Brannon Braga talks TNG, VOY, ENT, Star Trek Movies + more

From The Next Generation to Voyager to Enterprise — and Star Trek movies in between — Brannon Braga has had his hands in hundreds of hours of Star Trek. The writer/producer’s next project, however, is Fox’s prehistoric time travel series Terra Nova from producer Steven Spielberg. Braga took some time to reflect on his time with Star Trek in a new interview with

Here are some highlights from Part 1 of the two-part interview.

Braga revealed that his favorite episode from his time with Star Trek was "The Next Generation" series finale "All Good Things…":

"Top of the list, it was just a really great two-hour episode of TNG that fully explored the characters and the sentimentality of where they started, where they are and where they’re going. It had a great science-fiction premise. And it kind of achieved the impossible. I have no recollection of how Ron Moore and I did it, but it was a great ending to a great series. It didn’t disappoint."

Speaking about Voyager, Braga detailed his thoughts on the decision to add Jeri Ryan as the character Seven of Nine during the show’s fourth season. Braga says the reason for the change was because ‘Voyager’ "needed a kick in the ass". Braga says Captain Janeway was missing her Spock or Data and adding a character like Seven of Nine helped fill that void:

"The idea of putting a Borg on board gave us a chance to have a wild child there. That was the metaphor, a wild child, and Janeway would be her mother and try to tame her and help make her human again. That was a new take on that kind of character."

Braga continued: "To me, Seven of Nine added a nice touch of magic that the show needed at the time. The fact that she was a beautiful woman was just, to me, a benefit." He also dismissed criticism that the character was added purely for sex appeal:

"A lot of people thought it was in poor taste that we had a buxom babe, but I’m like, "Have you actually watched TOS?" That was babes on parade. Kirk would be considered a sex addict by today’s standards."

Moving on to Enterprise, Braga revealed that the original idea for the series actually more closely resembled the way J.J. Abrams’ Star Trek opened, but they ultimately went forward with the prequel idea:

"In some regards, I guess, it might have had a bit more of a feel like the way the J.J. Abrams movie opened, which I loved. His image of the starship was something I just loved and wished we’d done on Enterprise. But the prequel idea seemed like it would give us the ability to kind of go back before the days of Kirk and Picard and the other characters and do some slightly more contemporary storytelling, because the characters were a little more closely related to our day."

One aspect of Enterprise that some fans didn’t take kindly to was the decision to have humans in conflict with Vulcans. Braga, however, stands by that decision:

"I know there were some Star Trek fans who really hated the fact that humans and Vulcans didn’t get along, because that’s not the way it was depicted in TOS and the other shows. But relationships change over a century…So, the idea of us being in conflict with Vulcans and almost resenting their grandfather-ship and their lording of us ever since the ending of First Contact… I thought that was a really fresh, interesting idea that was, to me, fun to write and rather lively.

It may have been the least-watched series, but Braga continues to defend Enterprise against its critics and hopes fans go back and give it a second look — or a first — especially the third and fourth seasons:

"I’m not going to say every episode was great, but you could say that about any of the shows. I really loved Enterprise. I loved the characters and the cast."

In Part 2 of the interview, Braga defended his and Rick Berman’s time with the franchise. Although he takes full responsibility for any creative errors, Braga casts aside fan criticism that they were responsible for "killing the franchise":

"I will take full responsibility for any flawed or downright bad storytelling or creative decisions that hurt the franchise. I don’t think, looking back, that that’s the main reason it went away. So I don’t think Rick and I killed the franchise. That’s absurd. Did I stay on the franchise too long? Was the storytelling feeling feeble and familiar? I’m going to say no. I look at season three of Enterprise and say the whole Xindi species concept was really cool. That’s a science fiction concept I’d never seen before. You had insects and [aquatics] with intelligence and culture. I thought that was a fascinating idea and we turned it into a season-long arc that I thought was super-fresh. I thought Manny Coto came in and breathed fresh air into season four."

To read the complete interview with Brannon Braga, including more thoughts on Star Trek and the upcoming Fox series Terra Nova of, head on over to Part 1 of the interview can be found here with Part 2 here. Braga serves as showrunner for Terra Nova which debuts Monday, September 26 with a two-hour premiere on Fox.

