CBS CEO Explains How ‘Star Trek: Discovery’ Would Be Different On Network TV

Les Moonves at Star Trek: Discovery premiere in 2017

This week CBS CEO Leslie Moonves spoke at the Morgan Stanley Technology, Media & Telecom Conference in San Francisco. When he talked about the CBS Corporation’s strategy, much of the discussion covered the various CBS direct-to-consumer offerings including CBS All Access, home of Star Trek: Discovery. We have highlights from that below and also news from the CEO of Viacom’s talk.

How Star Trek fans helped All Access and why Discovery isn’t on Netflix in the US

Discussing the launch of All Access and why they anchored it with Star Trek: Discovery, Moonves explained:

For All Access, obviously we are starting a new pay service, and we were offering our existing series and catch-up on current seasons and old seasons, but it was important to have original content. And what better way to get people to pay for the first time than offering Star Trek? It is a built-in fanbase that was pretty emphatic and not averse to paying for what they are getting.

Later during the presentation, Moonves noted how the decision to have Star Trek on All Access meant they gave up on short term money, but he felt it was worth it to help grow the streaming service:

We could have sold [Star Trek] to Netflix for a whole lot of money, but you can be darn sure that All Access wouldn’t be doing as well as its doing.

If they launched new Star Trek on CBS Network, it wouldn’t be serialized

The CEO went on to note that there were many choices for where they could launch a new Star Trek series, including possibly on the CBS Television Network. However, he also noted that the choice of All Access dictated the style of the show:

Star Trek could have gone on CBS, it could have gone on Showtime, it could have gone directly to Netflix instead of just international, for a lot of money. There is a distinction. The Good Fight is a spin-off of a successful CBS show. It is sort of different on All Access, they can be serialized. On CBS we try to avoid that generally. Network television generally works better when it is not serialized.

More original programming coming to All Access, Twilight Zone may debut in late-2018

As for the future of content for All Access, the CEO pledged “There is no question we are going to invest in more programming.” He also noted that currently Showtime has moved to launching new original programming every month to “reduce the churn” and expected the amount of original programming to increase for All Access:

On All Access, Star Trek: Discovery was a major hit. A lot of those subs are because of that show. We also have The Good Fight, which is The Good Wife spin-off, which is doing very well. We have a bunch of new stuff. By next year we should have five or six originals on the air. We continue to plan on having three or four new ones every single year. We are going to have a second season of Star Trek: Discovery. We have The Twilight Zone coming up, I think that is in the fall or early winter, which we are excited about. And there are a number of other things. You are going to see us ramp up that and as part of that we expect to ramp up subscribers.

Besides the three shows Moonves mentioned (Discovery, The Good Fight and The Twilight Zone), All Access has already announced a second season of the comedy No Activity and has another three scripted dramas set to debut: $1, Strange Angel, and Tell Me a Story. The second season of The Good Fight starts this Sunday.

Besides Moonves’ estimate of a fall release for The Twilight Zone, no dates have been given for other series, including the second season of Discovery which begins production in April. $1 starts production this month in Pittsburgh and Strange Angel is in pre-production with many roles recently cast.

Star Trek: Discovery will be joined by more and more programming on All Access

Viacom launching streaming service

Speaking at the same conference this week was Bob Bakish, CEO of Viacom, the parent company of Paramount Pictures, who own the Star Trek feature films. While CBS and Viacom are considering re-merging, Viacom is still mapping out its own strategy, and that includes planning their own direct-to-consumer streaming service.

Bakish didn’t get too into the details, but did outline how Viacom was entering the streaming space this year, saying:

Later in the year, you’ll hear about the product we’re going to launch that leverage [our] assets, including over 10,000 hours of library product which we’re going to implement on a direct to-consumer basis in a differentiated way that we believe leverages not only our library assets, but also our ad sales capabilities… I realize that sounds kind of cryptic, but it’s an opportunity we’re excited about and you will hear more about it later in the year

While much of Viacom’s library is dominated by the content from their popular cable channels like Comedy Central, MTV and BET, it’s also possible they are looking to leverage the Paramount film library as well. Disney is another studio that has recently announced they are going their own way, launching their own streaming service, and Viacom may be following suit. It’s possible this future service could offer some or all of the 13 Star Trek feature films.

Star Trek: Discovery is available exclusively in the USA on CBS All Access. It airs in Canada on the Space Channel and is available on Netflix everywhere else.

Keep up with all the Star Trek: Discovery news at TrekMovie.

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“Network television generally works better when it is not serialized.” Oh, really? Does Mr. Moonves not consider Deep Space Nine to be canon Star Trek? It was (highly but not totally) serialized, and imho it is the BEST of the Star Trek series. Then again, this IS the guy who handed down the order to cancel Star Trek: Enterprise, so it doesn’t exactly surprise me the guy’s not exactly working on all thrusters. Just sayin’.

DS9 was syndicated. Only Voyager and Enterprise (and TOS) were on network television.

DS9 was not on network television. I was syndicated.


Deep Space nine, once it became serialized, only averaged about 5m viewers per episode. Which at the time was pretty bad.

For some context, 5.5m in 1996 puts it around 130th in the ratings, right around The Munroes, Malibu Shores, and Local Heroes, none of which got a second season.

…and it was still at or near the top of the syndicated drama ratings right to the end. And it outrated Voyager, which was not serialized, and was on a network.

Wow this is one of the most naive comments I’ve seen in a while.

First run dramas? You realize TNG was, quite literally, one of the very first first run syndicated dramas. DS9 was indeed among the top rated first run syndicated dramas, but in 1996 we’re talking about maybe 15 or 20 shows it competed with. Those shows?

Renegade, Psi Factor, Relic Hunter, High Tide, Earth Final Conflict.

Shows like Baywatch, Hercules, and Xena all topped DS9, by the way.

As for Voyager, you’re talking about a terrible show on a brand new network. Saying it got bad ratings while being standalone stories is to oversimplify the issue. Moonves is saying that non-serialization on network tv is a more traditional and successful model, not that serialization means a show will be bad or do well.

I agree it’s a poor assumption and quality should definitely be paramount (no pun intended) but for whatever reason, stock holders, advertisers, and perhaps even audiences, respond better to mass-market tv when it’s not serialized. SeriLized storytelling, I think he’s saying, is for the more dedicated viewer rather than the casual watcher, and on that I would agree.

Actually, Space: 1999 in 1975-1976 was arguably the earliest and most successful original syndicated drama on TV., and demonstrated that a big-budget TV show (the largest of any drama at the time, actually) could be successful off-network.

@Marvin — Yup. And they really screwed the pooch as the second season was airing while Star Wars was becoming a box office phenomenon in the theaters — yet nobody thought renewing it for a third season might be a good idea under the circumstances. It was literally the only sci-fi show, in production and airing on a syndicated television network, and reasonably successful, able to take full immediate advantage of the Star Wars phenomenon. But I guess it was too late as Freddy Frieberger had already killed it too …

Your comment about my being naive was unnecessary.

In seasons 5 and 6, DS9 duked it out for 2nd and 3rd place amongst first run syndicated dramas with the younger flavors of the moment, Xena and Hercules. In season 7, it returned to #1. It was never outrated by Baywatch. The first-run syndicated market was already shrinking and did not last long after DS9 ended. Local stations were continually pushing DS9 to worse timeslots, the show was not getting proper promotion, and certainly was never the beneficiary of consistency nationwide. Paramount had cut out the middlemen, but it was falling victim to the whims of dozens of TV stations doing whatever they liked with the show they bought.

You compare that with the platform Voyager had, and it’s night and day. I don’t care if it was a mini network; UPN was free, it was in most major markets, it afforded a higher visibility for Voyager than syndication offered DS9. Proving UPN’s reach, Voyager debuted to 20 million viewers. Voyager had a consistent timeslot every week. It had the power of a network’s promotional muscle. It had better publicity than DS9, Kate Mulgrew and then Jeri Ryan were talk show staples. Its sweeps stunts attracted plenty of eyeballs, and they left the next week.

If we’re accepting the idea that DS9 had better ratings than Voyager because it was a better show, then the serialization is a part of that. It can’t be discounted that some of the loyalty of viewership that kept the show steadier than Hercules and Xena by 1998 (in a much rougher distribution model than Voyager’s) was in part due to a collective invested interest in the ongoing story.

