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‘Free Enterprise’ Prequel TV Series Seeking Crowdfunding For Pilot

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The team behind the 1999 Star Trek-themed comedy Free Enterprise have developed a TV series prequel to the movie and are looking to the fans to help fund the pilot. The Kickstarter campaign debuted today with more info on the show set to be announced this Friday at Comic-Con. See below for the first details on this exciting new project.

Free Enterprise TV Pilot Kickstarter

Today a Kickstarter campaign debuted for a new TV series based on the cult film Free Enterprise, the 1999 Star Trek-themed comedy that tells the tale of two geeky adults seeking advice from their childhood sci-fi hero, William Shatner. The new TV pilot project, which celebrates the 15th anniversary of its namesake, has brought along the original team from Free Enterprise, including writer/producer Mark A. Altman and director/writer Robert Meyer Burnett but features an all-new cast of characters and a band of nerd-celebrities that our heroes will encounter in their travels. Say the show runners, “the Free Enterprise-based TV series will have you loving long and partying like it’s 1999.”


‘Free Enterprise: The TV Series’ Kickstarter promo with scenes 1999 "Free Enterprise" movie

Free Enterprise: The Television Series (working title) will be a prequel to the story from the 1999 film Free Enterprise. As such, there will be new actors in the roles of main characters Mark and Robert along with a new cast of characters. William Shatner isn’t currently written into the pilot but Altman paraphrases a certain Vulcan when saying "there are always possibilities" regarding his involvement in the project going forward.

The TV pilot’s Kickstarter campaign launched today and has until Wednesday, August 20th (that’s just 28 days away!) to solicit their goal of $225,000. The goal is to produce a pilot and shop it around to various outlets to get a series picked up as a sort of "Entourage for geeks." If they can raise more funds, then the project’s stretch goal would be to produce multiple episodes for TV broadcast and future DVD release, plus to afford to bring in bigger stars, more locations and more visual effects. If they meet their goal, shooting would start this fall. Even if all that doesn’t work out the pilot would be made available on DVD, streaming and digital download.

“We are so excited about the opportunity to revisit this universe we first created 15 years ago, says series producer Mark A. Altman. “We’re looking forward to spreading the word about this campaign during San Diego Comic-Con and at the Las Vegas Creation Star Trek event the following week as well and show fans how they can be a part of bringing this project to life.”

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The heroes of the 1999 Free Enterprise film get advice from their hero, the Shat himself

Backers are enticed to donate with some pretty sweet rewards, ranging from T-shirts to autographed posters to a chance to appear in the TV pilot itself. According to the show runners, some truly special additions to the backer rewards will be announced later this week, so be sure to check back!

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Joining the Free Enterprise: The TV Series team will be Emmy Award-winning comedy director (and Free Enterprise fan) David Rogers, who has worked on Seinfeld, The Office, and is currently a producer and director on Fox’s critically acclaimed The Mindy Project. Adds series producer David E. Williams, “For over a decade, fans have demanded a sequel to Free Enterprise. This is your chance to see the Free Enterprise universe return to screens… and only you can make it so!”

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Free Enterprise TV Pilot director David Rogers on the set of The Office

More Details At Comic-Con and Star Trek Las Vegas Con

Supporting roles and actors to fill them will be announced soon. More details about the story, characters, and even new Kickstarter rewards will be announced at this weekend’s San Diego Comic-Con alongside the debut of the TV series’ teaser trailer. 

The filmmakers will be making appearances at the GEEK Magazine booth at Comic-Con (Booth #4437) and also participating in a 15th anniversary “Free Enterprise” reunion panel, moderated by Access Hollywood chief film critic, Scott Mantz. The panel will take place on Friday, July 25th at 3:30 PM in Room 24ABC with a screening of the 1999 film in the Marina Ballroom at 8:15 PM that night.

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What about Free Enterprise 2?

