UPDATED: Jonathan Frakes: CBS Turned Down My Star Trek TV Series + Talks ‘Sad Moments’ With Trek & more

Last week we reported on your chance to ask Star Trek: The Next Generation’s Jonathan Frakes questions online. Now Current TV has posted the answers, including the former Riker talking about his saddest Star Trek memories. We also have a preview of the Frakes-directed episode of Bar Karma airing tomorrow and the Frakes-directed TV movie Truth Be Told airing next weekend. [UPDATED: New comments from Frakes on his rejected Star Trek TV series]


UPDATED: Frakes – ‘CBS turned down my Trek TV show’

UGO interviewed Frakes to to promote Bar Karma, but they also got around to talking some Trek, including this very interesting nugget:

UGO: It’s been a few years since Star Trek’s been on TV. How much longer do you think until it makes the leap back to the medium it started on?

Frakes: I had a Star Trek that I developed for TV, and we were told in no uncertain terms that they said no to Bryan Singer TV Star Trek, they said no to a William Shatner TV Star Trek. They feel at CBS Paramount that they don’t want to make the same mistake that’s been made before, which was watering down the brand by having a TVshow and a movie. That’s what happened with Star Trek: Nemesis, and that’s why I think Star Trek: Enterprise didn’t last the way they expected to. It was the classic corporate greed of “we’ve got something good, so let’s continue to milk it” and we milked it so dry that the fans had no appetite for a movie. So I think what they’ve done by taking time off before the Abrams Star Trek, and they’re doing it again because they haven’t even begun to shoot the second one is a much smarter business plan. Much to my chagrin! Not that wouldn’t love the Titan, or the Rikers in space, or any of those shows on the air.

more at UGO

original article

Frakes talks sad moment with Star Trek

To promote this weekend’s episode of the sci-fi show Bar Karma directed by Jonathan Frakes, Current TV offered fans a chance to ask the former TNG star questions. One of the questions related to Trek:

Sean Tourangeau Carmen Asmussen (via Facebook): What is your favorite memory from your years involved with Star Trek? What was the saddest memory as well? I am the Designer of the U.S.S. Titan and was an honored to have my design chosen as the winning design.

Jonathan Frakes: Every morning, no matter what the hour, I woke up looking forward to going where no one had gone before. The company, on both sides of the camera was filled with clever, talented and funny men and women. Naturally, we mourned Gene Roddenberry’s death after season 3…by the way one of the great funerals of all time. When I was in London, I got a call about the tragic death of Jerry Fleck our 1st Assistant director on the show and both of my Star Trek movies. We also were very sad when Denise Crosby (Lt. Tasha Yar) left the show…both the characters and the actors…congrats on the TITAN Design….RIKER’s SHIP!!!!!

Read more from Frakes at www.current.com

Frakes with Denise Crosby and Marina Sirtis on Paramount Lot – says Crosby’s season one departure one of the sad moments of his time with Star Trek

I have an unusual question. The Rikers from Alaska – any chance of any or Riker being a descendant of Sarah Palin?

Frakes: Oh, no! No, I think the Rikers are from a different part of Alaska than Palin’s family.


The Frakes-directed episode of the Current TV sci-fi series  Bar Karma ("Three Times a Lady") airs tomorrow (Friday April 7) at 10/9c on Current TV.

Here is the preview:

Frakes-directed TV movie "Truth Be Told" airs next weekend

In other Frakes directing news, next weekend Fox will be airing Truth Be Told, which is a Walmart/Proctor & Gamble-sponsored "Family Movie Night" event. The TV movie is a romantic comedy starring Candace Cameron Bure and David James Elliott, which also features Ronny Cox (Jellico from TNG). Here is a preview.

Truth Be Told airs on FOX April 16th 8PM). His next outing will be a NASCAR-focused episode of The Glades for A&E.

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I love reading or listening to frakes and other former cast members talk about their time on star trek. such happy and fond memories, unlike the sometimes bitterness associated with TOS.

TITAN animated series?

Who’s in charge here anyway!?!?!

1, Agreed.

As dull and badly dated as many of those TNG episodes look now, I still miss those Trek characters more than any other. They were just a lot of fun to hang out with.


TNG dull and dated?

TNG is still one of my fav shows I still think it holds up well and I think the show has a lot of cool episodes and Data is a fav of mine.

3 – dull and dated?! I think not!! I have to agree with 4. There is very little about TNG that comes across as dated and NOTHING that is dull! I watched them all when they first aired and just recently finished watching them all again – over 20 years later. I was amazed how well made, thought provoking, and engaging most of those shows were, especially from season 3 on. TOS will always be my first love because I grew up on it, but TNG is the best Trek ever made.

Never dull, sometimes dated (only fractionally on a few occasions).


Much missed.

: )P

The first word I use to describe Next Gen is: STERILE. It presented the future as too clean, polite, politically correct and quite honestly no place I’d want to be. I am more a DS9 kind of guy with a little Voyager thrown in.

Voyagers is for targs!