I’m not even disagreeing that story of the week shows often don’t do well on the networks, but look at the drivel they produce compared to the myriad of shows on cable which embrace building storytelling. And 24, Lost, Empire, This Is Us, Designated Survivor and The Good Wife are all prominent examples of big four series which leaned pretty hard into the serialized approach and came away with great ratings and longevity. I think the generalization and condescension towards TV audiences which Moonves expressed is as naive as I apparently am. The networks are a dying empire being picked to pieces by pay TV, premium channels and streaming services, and All-Access is a lifeline being rather crassly cast into our wallets, but that antiquated attitude towards audiences is part of the problem.

“And 24, Lost, Empire, This Is Us, Designated Survivor and The Good Wife are all prominent examples of big four series which leaned pretty hard into the serialized approach and came away with great ratings and longevity”

The West Wing, too.

“As for Voyager, you’re talking about a terrible show on a brand new network.”

Although one of the reasons it was terrible was that the premise demanded serialization, but the writers wouldn’t touch it with a ten-foot batleth.

“Although one of the reasons it was terrible was that the premise demanded serialization, but the writers wouldn’t touch it with a ten-foot batleth.”

Which, in their defense, was a network note. “Year of Hell,” for example, was planned to last for weeks. Braga didn’t get to revisit that idea until Enterprise season 3, when there was not much to lose anymore.

This is what gets lost, is not the writers that was against the idea, it was the network. DS9 proved that point because it got more leeway to do what it wanted being syndicated so they allowed it. But UPN was afraid it would lose viewers if they missed a few episodes and got lost in the story so it stayed that way.

Of course network TV is basically the opposite, especially with sci fi. However that is due to the fact we can watch an episode basically anytime we want, which is Moonves point with AA. If Voyager was on AA it would probably be a very different show back then.

…but then UPN made the serialized Veronica Mars and that was one of the few shows which had enough momentum to get ported over to the CW. And it’s impossible to prove, but if “Enterprise” had the kind of fan and critical support it clawed back for its serialized third and fourth seasons from the start, then maybe it would have outlasted UPN as well.
Moonves’s argument is a condescending slight towards TV audiences. While not every story-of-the-week type show is bad, so many of them do come across as very lazy and inconsequential. Moonves is making a tired observation to justify not challenging audiences, basically saying the average joe can’t appreciate anything headier than The Big Bang Theory or NCIS. This only a few years after his own network’s (moderately serialized) The Good Wife was the last big four show sitting at the Best Drama Emmy table and a Top 30 series. If a show is good and supported right, it can do well. All Moonves is proving is that a show can be bad but self-contained every week and still make money.


Could you please clarify this… “Of course network TV is basically the opposite, especially with sci fi. However that is due to the fact we can watch an episode basically anytime we want, which is Moonves point with AA. If Voyager was on AA it would probably be a very different show back then.”

It sounds like that paragraph is contradicting the first paragraph a bit. What am I reading wrong here?

I meant serialization is much easier on television today because now its easier to find an episode if you miss one since they all have their own websites with their shows for viewing you can go back to and watch. Its very different even in UPNs day because all there was was the aired network meaning if you missed an episode you would have to wait for the rerun to show up and it was no telling when that would happen.

Today thats just isn’t an issue. Majority of network and cable shows usually drop the episode on their website the next day and most of these sites keep their shows up for several weeks until after the season is over, if not longer. THat of course depends on the deal they have with Netflix or Hulu.

But its easier than ever to keep up with a TV show. I mean my entire DVR content can be viewed on my phone. Its just so easy to watch a TV show and the networks take advantage of that promoting all these ways to view them.

Ok. Clear now. No argument from me.


Plus let’s be clear about serialization since the people wanting to whine will manipulate what is being said. DS9 was somewhat serialized. Discovery is heavily serialized. There is a big difference.

In fact, if someone said DS9 had a common storyline but was otherwise not serialized I’d accept that. There were elements of TNG that evolved over time as well. Just as with most sitcoms etc. Most shows are not entirely “evergreen”.

The serialization of Discovery compared to DS9 is quite obviously different and Les was speaking in general terms about the programming on CBS Network and how they’d be more likely to produce a show as “general audience-ready” as possible.

His comments further don’t make sense given that Discovery wasn’t released in one block like many Netflix/streaming shows, but released weekly just like a network show.

It’s actually your comment that doesn’t make sense. Just think a little bit harder. Because despite when they were released all the existing episodes were readily available When you sign up, which is the point here, you’re not watching a random episode, not plopped into the middle of a serialized story when you turn on the telly.

Funny how some people are still stuck in the past and not recognizing the fundamental differences between television and streaming. Smdh.

Yes, we all know Discovery CBS can do no wrong in your perfect world. Yawn.

Yeah, so true, which is why streaming does have a huge advantage because WHENEVER you sign up, you can start from the beginning of a show. Not true if you are watching traditional TV. You can only watch whatever current season its in.

And it also proved wrong to all the ridiculous naysayers on the internet who kept suggesting All Access would ‘hold back’ episodes of Discovery or only show a few episodes every month to get people to keep subscribing. It was an idiotic argument and one I remember arguing with someone on this board. CBS WANTS you to watch all of them and they can’t get new viewers if you have to wait months to watch from the beginning again. Thats the whole point of streaming sites, that you can binge entire seasons and AA is no different.

Its nice we can just rewatch the season in its entirety at any time.


It sounds very much like El Chup has a full understanding of the concept of streaming. Regardless of his conclusion he is correct in that STD is being treated like it was a standard network show and not a streaming show. It is releasing episodes weekly, like a network show. It even had a mid season break like a network show. and the serialized nature is not something that current over the air networks are shying away from. There are tons of shows with season long story arcs now days. And if you decide to DVR the show then you can tap into it and rewatch whenever you like. It seems disingenuous of you to rip him for being “stuck in the past” (which often seems to be the go to put down anytime someone questions the value of putting Trek on a streaming only site) when he has indeed fully grasped the current streaming climate.

I dont think you know what “Network Show” means.

His comments were not meant to be taken as Gospel. It was generalities.

Same can be said of The Walking Dead which isnt a Network show either but is on cable. Along with Mad Men how many people watched AMC for the first time to see Mad Men, Breaking Bad or TWD?

Yikes, kinda embarrassing to be so harsh towards Mr. Moonves and at the same time, know not of what you speak. Just sayin’.

He also didn’t say all network shows. He said generally. Many shows are not serialized but have elements that evolve over time. He’s clearly referring to the major serialization where every episode is part of the whole story.

Fascinating. I hope the next television incarnation of “Star Trek” after “Discovery” would air on the CBS network and take place sometime after 2002’s “Nemesis.”

I hope not.

I think that ship has sailed, I’m afraid.

…Why? The Next Gen actors have moved on, and STO IS post-NEM.

Well he wasn’t talking about the actors or characters from TNG only that the next show is in that time period which many people obviously want. And not everyone plays STO. I have been a fan since the 80s, not once has I ever been on that site. And its not canon anyway.


It would be crazy to make another prequel. Enough of that already. Star Trek is about future and going forward, telling compelling and cerebral stories with interesting and likeable characters. None of which is STD. We need a 25th century future Star Trek (and beyond). And I sincerely hope they completely get rid of the current (un)creative team of STD. Hire someone who knows what they’re doing and *how* to make proper Star Trek.

@quantum47 — source for the claim Star Trek is about telling stories sequentially after the last story they told?

would be cool to see a Star Trek Online-based show with Captain Va’kel Shon and crew of the Enterprise-F. Or of Captain Ezri Dax and the crew of the Aventine.

Shon’s a poser, I did all the work he gets the glory for.

I would like that too since I’m more interested in going forward instead of back but I don’t think it would make a huge difference with the current team. My guess is you would probably not like the show much either way.

I’m not really as hard on them because I think they had more good ideas than bad but I think they relied too much on crazy plot twists and just a bit too dark. I think if they relaxed on both of those next season and told more stories of actual exploration it will be a little better.

wish I would’ve heard something about more Trek content on CBS AA. Waiting a year between seasons will loose them money because there isn’t anything on there I want to watch but Disco

That’s not really what you’d call a loss in business. In this case, they know full well that when the season ends, most subscribers would drop out. Those expected losses were surely figured into their financial plan.

If it takes a full year to create another high quality season– a season that would garner more subscribers– then it could very well be worth it. Rushing out another season just to keep the ratings from dropping, at the expense of quality, is exactly the kind of decision making fans have been lamenting for decades. Putting profits first and quality last.

Not only is it bad for the fans, but also bad for longevity, as 90s Trek proved when the studio just kept pumping out new show after new show with no time to catch their breaths and make sure they were of the highest quality.

With quality marketing, the fans will come back, whether there’s one year or five between seasons. Fans are going to come back for Westworld, a year and a half after season one ended.

Yes, they could have decided to fast track a season two of Discovery to keep subscribers from dropping out. But again, is that the kind of decision making you want?

