TOS-R Year 1 Scorecard: Ratings Down – Ranking Up

The first season of Star Trek: Remastered in syndication is now complete so is taking a look back at how the show performed. If you can remember back a year ago, the remastered Star Trek The Original Series actually took the place of Star Trek Enterprise which had just completed its first (and now only) year in US broadcast syndication. In the last year TOS-R averaged a 1.27 household rating (based on 48 weeks of data available), which is a slight decline from ratings for Enterprise the year before. However TOS-R was third-highest rated Science Fiction & Fantasy series for the last year, which is a an improvement in ranking over Enterprise.

Details and Charts below.

A decline since ENT
In its only year in syndication (2005-2006), Enterprise achieved an average 1.38 household rating (meaning 1.38% of TV households viewed the show). During the 2006-2007 season TOS-R’s came in at a 1.27 rating (a 8% decline). CBS may be satisfied that a show which premiered more than 40 years ago is still able to garner a fairly decent amount of viewers on a week-to-week basis, but could also be disappointed that they could not improve upon the numbers posted by Enterprise. Given that Trek Remastered had the benefit of airing less repeats (12 vs. 26) one might imagine it should have performed better. During my first update back in January, I wrote of the positive uptick in ratings gains. But the series never really managed to build from that momentum, and was unable to exceed, or even match, the high marks achieved by Enterprise. (See chart below). However, it is by no means certain that Enterprise would have done any better had it continued into a second year (and it quite possibly could have fared even worse – see section on other series below).

Big episodes = big ratings?
Another interesting tidbit is that there doesn’t seem to be any correlation to the buzz about certain episodes equating into ratings. The much anticipated “The Doomsday Machine” got a rather common 1.4 and the highest rated episode of the season was “The Corbomite Maneuver” at 1.6. “Doomsday” was beat by “Friday’s Child” and a repeat of “Balance of Terror” both getting 1.5 ratings. The ratings almost appear random, with repeats only getting slightly lower ratings than first runs. There may be some justice however – in July “Spock’s Brain” tied with a Christmas-week repeat for the lowest ratings of the year.

TOS-R performs well vs. other shows
Star Trek Remastered was the third highest rated Sci Fi/Fantasy show in syndication for the last year, coming in behind Alias (1.69) and Smallville (1.48). TOS-R beat out Stargate Atlantis (1.17), Stargate SG-1 (1.13), Farscape (0.64) and The Outer Limits (0.51). In the previous year Enterprise was ranked 5th behind Alias, Smallville and both Stargate series. This rank gain during a ratings decline is due to the fact that all Sci-Fi/Fantasy series in syndication went through a decline (a trend that applies to general programming in the syndication market as well). In fact, as the chart below shows, Star Trek Remastered was able to hold on to its ‘Trek viewership’ better than any other Sci-Fi/Fantasy series.

So even though Trek Remastered had a decline vs. Enterprise, in context it is actually performing fairly well in the market – especially for a 40 year old TV show.

The second (and final) season of syndication for Star Trek Remastered begins next weekend (see the schedule). 

Data Source: Nielsen Media Inc. 



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I’ll bet the ratings would have done much better if Mugatu had been brought back as a regular cast member…

Too bad they couldn’t have did this to fill in the spots between completed episodes
of TOS – R. Just a thought of course but boy….what a idea and option to ponder.

Show these series and boost the ratings overall. Still a good idea IF you ask me.

1. Star Trek – Animated: Show just the best or all of them since very few were made.

2. Star Trek DS9: Just show key (worthwhile) episodes as I feel this show was lacking.

3. Star Trek Voyager: Show the best of the series from each season

4. Star Trek: TNG – This would or could be the icing on the cake.

Eh. It probably had to do with the fact that the show isn’t well advertised and it’s on at different times all over the place. If you want ratings, you have to be on at a good time and be consistant about it, and also, you need decent advertising.

ST:R ain’t so hot on any of those counts.

The fews seconds of the Gorn blinking was way cooler than the recent appearance of the Gorn on Enterprise. Oh Yeah!

#3 has, hands down, said exactly why the ratings for TOS R sucks. It was weeks upon weeks before I could finally find it on at a decent hour in my area, prior to that, it had been listed at 3-4 am area, and even then it was never on, always the channel had shown something else.