I am personally bias, I love the TNG characters and would love I mean love to see a Titan series (Animated or live action) Personal Bias with my ship being the Titan.

Oh and before I forget. Thanks Mr Frakes for answering my question.

Jonathan, you screen presence on TNG is forever indelible. You are sorely missed.

Jonathan Frakes=class act

Hey Sean,

Got any links to show off your Titan design?

I love what little I have seen so far.

I am a huge fan of all Star Trek art and design.

: )P

5. agreed.

To: Battle-scarred Sciatica and Jack

go to stourangeau.deviantart.com and in my gallery section is a sub folder marked Titan there you can see all of my U.S.S.Titan Artwork. I am also a fan of the Mirror Universe so there is also a subfolder with Artwork and ship designs dedicated to an alternate Mirror Universe where the Terran Empire never fell.


TNG cast is my favorite by so very far it’s not even funny.

Good luck to Mr Frakes.

Thanks for that Sean.

Great stuff.

I also have a big thing for cityscapes, so it was great to see a new one I haven’t seen before in your random file.

I have only just discovered DeviantArt in the last few months.

It is an awesome site.

Your Ent – F is interesting!!!!!!

What about a Titan animated web series? I’d watch it.

Wait, Jonathan Frakes, Bryan Singer and William Shatner have all developed ideas for a Star Trek television series? When the hell did this happen? I need details, people!

TNG – dull and dated? Sometimes I wish it was…:) My kids put a tape on showing a TNG episode and more often that not, I get pulled in by the story and characters and end up not getting stuff done that needs doing…:(

I think TNG comes off as a bit dated, and sterile, at times… That’s not the fault of the actors. More how TNG, whether it was Gene in charge or Rick Berman later on, was a show that rarely took many chances… Rarely shook up the happy little status quo of life onboard Picard’s Enterprise. Rarely did that status quo ever change.

Having said that… When TNG was really at it best (“The Measure of a Man,” “Yesterday’s Enterprise,” “The Inner Light” and “Chain of Command” are just a few examples) it was DAMNED GOOD.

But DS9 — and its cast/crew/writers — will always be tops with me. They were the Star Trek that was willing to take more chances, unafraid to deal with touchy subjects, and break away from some of the formulas the other Treks generally subscribed to. A shame we’re unlikely to ever see and kind of DS9 revival. Its ending left things wide open for a return.

Tng was a great series and i watch it from time to time. I hope one day they re do the FX. A Titan series would have been great. But for now we have the new movie and hopefuly one day a new series.

never cared for the way TNG presented stories…too often than not, they were boring and very unimaginative. And their obsession with having to cram in an A and B plot into 45 minutes never served them well. All in all, a universe I don’t care to revisit any time soon. I’m glad CBS turned Frakes down, a visit down TNG lane is not something I would be interested in. it’s a shame though, that CBS and paramount can’t work better together…I understand they feel it’s all about the movies now, but it doesn’t have to be.

@21, I agree with you 100%. It’s too bad Les Moonvies hated Trek so much that he ordered the Star TRek: Enterprise sets destroyed. With someone like that in charge of CBS television there is no hope of Trek returning to television until he is gone.

And before the audience fatigue excuse come up there was never a problem when there was one show on the air while movies were going on. The problem was when you could turn the TV on and see 4 or 5 different Trek shows on either in first run or repeats in syndication. I remember when I could spend almost an entire day watching different Trek series on Spike TV.

The Next Generation still rocks!!! Just wish they hadnt filmed it in video.

Anything that’s 24 years old is going to look a little dated sometimes, but TNG stands up as well as any other TV show I can think of from those days.

Great guy and I agree Next Gen era animated show ftw!

It’s so peculiar how these guys all have their notions about why Nemesis didn’t do well, like the film didn’t totally suck monkey balls.

Jon, baby…it wasn’t Enterprise that ruined Nemesis.

It was NEMESIS that ruined Nemesis.


Agree with everything you said. Though there were a few times where they did shake things up a bit, like with episodes like “The Wounded”, “Ensign Ro” and “Chain Of Command” which helped lay the groundwork for “Deep Space Nine”, a show that I consider to be the best of all of the Treks. “The Original Series” and “The Next Generation” are both tied in a very close second, followed by “Enterprise” and “Voyager” in fifth. “Voyager” was the most inconsistent of the series in my opinion.

I do hope CBS does remaster TNG. Redo the effects and give it some TLC (tender loving care, not the stupid channel) and the series would have new life on dvd/Blu Ray.


Also, “Conspiracy” certainly didn’t play it safe. It’s the only episode in the fourty five year history of “Star Trek” to be banned from the BBC! I wished they’d followed up on the episode, but I understand why they didn’t and we ended up getting another cool enemy, the Borg, anyway.

Yar’s departure was a bummer. The series had the potential of giving the role of a tough bada** crew member who could get the job done to a woman, but when she left her position was replaced by Worf. Ugh. It’s like the show was apologizing for putting a woman as head of security. Thank god for Deep Space Nine.