Yes, quality first … after abruptly firing the showrunner, hiring two soap opera hacks in his place, and slapping together a nonsensical season of head-scratching embarrassment.

You do know that it was Bryan Fuller who hired Aaron Harberts and Gretchen Berg, right? After having worked with them on both Wondefalls and Pushing Daisies.

I’m guessing you didn’t.

Still doesn’t mean they were ready or inspiring enough to do this job. Being hired to be a lieutenant isn’t the same as being hired to come up with the overarching vision for a tv show.

You were clearly watching a different show.

Thank you!
My opinion exactly!

I think a 10 month hiatus between seasons is tòo long myself…


I agree. 10 months between seasons is far too long. There are cable shows on short seasons that have huge breaks that I find too long as well. STD’s break will be longer than theirs. Of course, if the show is of the same dubious quality in season 2 as 1, then they can feel free to take as much time as they wish…

In your expert opinion, taking into account the pre & post production required on an effects heavy show, plus the scheduling decisions that need to be made, when should it relaunch?

Also, you must not have watched the Sopranos! (I know you didnt, because it was on that lousy cash grab HBO lol)

I subscribed to All Access for a lot more than Discovery, and I am certainly not cancelling my subscription. I enjoy a lot of CBS shows, several that aren’t streaming anywhere else, and the ones that do don’t release a season until the next one starts. Due to goegraphic issues I cannot recieve broadcast tv so I would be unable to watch many of these shows without All Access.

Who Cares,

Glad CBSAA works for you and helps you get access to content you normally could not get. That is the situation where streaming can really be a plus. For most folks, access to CBS over the air is rather simple and easy and apart from Trek, the streaming service leaves much to be deisired.

You must have hated when betamax was phased out. And my God the investment you made in laser discs. whoops. Blu Ray? Meh, I still have VHS. Streaming? What’s that?

Your overestimating Trek’s appeal to the general audience, NCIS has dwarfed Trek’s best ratings for over a decade. Broadcast TV also has interference from weather, commercials, live news alert interruptions, pro sports running long and cutting off part of the episode. Of those All Access only has Limited Commercials if you choose not to go commercial free like I have.

Well frankly it would be a show I’d feel comfortable showing my young son, at least.

I’m an adult. I want an adult show.

He was talking about his son.

And Moonves was not talking about his son.

Star Trek isn’t just for you. Some long term Trek fans like to pass their love for the franchise down to their children.

It’s debatable whether or not you can say Discovery is child friendly with it’s pointless attempt to ape other shows with it’s gore and profanity. It’s a shame because you tale those elements out, which so far have added nothing to the show, and the show would be one that the whole family could sit down and enjoy.

I think the “need” for gore is why all that pointless violence performed on Voq.

I mean it makes NO sense. If Klingons can transfer consciousness [in itself a puzzlement], couldn’t they simply put Voq’s consciousness into Ash Tyler?

It’s a real head-scratcher for me.


@Marja — totally agree. The effort to convert Voq into a human who could pass even minimal scans seemed excessive compared to the other. The fact they were able to “kill” Voq’s consciousness — which was the original — suggests no preference for overlaying one on the other.

Im not sure previous Treks would appeal to the under 8 crowd anyway. I remember watching TOS…I suppose I was maybe 10-ish. If I was a bit younger it was just a “space show”. I was 11 when TNG came on and loved it, even with the excessive gore of one of the first season episodes and the scant clothing and implied sexuality.

There is really nothing about Discovery that one would say is unsuitable for kids who’d understand it anyway, save maybe the F word but lets not pretend any kid shocked at the F word hasnt already heard it. Parents can whine about wanting Les Moonves to parent their kids or they can parent their kids themselves.

I’ve no idea what you found so stunting in DSC that you can’t watch it with your son, but so be it. I fully agree with Rel. Star Trek ain’t inherently kiddie fare, and I don’t want it to be.

TV-MA violence every other week or a rape scene with nudity? That beats Remmick’s head exploding any day.

@Ian if you want to complain, be accurate. there was just as much nudity on every store mannequin your kid might see. The obsession many people have with nudity is hilarious, especially breasts. That’s a YOU problem, not a CBS problem.

Fine. TV-MA violence every other week and a rape scene with Star Trek’s first inconsequential non-mannequin female nipples, inconsequential because it was a graphic rape scene. Come on, that’s not what you hunker down and watch with your kids they way your parents would have done with you and TNG.

It was not graphic rape. My parents never watched TNG. And last I checked it wasnt called Star Trek: The Next Generation: Discovery. It has a rating and you can ignore it if you want.

Who cares? Its not for little children. If you dont feel your kids can handle watching a TV show that has a split second image of fake breasts, then…well, thats your call as a parent. Dont let your kids look in the mirror, they might be horrified to see their own nipples! ;-)

They’ve got to enable eyeroll emojis for me on these boards.

Star Trek was a family-friendly franchise until Discovery. My experience with Star Trek was obviously different from yours. I have very fond memories of watching TNG, DS9 and Voyager with my mother, and I always think of her when I rewatch them. It was a fantastic bonding experience we could have from when I was 5 right through my teenage years. The shows impacted my life substantially.

I’m not a parent and I never will be, I watch plenty of shows with more nudity and gore than Discovery, but I still lament how much graphic violence has crept into the show, and yes, it was a graphic rape scene depicting trauma and pointless nudity. Everyone parents differently and everyone ought to know what is appropriate for his or her child. I also fully endorse the idea that kids can handle more than they are given credit for, and certainly scare factors are even healthy in appropriate doses. All that being said, I have difficulty imagining this show getting comfortably shared by families that include kids under the age of 12, and IMO that’s a shame.

Ian, it wasn’t rape, it was consensual Klingon sex, the same act that had Jadzia and Worf visiting Doctor Bashir daily. Normal Klingon sex can & does result in lacerations, bites, fractures,and more and this has been long established in Trek, since K’ehlyr’s first appearance at least.

Shame. I grew up with the ideals of Star Trek and they had a big impact on me as a kid. You’re basically making the argument that Discovery is better as a dumb action show for adults than it could be as a show for all the family that teaches kids (and indeed adults) about the values of tolerance, hard work, positivity and makes the family think about and discuss ethical dilemmas.

Personally, I’d rather the show be the latter and the quicker it shakes off this sad attempt to be edgy Game of Thrones-lite, the sooner it can truly embrace the franchise’s legacy.

Discovery’s entire first season was an exploration of holding on to one’s ideals in the face of great danger and darkness, what would happen if you abandoned them (Michael’s “mutiny”) and the importance of being true to yourself.

Yes, there was a great deal of action but in no way shape or form was the show “Game of Thrones-lite”. For one, most of the series took place aboard the Discovery and not in half a dozen different places. The only thing it’s taken from Game Of Thrones is the willingness to kill off major characters. If this was old-school Trek, Lorca would have died and then been redeemed, Michael would have found a way to resurrect Georgiou. Oh and we’d never have had the Stamets/Culber love story.

You’re basically making the argument that Discovery is better as a dumb action show for adults than it could be as a show for all the family that teaches kids (and indeed adults) about the values of tolerance, hard work, positivity and makes the family think about and discuss ethical dilemmas.

On the contrary, *you’re* making the assumption that any show with mature themes is a “dumb action show,” which DSC assuredly is not. (There was nary an action scene to be found in the finale.) You don’t show the virtues of “tolerance, hard work, and positivity” without a foil to show what happens absent those virtues.

And as for the swearing: grow up. People sometimes swear. We had, what, one instance of it on DSC, and that itself was a “fish out of water” moment to show Tilly’s social awkwardness. Your kids hear far worse on the elementary school playground every day. One wonders how European kids grow up what with all the real and prolonged nudity (not half-second PTSD memory flashes) in cinema there.

I don’t particularly want my kid to be exposed to gratuitous gore and profanity thank you, I was brought up with some morals.

@Stargazer, then why have TV at all? Did the one scene with F words all season long really offend you? If so, dont watch. Do you watch Sopranos? Or Game of Thrones? Or House of Cards? Or Walking Dead? If the answer is yes, stop being a hypocrite. If the answer is no, then dont watch Discovery either. Problem solved.

My daughter has watched the entire season with me, she can’t wait for next season. It was neat being able to watch an episode with her and then go back and show her where things came from. Hitting the Mirror U was great, got to go back through Mirror Mirror, Tholian Web. They had a grand total of 2 uses of the F word, and various profanity that has all been used in Trek before, she has seen Spaceballs & Blazing Saddles.

Les, I paid a total of $20 to CBSAA to watch season one commercial-free, and cancelled the day after the finale. That’s all for me. See you next year. CBSAA just isn’t worth it, for me.