I am sick and tired of this bitching for ratings, but several markets do not show it at the same time, or hell, even the same channel.

I searched high and low for broadcast info as well… it sucked. Oh,another thing the splash titles/stills before or after the break were cool ,keep it up.

thanks a lot russ for your excellent analysis

RE: show on dif times
All shows in syndication like this are on at dif times…that is how syndication works….you let the affiliate pick the time and also the promotion. So really those things are irrelevant to the ratings.

If I had to guess I would imagine that ENT would be getting a 1.0 or worse if you look at the decline of the other series. ENT showed all its best shows int the first season of syndication too…mostly from season 4. The season 3 shows would not play well due to their serialized nature. and of course season one and two were pretty bad.

No problem, Anthony.

It’s a safe assumption that Enterprise would have also declined, given how all the other SF&F series performed this year in syndication.

I would agree that the ratings for TOS-R are lagging because it is not on at a consistent or decent time. And when I did try to record it the quality from my local cable affiliate broadcasting it was below standard–for some reason we get some ghosting whether on digital cable or analog!

I remember watching TOS when it first went into syndication after its first run–it was on every afternoon at 4pm which was a great time for me when coming home from school! Although that wouldn’t work so well now for me I have to wonder if a new generation might discover the joy and wonder of TOS-R if it were on at a similar time?? :)

Gee,,,do ya think being able to go to sites like this and you tube to just watch the 2 minute snipet of just the new effects maybe had something to do with it?

“a slight decline from ratings for Enterprise the year before. However TOS-R was third-highest rated Science Fiction & Fantasy series for the last year, which is a an improvement in ranking over Enterprise.”

I’ve actually enjoyed the “remastered” Trek more than I thought I would, it’s helped to ease the continuity a little, anyway, in the effects visual realm, into the modern shows.
But I think it’s kinda funny the way networks, movie studios, etc….keep redefining and re-shaping their target demographic until they can declare it a hit in it’s particular time slot, in it’s particular sub genre, in it’s particular this and that…lol…

I’m reminded of the clown from Uncle Buck asserting his status by proudly declaring, “In the field of local- live- home-entertainment- I’m a God!”

I agree with #3 Lendorien-

The ads here in Philly are non-existent- and they could easily have made a bigger fuss about the re mastering efforts.

Perhaps CBS/Paramount does not wish to reduce the value of the TOS eps on the cable networks by implying that there is a “better” version in UHF Syndication?

did I just write UHF? Man I am old.

Anyhow- I suggest that it be put on in a decent time across the nation, fix the HD feed/affiliate/station problems, and advertise it as being different –
(the spots on Star would be just fine) then see what happens.

This effort seems like… only halfway thought out/rushed from a Syndiation/distribution standpoint.

“Dear John Nogowski- you’ve got a great franchise- how about a little TLC?”

The remastered episodes were’nt different enough to bring in a new audience.They should have added scenes and expanded the special effects to bring in a more contemporary audience.Just a suggestion

The Americans have a weird TV system.

if i was CBS, i’d have just waited unti this new movie had come out and then released all three seasons in quck succession.

I’d also make american TV alot more simple. perhaps taking a system like we have here in the UK with 5 TV stations that everyone gets accross the country and then 900 or more stations if you buy Sky or Cable.

why is all this syndication nonsence.

by the way: happy birthday, star trek!

jesus guys those ratings are good enough , i mean its 40 year old show with new effects , and beats lots of other sci fi shows , and i get what some of you are saying about it being on a bad times , but at least your getting it on T.V. , how do you think us Europeans feel not having it at all ( i think Austrialia are the in the same boat , in fact i have only heard of TOS-R going to japan).

I agree with #3 & #12. I also live in the Philadelphia area, and it sucks. Not only did they drop the ball with TOS-R with no advertising sometimes I was wondering if they were even showing the remastered episodes with the poor quality of the cable image.

And the UPN/CW affiliate has a horrible record with Trek. With DS9, shows were all over the schedule or if preempted by sports you would never see the episode. Believe it or not but I actually saw several DS9 episodes for the first time a few months ago on Spike before they made DS9 disappear.

