Report: Viacom And CBS Considering Re-Merging – Deal Would Bring ‘Star Trek’ Under Single Company

According to a new report in The Wrap, Viacom Corporation (parent company of Paramount Pictures) and CBS Corporation are considering merging. According to the report, Shari Redstone, who is vice-chairwoman of both companies and president of National Amusements, which holds stakes in both, is “pursuing a merger.”

Viacom spun off CBS as a separate corporation in 2005, with the new CBS also including premium cable channel Showtime and publisher Simon & Schuster. Viacom kept control of most of the cable TV channels (such as MTV, Nickelodeon, and Comedy Central) as well as Paramount Pictures.

The CBS/Viacom split also rather dramatically affected the Star Trek franchise, with Paramount retaining ownership of the film library and right to make new movies while CBS got the rest, including the TV library and rights, and consumer products licensing for anything Trek-related. Re-merging would bring the Star Trek franchise back under a single corporation, bringing the possibility of more synergy with the brand and possible future film and TV projects.

According to the report, Redstone has concluded that “a bigger footprint is necessary.” Relative to other media companies like Time Warner, Comcast and Disney, both CBS and Viacom are dwarfed in size. In recent years CBS CEO Leslie Moonves has dismissed the idea of the companies re-merging, however according to the report he is now “open to the possibility”, due to recent media company consolidation and Moonves being the most likely person to run the newly merged entity.

Les Moonves in May 2017

None of the parties involved are commenting on the record about potential merger talks, but shares of both CBS and Viacom have spiked based on the report.  If a deal does happen, it may take a while. Variety is reporting that it “is not on a fast track.”

TrekMovie will report on any updates to this developing story.


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Doesn’t matter much. Star Trek is officially in the gutter ever since Discovery came on the air.


@zillabeast So last year!

the gutter never looked so good

Yep, the gutter is awesome!

At least you know your place.

RIP Star Trek.

Why are you here? Go watch some re-reuns.

Lately, there do seem to be a lot of non-fans of Star Trek pretending to be fans here.

You mean the Discovery fans?

“Star Trek is officially in the gutter ever since Discovery came on the air.”

That was a remarkably stupid and inaccurate thing to say.

Totally accurate.
Discovery has degraded star trek form a once proud level of quality to pandering to the lowest common trump-era denominator.

Everything you disagree with is stupid and/or homophobic.

For a legit Star Trek fan, you sure are negative and closed minded.

Actually that statement is right on point. Discovery is not Star Trek. Any one here claiming that it is great has never been a real fan of Star Trek, or they would never say that.

It was on a downhill since Insurrection… Enterprise tried to revive it but you guys killed it with incessant and growingly unstable and illogical banter and nagging. So yeah, great job dude!

Maybe discovery is the new ds9, disliked during production with it being so different from tng, but became a gem in star trek later.

DS9 was not really star trek past the 3rd or 4th season & has never been as popular as any of the other Star Trek series.

Don’t feed the troll.

Exactly people. Let him simmer in the fact he/she is a petty, small person. Star Trek is not in the gutter. The Reboot movies made more than the others and Discovery ratings and reviews are extremely positive. Star Trek is far from the gutter lol.

The Star Trek Reboot movies failed to create new fans, they just got more of the old ones out than usual then lost them too- Beyond lost money remember.

The Reboot movies may have made more money, but they certainly are not Star Trek, and real Star Trek fans don’t like them or Discovery because they are not Star Trek. Saying they made more money means absolutely nothing. If it weren’t for lifelong fans of Star Trek, there would be no “franchise” or “property” to base the movies and merchandise on in the first place.

Would be awesome for Trek!

About time. Makes me wonder if they’re worked about the Fox-Disney deal (although their either aren’t TOO worried or are not trying to show worry if they aren’t fast tracking this). Not sure I want Moonves in charge. I still blame him for Enterprise’s premature demise.

This was in the works long before the FOX/Disney deal was even a glimmer in Murdoch’s eye …

CBS All Access would become a bigger player if it could combine with Viacom’s TV properties

Make it so! Give CBS Digital a chance to get their hands on TMP and do HD version of Robert Wises Directors cut. Never gonna happen with backward thinking Paramount execs.

Amen!!! I really hope a 4K Director’s Cut of TMP could be a reality some day!

This. 1,000 percent, this.

Nice to see some TMP love :)

Something that kills me is that sitting somewhere in a Paramount archive, I assume lost in all the turnover with the Viacom breakup, is a nicely restored and color corrected HD version of TMP signed off on by Robert Wise. They used that restoration to then make the Director’s Edition from it.