And still no explanation why the show couldn’t go on Showtime (which could be serialized there, and the network could sorely use it, Showtime’s content is pretty thin, imo).

Les sends his thanks. 20 bucks are 20 bucks. Come back next Season!

@Salvador Nogueira — exactly! I don’t know why people keep thinking a startup streaming effort is supposed to be profitable from day one. SO many people are so concerned that CBS is turning a profit on CBSAA because they personally are cancelling their subscription, as if their behavior represents even the majority of CBSAA subscribers, or that CBS even cares! The reality is, none of these companies are turning a profit, including Netflix and Amazon. Netflix is in so much debt they’ll likely never turn a profit, and burst like the dot-com bubble and be gobbled up by Apple or some other company. So no, CBS is not the least bit concerned that subscribers are showing up for one program, and dropping off when that’s done. On the other hand, they’re very concerned that they establish a foothold in what clearly is the future of the entertainment industry before they lose their relevance. Speaking of which, does anyone remember that struggling Paramount’s parent company Viacom owned Blockbuster Video? A company that passed up an opportunity to buy Netflix? Perhaps that will infuse some much needed perspective on this subject.

All true. And its funny you mention Netflix because everyone treat that site as if its the only one allowed to exist and mentions how many subscriber it has and yet its still in the red, by billions. Netflix is hoping in time all the shows and films its making will pay off and it probably will but it pays so much through the nose just to keep all that third party content around along with producing their own content. I can imagine how much its paying to keep all that Disney content like Marvel and Star Wars and yet thats all leaving next year anyway for Disney’s site. Thats the other problem with sites like netflix, unless they directly own it everything on there is on burrowed time. You don’t know when its coming or going.

People may not love AA and I include myself in that but its thinking LONG TERM like Netflix and the others are. I don’t think anyone thinks its going to be this big hit anytime soon but unlike Netflix it actually OWNS everything on that site 100%. Its not paying licensing fees just to keep the shows there. Yeah they don’t expect people to keep subscribing all year long but I imagine with Discovery there they got MILLIONS of sign ups just for a few months they would’ve never gotten without it, which is the point.

In time hopefully they will have a strong enough library to keep people subscribed all year but they understand the reality. Its a slow roll out, in five years my guess is they will have plenty of shows to keep people coming back all year.

100% this. The problem is that so many people here think and react like angry fans–so miffed that this incarnation of Star Trek doesn’t adhere to THEIR vision of what they think it SHOULD be. Meanwhile, CBS execs are banking on Trek to help them stay relevant in an evolving media environment. Think like a businessperson/TV exec, and this approach is the only one that makes sense in the long term. How many years have we all been complaining that we pay a giant cable bill for a bunch of channels we never watch? Now they’re giving us content geared specifically towards us at a relative bargain. Still don’t want to pay? Wait for the home video release and borrow it from your local public library. Or ignore it all together and pop in your DVDs of [insert your favorite Trek here]. No one can ever take those away from you. But for the love of Spock, stop whining that the company which owns one of the most prestigious and popular IPs ever has the audacity to leverage it for profit, while trying to reinvent it and keep it viable for future fans.

@DeFlip — another point buried in your reply is that this is essentially the GoFundMe model — the fans pay to have content created for them. This is really not that much different than what the fan made productions were doing. And while DISC may not be everyone’s cup of tea, it’s this model that not only enures Trek gets made without relying on somewhat arbitrary network advertising ratings models, but that fans have a voice in the product they’re watching. Literally every viewer has a vote that gets counted by watching or not. It’s essentially what some fans have been clamoring for since TOS was cancelled.


CBSAA has been a subscription service a lot longer than you might think. If you subscribed to it a few years ago you got access to past seasons of CBS shows as well as shows CBS’s production companies produced that may have been airing on other networks. The most recent episodes of current CBS shows were available to all but only subscribers got access to episodes that aired something like 4 weeks earlier. They have had their “foot in the door” of this business for some time. It is only recently that they tried to prop it open wider with original streaming content. I’m sure they, like many others whose business takes a major change, expect to take losses for a while. The goal is to get to the point where they are not taking losses. If they never recover then the enterprise is a failure and must end. If Amazon and Netflix are never going to turn a profit then their business model doesn’t work and the companies would declare bankruptcy. I suspect you may be referring to the streaming side of those businesses. And you may be right. If you are then it is obvious the retail side of Amazon is what is keeping them afloat. If you are then it is the disc side of Netflix that is keeping them going too. No business can hemmorage money indefinitely. Not even ones that are on the cutting edge of technology.

@Kirok – Are you STILL trying to claim that disk rental is sustaining Netflix????? DUDE, they have over 100 million subscribers that use streaming. The disk rental side is like 5 million people and declining.

This is the same crap that you spouted before changing handles because it was so ridiculous.

Are you a time traveler from 1998? STREAMING is not a new experimental business that is losing money. Good grief! Is this guy for real?

Netflix discs! lol

Yeah everyone I know has Netflix at this point but no one does the disc service. I have to disagree with that as well. I think for most people I know anyway the disc service feels cumbersome and its probably easier to just go to a Redbox instead of dealing with Netflix.

Sure back in the day it was great, but that was before streaming became a thing. As I say about DVDs and blu Rays they are still good media platforms but you can’t take them to watch anywhere like streaming does and why less people are using them.

Tiger, I know two who use the Netflix disc service. I myself have the dual package as I like the extras on the discs and the superior picture and sound they bring but use the streaming for the ease of getting something immediately when I do not care as much about the image and sound quality. I do not find having the discs in my mailbox cumbersome at all. In fact, I would guess that using the Red Box would be a far bigger hassle. Do they even have blu rays? They didn’t in the past) I also personally do not WANT to take any TV or movie content with me anywhere besides my home TV. My kid on the other hand does not seem to care and will watch many things on his tablet. Although he does have limits…

That said I was merely reacting to Curious Cadet’s assertion that the streaming services are losing money. Something that I find hard to buy unless other revenue sources are propping them up. Like Amazon with their retail service or Netflix from their disc service. I know these places are looking long term but they can’t be losing money like that long term either.


Re: Do they even have blu rays?

Indeed Red Box does have blu-rays. They even sell the old discs out of the machine to make space for new fare in it which can be a bargain for Disney/Marvel as they carry the Retail versions of those discs. But if you absolutely must have the artwork and other accoutrements buying used from Netflix is probably more satisfying.

Thanks Tiger. Good to know. I’ve actually been mulling over the possibility of dropping the disc service since Netflix stopped shipping the retail version for the bare bones rental version. I need to look at the red box inventory to see if it is a viable option. I would miss the ease of mailing but a small price to pay if I could rent the full extras versions.

You should read the book Netflixed.

@Disinvited — and let’s not forget that Redbox is often available at the local market and big box superstores people are going to on a regular basis already, making it extremely easy to impulse rent a movie, and return it. There’s something visceral about selecting and getting a movie immediately in your hands.

Sort of like Streaming except you have to return the disc after…lol

Curious, it is at many retail stores but it’s still far easier to just leave it in your mailbox or drop off at one than making a trip to the crowded market specifically to return a disc. It really only works when the errands happen to align at the same time. Which isn’t all that often for many.
But i do understand the visceral feeling. One gets it by actually having the physical newspaper in your hands to read. Delivered right to your doorstep every morning.

I used to feel that way too. I NEEDED my newspaper in my hands. I HATED clicking a link online and then hitting a paywall. I havent looked at a physical newspaper in ages.

Its all about the person. But its not really a matter of personal preference as far as physical vs cyber, IMO. Its a larger acceptance of technology.

Personally, where it changed for me is, while I enjoy reading a newspaper, its yesterdays news…sometimes not delivered until the next day’s evening. Plus its needless paper.

Once I had a smartphone in my hand and began using twitter and other apps, why would I wait one day (or more) for the news? I want it now. Immediately.

Its a far better experience. No needless paper. And as for the paywall, why not? I pay for what I want rather then paying more for the entire paper including everything I dont want.

That is much the same with streaming vs cable. While you have those people that whined about CBS putting Star Trek on All Access because they feel it’s “free” if its on cable (which it isnt), thats a lack of understanding and acceptance of the technology. If every channel available via cable was also available via streaming, you’d much rather have the stream because you can watch it when you want, how you want and can pay for what you want rather then being forced to subsidize that which you dont want.

Why are some of the best dramas on premium TV? Most are more adult oriented and due to the subscriber model, they dont have to worry about what sponsors think. Look at American Gods…

The feeling you get by holding a physical copy is just force of habit mixed with nostalgia. Im a late adopter of E-readers. I WANTED that book in my hands. Why would I pay for a book that I dont get to display on my bookshelf? I’ve bought two e-books in the last month and love it. WAY more convenient (and cheaper).