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I love the work those guys did….no regrets


“I have no recollection of how Ron Moore and I did it”

Why does this not surprise me as the same moronic team went to Hawaii and smoked grass while writing ST: Generations, and we all know how well THAT turned out!

What a total turd!

All hail the man who killed TV Trek!

“Braga detailed his thoughts on the decision to add Jeri Ryan as the character Seven of Nine during the show’s fourth season. Braga says the reason for the change was because ‘Voyager’ “needed a kick in the ass”

It did need a kick in the ass!! As much as my eyes enjoyed 7of9, this was pretty much Voyager’s Jump the Shark moment: a desperate attempt to sex up a stale series. It also DIDN’t need the return of the Borg or Q, beloved characters destroyed by redundancy!! Why couldn’t you have followed Ron Moore’s vision of Voyager where a lost crew were forced to make desperate choices in desperate situations! Just imagine if Voyager could have been a sci-fi version of “Lost”.

Enterprise was a true dud, but really you can’t assign blame to one person for that. It just didn’t work out. Case in point – the idea of Vulcans being our space-nannies actually kind of makes sense, but the idea of them being emotional all of the time? That’s indefensible, and silly, and does not reconcile with any of the previous Star Trek. Which makes Enterprise a turdburger that just happens to have ‘Star Trek’ written on it.

Enterprise 3 was quite good, and 4 was great, and Vulcans have stronger emotions than humans, which is why they control them… but everyone knows this.

“the idea of them being emotional all of the time? That’s indefensible, and silly,”

and, not in the show either.

It was all downhill after DS9, imo. Voyager had awful writing so often that it made it hard to remember the good episodes that were in there every now and then. Enterprise was a steaming pile for two years before getting turned around, but by then it was too late. Braga oversaw Voyager and Enterprise, so the blame falls on him. Just imagine how Enterprise would have turned out if Manny Coto had control of it from Day 1!

IMO I think Voyager would have been a better series if it had been more like the Equinox ship from the episode of the same name. A true battle for survival. More like what Stargate Universe was, except in the Trek universe.

obviously you didn’t see it then. In the first episode alone, they are cranky, smug, and at times downright panicky.
You silly apologist.

insects and aquatics with culture being a new concept? Had these people SEEN classic Doctor Who?

While most would agree ST:Generations was a mess, I personally thought Voyager’s later seasons weren’t that bad, especially compared to its uneven early seasons. To me, Enterprise was where it went wrong for Brannon Braga and Rick Berman.

The temporal cold war arc was so ill-concieved that it was a bad way to start out the series and attract and keep viewers. The Suliban were a weak antagonist who we’d never heard of before on any series. The bad guys should have been the Romulans from the start with the series leading up to an into the Romulan War that starts the Federation.

As good as the Xindi arc was, I didn’t need it. Plus, just like lots of other situations on the show, how have we never heard of them or their attack and threat against Earth before? The show just rewrote Star Trek history to suit it’s needs, never caring to fill-in and depicit the history most fans cared about and wanted to see.

The fourth season was perfect, but by that time it was too little, too late. If only the show had started differently and been able to keep its audience that tuned in for the first show which premiered right after 9/11. America was looking for optimism and hope at the time and Star Trek could have given it to them, if only it’s creators had been better at their craft. Instead another prequel of sorts that tapped into that yearning for comfort-programming at the time succeed and lasted a lot longer than Enterprise, Smallville.

Maybe it’s good Enterprise only went four seasons so that JJ Abrams could relaunch Star Trek for a new generation. Still, it’s hard not wonder what could have been for Star Trek had Enterprise been better. It could have reinvigorated the franchise by taking what was best from the original series and setting the stories on an earlier Enterprise with tales and situations the reflected the post-9/11 times with the coming war with the Romulans mirroring what was happening to America, along with the hope that as bad as things got, there would always be the certainty that the Federation would be formed at the end of it all. If only.

“they are cranky, smug, and at times downright panicky.”

And every time any actor plays a Vulcan they get the same criticism. From Tuvok’s frown to T’Pol’s concerned appearance, the fanboys all say “I can see emotion on their faces! OMG!”. You just cannot please every faction that makes those kind of claims because they would have acted in a different manner if they’d been cast. Maybe they’d have Botoxed their entire faces into paralysis so as not to betray any trace of emotion. But realistically, emotion is what drives storytelling, and even non-emotional characters (or rather, characters who are supposed to keep their emotions in check) have to have some or else they do not work as characters.