Of course they are- the current political atmosphere is more pro-business/anti-consumer than ever has been or will likely ever be again. And that’s a plain truth no matter which side of the political spectrum you follow.

So the traitor-in-chief Trump is the reason we’ll get Trek back under one roof? Cool–it means he’ll actually accomplish SOMETHING while in office, instead of being a complete failure.

“Fake news”.

You’re giving that idiot too much credit.

I’m sure if asked he’d take credit in a heartbeat ;-)

Lord knows he’s desperate enough right now for anything he can claim as a “win.”

*eye roll*

By making this comment, you are effectively making something that is not even close to about him, about him. He doesn’t even have to know about it and his ego grows.

Ignore the idiot, he already gets WAY too much time in the spotlight and people like you just make it that much worse. Good job.

Wait, what??

About time they got their shit together! Uh, that doesn’t mean they’d produce shit…just sayin’…

Oh, good. Then we can keep all the bad ideas in one box.

Trollin, trollin, trollin…

I think some folks at Viacom and CBS are excited about Tarantino-Trek…

Speaking of bad ideas…

This could actually impact an R rated Terantino Trek. Once the two entities are combined expect some shuffling of execs and a refocusing on various brands and franchises.

Maybe someone at Paramount is starting to realize how much money was lost with this separation of the property. Imagine the money and growth of the audience that could have been if they had been cross-promoting Star Trek since 2009. They could have been on the forefront of building a shared universe, across multiple media platforms, instead of working against each other.

You have absolutely no idea whether or not they lost any money due to the separation.

Maybe not, but ST09 was a breakout hit that was capitalized on very well.

@James — huh? If anything ST09’s success and subsequent missteps qualifies in a chapter of what not to do with a franchise in a movie marketing course …

This is almost certainly not just about re-merging the Star Trek rights.

Some of us have long discussed this here. Would make a lot of sense. Would hopefully create a more creative and cohesive film franchise, and synergy.

Star Trek should be a cinematic universe.

I’d rather they just concentrate on making a great movie first. One great movie.

TV should be its primary medium for Trek, with the films as extra feature adventures. The film format promotes action-heavy stories, which is exactly what a lot of Trek fans and alleged Trek “fans” have largely been trashing for years (Nemesis, the Abrams films, now Discovery). It’s television, serialized or episodic, that allows Trek to take on character development as well as more thoughtful and challenging topics.

It was! At least compared to what else was going on in the 90s and 2000s. Its weird how Star Trek was a shared universe before most people even heard the name and now that everyone is doing one one of the biggest franchises on the planet has taken a huge step backwards with it.

If anything, Berman held the reins back on even more integration between TV and film because Trek was already doing more of it than anyone else and thought it might alienate casual audiences.

Well sure to an extent but thats just common sense because they didn’t want to include too much stuff from the TV shows into the films because not everyone who watched the films watched all the shows. That said the shows were certainly acknowledged like mentioning the Dominion war or having character cameos like the Doctor or Janeway. But my point is what other franchises back then integrated various films and TV shows like Star Trek ever did?

Even today you look at MCU that everyone knows as a shared universe from the start and while it integrates its films, they completely ignore the TV shows from the films which upsets a lot of fans. They don’t even reference characters from the shows as easter eggs although they do share the same universe. DC decided to separate their TV and movie division completely which is why you have two Superman’s, two Flash’s, etc although the movie side is now a shared universe and the TV side (on the CW) is one as well but the two are completely separate from each other.

My point is if Star Trek continued what they were doing from the 80s on, that universe would be a lot more integrated today. Although to be fair Star Treks is still a shared universe, even with the KT films that literally takes place in another one now but it does acknowledge the existence of the other shows and films and why we saw Prime Spock and all the Enterprise references but its really the lack of cross overs thats the real issue. And thats clearly because Paramount and CBS want their products to feel more separate. In fact I read somewhere the Discovery uniforms are so different from TOS because CBS didn’t want people to connect it to the KT films in any way. I don’t know if thats true or not but wouldn’t surprise me either.

We may get a Discovery movie years down the line then.

How was the split ever a good idea? It was so obvious these media companies were on the path to further consolidation. Viacom had the chance to at least buy Marvel and slow the domination of Disney, and they festered instead.

Viacom a new ever going to buy Marvel. Firstly, Viacom hasn’t had a billion dollar acquisition since Comedy Central in 2003. Second, nobody valued Marvel the way Disney did: remember that at the time of purchase Marvel had only one successful film under its belt (Iron Man).

