How New Paramount+ Strategy To “Super-Serve” Key Audiences And Franchises Could Impact Star Trek

The last year has been difficult for media companies fighting it out over the growing streaming market, and Paramount Global is no exception. We have already seen how pressure from investors has pushed the company to focus on costs. This impacted the Star Trek franchise on Paramount+ when the fifth season of Discovery became its last and Prodigy was removed from the platform entirely, to be licensed to a 3rd party. Trek fans may be wondering what’s next for the television franchise, there are some clues in the latest statements from top Paramount executives to the investment community.

Right content for right audience at right time

On Monday afternoon, Paramount Global released their 2nd quarter financial results, a process which also included a conference call with the investor community. On the call were CEO Bob Bakish and CFO Naveen Chopra, and while neither specifically talked about Star Trek, their commentary will surely impact how Paramount+ handles the franchise going forward. The company reported a loss for the second quarter; streaming losses are shrinking while subscriber numbers have grown to 61 million. One thing made clear during the call is that Paramount is slowing down spending on content, with Bakish confirming that 2023 will be the company’s “peak investment year in streaming,” so it can “remain on track to deliver significant total company’s earnings growth in 2024.”

Bakish highlighted how the various franchises in the Paramount portfolio are key:

Our franchises continue to grow in number and scale. We have a growing roster led by more than a dozen franchises that have grossed over $1 billion in revenue.

The CEO pointed out that the focus on costs is changing how Paramount spends money on streaming:

We are evolving our streaming content slate to super-serve key target audiences more efficiently. This is based on all we’ve learned since Paramount+ launched.

CFO Chopra offered some more details:

When it comes to streaming content, we’ve learned a lot from Paramount+ subscribers over the past 2.5 years, what attracts them to the service, what keeps them there. And therefore, what we want to invest in.

During a Q&A, Chopra talked more about this new approach to content:

We’re accomplishing that [spending] goal by leveraging content across platforms more and more by leaning into franchises. And now that we’ve got more data, we’re increasingly able to use analytics to understand how to super serve these key audience segments.

We are laser-focused on improving the efficiency of our content spend going forward… And now that we’ve got more data, we’re increasingly able to use analytics to understand how to super-serve these key audience segments. And so we can get away from, call it, a volume-focused game and be more focused on making sure that we have the right content for the right audience at the right time.

From Star Trek Day event in 2022 (Paramount+)

Not too little, but not too much content

Chopra offered some detailed examples of how they are looking at subscriber data to make content decisions:

We’ve learned that success is not purely a function of content volume. It’s having the right content for the right audience at the right time. For example, we know that if a Paramount+ subscriber watches 4 hours or more of content in a month or engages with more than two different series, they are over 30% less likely to churn from the service. With these types of learnings, we’ve carefully defined specific audience segments and have evolved our programming strategy to super-serve them in an even more efficient manner. Our programming slate is designed to ensure that each key audience segment has compelling content to enjoy throughout the year, not too little, but also not too much. The content charges we took in the first half of 2023 reflect this go-forward targeted programming strategy.

Chopra’s comment about changes taken during the first half of the year included the decision to end Discovery and remove Prodigy from Paramount+ (to license it to a 3rd party). It may also have been a factor in the decision to pivot the Section 31 project from a series to a single TV movie, although Michelle Yeoh’s busy schedule was also a likely factor. Star Trek: Picard also wrapped up earlier this year, however, it was always planned to run just three seasons. And it seems clear the company is not done yet when it comes to deciding how to spend money, especially on the various franchises, which would include Star Trek. It’s worth noting that so far in 2023, the only Paramount+ shows that have made it into the Nielsen streaming Top 10 are Star Trek shows (Picard and Strange New Worlds) and Taylor Sheridan shows (1923). Bakish noted the new Sheridan-produced Special Ops: Lioness was the most-watched global series premiere for the service.