On TOS, Spock was usually amused by Bones insults — but OMG, he shouldn’t be! It just goes on and on. Any Vulcan can be criticised for not being emotionless.

“You silly apologist.”

And fu2.

Clearly I’m the only one who liked the Xindi arc. No, I didn’t like it – I loved it. I thought they were some of the most interesting aliens as a collective culture since DS9’s Dominion. I really thought they were great. I liked that there was a universal plot throughout the season, kind of like what DS9 would do at times.

However I must agree that the Suliban were.. well, they were lame. There’s not much more I can say about it. I was glad when they vanished at the beginning of season 4. That season premiere was cool but they should’ve left those guys out of it.

I thought season 4 was great all around. I actually appreciated seeing a little more emotion in the Vulcans. Besides, it was an incredibly tumultuous time in their culture, and when a Vulcan cracks under pressure… well, we can all imagine. I didn’t see much of anything wrong in that portrayal. And if we’re talking about V’Las.. he was off his rocker to begin with. Loved all the others though. Soval remains one of my favourite characters in all of Star Trek – him and Shran (JEFF COMBS).

I really, truly, honestly think that if Enterprise had been allowed another season it would’ve continued to improve. There were all kinds of great episodes… The Vulcan arc (The Forge, Awakening, Kir’shara), Demons/Terra Prime, IAMD (both parts)… Loved it. Absolutely loved it.

or read Ender’s Game? Starhsip Troopers?

Didn’t Braga end up shagging 7 of 9 IRL ? Lucky bloke.

The shows became gradually more and more repetitive after TNG, which had many familiar elements from TOS itself. DS9 had a unique vision, a darker, grittier vision; but characters such as Dax and what they tried to turn the Doctor into were TNG architypes. VGR and ENT were generic and tired. Some episodes were ok; but even the best ones, such as the VGR final, were just copies of the TNG episodes.

I’m glad JJ came along. We needed something fresh. Hopefully, Trek makes a return to TV, in some form, in the future.

“A Star Trek series, in my opinion, is only as good as its captain, and Captain Janeway was a great captain, but she didn’t have her Spock or Data, really.”

Dear Mr Ryan! It isn’t true. The Janeway – Chakotay – Tuvok triumvirate in the Delta Quadrant could be so many times better than the Archer – T’pol – Trip trio. The probleme with Seven character is not the role or the actress, but the fact that Chakotay and Tuvok and the all crew became assistant when she arrived

[quote]”I think that Kirk and Picard should have been locked in battle on spaceships, on their respective bridges, and not cooking eggs.”[/quote]

indeed…in hindsight, its a shame they didn’t save ‘Yesterdays Enterprise’ for TNGs first film and had the NCC 1701-A coming through the rift instead of the Ent C – allowing for both crews and ships to be on screen(the Ent A coming through the rift into the 24th Century on its way back to space dock after the events of Trek VI – and finding the Federation at war with the very race they had just established peace with in the previous film – therefore both crews have to work together to restore the timeline.)

they could have read the script for Yesterdays Ent in 89/90 and though ‘whoa this would make a great cross over film when we get around to doing it with the original cast – we better keep it on hold for that.’

Alternatively they could have just done what TMP did and used elements of the episode for the film – not doing it verbatim but similar (e.g. TMP – with Doomsday Machine/The Changeling…TVH – Tomorrow is Yesterday/Assignment Earth…TFF – The Way to Eden). they could’ve had the Ent D come back to Kirks time (post VI) – e.g. in trying to save earth from a borg attack the Ent D gets blown back to the 23rd century – ‘Tomorrows’ Enterprise?’

they could have released it in 94 or 1996 – thus allowing abit of time in order to come up with a decent script, build some anticipation for TNG on the big screen and also have given the TNG actors and writers etc a bit of a rest after 7 years to recharge..not thrown them into doing the movie immediately after the last ep. Plus 96 was Treks 30th anniversary – the perfect time for a crossover film. Also they could have got Meyer or Nimoy to direct the film (both had directed time travel movies) – apparently Nimoy was offered directing and appearing in the existing Generations but turned it down due to the script and lack of time.

