Would it really matter if the next Trek series were on linear TV?

Discussion in 'Future of Trek' started by jefferiestubes8, Oct 19, 2010.

  1. BillJ

    BillJ Fleet Admiral Admiral

    That means you're looking at $18 to $25 per 45 minute episode (depending on format). Good luck getting that one to fly. :rommie:
     
  2. Harvey

    Harvey Admiral Admiral

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    Well, fans ate up the BABYLON 5 "Lost Tales" DVD in mid-2007. That was only 75 minutes, and it had a suggested retail price of 24.95.

    Of course, for various reasons, that series didn't continue, so who knows how long it could have sustained itself.
     
  3. BillJ

    BillJ Fleet Admiral Admiral

    If they sold that well... there would have been more.

    The economics of Babylon 5 are completely different than Star Trek, that 75 minute 'movie' probably cost less to make than a single 42 minute episode of Enterprise. :rofl:
     
  4. Harvey

    Harvey Admiral Admiral

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    Warner Bros. wanted more, but they were unwilling to produce them at a higher budget. J. Michael Straczynski declared that this was a deal breaker, and walked away from making any further installments. Without his involvement, any further DVD movies became dead in the water.

    Sales were actually pretty reasonable, according to all sources.

    Oh, the 75 minute "movie" was made for dirt cheap--less than the cost of an episode of BABYLON 5, even. But CBS Paramount, if they wanted to make as much money as possible, could easily produce similarly budgeted installments of STAR TREK on DVD/Blu-Ray. It would probably suffer the same problems as "The Lost Tales," which would be a limited number of actors, extras, sets, and visual effects.

    Of course, this is all speculation. Personally, I have heavy doubts that the model that the OP proposes could be sustained at all--there's just too much free programming on TV, as well as dirt cheap programming on Netflix and cable, to attract a large enough customer base to fund a new STAR TREK series. The Straight-to-DVD route might be more viable, but there hasn't been any indication that it would be sustainable.
     
  5. BillJ

    BillJ Fleet Admiral Admiral

    But an increased budget would've probably made additional installments unprofitable. Even with reasonable sales, would the increased production budget cause an equal uptick in sales?

    Guess I'm spoiled... but I don't want Star Trek done on the cheap.
     
  6. jefferiestubes8

    jefferiestubes8 Commodore Premium Member

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    It's an idea. It's not a model that Star Trek was built on. Trek is profitable but also has a substantial cost per episode to it.

    But the problem with first run network/cable TV is the ratings and possible cancellation before syndication of 100 episodes.
     
  7. timelord1010

    timelord1010 Captain Captain

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    What about airing Trek on a pay network like Showtime, which used to be big on Sci-fi shows and if I'm not mistaken Stargate SG1 and Lexx were first aired on Showtime for their first couple of seasons before going to Syfy. You could make some money on pay tv and then sell your DVD's for additional income.
     
  8. Harvey

    Harvey Admiral Admiral

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    Oh, neither do I. Neither do, I suspect, many other people. Which is why I keep questioning the sustainability of a straight-to-DVD series. Sure, Trek fans might gobble up the first few titles, but eventually they're going to get wise and not waste their money on productions that are so cheap.

    As for an increased budget making additional installments of "The Lost Tales" unprofitable, I doubt it. But probably not profitable enough to make it worth the time and money of Warner Bros.
     
  9. jefferiestubes8

    jefferiestubes8 Commodore Premium Member

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    Showtime

    Arguments against Trek TV on Showtime go into some detail here.
    timelord1010 see this thread:
    What channel should a new Trek TV series be on?

    While I generally agree with the arguments I'd like to see Trek back on TV in 4 or 5 years.
    A linear TV channel or episoide-on-demand-pay-per-view model is still up in the air.

    Wouldn't it be amazing if they took a chance with pay-per-view/download and after it made 100 episodes decided to syndicate it in 2020?
     
  10. Harvey

    Harvey Admiral Admiral

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    Re: Showtime

    100 episodes isn't taking a chance. It's making a major financial commitment. There's no way a Hollywood studio is going to back what is, quite honestly, total insanity.

    A single episode might be produced, for dirt cheap (similar to "The Lost Tales"), as a way of testing the waters, but probably not with a property like STAR TREK (which Paramount wants to keep a major motion picture property for as long as possible).
     