Some fans may remember reports of a sequel film to the original Free Enterprise. According to Altman the TV series prequel and the sequel movie (working title "Free Enterprise: The Wrath of Shatner") are unrelated and can co-exist. In fact, the team believe that getting the TV show going will increase the chances of the feature film getting made as well. They are still hoping to get that movie (which would include a substantial role for William Shatner) made by 2016 – in time for the 50th anniversary of the original Star Trek


 

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Ahmed
July 22, 2014 6:41 pm

Perhaps they should hire Payne & McKay to play the Mark and Robert characters :-)

btw, is Mark Altman still writing ? I miss reading his columns in Cinescape & Sci-Fi Universe magazines back in the 90s.

TrekMadeMeFat
July 22, 2014 6:55 pm

Sigh. Are we funding everything now?

Son of Jello
July 22, 2014 7:12 pm
Son of Jello
July 22, 2014 7:18 pm

2. TrekMadeMeFat – July 22, 2014

from http://trekmovie.com/2014/07/22/thecollective-guide-to-sdcc-star-trek-merchandise-exclusives-giveaways/

3. DJT – July 22, 2014

“TAKE MY MONEY!!!!”

That Elementary, Dear Data is a MUST HAVE with all the Sherlockian popularity going on these days.

Those Juan Ortiz Coasters are the EPITOME of cool. And I must have them.

And finally that “This Cosplay Not Logical” Tee shirt is HILARIOUS. Must have.

Son of Jello
July 22, 2014 7:24 pm
July 22, 2014 8:05 pm

Loved the original Free Enterprise. We had watching parties back in the day. It mirrored many aspects of my relationships with my friends. Was wild to find a movie that kind of was our story.

Marja
July 22, 2014 8:14 pm

2 TMMFat & 3 Jello, LOL. My thoughts exactly.

scifib5
July 22, 2014 8:23 pm

This would be a great idea. Hope this make it to the tube. A good candidate for Will Wheaton!

SirMartman
July 22, 2014 8:47 pm
Finnigan
July 22, 2014 9:01 pm

Yawn. The movie was entertaining, but this geek thing is being done already with The Big Bang Theory. A movie sequel would have worked about ten years ago.

Harry Ballz
July 22, 2014 9:15 pm

I LOVED Free Enterprise when it came out!

Bought the dvd and watched it at least 10 times.

What a geekfest!

BatlethInTheGroin
July 22, 2014 9:52 pm

There is no point to this project. Next.

James
July 23, 2014 12:58 am

Not.

Interested.

Curious Cadet
July 23, 2014 6:28 am

@7. Marja,
“2 TMMF…My thoughts exactly.”

But we’ve ALWAYS funded everything. That is the model of advertising based radio and TV. We buy the stuff the advertisers sell, the networks use that revenue to program the stuff they think we want to see to sell us more stuff.

At least this way, we have a shot at getting something produced we actually want to see. This might be an improvement on the system. I say might because generally we don’t really know what we want. After all, the fans asked for Khan, and STID gave us Khan.

Danpaine
July 23, 2014 9:03 am

I didn’t ask for Khan.

Really. Almost any other villain in Trek lore would have been preferable. Except the ridiculous ones.

But I get your point.

Trekbilly
July 23, 2014 9:40 am

Wouldn’t this be basically Big Bang Theory?

Silvereyes
July 23, 2014 9:55 am

I would think the fan base for such a show would be minimal at best. Personally my interest level is less than nil. And if they need fans to fund the project, what does that tell them about the viability of the endeavor?

This falls into the Who Cares category.

Harry, you need a hobby!

Red Dead Ryan
July 23, 2014 10:13 am

Movies funded by Kickstarter rarely break even because they are more for the fans. The casual audiences don’t care enough to watch the final product, much less help finance the project.

And by proposing a series, the producers are going to have to keep getting the same small group of fans to keep funding the production. And what happens if costs go up?