Why can’t CBS, Paramount, or whoever is in charge of making decisions spend a little bit of money and put TOS-R on CBS maybe on Saturday evening so everyone know where to see it or even on Sci-Fi, I’m sure they would be happy for the show.

They have spent all of that money to remaster the episodes and not advertise and support them properly is a crime. It seems Sci-Fi in general and Trek in particular always seems to get the bad end of any deal.

Seems to me the only rating that matter are the rating for any given market where the show is playing. That’s what the local stations pay attention to. I really don’t understand how you can get an overall “rating” from hundreds of wildly inconsistant ratings. What rates high in Chicago may tank in LA. And most certainly the air times have a lot to do with it. Anyway, the bottom line is the stations are carrying it. I’d be interested to see if more stations are picking the show up, or if some are dropping it.

Great breakdown of the ratings numbers! Thanks for doing this!

All in all, I’d say TOS remastered did well for itself. I would have been astonished if it had been more popular than Enterprise, as uneven a show as Enterprise often was.

TOSR is getting the job done —

CBS Paramount is getting the publicity going for Star Trek XI thru syndicating TOSR. They have a Star Trek series currently on the air. And they have another product to sell — TOSR on HD DVD. “The Franchise” lives…

When CBS bought Paramount they didn’t want one of the prime assets they acquired gathering dust.

On the other hand, I have been enjoying the remastered episodes. It will be nice to see the full eps on DVD at some point (after the price drops or used copies become available),

In addition, there is a plethora of well produced fan films to enjoy. NOTE: Starship Exeter is releasing the long awaited Act III of “The Tressaurian Intersection” this weekend. One more act to go to complete the production, hopefully sooner than later.

Star Trek for everyone !

part of the reason the ratings are low is because TOS is on 3 different channels.

TV Land
syndicated Remastered

so, I suppose if you put those together, it would look a bit better on the charts.

I have to agree, this is an excellent posting, however…

TOS: REMASTERED was not shown in several markets being “bumped” for other programming (like Baseball/American Football et al) and was not shwon consistantly in “the market.” Now, if it had been on CBS proper and posted these rating…I would be damn impressed at a 40 yearold show got new viewers.

That might have brought in new viewers…if it had been on a MAJOR network or CABLE channel “system wide.”

Also, it never showed in my area on my system.

“… that Trek Remastered had the benefit of airing less repeats … ”

I understand what the author meant, but it still makes me chuckle, since the entire series has been “repeats” since 1970. Its a 40 year old show that’s been in syndication almost as long. Even with a digital facelift, it can only be reasonably expected to do so much – especially when its airing at 2 and 3 o’clock in the morning or frequently pre-empted in a lot of markets.

After doing my own “unofficial poll”, I have found that out of about 60 or so friends and family of mine, NOBODY was even slightly aware that there were remastered episodes being aired of Star Trek. Almost to a person they said that sounded like a cool idea, especially since they knew of my own devotion to the show. When they were told when it aired, again, almost to a person, they said that it was too bad they were never going to watch it since it was way out of their viewing time slot. This seems to indicate to me that the potential for higher ratings and even non-fan interest was there but never properly realized. I understand that with a 40 yr old show you can’t spend a huge budget on marketing, particularly after having made an effort to update the visuals but it would also seem reasonable to have put forth a better effort to get the word out and generate greater interest and to see that it got consistent air times at a more reasonable hour. Enterprise gets a great consistent time slot on the Sci-Fi channel with an advertisisng campaign I’m sure most of us in America who get the Sci-Fi channel have seen. I, myself, have yet to see an advertisement for Trek remastered in my market. If done right, Star Trek just might have been the highest rated sci fi show if not one of the highest rated shows of any kind that had aired this last season. It really could have been “event programming”.

Not bad for a 40-year-old show on repeats….

Our station that shows Tos -R always shows them late at night or preempts it for football and other sports . So you rarely get to see it . I’ve only seen a few episodes. Balance of terror and Amok time to name a few.