If someone doesnt like streaming, they are essentially like those complaining about VHS or DVD or cable TV vs over-the-air. Its coming. Actually its here. And its amazing (if you understand how it works) Dont complain.

Netflix is investing billions of dollars in new original content. NOT Discs. All these streaming platforms are spending on original programming and likely going in debt to do it.

CBS has repeatedly said Discovery was paid for by Netflix’ fees which is good. But thats not the norm. You pay for content now to have it forever. So loss leaders in essence.

Any statement that includes the absolutely lunacy that Netflix disc rental is propping up their company is fantasy.

Check your Internet and your Netflix might not buffer so much. Geez.

Showtime washed its hands of sci-fi after the late 1990s when it got rid of Stargate SG-1 and The Outer Limits.

In 2002, after 5 seasons of SG-1.

Dan, someone else suggested Showtime as a good fit for new Trek and I thought it made sense back then, too. Showtime sure could have used the high profile show. And they had just launched the Showtime streaming service. But CBS has their heart set on a separate pay streaming service and Trek would seem to be their best anchor. The problem is what you just said. I, too, paid $20 for one season of commercial free Trek and found absolutely nothing to entice me to not cancel. Especially since the next season won’t roll around for at least another year. CBSAA felt rushed. But maybe they felt they had to. If they waited for more original content they might have been left in the dust. But they might be anyway given what they are offering now.

They should have partnered with another company looking to do the same thing to double the shows an halve the costs of running the site

@Kenny — maybe they did. But we’re at an interesting crossroads now. Stargate and MGM are trying to follow the CBSAA model with their own app, but that’s a single franchise, with nothing else to offer. They would actually make a great partner for CBS. And if the ATT/TimeWarner merger doesn’t happen, and TW sells off WB & DC as rumored, CBS would be a perfect suitor for that catalogue, just as DC tries to launch its own streaming network.

FWIW, the Stargate television franchise started on SHOWTIME where it lasted 5 seasons. Oddly enough, CBS now owns SHOWTIME.

It seems SHOWTIME must still have some financial interest in those 5 years as I clearly recall they desperately and rapidly pushed its episodes into rerun syndication, after one would air there, in an attempt to recover its production costs?

CBSAA was not launched with Star Trek. Its been around since 2014. It wasn’t rushed.

You were one of the people saying it was pointless since they can never compete with Netflix so why bother. Everyone is doing streaming. If you’re the last one to do it you still have to do it. You have to have that option as more and more customers cut the cord and simply want different options for how they view their chosen programs.

You keep harping on the idea that you cancelled and others cancelled. So what? Did HBO go out of business when everyone cancelled between Sopranos seasons?

Discussing streaming with people who 1) dont understand how it works 2) will take any good news scenario and twist it to be bad news because of an anti-Discovery bias is hilarious.

So? I dont get people that say this as if its a bad thing. they got your $20 bucks. Mission accomplished. And they will be quite happy to get it next year too!

Any word on the Nicholas Meyer Star Trek side project that was hinted at last year? CBSAA needs something to fill the gap between Discovery seasons. I have no interest in maintaining my subscription as it stands until Disco returns.

If it is “The Ceti Alpha 5 Story” I hope it never sees the light of day. Seriously, I think CBS looked at that proposal and said “don’t call us, we’ll call you.”

Oh, I’d very much like to watch “The Ceti Alpha Chronicles” any time soon. It could be great if upgraded with kick-ass flashbacks to the Eugenics Wars of the 2090s.

But yeah, “Stranger Worlds” would be a much more exciting option… a group of young Starfleet cadets crash-landing on an alien planet that is connected to thirteen other planets via a planetary gateway system… as long as we’d get Finn Wolfhard and Cloe Moretz as the leads :-)

That Nic Meyer project was just a rumor. CBS or no one officially ever confirmed it was true. And yes I hope not, I don’t need to see another prequel, especially one we already know the story.

I think Meyer himself mentioned it as an aside in an interview. Could have been minor. But apparently no one in media bothered to ask.

Yeah, you’re right. He did say he was working on a side project but he never said it had anything to do with Khan. That’s what I mostly meant.

Yeah and his comment blew up among fans. It could have been nothing. Still odd no one has attempted to clarify with him or CBS.

“It is a built-in fanbase that was pretty emphatic and not averse to paying for what they are getting.”

IE… They are such rabid fans that they will shell out anything for new Trek. I’m one of them, unfortunately.

“Network television generally works better when it is not serialized.”

Except some of the best shows on network television ARE serialized. I think what he means is that reruns on network television work better for shows that are not serialized.

At any rate, it’s easy to understand the reasoning behind CBS’s decision to anchor their pay service with Star Trek. But my guess is the “churn” will still be rather high no matter what original content they add. While I am interested in checking out their new Twilight Zone, I’m not resubscribing for it. Why would I when it is likely I will be back for season 2 of Disco? I’ll catch it then. And still bail out if they break the season again and at the end. It’s difficult to imagine CBS having enough interesting original content to get this customer to keep the service between Trek seasons. But still possible I suppose…

This was the same thinking when launching UPN and having Voyager as it’s anchor show. They knew the fanbase would tune in. It’s smart business.
First had CBSAA because my wife and daughter wanted to see The Good Fight… then came Discovery. I’m currently enjoying the NCIS series and spin offs. And there are quite a few people doing the same.

Same here. The Good Fight was excellent. Discovery was good. The Twilight Zone could be great. And the CBS catalog is a plus.

OK. Fair enough. I personally have no interest in The Good Fight. And there is very little on CBS worth looking at. What little I get from CBS I can easily get over the air. So their streaming library has next to nothing I would ever be interested in at the moment.

So what? What does your desire to watch the Good Fight have to do with Star Trek? There is a probably a lot more content on cable that you’re paying for that you dont watch then All Access. You just cant stop whining about it.

But hey, Netflix is a failing business, right? lol

Speaking of the Good Fight, all those people whining about “TVMA” better not watch this show! But I bet the language and nudity wont bother them at all because its not Star trek.

…and given that reruns are a vital part of network TV’s business model, that is an entirely legitimate perspective on Mr Moonves’ part.

River Temarc,

Reruns are becoming less and less a thing these days. More and more shows take their breaks and are replaced by others during those breaks. How many reruns of Designated Survivor did ABC air during that shows recent 2 month break? Not one. Sit coms? Sure. Not series’ with season long story arcs.

Paramount/Viacom/CBS has ALWAYS used Star Trek and its fans to open up new markets and cut out middle men.
Paramount wanted to start a fourth TV network, hence Star Trek: Phase 2. Paramount needed a space movie franchise, thus begat Star Trek: The Motion Picture. Paramount wanted to cut out network middleman when it made TNG, hence the birth of the first-run syndicated drama in 1987. Paramount wanted to start a fifth television network. Star Trek: Voyager got used as UPN’s flagship show. Add in the numerous times the franchise has been sold and slightly gussied up and resold over and over on home video, and you’d be forgiven for laughing at anyone who objects to CBS All-Access as if they haven’t been used by Star Trek’s parent corporations in the exact same way over and over for decades.


Paramount did not make the decision to syndicate TNG. That was Roddenberry all the way.

According to the Trek documentary Chaos on the Bridge not only was Gene not involved in the decision to make TNG first run syndication he wasn’t even aware of it for some time after.

It was not. He didn’t have that kind of clout. It was Paramount’s undertaking to assemble that package on their own after they were fed up with the networks’ offers. Roddenberry may have eventually approved of the risk, but it wasn’t his decision to make.

Ian & Who Cares,

Is that so? Perhaps I have just bought into a common misconception. Gene had said in a number of interviews that he was the one who insisted it be in syndication because that was where TOS found success and he wanted to avoid network interference. But I can totally buy that Gene was full of it when he made those claims.

@Kirok – you’re mistaking your preference for the preference of the masses and once again demonstrate a complete lack of business sense.

He’s quite correct that Trek fans are more likely to pay then the average person. What is wrong with that? Its true. I realise you want everything for free, but grow up.

Which “best network shows” are serialized?

Also, Im glad you’ve learned about Churn (you’re welcome)but can you please understand why CBS isnt losing their minds over fans like you unsubbing? Its normal.

Maybe it would have been good if it had been on network TV….

Yes which is why both Enterprise and Voyager were so beloved.