Most of these productions end up losing money. The “Veronica Mars” movie being an example. There weren’t enough fans to make it profitable. The general audience simply didn’t care enough about a movie based on a cult show. It’s not like “Star Trek TOS” which grew in popularity in syndication years after being cancelled. No such thing happened with “Veronica Mars”, and seeing as how “Free Enterprise” was only a small hit with mostly a few die-hard Trekkies, I can’t see the proposed series getting off the ground.

BatlethInTheGroin
July 23, 2014 1:13 pm

#14: The fans did not ask for Khan. The vast majority of comments online, when the film was announced, were along the lines of “PLEASE don’t let them make it about Khan.” That was a very unpopular decision.

Ahmed
July 23, 2014 2:14 pm

@19. BatlethInTheGroin

“The fans did not ask for Khan. The vast majority of comments online, when the film was announced, were along the lines of “PLEASE don’t let them make it about Khan.””

Agreed. On trekmovie, 69% rejected the idea of bringing Khan for a 3rd time

===============
Khan in Star Trek sequel?

* No, been there, done that (twice) (69%)
* Maybe, but with a different spin (25%)
* Yes, he is the superior villain (6%)

http://trekmovie.com/2009/12/24/what-do-trekkies-want-in-the-star-trek-sequel/
===============

And over at the official movie site, 66.67% asked for a new villain

http://www.startrekmovie.com/forums/showthread.php?t=11415

The majority was asking for a new villain.

Phil
July 23, 2014 3:05 pm

@20. Not the first time the producers ignored the fans. Someone pointed out that a sizable portion of the fan base would have been fine with a Captain Sulu series, and we got Enterprise.

Marja
July 23, 2014 3:11 pm

14 Curious, I guess it depends on how you look at it.

When a movie comes out, I read the reviews, and decide if I want to see it. The producers are speculating.

When an ask [like this one] comes out, I’m not sure how the product will come out, even after I’ve invested my putative dollars. The producers are speculating with money that is not exactly theirs. It is we, the audience, who are taking on the risk.

Phil
July 23, 2014 3:41 pm

@22. To clarify, the producers are preparing a product paid for with advertisers dollars. It is they, and not the audience that is taking the risk. At least the advertisers are looking at the product they are promoting as something that will have the broadest possible reach. What I don’t like about the crowdfunded projects is that there is no accountability to the fan base – if the producers want to produce Trek themed space shoot-em up’s, they can, because a handful of people paid for it.

I suspect it’s just a matter of time before the owners of the franchise shut these crowd-funded projects down. Back when they were truly amateur productions it wasn’t that big of a deal, because these producers didn’t stray far from the source material. Now that these productions are (non-sanctioned) professional productions, the owners have to ask, how long to they allow their product to be eroded before they lose control of it?

Red Dead Ryan
July 23, 2014 3:59 pm

Crowdfunding will most likely fizzle out as a source of revenue. People will become cynical fo how the money is spent, and it will become clear to producers that this venture is simply not profitable.

As well as what Phil has said above.

Moshe
July 23, 2014 4:00 pm

Seriously?

They want to make an entire television series based on a movie that was about two movie producers who are fictionalized versions of the movie’s real producers who meet a fictionalized version of William Shatner who is portrayed by the real William Shatner?

Maybe after they make this series, they can make a movie that tells a fictionalized version of the making of the series.

Someone should also make an entire television series based upon William Shatner’s “Get a Life” sketch on SNL…

Ahmed
July 23, 2014 4:15 pm

aaaannnnnd….bam! 23/24 post in for the ‘I hate Trek Fan-films, must be shutdown’ post from BR fanboys. Must be wonderful to be filled with such bitterness…

Ahmed
July 23, 2014 4:17 pm

Does it ring any bells?

Disinvited
July 23, 2014 4:56 pm

#25. Moshe – July 23, 2014

Don’t sweat it. In the opening scene Bob Orci chases them (the producers and Shatner) on gnarly looking moped with dangerous projecting cool art thingees into a bottomless pit in Arizona. It turns out the pit was created by a wayward microblackhole and the trio spiral out into an alternate universe where the series takes place leaving your FREE ENTERPRISE in the original universe untouched and sequel-ready.