High marks achived by enterprise?? hahahahahahahahahhahhahahahahahahhahahahahahhahahahahahahahaha…..(I’m Serious)

and yes goofy broadcast times is enough to discourage any trek lite viewer. It was nearly impossible for me to locate which station in minnesota was running remastered, and then again…goofy time slot and then I figured if I couldnt find it..that I had seen the episode millions of times as well as checking out youtube for the show’s enhancement…ya know…

CBS-D should have done more with the episodes and experimented with updating the music and sound effects..They also should have waited a couple years to release the series so that it (TOS) could regain syndicated viewers, like in the 70’s..

In my market TOS-R was often listed in the on air cable guide as a “repeat”, with absolutely NO MENTION of the remastering effort. If they had just taken the time to type the info into the system, it might’ve made a ratings difference. Add to that the fact that it never consistently aired at 1:30am like it was supposed to. Alot of times it started at 2:00am, or even 2:30 if a sporting event came on earlier the night before. I never saw one commercial, or ad in the TV Guide for it either. I agree w/ THX-1138. Nobody except a hardcore trekkie EVEN KNEW ABOUT IT. Saturating the market with true “repeats” on G4, & TV Land don’t help a TOS-R craving either. In fact it dulls it considerably! Additionally a couple of time in my market they shrunk the picture down for a weather update that lasted the entire episode. What really pissed me off was when TOS-R was over for the night, the show on after it was brought back up to full size! I also liked Schiefy’s idea of putting it on at 4:00pm. I hated being an insomniac on Sunday nights, just to see a remastered episode. If I wasn’t a hardcore trekkie, I’d have gone to bed too. CBS needs to fix alot of these SIMPLE THINGS if they dare to care ABOUT TOS-R’s RATINGS!!!!!!!

Another overlooked factor: DVRs.

I find it difficult to stay up until 5 minutes past Midnight on a Sunday night, and thus have to use my DVR to record the show.

DVR recordings are not included in network ratings, and greatly skew the figures.

For those without a DVR, and who don’t want to try and tape the show, they have to be up at an ungodly hour to see it, and probably wouldn’t bother.

“I’ll wait for the DVD to come out”

When the DVD comes along:
“Ouch, that’s expensive. I’ll wait for the price to drop.”

Consequently, due to pricing and marketing and timeslot, many are not seeing it, assuming they even know it exists.

#14, JTK: The UK has the advantage of being a very small country. It also can’t hurt that its programming is run, in part, by the national government. Syndication is an important format in this significantly larger (and free-er market) country, allowing each market to determine, based on its own demographics, where to place shows that fall outside the major networks’ blocks. Syndication is the reason ST:TNG was able to become a hit television show where TOS was cancelled after three years. Network control, many (including me) argue, was also a major factor in the declines of quality and viewership in both VOY and ENT, as UPN attempted to make creative decisions on behalf of the show while simultaneously reducing advertising dollars and, towards the end, shunting the show into new time slots at random without prior announcement.

#7 Tony: Your hypothesis about how ENT would have done this year is reasonable. However, despite being sent down to the dreaded cable block, Enterprise is still pulling down a rating that hovers around 1.1 every week. So I still think it’s quite possible that TOS-R did the franchise no good in the ratings–particularly as TOS-R, in most of the cases I’ve seen, has gotten either the same or far, far better timeslots than Enterprise did in syndication. (

Just throwing that out there. I enjoy showing off my mad Enterprise research skillz.

# 28. Actually DVR, DVD and VHS recording is accounted for in the Nielsen rating system. I know a Nielsen family and they infact count a recorded show as a viewing – the recording device has to record from the channel at the correct time, thus the rating is counted.

I actually see TOS-R as a big success given the fact the show is hardly promoted (not at all in the Bay Area) and has cost CBS very little to produce given the cost of new productions these days.

Those numbers are not a disappointment at all.

Great analysis, thanks for the effort in putting this together and sharing it!

Does anyone have any idea what the budget for the TOS-R project has been, either per episode or for the whole season? It’s worth noting that, in many respects, TOS-R is a new series “in production” as opposed to the other shows mentioned. I wonder if the budget is justified by the HD-DVD effort alone, or if it’s an investment made with the long view (years and years more of syndication in an HD oriented world) in mind.

Anyway, great stuff!

I just hope the new people do more with Star Trek .It’s got so much’s so much smarter than Star Wars.those silly little TV spin-offs didn’t do it justice.Even the movies which were good weren’t big enough in scope.Too much like the ‘ol TV tube.