It would have been six episodes and gone. So maybe the best six episodes of Star Trek..I dont know lol

Here in the UK you could watch it on Netflix for free for 3 months then you had pay between £3.99 up £7.99 so I watch most of the first season for free but Netflix put the price up £5.99 up to £8.99 far to much to pay if you have virgin or sky it time was a big mistake it should be shown on primetime TV say as sky one so a lot of star trek fans here in the UK did not watch it it was very good but not Trek as we know and love 😞

My only major quibble with DSC is with the Klingon redesign, the rest of the show is pure gold, EVEN the serialized aspects. Normally, I prefer episodic TV, but DSC is worth a number of story arcs. The problem with “standard” TV shows that are serialized is that they are aren’t worth rewatching…Lost, NuBSG, TWD… all great shows in first run, but would I want to rewatch them? Nope. But with DSC it’s different…

With you on the redesign.

For me it’s a perfectly good show in terms of drama and generic entertainment, but it has yet to convince me that it is Star Trek. For me, with exception of a few scenes here and there, it lacks what someone else called “the Roddenberry heart”. I hope that is addressed as the show goes forward.

Oh Lost. Such an interesting premise that unfortunately got lost up its own backside with time travelling, the island hopping around the world, men-turned-smoke-monsters…..

Lost does have rewatch value every 10 years or so though…
I really hope they do something else with that universe again. I think they could definitely expand it and do something fun with it.

LOST proves what happens when you don’t have a plan from the outset and you have to fill in a ridiculous amount of episodes every season. MOST serialized sci fi shows on network TV fall into the same trap because they just have so many episodes and have to come up with crazy ways to keep people invested. Agents of Shields had the crew end up in space which I liked but it went so far from what the show was originally about. But its in its fifth season now and they are coming up with all kinds of tricks to keep viewers watching.

Wow you really need to rewatch BSG. That show is the gold standard of gritty sci-fi IMO. I WISH Disco had been as good as that show’s first and second seasons. I used to rewatch BSG regularly.

DSC would’ve been a really interesting show if they got Ronald D. Moore on board. I would’ve loved to have seen what he would’ve done if he ran the show.

What a bummer! Star trek could have been so much better if it wasn’t serialised. This dud of a storyline would have been one bad episode instead of the entire series ark.

Yeah. Because the non-serialized reboots of Knight Rider, Bionic Woman, and MacGyver have been such masterpieces.

That’s not really an argument. You’re basically saying that no show can ever succeed with an episodic format because of your examples, with is demonstrably false.

I quite like the new Macgyver (at least so far), looking forward to Richard Dean Anderson showing up.

I agree and disagree. I think the show would have benefited from a mix of serialised and episodic.

The revived Doctor Who is a good example of what they should have done. Many seasons of that show have an over arching plot thread during the course of the season, but also individual stories within it (either as single episodes or two or three parters). That’s essentially when the latter half of DS9’s seventh season was, and I think it works quite well with Trek. In contrast the flat out serialisation we are getting leaves less room for telling different types of stories. As such secondary characters don’t really get their own episodes and the chances of classic shows like City on the Edge of Forever, The Inner Light, The Visitor and so on is minimal because the serialised format doesn’t allow those sorts of stories.

The flaw is that Doctor Who’s ratings have been in free fall for years because that format has become stale. The series has had to be completely rebooted and retooled for Season 11.

And it’s the problem that plagued Voyager and Enterprise- the format became stale and stories were recycled. By the time the producers did something different (the Xindi arc) people had stopped caring.

If Dr Who’s ratings are in freefall, it has nothing to do with the format. It’s because the quality of the show has been degenerating steadily since Moffat took over from Davies. The show is a pale ghost of what it was a decade ago.

I’ve always found it to be too comic-book like for my taste. Star Trek is far better!

…and that’s a tired and lazy argument. One could very easily argue it became more complex and daring under Moffat.

Nothing last forever you know … The important thing is to keep evolving and doing new things when the existing format shows clear signs of stagnation!
Doctor Who could have done another ‘status quo’ season with another eccentric man-doctor but went completely camp and got woman and male sidekick played by Bradley Walsh; What a casting that is! I Don’t watch Doctor Who, but I may well give it a go when the new season starts, because I am fan of Bradley Walsh, partly because of The Chase!

Doctor Who’s ratings were never in “freefall”. Yes. they had dropped, but not dramatically. They simply reflect the fact that more people record stuff and watch them later or on streaming than before and the rating were still some of the highest on British television.

Given the Chris Chibnall’s season has yet to broadcast you have little idea of how much the format will change and move closer to Discovery, and the problems in recent years were not down to the format, but rather (as someone else mentioned) Steven Moffat, who had become stale and repetitive (which is why Capaldi felt so wasted as The Doctor).

Hardly a freefall. They’ve eroded about in line with the average audience erosion in the UK, and were increasing in the US until only last season.

I don’t think that really matters though. Voyager and Enterprise weren’t very serialized and some fans still hated them. THe KT films are all standalones and they get grief as well. End of the day it just comes down to the stories.

Now I will admit I think Discovery’s main story line, the Klingon war, was more of a miss than a hit since no one seems to care that much about it. But hopefully the ramifications of it will give us a better one in season two. But I’m just SO sick of the Klingons frankly. I don’t mind them being part of the show but I don’t need an entire arc based on them anymore. They have been done to death in every show minus Voyager at this point.

I don’t think any of us asked for a serialized Star Trek show though. So he clearly does not understand that built in fan base he mentioned.

I’m happy with it like this. No rushed shows. No quick resolution 5 minutes before the episode ends. Frankly, I prefer it.

The last five minutes is for the unseen (cough) twist!

Right, now they cram the resolution into the entire final episode.

Any of us? Is this where one chimes in with, “speak for yourself, white boy”?

I did.

I have wanted a true serialized Trek since TNG was on the air.

Can’t be serialized What is he talking about. Why the hell not? Although not CBS what about Walking Dead success on AMC. Just more bs.

He’s talking about network television, not cable channels. If the US is anything like the UK- terrestrial channels are full of reality tv shows featuring washed up “celebrities” and cop shows

You articulated exactly what he is talking about. CBS the broadcast network specializes in episodic “procedural” crime shows like CSI and NCIS and their multiple spin-offs vs. CBS All Access which can play around with modern serialized formats and short seasons like the other streaming networks do.

Amazing how many people just want to whine rather then listen to what he’s saying. You’re completely correct.

Moonves has it exactly right. We’re in a new golden age of television with shows like THE SOPRANOS, THE AMERICANS, HOUSE OF CARDS, and BREAKING BAD. All these shows have sophisticated plot lines and maintain their quality with shorter seasons. Trek absolutely needs to be a part of that. DSC has not been pitch perfect, true, but it’s still been quite good Andre has easily had the beat first season of any post TOS show.

Disco utterly collapsed in its final three episodes. If you’re telling one serial story and your ending is a disaster, then the season is a disaster. It matters little if, say, an earlier episode wherein Ganglia Boy goes to Bliss Planet wasn’t totally awful. We don’t judge a movie by its first forty minutes; likewise, serial television seasons are judged as a whole, and as a whole, Disco was a disgrace. (The second half of Disco’s run doesn’t inspire much confidence going forward, with an abysmal writer like Lisa Randolph being assigned two episodes while competent Jesse Alexander/Joe Menosky depart.)

Exactly this. It’s relatively easy to come up with an engaging premise. Making it all come together at the end in a way that is satisfying and does justice to that premise — that’s hard. Very hard. The problem with overly-serialized storytelling is it allows the writers to keep kicking that can down each episode, introducing new premises and dropping hints and offering twists, each of which adds to the burden that the overall conclusion must support.

Notice that most complaints about serialized TV are about how a given season or series ended, rather than about the particulars for a given episode. And how the producers often try to quell criticism with something like “it’ll all make sense in the end.”

Serialized TV can be awesome when done right. But it also enables a lot of amateurish or just plain bad writing.

Yes sadly I think the finale was a big let down. I seen it once, I have no interest to watch it again. I think the season they tried to do too much with the limited episodes they had. IF they had maybe three more they could’ve made it more satisfying instead of just tying everything up in such a quick way. That is one of the problems with serialized shows if the ending isn’t strong enough, it makes the entire story line feel weak.

Ive been consistent in saying that Season 2 is the season by which Ill judge this team more harshly. To me, Season 1 was great. Not perfect though and the fact they had major changes on the creative team and how the season unfolded does not surprise me at all.

The Sopranos was more episodic than Discovery, and that was arguably the creme de la creme of TV.

The Sopranos was a weird one in that its VASTLY superior when “binged”. A lot of things are clearer when you do that. It suffered from the long breaks between seasons and I remember thinking that it had lost something or didnt make sense and when I went back and watched it on DVD, I loved it even more.