It could have been an epic 2 hour crossover event movie – Star Trek VII/TNG The Motion Picture

I’d have favoured a Godfather Part II-style film intercutting the two generations dealing with the same macguffin in their eras. Plus, potentially, Spock, McCoy and Scotty could have appeared in both eras.

@20 yes that couldve worked – abit like ‘Federation’

For me, the moment Enterprise killed it for me was when they were told of the attack on Earth….3 million…5 million….7 million – lines that should have been delivered with raw emotion and received by raw emotion by the crew (much like what we see on the new Battlestar Galactica i.e. suicides…fights…etc) – delivered instead with a cold and lame expression and stoic gazes….the only character on the show that showed any kind of emotion was Trip Tucker (the only believable character their) and T’Pol…the emotionally ‘controlled’ one who spent most of season 3 and 4 crying.

Enterprise would have worked if they had Manny Coto from day one. He should have been transfered the entire franchise.

Brannon and Braga did a good job. But after a time, anyone can get a little stale. The mistake was not recognizing they needed new blood sooner than they did… nothing to do with their intentions or talent.

If they had recognized it, brought in someone like Coto early on and handed him the keys for day to day production, Star Trek might still be on the air.

It needed new and fresh ideas.

The moment Enterprise killed it for me was when it looked too much like TNG. I always thought the tech would be in its infancy. There should have not been transporter use until season three or four, and then only rarely. Also, they ran into too many aliens. Space should have been more sparse in that time period, with more drama taking place on the ship.

But oh well. I stopped watching Enterprise mid-way through the first season, and then watched the finale, so what do I know.

BUT: Braga did write some awesome Trek: All Good Things, Cause and Effect, First Contact, etc.

And, yeah, he liked big boobies, so that’s why Jeri Ryan was on the show. Voyager got real stupid. I agree with what Ron Moore said about it back then, that there was no showing of damage or whatever to the ship out in the middle of nowhere.

Ehh, Braga is talented, but did a lot of stupid things as well.

He was obviously too closely involved to look at “Enterprise” objectively, but that show, it’s writing, the majority of it’s actors and characters were terribly, terribly bad. The end result was a boring show people didn’t care to watch anymore and so it, together with any possible subsequent Star Trek show, was canned.

The addition of Jeri Ryan and boobs in my mind is the same as the addition of Jolene Blalock and her boobs. Yes, I loved looking at them, and yes TOS had the same.

I think there was one plain and stupid mistake made with both. They should have just been put into a uniform. Plain and simple. There was no reason that both wore cat suits, and that was the distracting and VERY unrealistic part.

Marina Sirtis looked much better when they finally put her in a uniform and it was more natural. Create realism and then the sex appeal is more natural.

Enterprise was a good show. The problem was, it came on the heels of Voyager and, to a much lesser extent, Ds9, which had respectively eroded the mainstream audience. You need more than die hard fans to carry a show and with each subsequent sequel they delivered more of the same song and dance. Watching an episode of Voyager, or even Enterprise at times, always felt like an episode of TNG…same aesthetics, same music, same story structure etc. People, and I’m talking about the mainstream viewing audience, and even some of the fan base, simply grew tired of it.

I feel the same way as Brannon. Enterprise was fresh and fun. I didnt want another show which took place in the TNG/DS9/VOY era. And the new movie going back to kirks time is a little unoriginal. I LOVE Enterprise for the reasons he states, it was fresh, fun, and closer to our time. I really hope a new TV series will cover an era we have not explored, somewhere between Kirk and TNG era or 100 years past TNG. The Xindi arc was awesome, and the last season was crammed full of great episodes, the WWII arc, the explanation of the Klingon ridges, the Vulcan awakening, the augments, the mirror universe. It was damn juicy!

I am hoping a new TV series will capture the essence of TOS but add some flare, just like how the new Battlestar is nothing like the old one or Stargate Universe is nothing like Atlantis or SG1. With todays tech, todays issues, we could have an awesome new trek TV series.

Its a treat that the Star Trek franchise has 11 movies soon to be 12 but Star Trek was always meant to be a weekly ride. Waiting 2,3, even 4 years just to catch a two hour glimpse of Star Trek at a movie theatre is to put it bluntly maddening!!!

#19 – Kahn 2.0:

Ever since I heard about that concept, I’ve thought the same thing. That would have been PERFECT.