Captain Smirk
July 23, 2014 6:08 pm

Why not reboot the “Free Enterprise” universe with Chris Pine instead of William Shatner?

Red Dead Ryan
July 23, 2014 7:17 pm

#26.

“aaaannnnnd….bam! 23/24 post in for the ‘I hate Trek Fan-films, must be shutdown’ post from BR fanboys. Must be wonderful to be filled with such bitterness…”

…..aaaannnnnd bam! 26 posts in and Ahmed once again misinterprets/skews opinions posted here. No one has posted anything about hating fan films.

A few of us here have merely questioned the viability of crowdfunded movies and shows….

Ahmed
July 23, 2014 8:24 pm

@30. Red Dead Ryan,

Come on, RDR, you are among friends here. No need to hide your feelings about fan-films.

In every article on trekmovie about ‘Renegades’, ‘Axanar’ or any of the other fan-films, your first post is ALWAYS about shutting them down!
For whatever reason, you guys don’t like the idea of fan-films at all.

FACT!

Obviously, you’re entitled to your opinion, but the thing about fan-films that we have no official Trek on TV & the movies takes between three to four years to get made. So, I will take what we have, given the fact that these fan-films are here & they are a lot better than the earlier films.

John in Canada, eh?
July 23, 2014 8:37 pm

The movie had its moments, but I can’t imagine someone who’s not a uber-fan ever sitting through it. So making a prequel series to a 15-year old movie that few people saw? Seems odd. And period pieces are expensive to do. (Sure, wardrobe hasn’t changed that much, but just try shooting a street scene using only pre-2000 model cars.)

A sequel would seem to be a more feasible goal.

New Horizon
July 24, 2014 5:03 am

I would pitch in a few bucks toward seeing a sequel to the movie, but not this. Doesn’t really hold any interest for me.

Disinvited
July 24, 2014 8:30 am

#32. John in Canada, eh? – July 23, 2014

I suspect that as SW ignited the TMP movie push, the success of THE BIG BANG THEORY is the impetus behind it. And who knows?
Maybe TBBT has created more of market for it than could be imagined?

Red Dead Ryan
July 24, 2014 11:21 am

#31.

“In every article on trekmovie about ‘Renegades’, ‘Axanar’ or any of the other fan-films, your first post is ALWAYS about shutting them down!
For whatever reason, you guys don’t like the idea of fan-films at all.”

Wrong. I have criticized fan productions for sure, but never once have I called for them to be shut down.

You’re thinking of one of the articles where one member of a fan production was repeatedly bashing the other production, and vice versa. I merely stated that unless they played nice with each other, CBS would most likely shut them down.

Keachick (Rose)
July 24, 2014 3:06 pm

No. I cannot recall ever reading either Phil or Red Dead Ryan saying that these projects should be “shut down” and nor have I ever made any such suggestion. Besides, it is not up to us. If there is anyone or organization that can actually call for these productions to be “shut down”, it would be the owners of the Star Trek franchise (CBS and/or Paramount) – certainly not anyone here.

Such a ludicrous and dishonest statement from Ahmed.

Ahmed
July 24, 2014 3:35 pm

@Keachick

“No. I cannot recall ever reading either Phil or Red Dead Ryan saying that these projects should be “shut down””

“Such a ludicrous and dishonest statement from Ahmed.”

With all due respect, you’re a moron!

===============

135. Red Dead Ryan – January 7, 2014

But with all the “Real Housewives”- style bitching and gossiping going on behind the scenes, I would think that perhaps CBS needs to shut things down for awhile to prevent long-term damage to the entire “Star Trek” brand.

25. Red Dead Ryan – March 27, 2014

I suspect if they’re making a profit, CBS will issue the production team some sort of legal notice to cease and desist.