Best drama TV of all time.

But Im not going to argue in favour of more or less serialization. Both can be good. I prefer some serialization. I disliked, say, Voyager where nothing mattered from episode to episode for the most part. Even with most Sitcoms, there are story elements or character traits that are built over the course of a season even if its not considered serialized.

Discovery does heavy serialization which is fine. Its different than even DS9 which was not nearly as serialized. Both are fine. You can have terrible shows that are heavy serialized and great shows that arent.

Golden age? Hmmm. Not for me it isn’t.

CLARIFICATION TO THOSE WHO KEEP WHINING ABOUT DISCOVERY’S SERIALIZED STORYLINE: When taken at surface value, it can seem pointless and discordant and disjointed and inconsistent. HOWEVER, a clue as to the entire season arc, and the TRUE unified theme of the season arc was in the beginning of the season when Burnham first came aboard Discovery and Tilly caught Burnham with a copy of Alice In Wonderland. Namely, the entire season arc, is a very loose adaptation OF Alice In Wonderland… I dare any real fan to read the entire Alice In Wonderland story and then rewatch the entire season and analyze it. CLUES: midway thru the season, the Pahvo incident and the fight against the Klingons is akin to Alice in the forest (hence the episode title ‘Into the Forest I Go’), and Discovery getting thrown into the mirror universe is akin to Alice going into the Red Kingdom, with Mirror Georgiou being the Red Queen, and Stamets is the Caterpillar. But the rest, I’ll leave up to everyone here to interpret, but to the keen observer, it does fit.

I think this is unexplored… by the fans, but also… in the plot and the writing and the character herself, who should have just gone meta and wondered, “Am I Alice?” Or something. But not how they handled it. IMHO.

Like listening to Dark Side of the Moon while watching Wizard of Oz, you can map most things to most other things if you abstract it enough and ignore the discrepancies.


I have tried CBS All Access and will not pay for something that won’t work. It took over 2 hours to watch just 15 minutes, commercials included, of NCIS. After which it stopped buffering and would start over. CBS told me that the problem was my internet yet I can watch Netflix, ABC, VUDU and many other streaming services just fine with our internet. Only problem is with CBS.

Guess I’ll have to wait for ST:D to either be on Netflix here in the U.S. or for it to end up on DVD.

Oh, well. At least I can watch the other ST series on Netflix and on our satellite dish

Check with your Internet Service Provider. You cant say CBSAA doesnt work if so many others have no problem. Its like buying a nice car and complaining it wont drive but not bothering to put gas in it.

There have been people here with that issue before. Couple years ago, I noticed my internet seeming slow (Netflix including) and I called my provider and was “surprised” to learn my package was the same for years. Well of course when I added wifi originally, I had one phone maybe. Now, two phones, two laptops, ipads, ipods, Smart TV, Smart Blu Ray and numerous other things that use Wifi. You have to have sufficient bandwidth.

For the first time ever, last night I got a warning on Netflix that said my bandwidth was low and warned the stream might pause a lot. Didnt bother me as it was the first time ever and we were experiencing a major snow storm. Have to understand the tech.

TUP no offense but you said you don’t have AA. I DO, and believe me the issue is on their end, not mine. I know this since I don’t have any issue with Netflix and Amazon. All work smoothly. AA I had issues when I first signed up and they got much better by the time Discovery premiered but there are still issues here and there. It has nothing to do with the internet service provider, especially since several occasion now AA buffering issues has made it online.

Now its not to say its always them, true, but you can’t say its never them either, especially if you don’t personally own the service.

Explain why so many people have said they have ZERO issue.

My point still stands. I have Netflix and Amazon. If you have buffering issues, call your ISP. You could complain online about CBS but thats not accomplishing anything. Verify first.

Remember we have someone who posts here a lot who claimed Netflix didnt work properly and always buffered. He claimed this was because Netflix (and streaming) as a technology wasnt very good. He refused to believe it was his Internet. Now he complains about CBSAA.

Checking ISP is the logical first place to start.

Here is an article that prove AA have glitching issues across the board:

Again its not JUST people who don’t have enough broadband, its on their end and they have officially acknowledged it in the past. That said I don’t think its a HUGE issue, most people probably run it just fine but it has been for some.

Yes sadly Nan S I had the same issue with several Discovery episodes. It too took me over two hours to watch three of the episodes. And as I also said I have NEVER had this problem with Netflix, Amazon, Youtube, etc. No its definitely a CBS issue.

So if people are having problems then I CAN’T blame them for cancelling. And I am a supporter of AA but just like what I do with Discovery itself, if there is an issue I call it out and yes AA definitely still has buffering issues. I’m just patient enough to see them work it out and as said majority of the time I have none.

I had a subscription to All Access for almost a year before Discovery came out. Not once have I ever encountered issues such as Nan S is talking about. Not one time.

I suspect the people who WANT to complain find reasons to. Its sort of like me saying that during a snow storm last week, I received a low bandwidth warning while watching Amazon so it means Amazon sucks and they need to fix this. Ignoring that I’ve never previously had an issue with it or with Netflix.

People look for reasons to complain. My original point was some people dont understand how streaming works. They think just because they have wifi at home for their email, that suddenly streaming HD content shouldn’t have any baring on the wifi.

One guy here even argued for ages that Netflix simply wasnt a stable technology because his attempts to use it were unwatchable. Thats not a Netflix issue, its an internet issue. Thats the first place to check.

Its not that streaming is a new technology. The people that understand it were early converts. People who like the technology and are open to it converted next. People who swear that Netflix disc rental is propping up the company are the kind to fight conversion to technology and likely dont understand it.

And thats ok. But they should be open to learning.

So how many streaming services do you have to be a member of? With cable being so expensive and now with Netflux, Hulu and now Disney and CBS joining streaming, it’s getting out of hand. As a person eho does nit watch CBS at all it’s really no big deal, bit what about the fans who do watch CBS? Why even have a CBS channel in the first place?

Welcome to 2018. Im sure when the TV universe expanded from 4 channels to 13…and then to 50 and 500 etc, people probably said “my God who NEEDS that many channels, when will it END?”

If people watch, more will come.

Eventually everything will be delivered over the internet.

Whats amazing is a couple of people here when DIscovery was announced trying to say how no one used streaming and that it was a dead end thing and lousy tech etc. Imagine thinking that? And here we see more and more services being announced.

The negative jerks tries to say it was dumb of CBS because they’d never compete with Netflix anyway but now we see CBSAA will not be the last to launch…everyone is doing it.

I was a Netflix subscriber for a long time as I think many people are. But I recently added Amazon Prime so I officially have “multiple” streaming services. Its great!

Its not getting ‘out of hand’ its simply giving you more options. Thats how capitalism WORKS. No one is saying you have to get ALL of them lol, just select the ones that are more important to you. I don’t understand people’s mentality on things like this? Do you own every movie channel your cable service offers you? My guess is no, you probably have HBO and Starz but don’t have Showtime or Cinemax. Thats how this works too.

In other words you are being given more options, how is that a bad thing? As for people who already have CBS on TV the point is AA gives them another option to watch their programs. So if you do watch CBS but you don’t want to just watch it at home or TV now you can watch it anywhere at anytime. Plenty of people may love NCIS but can’t be home to watch it or choose to watch it on the commute home. AA now gives them that option.

Look I always said this, if people don’t think AA or these other sites aren’t worth subscribing too, then simply don’t get them. But I never understand the anger over it, especially since 90% of the shows are on broadcast TV. AA is just trying to shift gears for a changing market. If people didn’t fast forward through commercials then it would probably be less of these sites being made today.


I think what is meant by “getting out of hand” is that there are soon to be many streaming providers and to get what you used to get with your cable you will be required to pretty much buy all of them. This means more bills and keeping more track of things when before you just had the one bill and it was easy to keep tabs on. And with the multiple streamers one’s TV bill can easily reach what one was paying for with cable to begin with. That is something I can fully understand. And I think when those other streaming services materialize it will only be a matter of time before some organization makes deals to bundle a bunch of them together at a reduced rate and sells that package to the customers as “streaming” cable for lack of a better term.

“Eventually I will pay exactly the same to stream all the same channels I now pay for on cable but with much better service! This is out of hand! It HAS to end!” lol

How many people have already called him a lair and tried to say discovery sucks and no one watches? Lol

Probably nobody has called him a lair.

Ah I see many are turning his words into negatives. Classic.

“Network television works better when it is not serialized.

Is he kidding? Just about every one hour show on the air now is serialized. It works better because people become invested in the story and return week after week to see what happens.