I think B&B were afraid to write the Romulan War for fear of a Human seeing a Romulan since that would go against canon. Good writers would have been able to find a way around that. Enterprise should have been about the Romulan War and the founding of the Federation after that.

I just don’t get why people hate on STE. Those same people probably love DS9, which I have bought a couple seasons on DVD but just can’t get into it, it’s pure pain to watch, so damn boring to each his own i guess.

My biggest problem with ENT was the writing and how, for some characters and episodes, it was hit or miss. The acting was good to excellent as were the special effects and sets. I thoroughly enjoyed the characters Trip, Malcolm, Phlox and Hoshi but I really didn’t like or care about the main characters, Archer and T’Pol. The completely dropped the ball on Travis giving him a line or two each week at the end. The same probably could be said about Hoshi and to a lesser extent Malcolm. What a waste. That show had potential especially with Bakula, a very good actor playing a pivotal character but they simply didn’t know how to write for him or his character. I imagined him a courageous captain, ethical and moral, and a strong leader who lead by example. Now he’s thrust into situations that no human has been placed in before with “damned if you do, damned if you don’t” dilemmas the norm. In most, his struggle ends in success. In others, there are extreme consequences that rear their ugly heads later in the season or even later in the series. Then he must fix his mistakes, do what is right, and move forward for the sake of humanity and its new relationships.

DS9 and BSG did the relationship part better than any scifi show I know. Each character had a well-defined and unique relationship with each main character as well as some peripheral ones. I credit Ronald D. Moore with this success and I look forward to his next series.

I agree that TNG – ENT were shows that had some problems, in terms of our preferences about what we wanted to see and what we didn’t want to see. But, honestly, this poor guy can’t talk about Star Trek without getting beaten up. It’s fairly obvious that Braga didn’t think of working on Trek as just a job. After working on the TNG series and films, he probably could have moved on to other things easily, but he chose to stay with Trek. He stayed and persevered. He may have missed the mark at times, but who doesn’t?

I for one, am grateful to Mr Braga for his contribution to Trek Canon. I loved TOS, TNG and ENTERPRISE and these are the only series that I own on DVD / BLU-RAY.

To me Star Trek was always about 3 things – a triumvirate of main characters,(Kirk-Spock-McCoy, Picard-Riker-Data and Archer-Trip-T’pol) introducing the audience to new philosophies through alien of the week and a starship called Enterprise.

Sorry but DS9 just showed me how Paramount could bugger up “Babylon 5”, which had a much more thought through war arc than the Dominion ever was ……
Voyager proved that the bastard son of the marriage between “Gilligan’s Island” and “Lost in Space” couldn’t work in a Trek setting either.

Whether other posters in this forum think Braga blew it or not is irrelevant! He co-wrote some of Trek’s finest hours of the last 20 years, was paid truckloads of money by Paramount and got to go home with Jeri Ryan each night.


Allthough I wonder if they had continued Enterprise would they have done the Romulan War and tied the Xindi War into that. They could have had the Xindi help Earth during the Romulan War for remorse after finding out they were lied to by the Guardians.

Janeway: “Crew, I’d like you to meet 7 of 9…..can someone get the young lady a uniform? No uniforms left huh? OK then let’s just replicate some silver spandex and put her to work.”

I know it didn’t happen that way but I’ve never understood (other than the sex appeal part of it) why Trek insisted on being blatantly obvious when it came to the these types of roles. 7, T’pol and Troi should all have been in uniform.

@36: Desstruxion

Exactly. I mean, why did the Maquis such as Chakotay and BeLanna Torres get Starfleet uniforms but not 7 0f 9?

Interesting read, nothing really new I guess. I don’t think, frankly, that Braga was the right person to inherit the franchise. He was a good contributor, but certainly wasn’t an innovator. Both Berman and Braga were good at delivering Trek on budget and on time, but creatively, after a point (1995ish?) were just stunted.

#36 :: Agreed. From DS9, Dax and Kira (who I’ll say are the socially accepted definition of aesthetically pleasing) both were in uniform throughout the series and I certainly wouldn’t say that was any degradation of sex appeal. If you try to make the physical sex appeal too obvious and cram it down the audience’s throat, it’s all they can think about. If a character’s going to be part of the crew they should fit it. Let the “sexiness” speak for itself. It’s much more enticing when it’s not so obvious.

