star Trek. The characters are stylized, but still recognizable. Toss in some really great writing backing some solid story concepts. In fact, the Clone Wars production tream would be my dream team for a ST animation.
     
  2. The Overlord

    The Overlord Captain Captain

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    Well if they do make this show about the TOS characters, they likely will not be get the actors from the movies to voice the characters, they would likely have to use sound alike actors instead. Clone Wars used sound alikes instead of the movie actors.
     
  3. Mycroft Maxwell

    Mycroft Maxwell Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    UGH!! I HATE THAT STYLE. Its lacking detail and actual ANIMATION.

    My dream team or the guys who did BATMAN THE ANIMATED SERIES from the early 1990s.

    Or Perhaps the Team that did GARGOYLES . Both excellent quality animation.

    as for anime, I think that would actually be best, if you avoid the big eye stylized crap. Take a look a "Ghost in The Shell" or "Cowboy Bebop" ...especially Cowboy Bebop. I think Star Trek would work great in that format.

    But for the love of God, NO MORE FREAKIN CGI SHOWS!!!
     
  4. Nob Akimoto

    Nob Akimoto Captain Captain

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    I think it's always easy to forget that Trek shows still did pretty well on network TV even when struggling. I doubt CBS is going to do anything other than first run syndication if they ever decide to come back to TV, and while it might struggle for ratings against Dogs with Blogs, a steady rating of around 4 million viewers and good critical reception can keep a series afloat if it's done well enough in critical eyes, and is likely to do well in syndication. (And seeing how much TNG is on syndicated TV, I can't help but think that'd be their goal)
     
  5. C.E. Evans

    C.E. Evans Admiral Admiral

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    I am so with you on this. I mean, I would accept a CGI show if they went that route, but it would always be the route I wish they hadn't taken.

    I agree. Aside from non-premium cable, I think there is a good chance that a new Trek series could end up in first-run syndication. The syndication market is really very much like it was in 1986, filled with talk shows and reruns of shows that ran previously on a network. A new Trek series would not be a difficult sell to local stations.
     
  6. R. Star

    R. Star Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    The fundamental problem with a new Trek series is that sets are expensive, effects are expensive, on top of the usual writing/acting/directing costs. Then add to that an ever expanding tv market to an already niche demographic and you begin to see why Voyager was on the ropes and Enterprise got canceled. That was years ago and the gap's only gotten bigger then.

    Why pay for all that when you can just throw together a cheap set, bring some "cool" people in for a reality show and roll in the ratings for people being stupid all for the promise of a cash prize that wouldn't cover one good actor.
     
  7. C.E. Evans

    C.E. Evans Admiral Admiral

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    It's always been that way, even when Roddenberry first peddled TOS around. He was told no several times, largely because sci-fi was considered too expensive, too difficult to produce, and catered to a small audience. The only reason why we got TOS was because Lucille Ball thought it was worth something and put some of her money behind it, despite being given advice that it was a bad move.
    It's the reason why we have so many reality shows. But I think the one drawback to contest-driven reality shows is that they really don't have the strongest re-watchability (once their audiences know who wins), and I don't think they do well in reruns and in home video sales. In comparison, CBS (and before them, Paramount) were able to sell Trek shows over and over again both in reruns and home video.
     
  8. David.Blue

    David.Blue Commander Red Shirt

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    I think you've hit on a good justification for a less-than-22-ep season, more along the lines of British TV and Premium cable.
     
  9. R. Star

    R. Star Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    No doubt Evans, it would've been a problem back then. The difference then and even in the 80's/early 90's to now is... there wasn't that much choice. Once the show got on the air, a lot of people even those who might not have been "into" Trek watched it because it's what was on. They liked it, but weren't avid fans.

    Today those people that might like it, but aren't overly into it, can find -their- niche given every cable package these days comes with at bare minimum a 100 channels. That's where the widening gap comes into play and why I think cbs is reluctant to throw a lot of cash at a new Trek show. Money does change minds, and if you happen to have ten figures to invest in a highly questionable project or know someone who does, by all means sir, go for it. I'll watch. ;)

    As for the shorter British style season... I dunno David. If you're shelling out for all those expensive sets, props and what not I can't see the show wanting to rock the boat with that one and not get the maximum yield for their investment with a longer season when you know the cancellation talks are going to be there from the get go.
     
  10. David.Blue

    David.Blue Commander Red Shirt

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    I mention that because (1) British TV seems an option, and (2) The entertainment industry is in flux. A new Star Trek might easily follow the format of programs like Orange is the New Black and become available via subscription. Or, as mentioned before, premium cable where ten or twelve episodes are the norm.
     
  11. Sindatur

    Sindatur The Grey Owl Wizard Premium Member

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    Yea, that's the double edged sword of shorter seasons. With shorter seasons, your effects and labor is reduced for the season, but, the cost of your sets are spread across fewer episodes. Most of these Fan Ideas for Series are set intensive, so, while you could use the sets over and over again in later seasons (When labor costs naturally increase), it makes the first season very expensive (Especially the Pilot investment), making it's survival beyond that first season more difficult.
     
