What channel should a new Trek TV series be on?

Discussion in 'Future of Trek' started by jefferiestubes8, Aug 14, 2009.

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what TV channel do you think would be most realistic in 2010-2013?

Poll closed Nov 22, 2009.
  1. Showtime - subscription TV channel (owned by CBS Corporation)

    15 vote(s)
    29.4%
  2. Spike [formerly Spike TV] cable/satellite TV channel (a division of MTV Networks, owned by Viacom)

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  3. SyFy - cable TV channel- (part of the entertainment conglomerate NBC Universal)

    16 vote(s)
    31.4%
  4. CBS broadcast network (owned by CBS Corporation)

    14 vote(s)
    27.5%
  5. The CW broadcast network (owned by CBS Corporation)

    6 vote(s)
    11.8%
  1. barnaclelapse

    barnaclelapse Commodore Commodore

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    Showtime isn't a terribly realistic choice, but I'm going with it anyway. They could get away with just about anything.
     
  2. AviTrek

    AviTrek Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    With HBO now developing 2 Sci Fi shows, I can see Showtime picking up Star Wars and Star Trek. Can you imagine Showtime marketing itself as the home of both Star Wars and Star Trek? It would lock up the space Sci Fi market and force HBO to be the 2nd premium and/or take the Sci Fi fans who don't like either Star Trek/Wars.
     
  3. BrownShatner

    BrownShatner Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    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.
     
  4. Bluesteel

    Bluesteel Commander Red Shirt

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    I'm not American but is there a channel in that option that has low rating compared to the big ones? I'll give you an example.

    Our main channels here are BBC1/2,ITV,Channel 4 and Channel 5. We have other smaller channels that you can only get digitally or cable. But their ratings is very low.

    A good show for BBC1 will get 5-9+ million viewers. The other main channels can expect lower but generally above a 1 million viewers. Sky One (the Premier Digital channel) gets around 800,000 viewers for a good show.

    If we want Trek to come back and be successful for 7 years we should expect to set our sights lower. I'm just looking over at the ratings for Enterprise. In the last season the average rating was 3. That is something Stargate never got and that show lasted to long for it's own good.

    Why not put the next Trek show in a channel/network what ever you call it in America and make in in such a way that a rating of 1.5 is ok.
     
  5. jefferiestubes8

    jefferiestubes8 Commodore Commodore

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    Premium cable channels

    I agree with everything in your post. AviTrek mentions Star Wars. Yes Lucas' live action TV series I read on the Internet _MAY_BE_ on premium cable HBO. Is Star Wars too mainstream for a 13 episode live action series on cable? Is Trek really too main stream as someone mentioned up a few posts?
    Will we see HBO have Star Wars and Showtime or the new EPIX HD channel have Star Trek? That would be interesting!
    Highly doubtful either show will be syndicated for the first run but live on one nationwide channel in the USA.
    Another thing to consider networks like CBS offer their shows on the CBS.com website for streaming the same week or iTunes store for download $/per episode of a 1 hour show.
    Highly doubtful Trek would do that if on Showtime or Epix. 6 months after the season you can buy the Bluray or DVD instead. That should help ratings on premium cable if it were to be there...
     
  6. AviTrek

    AviTrek Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Here is a rough ranking of those channels by size CBS > CW > SyFy > Spike > Showtime

    CW is roughly the size of UPN(the network VOY and ENT were on). The problem with SyFy, Spike, and Showtime is that they are all on cable and are available to much fewer viewers. Also because they got a smaller audience SyFy and Spike have less money to spend on each episode. That's why Enterprise was able to go to alien looking worlds while SG1 always visits the pacific north west(the same type of forest in every episode).

    Showtime is considered a premium channel. People pay $5-$15/month to get the channel. As a result there are a lot fewer viewers, but there is a larger budget because the viewers pay more. Also, because people chose to subscribe to Showtime it is allowed to (and quite often does) include adult content. The SG1 pilot is a good example. There is full frontal female nudity. It doesn't really fit with the show, but Showtime thinks its viewers expect nudity, so it makes sure its shows have nudity.

    So basically the lower tier you go, the fewer viewers you need to survive, but the cheaper the show needs to be also. Unless you go the premium route which can survive with a higher budget and fewer viewers but results in a very different show from what previous Trek has been.

    I hope that explains the issues involved to foreign readers.
     
  7. bigdaddy

    bigdaddy Vice Admiral Admiral

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    If it were on CBS the show was fail within 13 episodes. It would need an adience of at least 12-15 million and that won't even happen.