All I can say is that it’s a good thing Worf is not in the reboot movie or else he’d be the third person to take away Uhura’s job. Ever notice how none of the TNG era ships had a dedicated communications station?


Well, at least there was a female Chief Engineer on “Voyager” who was given the job over a male officer.

Then you had Hoshi Sato on “Enterprise” as a communications officer.

I wonder what the Singer developed Star Trek was going to be like. He was actually my first choice for a Star Trek reboot, since he was a fan of the show. Instead, they handed it to a Star Wars fan and look what happened!

Bryan Singer is an overrated director. The first ‘X-Men” was great, while the second one and “Superman Returns” both suck.

J.J Abrams is clearly far superior. His body of work proves it. Singer, on the other hand, is a one trick pony whose career is on the downside.

Perhaps captain riker could go hit the gym before going on tv. Frakes looked horrible in the enterprise finale. Riker is a great supporting cast member but I could never stand his arrogance as a lead….

I think Abrams did a great job with the new Star Trek but I think Singer would have done well too. I wish Cbs would make a Titan series but they only care about money.

The first two seasons of TNG looks dated,season 3 to 7 still kicks ass!

7, 21, 29, 30

Totally agreed. TNG was great, but there were some serious flaws, and I really didn’t care for season 6 or 7. DS9 is the definite trek for me, and it’s so sad to think it will probably never be followed up on. Oh well.

Frakes is a good guy, I like him very much. Riker not so much.

I shall have to google that Titan design, I don’t recall seeing it!

Frakes: “It was the classic corporate greed of “we’ve got something good, so let’s continue to milk it” and we milked it so dry that the fans had no appetite for a movie.”

No Jonathan, it was the FACT that Voyager, Enterprise, Insurrection and Nemesis sucked that killed the tv efforts. Stop hiding behind the “its the suits fault” and instead, you and your Trek associated from the late 90’s to early 2000’s need to take a hard look in the mirror.

@26 “Anything that’s 24 years old is going to look a little dated sometimes, but TNG stands up as well as any other TV show I can think of from those days.”

You are joking, right? TOS bridge has held up better than the ridiculous NG bridge, and the 79/early 80’s movie Enterprise looks so much better than the cheesy fake looking fat-bay NG Enterprise.

@MJ: I find it comical how you claim to be a Star Trek fan, and yet you bash TNG, Voyager and Enterprise every chance you get. As much as I love TOS the facts are it’s campy, it’s very dated (even with the remastered effects), and the colors of the bridge are ridiculous. Please give the Trek bashing a rest.

@41. I like the NG and love DS9, so please don’t put words in my mouth. That being said, on TNG, the special effects, the Enterprise design and the bridge have not held up well at all over time…they look cheesy!

@41. And the comment I was responding too claimed that TNG has held up as well at other 80’s shows. I just can’t agree with that — MacGyver and Alien Nation, for example, hold up better than the first 2 seasons of TNG.

I don’t think a TV show would work… but c’mon! Why not do a couple Star Trek: Titan direct to DVD movies? You have recognizable characters (Riker / Troi / Tuvok) that could be in it. The fan base is there, and it wouldn’t get in the way of the big screen movies. They should go for it while they still can.

@29. “Conspiricy” was shown here in the UK but it was cut to pieces.

It was “The High Ground” the BBC banned and didn’t show at all until 12-1am reruns around 12-13 years later.

Season 1-5 I really enjoyed. 6 had the occasional good ep while 7 was disappointing.

The show still holds up with appx 90% of the FX still looking fantastic.
(the Arsenal of Freedom Easter egg gun and the Conspiricy mother alien puppet not included)..

@45 “The show still holds up with appx 90% of the FX still looking fantastic.”

Wow!!! That is all I can say to this???

“Not that wouldn’t love the Titan, or the Rikers in space, or any of those shows on the air.”

If his idea was a Titan series, I am glad that it wasn’t made. That would have been a bad idea.

I think TNG is still a great series. I like watching episodes even today. But I agree, it is slightly dated now. For example the make up of the women is so 80s. Some outfits, too. It plays in the future, but you can still see, that it was made in the late 80s / early 90s.

Uhh…who cares if TNG looks dated? It was made over TWENTY years ago and was a show set in space. What sci-fi show or movie multiple decades old DOESN’T look dated? It’s like saying you can’t watch Fresh Prince, Home Improvement, or (insert older show/movie here) anymore. It’s never about the style or fashion or graphics. It’s all about the characters and the stories and that is what Star Trek has always excelled at.

Hmm, I see no mention of Frakes directing any more Librarian movies.. I would love to see more of those!!

Frakes is one of the most endearing Trek personalities. He seems very grounded, decidedly not full of himself, and that is so refreshing.

As far as the relative production merits of TNG go, I always thought it was too sterile – Roddenberry’s utopian concept taken just about two steps too far. GR’s notion of the elimination of conflict between races/peoples has one important consequence – the elimination of drama! Drama is all about conflict. TOS’ incarnation of Roddenberry’s vision was more realistic, despite the fact that TNG was more contemporary in overall production values.