There are precious few shows that keep a fanbase for this long. Guess that is why Star Trek appears in a recent Time magazine list of Top 100 TV shows:,,1651341,00.html

Here is the Trek bit (including a 30-second clip of the ending of Let That Be Your Last Battlefield):,28804,1651341_1659196_1652732,00.html

I should add that these lists are largely meaningless, as the author himself admits:,28804,1651341_1659152_1659089,00.html

But it is still good to see TOS make the cut. Not to fan any flames, but STNG, DS9 and the rest of the spinoff series do not make an appearance.

Mugatu needs a chance at the center seat, with Horta as first officer.

That’s not as far fetched as it sounds. The Horta part anyway. The DC Movie era comic and one or two of the novels featured a Horta serving on the Enterprise. Hortas would make great ship’s geologists….

Great article Russ, Thanks for the data collection!

No doubt had Star Trek not been playing on three other cable channels (TVLand, G4 and SciFi,) during this last year then more people would have wanted to watch it on local TV. (SciFi is no longer airing them)
Since there was NO promotional money spent to advertise that these were Remastered episodes with new FX ,the average viewer would have no idea there was anything special about these shows, (we all know because we read sites like TrekMovie) plus the fact that there were on at very irregular hours in different markets really hurts it ratings)

Remember more 70% of the U.S. watches TV over cable and with G4 and TVland showing the episodes at regular times all across the US it was much easier to watch them on those channels then hunt them down on your local station playing it at 12:30 am Sunday morning.

Tivo helps but four different stations playing Star Trek each week, cable plus local, it may be that there is just too much much Star Trek The Original series on the air.

well not too much for me…but you get the idea

Wonderful article. And great comments. :)

I almost forgot,

Happy 41st Birthday Star Trek!

#35 Jeffrey S. Nelson- Yes! I wonder how Mugatu would do on the Kobayashi Maru test… probably just beam over to the klingon ships and bite ’em all, then save the freighter. And I can’t see Horta doing too well at Spock’s scanners, they would have to constantly replace the equipment because every time he used the damn thing he would slobber acid all over it and melt it. How expensive would that be? And who wants to bump into a sleepwalking horta near the engine room at two in the morning? Permanent trauma and disfigurement.

Just to prove my point, Star Trek was supposed to be on at 4PM today and was pre-empted for a baseball game. This was to be the first time it was on in the afternoon. Next showing: tonight at midnight. Swell, I have a gig tonight and don’t own a dvr. I don’t mean to be a complainer but I said on a previous post that it seems to be with malicious intent that either the programming Gods or SOMEBODY doesn’t want me to sit and watch an aired episode of Trek remastered. I am frustrated and beginning to wonder if this whole thing just isn’t for me. I surely am not the only one.

I spoke to Mugatu recently and he recounted a humerous yet tragic story that many of his fans might not know about. As he sat back in his easy chair made of authentic Hill People skin and sipped his scotch on the rocks, Mugatu took us back to a time as an eager, and hairy, young starfleet cadet. I was astonished to learn that this icon had actually been at the academy as this piece of history had been unknown to his adoring public. Mugatu laughed at this as he polished of his scotch and poured another. ” yeah I was at the acadamy, but it didn’t end particularly well” Being a renound ladies man admired for his gigantic horn, by his female academy classmates made focusing on his courses rather dificult. “well yeah, I was kind of a hell raiser” admited Mugatu. ” But my instructors cut me some slack because they really felt I was Starfleet material” He went on to tell me that on the day of his Kobyashi Maru test that he had gotten little sleep as the night previous he had entertained a number of Andorian exchange students at an Academy hotspot. ” Oh Lord, I must have done 30 tranya shots and I woke up the next morning wearing one of the Andorian girl’s bra and panties” He continued ” I was still wasted and had only 20 minutes to get my head straight and get over to the simulator for my no win scenerio test but ya know I thought I would be ok, I was so charged up for the KM that i felt adrenelen would get me through” He then poured his third scotch and told me about the test. ” Man it started out ok, we recived the distress signal and I ordered the ship into the neutral zone..” His hand began to shake violently and he took a deep breath, I asked him if he wanted to take a break from the interview but he patted me on the back and flashed that million dollar Mugatu smile. ” No , No it’s alright I need to talk about this” “Everything was going ok, when the Klingon battle cruisers showed up, I thought I could handle it but the nights of endless partying, booze, pills and women came crashing down on me at that moment and I just blew a gasket.” (Expletive deleted) ” My science officer kept badgering me about being in violation of treaty and we were getting pummeled by disrupter fire, I just saw red you know, just snapped” He paused to take a huge sip of scotch and continued ” And it just happened, I didn’t mean it, I just couldn’t help myself, I…ah..I ate my science officer” He then began to cry hysterically for nearly 5 minutes until he regained his composure. “God, Admiral Komak was so pissed he had me thrown off the academy grounds on the spot and they wiped any history of my time there from the data banks in the coverup” I tried my best to comfort him as shocked as i was at his awful admission. ” I just wanted to get away from there, away from everything, I jumped on a freighter and made my way across the galaxy before I ended up in the Zeta Bootis star system” He finshed the rest of the bottle and began weeping about what could have been but wasn’t and slurring nearly incoherently under his breath that JJ promised a call and has all but blown him off. I must admit that it was hard seeing such a magnificent icon in this state, broken emotionally and very drunk but in my mind it adds to his humanity, and most certainly to the legend of our beloved Mugatu.