===============

Shinzon's Lover
July 24, 2014 8:29 pm

The appeal/hook of the original movie (which, for better or worse, has been largely forgotten) was that Shatner was playing a fictionalized version of himself. Without that, what’s the point?

Disinvited
July 24, 2014 10:30 pm

#38. Shinzon’s Lover – July 24, 2014

Wait…are you saying that this series would actually cause Shatner to stop playing fictionalized versions of himself?

IDIC Lives!
July 25, 2014 8:43 am

#37 Ahmed,

I find it interesting that the comment section can go along with humor and good exchange of thoughts and even if some disagreement, things remain civil and in good humor.

And then someone arrives who begins the insults: “Such a ludicrous and dishonest statement from Ahmed.”

A ludicrous statement?

No, not at all. Ahmed, you were giving your opinion, RDR answered.
That’s all fine.

It is nothing like accusing anyone of being dishonest (in what? The ideas in your own head?)

— and “ludicrous,” which is right next door to “malevolent spreading cancer” in someone’s list of vocabulary insults to hurl. (Hey, the malevolent spreading cancer is me).

Too bad for the rest of us including you and RDR who simply want to exchange thoughts without being really insulted out of the blue.

And then “boo hoo” if we respond. Yes, try to ignore but it is a big thing to accuse someone of dishonesty and does not even apply in this case. it is your opinion, Ahmed (which you then documented as correct).

IDIC Lives!
July 25, 2014 8:57 am

Take note: The negative syndrome starts with #36 Keachick:

“Such a ludicrous and dishonest statement from Ahmed.”

This was tacked onto Keachick’s Comment #36 at the close as so often happens.

This was needless and meant to cause trouble. This is the first time name-calling appears on this thread.

Do not accuse Ahmed, me or anyone else of starting this stupid syndrome all over again.

Why can Keachick not give her opinion without calling the other commenter a derogatory adjective or noun? The nice vibes of this site are constantly ruined by this syndrome.

It’s too damn bad.

Phil
July 25, 2014 10:22 am

@26.You’re funny, Ahmed, with your rather Pavlovian response to any comment about the fan-films that isn’t in line with your opinion that they are just the most magnificent pieces of entertainment ever committed to film. And given how you respond, it’s pretty obvious you don’t actually read the comments – all the comment here are doing is pointing out the issues with crowdfunding. Further, if you paid any attention to my comments, I’ve not had an issue with STC – not so much because it’s high art (it’s not), but the producers don’t seem to cop a attitude about what they do. It’s so much easier to enjoy Red Shirt Diaries because it is truly a fan production, with expectations set accordingly, then it is Axanar, when it fails to meet amped up expectations, and the producers then go on the all out attack when anyone has the audacity to question what they do.

Ahmed
July 25, 2014 12:50 pm

@42. Phil

Trek fan-films are not above criticism & I don’t consider them “the most magnificent pieces of entertainment ever committed to film” as you sarcastically put it. The issue here, that some people like you & RDR, don’t want to give them chance. ‘Renegades’ & ‘Axanar’ are not even out yet & you people go on ranting about the poor acting, lousy productions & angry producers.

No one is forcing you or the others to watch these films, if you dislike them that much, just pretend that they don’t exist & wait for the official movie in 2016.

Ahmed
July 25, 2014 12:56 pm

@ IDIC Lives!

“Why can Keachick not give her opinion without calling the other commenter a derogatory adjective or noun?”

She behaves in the same manner over at IMDB message boards, so I guess that she can’t help it!

IDIC Lives!
July 25, 2014 1:17 pm

I think it is great to have the non-corporate un-Paramount creations of Star Trek by creative fan groups or individuals. I won’t give kick-starter type money to most of them but that is beside the point. I enjoy some of them and think they are all a creative process which counts.

“Star Trek Continues” is a class act, IMO, and I can’t wait for more. They have done something, IMO, beyond most fan projects.