Marvel wasn’t looking to sell, either: Disney simply took a risk and made them an offer they couldn’t refuse. Marvel’s CEO even said he didn’t want to sell at all, but he was promised that the company would remain autonomous, something few companies would have allowed after such a massive buy.

Disney gambled at just the right time; a few years later and they’d have had to pay twice the amount they paid, if Marvel would even have been willing to sell at all.

Also worth mentioning that Marvel was more valuable to Disney than Viacom because they offered the one thing Disney lacked: franchises for boys.

Viacom already had Transformers, GI Joe, Mission Impossible, Star Trek, and Indiana Jones (the value of which goes beyond just new movie releases but into licensing, toys, etc).

Disney had only Pirates, and flops like Lone Ranger, John Carter, Prince of Persia, and Chronicles of Narnia.

Disney is also a much bigger company, who could afford the $4b price tag without flinching: Paramount has a total equity of 4.5 billion.

Disneys total equity is 45 billion.

People need to stop with this idea that CBS or Viacom are screwing up because they’re not doing what Disney is doing.

Nobody can do what Disney does.

Disney will fall from grace one day… I can feel it…

So can America. But it will probably be so far away I don’t think Disney is too worried. And what’s funny there was talk that Disney was doing just that just a few years ago with big profile flops like John Carter and Lone Ranger. But the studio easily roared back and now makes billions every year thanks to Marvel, Star Wars, Pixar and their own animation unit. It has found a formula that appeals to all demographics with the various franchises so even when one flounders a bit the others easily picks up the slack. I don’t think any other company has so many dependable franchises like Disney does. We certainly acknowledge Paramount doesn’t.

Disney has always had its ups and downs. After “Mary Poppins” in 1964 it went into decline with no big hit movies, just lots of so-so live-action or mixed live-action/animation movies like “Bedknobs and Broomsticks”, “Pete’s Dragon” and “The Apple Dumpling Gang”. The “Disney Renaissance” began in 1988 with the huge success of “The Little Mermaid” and ran through the ’90s, after which most of their hit movies were actually from subsidiary Pixar. And then came “Frozen”…

This is an exciting thought…just not with Moonves in charge. The day that guy retires or is forced out will be a happy day.

@Wesley — uh, right … Boot out the guy who built a massive organization with successful market growth and substantial profits? Not gonna happen. What exactly has he done that incurs your ire?

Having worked on shows, worked with, and being friends with many who have had experience under his leadership, let’s just say that there are reasons.

That. Yup.

I suspect that Wesley has heard a few things…

Yes, please.

If it does happen, It sounds like it is proceeding at the pace of a slow crawl.
I am not holding my breath.

Hopefully this deal would effectively kill the JJ-verse.

@CaptJWAmick — given Moonves and Abrams relationship, Bad Robot’s first-look deal with Paramount would likely be dead, and They would likely be out as producers of any new projects given their increasing inability to stick to a budget, and work with Studios. So, rather than continuing to pay royalties to BR to produce their vision of Trek, Moonves would likely seek a new team of producers and a complete reboot that is incorporated into an integrated franchise which capitalizes on synergy, rather than a lack of it, as Star Wars and Marvel have done.

You are assuming that “they” would want a complete reboot. Most likely, they would build upon STD, rather than continue with the Kelvin Timeline.

The proof is in the product.
STID was awful; plagerism. ‘09 and STB were good, but depended heavily on what the fans take INTO the theatre in order to achieve the emotional beats. I really think TV is the best place for Trek, whether online or broadcast; many episodes with character development (which is not the same thing as killing characters in the movies. AHEM)

We don’t need to be kind about what’s been good and bad about the split universe but what we can take away from it is the simple truth that the original Star Trek idea does work and yet does need to be updated and have variations. Star Trek’s life is the beneficiary of the film going audience taking to the idea that a TV series even could be a film, let alone a first rate Hollywood production. So there has always been the pressure on something medium-sized to become big. I was just looking at the lists of fanzines from the 1970s, and the variations on Star Trek they offered. That’s how we should be thinking. Features, Long arc (but limited run) TV, and perhaps Star Wars Rebels-type animated shows (for kids but pretty adult). Star Trek Academy could really be perfect for animated kids television. Someone at CBS Paramount must have vaults of these proposals.

I wouldn’t be surprised to see Discovery on the Paramount Network, with the previous season debuting just prior to the premiere of the new season. Good for All Access and Paramount Network, allowing the show to reach more viewers while driving additional subscribers to All Access.