Enterprise had some of the greatest Eps pf Star Trek. Simitude and In a Mirrior Darkly and E2. The last Season of Enterprise as pretty much everyone who has seen says that it was the best. I wish they would have had Manny Cotto start Enterprise and if he had 7 seasons would have been an easy thing. Also the Music of the show was Terrible. On youtube there are a couple of Alternate Openings that they did produce but did not use. To bad it would have set a much better tone.

These guys produced years of good Trek, and certin elements of the fan base won’t let them forget the failures. I may not agree with everything they did, but they kept Trek in the public eye for close to 20 years – no small feat!

i wonder what stuff a season 5 of Enterprise wouldve thrown up (or even season 6 and 7 too)

– Shatner as Kirk (Mirror Kirk or some time travel thing or even his grandpop)

– Romulan War

– a flashfoward last ep of Archer and Tpol at the launch of the NCC 1701 (maybe with a young Spock)

Every time I think about what Voyager could have been, it’s potential, I get so frustrated. Reading this has reminded me of that. While I do like Voyager, I wonder what it could have been if they really went there with risk, danger and “realness.” Voyager could have been so amazing. Urgggh!

@29 – i’ll go one further….What if Star Trek VI in 1991 had been part 1 of a two parter leading into TNGs 1st movie in 1994?? – VI ending on a cliff hanger with the supposed destruction of 1701-A and the loss of all hands as Enterprise was blasted into the time distortion as Chang fired a huge final volley at her. The Federation President is therefore assassinated and all hell breaks loose leading to war with the klingons. Last scene of Trek VI could have been Kirk seeing the Ent D on the viewer…’to be continued..’

Then Generations opens with Picard and Co encountering Kirk and Co and the badly damaged Enterprise A in the war-torn alternate time line of the 24th century..(they did something similar to that in fairly recent comics ‘The Last Generation’)

@42. Those are some great ideas. Pity we’ll never see them.

The best way to “save” Voyager would have been to have them come home ASAP and take up where DS9 left off. Both TNG and DS9 exited with an active Alpha Quadrant with many untold stories left in it. I found 7 of 9 interesting, for sure. Bring her along!

Instead, Voyager just hammered the Borg into the ground as it pooped out its last few seasons. Some gems in there, of course, but too obvious.

Bring Back Star Trek Enterprise and have it set a few monthes before the Star of the Romulan War and the founding of the Federation.

#14: “Clearly I’m the only one who liked the Xindi arc. No, I didn’t like it – I loved it. I thought they were some of the most interesting aliens as a collective culture since DS9’s Dominion.”

i agree with you about the xindi. with all of his “sex talk” in various interviews over the years, i always thought brannon braga was kind of lame, and his true motivations behind bringing jeri ryan on board voyager became clear…at least to me. but when it comes to enterprise, i am actually going to give him some love this time… i completely agree with him about the 3rd and 4th seasons of enterprise. yes, the audience had grown tired with the series; but creatively, the series had finally started to grow. i wanted so much to see how that group of writers (and the show’s characters) would create the federation.


I detect a hint that you think they were the downfall of star trek?

IF so I disagree. Enterprise is a great show that i never watched till 4 years after it ended. I only wish I had watched it while on tv to help boost ratings.

I think there are 2 reasons why Enterprise “failed”

#1 Star trek was sachurated all over tv and on the big screen.

#2 The main factor I believe is that a Prequel is inharently opposit of what Star Trek’s main theme is, and that is to move forward to better ourselves. Prequels are a step back ward and that is why I did not watch enterprise when it came out. Although enterprise was a great series.

What are your thoughts Mr Balls?

“Enterprise” in my opinion was a good show. I really liked Captain Archer, who was well played by Scott Bakula. The rest of the cast was good as well. Seasons three and four are classics (minus “These Are The Voyages…” of course!) while the first two seasons were a bit slow.

But the best Trek ever made was……”Deep Space Nine”. That show had it all!

As for “Yesterday’s Enterprise” being saved as a big budget TOS/TNG crossover movie, I agree, though that episode did help save TNG and ended up as one of the most popular episodes of all of Trek. It was a fantastic episode, which also featured a rare female captain. Also, the idea of a TNG movie at that point was not even on the radar. The producers and studio was more concerned about the short term success of the show.