But–power to all independent Trek projects if for no other reason than to keep the organic core of Trek energized!

“Couldn’t help myself” is an excuse which usually does not and should not suffice. :-)

Phil
July 25, 2014 1:27 pm

@43. Really, and yet, when someone asks the most innocuous of questions of a fan film, you are usually leading the counterattack, along with a handful of other on-line buddies who have been very vocal that it’s only the amateur hour folks who can restore Trek to whatever luster you imagine it had. So please pardon me if I don’t expect a ton of objectivity from you on the part – your last retort just proves my point, you don’t actually read the comments, you just marginalize them as rants about acting, productions and angry producers. Us ‘you people’ are fans…and when some blowhard ‘fan film’ producer starts ripping into ‘you people’ when they we ask questions, the message they send is loud and clear – it’s our Trek now, and we will do whatever the hell we want with it. It’s easy to ignore because they are vanity projects – I don’t care if they make them, but if they are going to spew on about doing it for the ‘fans’, the fans need to call them on that. That’s my criticism on crowd-funding, they are turning Trek into pay for play, and at some level, I suspect you know that’s true. You may not be able to bring yourself to admit it now, but when one of these producers does something with the franchise you find objectionable, you’ll be the first one screaming about ‘shutting it down’.

Keachick (Rose)
July 25, 2014 1:45 pm
I do not do that on the IMDb boards. Most of the time these posters who deliberately provoke a defensive response from myself and others get put on Ignore, a facility that IMDb offers its contributors. Ahmed’s response to RDR was dishonest, because he accused of RDR of constantly calling for these independent, fan-made projects to be shut down. That is simply not the case, not the truth. Why would Ahmed accuse a poster of this when there is no evidence to back up his assertions? One can only assume that Ahmed is being dishonest, because that is all he has now in order to denigrate the views of another… TUP referred to me as being “hilarious” and he did not mean that as a compliment. This occurred on another thread. I called Ahmed’s comment “ludicrous”. “and “ludicrous,” which is right next door to “malevolent spreading cancer” in someone’s list of vocabulary insults to hurl. (Hey, the malevolent spreading cancer is me).” Really? I will leave others to determine the validity or otherwise of this comment. IDIC – You said to Admin. that you would try to ignore my comments. It seems that you are not trying very hard…oh well The Admin. of this site has enabled bullying and distortions and outright lies told about other posters to become commonplace and acceptable. I guess it is up to those here contributing to take a stand, if they wish. For the record, IDIC, TUP and Ahmed have proven themselves to be… Read more »
Ahmed
July 25, 2014 2:02 pm

@46. Phil

But you don’t ask questions my dear friend. Your first comment on any fan-films threads, specially ‘Renegades’ & ‘Axanar’, is mostly a snarky one making fun of the film before even seeing it. I’m not just talking about this thread but most of the fan production threads.

And I think that your animosity towards Alec Peters is clouding your judgment.

Ahmed
July 25, 2014 2:05 pm

@47. Keachick (Rose)

“Ahmed’s response to RDR was dishonest, because he accused of RDR of constantly calling for these independent, fan-made projects to be shut down. That is simply not the case, not the truth.”

I guess you’re the type of person who NEVER EVER admit that they are wrong, right ?

Go on & read #37.

Ahmed
July 25, 2014 2:19 pm

@47. Keachick (Rose)

“The Admin. of this site has enabled bullying and distortions and outright lies told about other posters to become commonplace and acceptable. I guess it is up to those here contributing to take a stand, if they wish. ”

Perhaps you should heed the Admin advice to you!

===========================

219. Admin – July 21, 2014

Keachick

It may be best for you to stop taking everything so seriously and personally. We really don’t have time to get into all these flare-ups and invariably they generally involve you complaining about one poster or another.

Everyone else, maybe stop replying to Keachick.

Chill pills all around please
===========================

I’ll take the admin’s advice & stop replying to you altogether.

wpDiscuz