  11. BillJ

    BillJ Fleet Admiral Admiral

    Re: Showtime

    CBS/Paramount would have to commit somewhere in the neighborhood of $275 - $325 million dollars to get to one hundred episodes. Assuming that it's not done "on the cheap". At $3 an episode, each episode would have to be downloaded a million times in order for it to just break even.

    Animation on a cable network is probably the only way Star Trek returns to TV for the forseeable future.
     
  12. Harvey

    Harvey Admiral Admiral

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    Re: Showtime

    Which is why I rather unsubtly labeled it "total insanity" But I appreciate your figures--they do rather illustrate the point. That's more money than a studio will commit to a tent-pole blockbuster, even one like THE DARK KNIGHT RISES that is sure to approach a billion dollars in combined grosses. A totally unproven (and hardly viable, even in theory) profit stream like the OP proposes wouldn't happen.

    Direct-to-DVD is the only way to go outside of television or feature film distribution, and it isn't going to happen, because Paramount wants to "preserve the brand."

    I could see the animation on cable route (similar to "The Clone Wars" for STAR WARS) working, as a road to re-appearing on television in the near future.
     
  13. StarshipDefiant

    StarshipDefiant Captain Captain

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    Yes, because that's the only way something like Star Trek is going to get a fair shake, the online distribution can reach some people, but not the masses the networks will want. My father is a good example, he likes Star Trek and the movies, spin-offs, etc... and will watch it when it's on TV (or when he finds it, rather), but it's unlikely he'd stream it. He knows the medium is there for TOS, and several other shows (and even reasonably comerical free) that he likes, he just does not stream.

    Yeah, I know several people that are like that as well, and in someways, I can't blame them, as the streaming is a pain in the ass and under this guideline, would be an extra expense.

    Anything with a trek name on the label will often be charged for more then non trek, even under the same format and business model. Take a look at season sets on DVD, when they first game out, they were over 100 dollars, US. Most other seasons I saw were around 50-60. Good bet, that even under this guideline and approach, a season pass of Trek would be 100+, and the per episode price would likely be several dollars at a time as well.

    Given at how unstable the streaming can still be, I can see why others are already saying no. I'd be pissed off like none seen before, if i paid that kind of money and half the episodes were not working properly.
     
  14. dgguy2006

    dgguy2006 Lieutenant Junior Grade Red Shirt

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    I would not pay to watch a series associated with a franchise I have always been able to watch for free.
     
  15. CaptJimboJones

    CaptJimboJones Vice Admiral Admiral

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    I think we're many years away from a new Trek TV series, for many of the reasons cited here. Most importantly, the current thinking at Paramount is that Trek has once again become a successful, profitable film franchise and there's very little upside to cannibalizing it with a new TV series. They saw the diminishing returns of too much Trek in the marketplace in the Berman days, with multiple TV series and the films running concurrently. I imagine the focus will be on the next few films before we see anything else.
     
  16. AviTrek

    AviTrek Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Except Paramount has NOTHING to do with a Trek TV series. As people have said multiple times in these threads, CBS owns the TV rights to Trek NOT Paramount. If CBS wanted to make a TV series, they could do it tomorrow and Paramount would have no way to stop them. The reason we won't see TV Trek is because it doesn't fit into CBS's TV strategy.
     
  17. BillJ

    BillJ Fleet Admiral Admiral

    Evidently, it doesn't fit anyone's TV strategy. As CBS television is more than capable of making it for consumption on another network or cable outlet.

    If anyone was interested.
     
  18. Harvey

    Harvey Admiral Admiral

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    I think it's a mistake to assume that just because a corporate split was ordered, CBS Paramount and Paramount Pictures don't have a close relationship. The trailer for STAR TREK (2009) in front of all three seasons of STAR TREK on BLU-RAY would certainly suggest otherwise.
     
  19. AviTrek

    AviTrek Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Except that is happening less and less often. CBS Television Studios does not produce any show not airing on a CBS owned station. And the same goes for most other TV production studios with the possible exception of WB(which doesn't have a great broadcast network option).

    You can't justify Trek TV using old business models. Convince CBS they can make money on Trek TV now and going forward, not 10 years ago, and then you'll have a chance to see Trek on TV.
     
  20. the skullcowboy

    the skullcowboy Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    It a really valid question, I'd probably be for it if it was on a per-episode basis, there are at leat a half a dozen " fluff " episodes per season in the trek world and I would prefer to skip over them, however with a fee I wonder if the writing would be better and eliminate those?