  12. BigJake

    BigJake Vice Admiral Admiral

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    While there's more choice in today's market, SF is generally far less "niche" than it once was, isn't it? We've seen lengthy and successful overlapping runs from B5, Farscape, Stargate (which racked up seventeen consecutive seasons in one form or another), BSG, a hugely successful revival of Doctor Who that has almost reached the point of eclipsing the old franchise... counting shows like Fringe and The X-Files, I'd say SF has demonstrated a pretty healthy public support base.

    It's not that that market isn't there for Trek to take a piece of. The Trek spinoffs ultimately faltered because Trek became niche: they were creatively hobbled by a succession of fatally "safe" decisions and other shows came along and outpaced them, not because SF was too "niche."
     
  13. C.E. Evans

    C.E. Evans Admiral Admiral

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    It's still that way today. I would even say that describes the majority of people who watch Trek.
    It's basically the diversification (or splintering) of television audiences. The pie is still there--and has in fact doubled in size since the '60s--but it's just cut in many more slices. But it's really only fairly recently that networks and studios have begun counting DVR, VOD, and streaming viewing figures and are discovering that millions more people are watching their shows than they thought--just not at the same time.
     
  14. Sindatur

    Sindatur The Grey Owl Wizard Premium Member

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    The available audience for live eyes watching has drastically changed from when B5 and Farscape were on. People DVR stuff now, stream it on line, wait for it to hit Netflix, download it, watch it on Demand. Many, many people now watch stuff on their own time, rather than when it's actually airing on the channel. Networks like CBS are struggling to get over 10 million viewers now, when B5 and Farscape were on, CBS top ratings earners were getting twice that. NuBSG really wasn't successful. It was critically acclaimed, and SyFy saw it as prestigious, so they let it run longer than they should have, but, it was cancelled with less than 1million viewers an episode.

    Yes, some SciFi/Fantasy can get big ratings these days, but, it's typically down to Earth, no major Space opera plots or lots of aliens. It's mostly character dramas, with a little of SciFi trappings that can survive today.

    Doctor Who, yes, a very fun Series that actually is doing really well for BBCA, but, I don't think it does well enough to survive on CBS (And British shows have much smaller budgets, because they don't pay the talent as much as US shows do, and they don't work 16 hour days as a regular situation)
     
  15. BigJake

    BigJake Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Which probably means that the networks are going to have to adapt to compete with providers like Netflix if they plan to survive. I don't get the feeling that even the networks still think "live eys watching" is the standard of the future. [EDIT: BSG's so-called "failure" is a case in point: what it proved was that the traditional ratings system is dead, not that space opera is dead.]

    And yet ironically, it's cheaper than ever to do space opera plots and aliens.
     
    Last edited: Oct 11, 2013
  16. BillJ

    BillJ Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    I always thought Fringe was constantly on the verge of being cancelled. Not sure I would use that as an example of ratings successful sci-fi?
     
  17. Harvey

    Harvey Admiral Admiral

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    I thought Fringe only managed to eek out a truncated fifth season because Warner Bros. slashed the show's license fee to almost nothing? That's hardly an indicator of vast public support.

    I'm also confused about all this talk of a new Trek series (or any dramatic series, for that matter) entering the market place through first-run syndication. The first-run syndication market is dead for anything other than cheap programming (i.e. talk and game shows) and has been that way for five years.

    As for the talk of the Nielsen ratings system being "dead," it's still the primary way networks evaluate whether to renew or cancel programming. Saying that the ratings didn't matter for Battlestar Galactica just isn't true. The low ratings were the reason Moore and Eick decided to end the series with season four -- the ratings were just too low for SyFy to be able to guarantee a fifth year.
     
  18. BigJake

    BigJake Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Surely so, in the near term. But that cannot last if they plan on surviving. That original series are now being produced entirely outside the Nielsen ratings system and succeeding (cf. House of Cards) is just a further indicator of the way things were already going.

    (One among many: how many people do you know, for instance, who still watch network TV in a "live eyes" fashion at the pre-appointed time? I haven't done so in years -- barring the occasional insomnia-driven viewing of a Two and Half Men rerun -- and can't think of many people I know who do so either. I know more than one household where they don't even bother with network television anymore, they just watch shows on Netflix.)

    It's also not what I said. I said it was proof that the traditional ratings system was dead: it was no longer accurately measuring the market for the show. It obviously "mattered" to whether the show was cancelled, and obviously the Nielsen ratings system will persist for some years yet -- a dead thing can take a while to stop moving. Nevertheless unless some radical change occurs in the trends, it's quite clear that the model the ratings system was based on is increasingly obsolete.
     
  19. C.E. Evans

    C.E. Evans Admiral Admiral

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    You would think with CGI, it would be cheaper, but it actually isn't. The more photorealistic the CGI, the more expensive it is.
     
  20. BigJake

    BigJake Vice Admiral Admiral

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    The introduction of CGI was what made -- for instance -- Babylon 5 and its regular space battles possible at all; that scale of space opera storytelling would have been prohibitively expensive for a production that size without use of the CGI technology they employed. That was managed with an Amiga and a primitive Video Toaster. I find it extremely difficult to believe that you couldn't improve on that standard today -- if maybe not to the level of "photorealism," let's not get nuts -- in the same price bracket.