THX-1138 – September 8, 2007

Are you a musician as well, my friend? I’ve been gigging since 1987…in the 7th Grade with my grandfather.

#23 — steve623
Yeah, that’s a toughie. Perhaps we could call them first-run repeats and second-run repeats? ;)

DVR Usage
It’s safe to assume that the Live+7 day ratings would be higher than Live+same day (which are reported here). Then again, the situation hasn’t changed, so the same would’ve held hold true last season.

#27 — toddk
The usage of “high marks” was meant only in terms of the shows ratings, not its quality. At the same time, that’s not to say I’m not a fan of Enterprise, because I am. :)

Enterprise/overall ratings last year
I’d just like to touch on this once more:
As noted in the article, judging from how the other shows performed year-to-year, one could say that had Enterprise continued another season, it too would have declined. But, you never know. Enterprise has been performing well on SCI FI and a few additional statistics reveal that it could have possibly held up this season (it’s first half to second-half performance was the best of all shows during the 2005/2006 year– -4%). And repeats aired on 19 of those 26 weeks.

But I’m not trying to take anything away from the performance of TOS-R. It did pretty good, and considering the age of the show, and the many other outlets its currently, and has been, available in, I don’t believe these numbers could be considered a disappointment. :)

Major Joe, yes sir I am a working musician. I have been getting paid since I was 19 years old and I am now…err…a bit older than that. Suffice to say 23 years now. Anyone who cares can do the math. I play woodwinds but am a sax player and wouldn’t claim to take anyones money to play flute or clarinet. OK maybe not clarinet. I love to play jazz but R&B & soul music butter the bread and pay the bills. I have done some educating in high school and college but like to play out. I have also been blessed to play on many wonderful CD’s and commercials that weren’t so great but were remarkable when considering that I don’t live in a commercial music mecca.

And you, sir. I would love to hear how you got started, what you play, and all the other goodies that go along with people insane enough to give a career in the music field a whirl.

And Lord Garth:

Your eloquence, sir, knows no…knows no……no……..
something or other.

Thanks Brother!!! And please let’s all say a prayer for our beloved James R. Mugatu as he struggles through a very tough time in his life

Lord Garth you are killing me! That is some of the funniest crap I’ve read! I think it’s important for all of us rabid foaming at the mouth Star Trek fans to relax a little and laugh at ourselves, and try not to take any changes to our favorite tv show too personally. Mugatu agrees.

just for the record, Futurama suffered the same fate by being pre-emted by sports and also a bad time slot. now on cartoon network. it can be seen when it’s supposed to be on. and of course when people know its on, they will watch.

49. toddk – September 8, 2007

” just for the record, Futurama suffered the same fate by being pre-emted by sports and also a bad time slot. now on cartoon network. it can be seen when it’s supposed to be on. and of course when people know its on, they will watch.”

Futurama is one of my all time favorite shows….
Zap Brannigan lol…said by the creators to be 40% Captain Kirk, 60% William Shatner…