I am so glad that none of these ‘fans’ are in charge of Star Trek. I have been a fan of Trek for 40 years and have never heard a more whiney self-entitled group of fans. “Boooohooo they changed the look of the show” “Boooohooo it is not Gene’s vision” “THIS IS NOT CANON, IT CAN’T BE BECAUSE IT ISN’T WHAT I WOULD HAVE DONE!”. Watch the old series if you want more of the same. The loud vocal minorities of fandom are always the worst of fandom in my opinion.

Some weirdo on Facebook is suggesting that Discovery should make either Guinan or Gillian Taylor the next captain. Unreal.

Gillian Taylor? The whale scientist from the 1980s? She isn’t going to enter the 23rd century for more than 20 years.

How it would be different on network tv? It would’ve been canceled already. When it’s your own sandbox, you get to stay and play as long as you want…even if the other kids don’t like you.

Based on what evidence man? We don’t know what the ratings would’ve been liked. We know 10 million watched the premiere, which is very high these days for TV and course millions just watched it on AA so it probably would’ve been a bit higher if they watched it only on TV.

And just because YOU and others don’t like it doesn’t make it a consensus either. Stop thinking your opinion is a fact.

More than 10 million actually, if I recall correctly. It did very well. Surely it would have lowered somewhat but we dont know how much.

Only the really dense would try to spin positive news as a negative but we’re used to the same handful of people here doing that.

No it was around 10 million. It was reported to be 9.6 million who watched. Again though thats just on TV. As said a few million probably watched it solely on AA as I did myself (although I went back and watched it on TV).

Yes, thats what I meant…there were many more watching on All Access. And…did that number include the Canadian viewership as well? So the premiere did very very well.

If Netflix is CBS’ sandbox, I must have missed when that purchase took place.

Somehow thats worse than the equally massive scientific blunders every other Trek series has made? Like the utter impossibility of hiding in a nebula or in a planet’s magnetic core, or bombarding a planet with massive amounts of “harmless” UV, or using debunked theories like “memory RNA”, or hundreds of other examples.

Trek has never been scientifically accurate, take off the rose colored glasses.

Sloppy is sloppy, no matter where it occurs. Discovery had way too much prep and lead-time. It should’ve never happened.

I strongly suspect that had STD been better such sloppiness would have been more commonly ignored. I’ve said before that the best trek movie is filled with inconsistencies but few care because the movie is so good.

The inevitable “sloppiness” in shows like this IS ignored because the show is good. You have literally a handful (ie. can count on one hand) people on a Trek forum whining about whatever they can to push their negative narrative of Discovery or All Access or both.

Its virtually insignificant to the audience at large.

DSC is very very good, by far the best first season any Trek series has ever had. Shrugging off the flat fact that no Trek has ever been concerned with scientific accuracy just to complain about Discovery is disingenuous at best, flat out trolling at worst.

@Who Cares – exactly. There is no comparison between Discovery’s first season and any other Trek first season. Light years ahead.

If Discovery tried to be all things to all people, it would likely suck. Ive said this before, this timeline was not my preferred era. The unis, the Klingons, the ship all are not my preferred things.

But if I suggested it sucked because it wasnt what I wanted, would be terribly arrogant. Its very good. But I do expect it to be even better.

Plus there have been people whining about “crazy” science who didnt realise some of the complaints were moot and the ideas were actually rooted in real science. But regardless, its Star Trek. They have creative license.

CBSAA Channel On Amazon Prime

Does anyone know if the CBSAA Channel on Amazon Prime supports 4K or HDR? I’ve read it supports 5.1 audio which CBSAA App does not, and that the picture quality is much higher.

It’s evidently a separate subscription with a 7-day free trial, so I’m tempted to sign up for it to see for myself, as Amazon is much more reliable app — especially if the audio and video are higher quality. I’d love to see DISC in HDR.

The only downside is the subscription is $9.99/month, and there’s no option for the commercial version which I paid for on CBSAA for $5.99. Not a big deal if I can get higher quality streaming.

Discovery isn’t made in 4k. On Netflix overseas it’s 1080p with HDR. I don’t know about HDR on the Amazon Channels version, but my guess would be no. From reading about what people in the UK say, it sounds like the HDR version was hastily made to check a “cool” feature box, and isn’t all that great.

I’ll probably sign up for the trial of the Amazon version and check it out. But from everything I’ve heard it’s worth it, better image quality and proper 5.1 sound.

@Matt — thanks. I know it’s not shot or completed in 4K, but most movies streamed in 4K are not shot or completed in 4K either. Amazon supports HDR, but I haven’t seen any 1080p HDR content, as Netflix supports, but that doesn’t mean they wouldn’t start doing it if it’s technically possible.

Let us know if you do sign up, as to how it works with your existing CBSAA account, and how it looks by comparison. I may do that as well, and I’ll ask some questions of some folks I know who would know the answers.

Oh just to be clear it doesn’t work with your existing CBS account. Getting it through Amazon Channels is a totally separate subscription.

So you’d have to cancel one or the other if you don’t wanted to be billed twice (by two different companies).

CBS only recently partnered with Amazon back in January, but of course I already had a direct CBS subscription from watching the first part of Discovery in 2017.

It does seem like the Amazon Channels version is the way to go, now that it’s offered. I’ll likely drop my direct CBS subscription and add it as an Amazon Channel at some point in the near future.

@Matt — I just looked at the preview last night, and it streams in 1080p/24p. So that’s an improvement as well.

I knew the Amazon subscription didn’t work with the CBSAA subscription, but I wondered if the 7 day free preview might somehow be invalidated by already being a CBSAA subscriber — assuming you were signing into Amazon with the same user info.

So I’ll give the free trial a watch and see if the picture quality has improved to the degree that it’s worth paying an extra $4/mo. for commercial free. It will certainly be easier to add and cancel the service via Amazon.

FYI: CBS said the cheaper commercial supported version is supposed to be available at a later date via Amazon Channels. No specific time frame, but they did say eventually it should be an option.

In addition to the commercial-free plan, CBS All Access’ limited commercial plan ($5.99/month) will also be available to Prime members in the coming months.

I recently signed up for Amazon Prime and its great. I *thought* I was watching some programming in 1080 HDR and it looked amazing but as I was sort of trying out various shows, perhaps I am wrong and its 4K. I definitely see a big difference in shows with the HDR logo

The Man in the High Castle and American Gods for example look great.

I did feel that the sound was a bit weird in that the center channel seems lost in the back ground noise a bit but I’ve noticed this on other non-Amazon channels so maybe Im going deaf lol

Although I watched Dirty Dancing on Amazon and the mix was terrible with the background noise having an echo.

If I was in the US, I’d consider this (I didnt know CBSAA was available through Amazon) as its such a great app (and my TV has a Netflix-like dedicated button.

Being in Canada, I watch on SPACE and the quality is excellent.

Like most streaming services, Amazon is adaptive and will start streaming a UHD HDR title at 1080p with HDR and then as it detects the sustained bandwidth needed it will bring the resolution up to UHD with HDR. At least on the US version of the Amazon app (yes stupidly the Amazon app seems to be totally different depending on your region) if you arrow up while playing something you’ll get the scrub bar, and next to it are icons for HD/UHD/HDR. So for example: I can see it start playing content at 1080p with HDR, and then a few seconds in it will jump up to the UHD version.

@Matt — really? I haven’t noticed that. I will have to check it out. I’m streaming via an Apple TV 4K set to 1080p SDR, with auto match for frame rate and luminance/color gamut. On Netflix and iTunes, both will automatically stream 1080p in HDR at 24p — which is a real life saver in terms of buffering time when flipping through Netflix TV options. Perhaps Amazon requires 4K support before it will provide HDR? Or maybe the Apple Amazon app doesn’t support it yet, or I just didn’t realize it did. I’ll check again.

From what I can find, yes the AppleTV 4K supports HDR from its Amazon App.

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I wouldn’t be surprised if Amazon coded some prerequisite for UHD resolution support before HDR support is enabled, since HDR was first introduced in the market as a feature of UHD TVs, they may (incorrectly) have them tied together, even though there’s no such technical requirement.

@Matt — yes that’s correct, ATV 4K supports UHD HDR. Since I doubt anything supports HDR on SD, my guess is that’s exactly what they list — no HDR on anything less than 4K. I could switch my ATV into 4K SDR and see if HDR kicks in on DISC when I run my free trial in April (I cancelled my CBSAA which ends April 1, and then I’ll use the free trial to keep watching CBSAA until I decide what to do).

If only it WERE different. Too bad this show that runs under the banner of “Star Trek” is so far removed from the pillars of the franchise as to be unrecognizable as such.