    I voted Showtime because I heard they regret getting rid of Stargate so it could be their replacement.

    But Stargate was on Showtime for 5 years and there were a lot of tree episodes. :p
     
    Last edited: Aug 21, 2009
  8. Bluesteel

    Bluesteel Commander Red Shirt

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    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.
     
  9. Temis the Vorta

    Temis the Vorta Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    There are far more modestly-rated channels in America now than big-ratings one - that's cable (basic or premium) vs network (tho the situation is equalizing fast).

    Cable shows can have reasonably high production values a la Mad Men with ratings levels that would get them cancelled even on the CW. Part of the reason is that some % of cable subscription fees find their way back to the shows; also I'd imagine having a higher-income and more targetted audience carries a premium for advertising. And some shows pinch the pennies pretty well and don't show their limited budgets too obviously - I suspect BSG was in this category.

    The problem with basic cable is that it contradicts Paramount's efforts to turn Star Trek into the mass market phenomenon it used to be. It's mass market in movies; it would be weird for it not to be on TV. But maybe that's the reality of TV now - there is no "premium blockbuster" outlet. It's either cheap popular nonsense on networks or targeted niche stuff on cable.

    If it goes to cable, it needs to be basic cable. Premium cable wouldn't bite; that would contradict their own strategy of giving the audience more exclusive, edgier content than they can get elsewhere. HBO and Showtime are a total mismatch with the Hollywood blockbuster movie, which is ironic since showing movies is how they started out...

    I can't. They wouldn't want to pick up any franchise that is so well known and so mass-market. They can't justify higher subscription fees that way; they have to be more exclusive and original than that, or their audience will wonder what they are paying for. I could see either doing a space opera series, but they would use Moore's critically lauded BSG as the touchstone.

    If they're going to provide exclusive, premium product to their audience via the BSG route, then why destroy that strategy by using a mass market franchise? Instead, either adapt something highly respected from the print world (Foundation, RAMA, Ubik, The Moon is a Harsh Mistress) or come up with an original concept.

    If I were running HBO or Showtime, I'd use the former strategy - you get credit for being daring and creative enough to adapt something the Hollwyood lame-brains wouldn't touch, and you get the cachet of print sci fi, which is far more respected than movies or TV. And you get a solid premise to build a series on.

    Anyone at Showtime who dared suggest such a strategy would be immediately fired, because it would demonstrate that that person doesn't understand the marketing strategy of the company they are working for.
    HBO would be laughing its ass off that its chief rival would make such a basic mistake.

    HBO and Showtimes' audience does not think of Star Wars and Star Trek as "good things" or worth their attention. You gotta think "snob appeal," the thing that Mad Men has (a basic cable show that "belongs" on premium). Envision a New Yorker reader with a glass of chardonnay in hand. What would they discuss at a fancy Manhattan party? BSG maybe. Nobody would make themselves a laughing stock by touching on any other topic of sci fi on TV. In fact, even discussing TV at all would be dangerously lowbrow. BSG's accomplishment was to be a rare exception to that rule. Any other sci fi series on premium cable would have to follow BSG's steps.

    They don't regret it now, because in the years since then, they've changed their strategy to be a successful rival to HBO. (However if they'd kept Stargate they might have evolved the show into something very different from what it's become.)

    Wow, ENT sure used its budget well (or Stargate is profligate) because ENT looked much better while Stargate is eternally tacky.
     
    Last edited: Aug 22, 2009
  10. KingstonTrekker

    KingstonTrekker Commander Red Shirt

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    Hopefully there won't be another TV series until after Trek XIII...trek needs a break on TV, otherwise it risks oversaturation again....
     
  11. Bluesteel

    Bluesteel Commander Red Shirt

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    To be fair on SG:1 they spent half the time outside while ENT was mostly filmed in sets. Atlantis looks great though.
     
  12. ChristopherPike

    ChristopherPike Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    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...
     
    Last edited: Aug 23, 2009
  13. ambessalion

    ambessalion Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

    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.
     
  14. ChristopherPike

    ChristopherPike Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    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.
     
  15. AviTrek

    AviTrek Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    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.
     
  16. Bluesteel

    Bluesteel Commander Red Shirt

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

    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?
     
  17. AviTrek

    AviTrek Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    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.
     
  18. T'Girl

    T'Girl Vice Admiral Admiral

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    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!
     
  19. Temis the Vorta

    Temis the Vorta Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    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.

    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 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?
     
  20. Bluesteel

    Bluesteel Commander Red Shirt

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    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.

    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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