Makes sense with the Disney purchase of Fox. For Star Trek, I guess it could mean a rethink because they could reunify the TV and film series. Maybe the Discovery will join the Kelvin Universe for season three or the (dramatically more advanced) Kelvin Enterprise could join the Prime Universe at a later point via events in Discovery…

Paramount seems to be on its deathbed. Who wants to get in bed with the dead.

I wouldn’t mind spending the night with helena bonham carter. ;-)

Can I have Season 5 of Enterprise now…?

It’s only been a 13 year wait for normal service to be resumed!

Do the Earth-Romulan War.

If true, perhaps it could help the aesthetic choices of Discovery to be more in line with the TOS and still be modern.

Discovery is far from my fav Trek show at the moment and I think it is missing the heart, but if it tied in better and brought some more hope rather than this direction which seems like a Frankenstein monster assembly then it can become a good show.

Moonbeam must have a different definition of “game changer” it usually has a positive meaning.

What happens when you combine two unsatisfying approaches to Trek into one, unified approach?

I’m no tasteologist, but, in terms of Trek product, my guess is that this merger would yield the opposite of a Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup: two unsatisfying tastes that taste unsatisfying together.

Seems like there should be a Snickers component to this analogy: CBS/Viacom really doesn’t satisfy. Bah, that’s terrible. Well, one shouldn’t expect a satisfying joke to be inspired by an unsatisfying product. That’s like the Reese’s calling the Snickers black. Man, that was even worse. How about one set to the Klondike bar jingle: What would you do for a good Trek show? Would you bark like a dog!?!

Yes, I’d bark like a dog.

Darn it, now you went and made me hungry for Resse’s peanut butter cups and Snickers!

…or you could re-do the recipe with the right combination.


…or you could re-do the recipe with the right combination.

It’s not the ingredients; it’s the chef(s). ;-)

Compare how Star Wars with much less content (less movies, less TV shows, etc) has been so much more successful (financially, bigger fan base, better collectibles) than Star Trek…why ? due to better management…

Re-integrating is a good start.. but we need a new Star Trek animated series to appeal to younger folks, and Star Trek Discovery is Not Family Friendly… it just isn’t…

and the JJ Abrams universe is just a star trek derivative.

maybe Disney would be a better manager for Star Trek..who else agrees ?

Not after “The Last Jedi”. Awful, awful movie.

This is great news for Star Trek

Three years ago, I had a vision this day would come. We might get new special longer versions/ Director’s Cuts of Star Trek I, II, III, V, and VI on a 4K scan and 4k format. II has footage Nicholas Meyer forgot like Savik revealed as half Romulan, Sulu gets promoted to the Excelsior, David almost killing Kirk on the floor,Kirk screams at Khan more, Mc Coy repairs Checkovs ear in sickbay, Khan drops to the floor dead after quoting Moby Dick, Khan’s baby son is seen on ceti alpha V, and seen next to the Genesis device right before detonation, more Enterprise exterior shots, etc. Why has Paramount kept this a secret for over 30 Damn years!!
The fans have the right see a completed directors version.
V is the one we want redone at Shatners denied request by paramount in 2003.
Also, we might get Nick Meyers secret project for a new Trek show as well.
Keep hoping.

Scott M. Well said my friend. I particularly, would love to see The director’s cut of Robert Wise’s movie. I mean..we are talking about one of the great directors, The Sound of Music, The Day the Earth Stood Still- and the list does on. Please, please Paramount

Great, they stayed apart just long enough to destroy Star Trek

So, does anyone at CBS realize that Star Trek fans already see behind the mirrors and know that STD is not really doing all that well? Subscriber numbers spiked in the beginning because there was allegedly a new Star Trek series that was supposed to be awesome. Instead, we got some nonsensical exploding lensflared garbage with a psychopath as it’s main character. How many of those initial subscribers have stayed on? What are the viewership numbers? EVERYONE knows by now that the fans hate this show. You can read hundreds of thousands of negative comments on it, and you can also easily spot the paid shills and social media analysts peppering comment sections with positive reviews and trying DESPERATELY to pump up this turd and create “buzz” for it. LMAO! And no, we are not going to start calling it “Disco” (yeah, we saw the dumb shirts and the onboard disco in the show).

You guys better fix Star Trek quick before The Orville grabs all of us Trek fans for good. And I don’t mean STD. That is already done for.

Wow! One franchise with a trinity-canon again under one roof. And I was THIS close to forget about Lens-Flare Trek…