Starting in 1966 there have been 28 seasons of live-action Star Trek aired on television, all of which came to an end with the fourth season of Enterprise in 2005. Many wonder if or when Star Trek will return to the small screen. According to new survey of global licensing experts, the time should be now
Brand experts rank Star Trek as #2 show to be revived
The Brand Licensing Europe Conference kicks off this weekend and they have just released a new survey in advance of the show looking at the most successful TV brands. The survey asked 450 global brand licensing professionals various questions, including “what TV show should be revived to offer the best licensing opportunities?” The Muppet Show (which aired from 1976-1981 in prime-time on CBS) was ranked first with 35% of the votes, and Star Trek came in second with 24% of the survey votes.
In 2005 the Star Trek TV franchise ended a seventeen year run (with four series and 25 total seasons). The Star Trek series had strong ratings in the 90s, but by the final seasons of Enterprise ratings were in deep decline. However, the Star Trek brand continues to have very strong name recognition (especially in English-speaking markets), and the hit 2009 Star Trek feature film went a long way to reviving the brand.
Star Trek 2009 movie has helped rebuild the brand – so is Trek ready to go back to TV?
It stands to reason that if Paramount’s Star Trek feature film sequel in 2012 is a success, CBS (who own the rights to Star Trek on TV) would start to seriously think about bringing the iconic brand back to the small screen, possibly following the third new era Star Trek film. However even with strong film performance and a revived brand, true space-based futurist science fiction is something that has always struggled on the broadcast networks, so the question as to where to air Star Trek is a big one (choices being” CBS, The CW, another network, basic cable, or subscriber cable). CBS will likely keep a close eye on progress for the Star Wars live action TV series (which George Lucas recently said is on hold due to cost, but he still expects it to go forward).
Of course Trek fans are probably most interested in how the new series would be set up. Should it be in the prime timeline, the new movie timeline or something else? Is it ship-based, station-based, land-based or some kind of mix? Is it episodic or arc-driven? Is it light-hearted and geared for kids or something darker and more dramatic for adults? And of course, who does CBS look to for executives to develop and oversee the show.
It is extremely unlikely that the Star Trek actors who crew of the new USS Enterprise would transition to doing a weekly TV series, as they all have active film careers, however some fans on the Internets have speculated on what a show based on the USS Kelvin might be like. Although probably just as unlikely, here is a video of fan-made opening credits.
USS Kelvin the TV show? (via Trekprojects)
The global brand survey also ranked The Simpsons (with 31% of votes) as the most successful TV brand, followed by Sesame Street (26%). Lost (created by JJ Abrams and Damon Lindelof) was voted as the TV series with the most "further licensing growth". More details at The Guardian.
POLL: When will Trek be back?
So take a guess on Star Trek’s return to TV