Currently, Paramount+ has committed to producing a third season of Strange New Worlds and a fifth season of Lower Decks, as well as launching a new Starfleet Academy series and a Section 31 streaming TV-movie event starring Michelle Yeoh. Work on all of those projects had already begun, and were in various stages. It’s possible Paramount will just stick with that plan, at least in the short term. However, with all live-action show production and writing halted due to the ongoing WGA and SAG-AFTRA strikes, the analysts at Paramount will have even more time to look over their data and this could factor it into upcoming production plans across the service and Star Trek. It’s almost certain any data-driven assessment of Star Trek aiming to “super-serve” the fanbase would take a look at the idea of a Picard spin-off like the Star Trek: Legacy series as envisioned by Picard season 3 showrunner Terry Matalas. As for bringing Prodigy back to Paramount+, that decision is not likely to be reversed as the company has already factored that into its financial results. It’s also possible that even with the success of Star Trek content on the platform, spending constraints could reduce or spread out upcoming Trek TV on the platform. We probably won’t know which way the company is headed with Trek for months, possibly even until 2024.

Remember, Paramount+ prides itself on being “the home of Star Trek,” as seen in this promotional video released at Comic-Con…

Paramount sells Simon & Schuster

Since the re-merger of Viacom and CBS the newly formed Paramount Global has been trying to sell off its publishing arm Simon & Schuster, as it is not seen as part of the company’s core focus of filmed and video content distribution. A previous deal with Penguin Random House ran into regulatory hurdles and had to be dropped. But yesterday, the company announced a new deal to sell S&S for $1.6 billion to KKR, a private equity firm. Money from the sale will be used to pay down debt.

Simon & Schuster has held the license to produce Star Trek books starting with the novelization of Star Trek: The Motion Picture in 1979. The publisher has been releasing Star Trek novels and audiobooks under the Pocket Books brand and others over the decades. A new Discovery book came out in May, and a YA Prodigy book and a newly recorded audiobook for a classic DS9 book were released just last week and there is a new Picard tie-in is lined up for early 2024. It is unclear what impact, if any, the sale will have on the Star Trek license.

Simon & Schuster published Star Trek: The Entropy Effect (1981) and Discovery: Somewhere to Belong (2023)

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First! How about a remaster of VOY and DS9??

Seriously! It must cost less to refurbish each episode than generate new “hit or miss” content. They could even release the HD episodes on a weekly basis and string us along for years!

Agree 100%.

Not at all.

Unless you’re cool with a slapdash upscale like B-5 on Max.

It would be smart move for them to produce updated animation for the TOS animated series. That’s a no-brainer.

They have just cancelled a new animated Trek show (Prodigy) so what makes you think they would be better off remaking an animated Trek show from 50 years ago?


First, do the big DS9 and Voy two partners. Movies of the week.

i think they should look into remastering ds9 and voy too. i understand it wasnt cost effective back when they did tng. but now with ai upscaling. they could upscale alot of the scenes that dont have effects, and remaster the cgi. its bound to be cheaper now

I’d like to see the internal numbers for TNG remastered across all platforms. Because they claim they lost money on it. Experts said the blu-ray numbers were poor. Not taking in account the endless years of syndication licensing from TV, or streaming figures before and after Paramount plus went online. There has to be a model for it even crowdfunding. The studio just seems uninterested.

My conservative estimate is it would cost at least 40 million to do both shows in HD 2k. That is based on what TNG cost. It could be far more.

I’d love it but my understanding is that remastering TNG was significantly more expensive than originally projected and that after factoring in the sales of the blu-rays Paramount/CBS determined it was an overall loss and kiboshed the idea of any other series remasters.

That being said I wonder if an episode by episode approach; identifying episodes that are effects heavy, big/critical to the overall series and fan favorites and giving them the remastering treatment would be feasible. For example, “Family Business” could stand to be left as is, while “Sacrifice of Angels” could be targeted for the remastering treatment.

It’d be cheaper with today’s technology. Plus, if it makes financial sense to do Babylon5 and Seaquest DsV, there’s no way they’d not make some money on the more prestigious Star Trek shows.

Adam mojo Lebowitz posted about how fo less than the price of 2 episodes of DISCO, you could remaster a whole season of Voyager

The problem is that the bean counters aren’t looking at this holistically.
Yeah the project lost money if you only see what it sold on Blu-ray.
But they also got money from licensing it to other streamers (which they should keep doing, even non-exclusively, to keep Star Trek in the zeitgeist by being widely available), and kept the show relevant for rebroadcast etc.

Redoing DS9 and VOY would have other challenges since the effects can’t just be rerendered at higher resolution.

Hey Family Business is very important. It’s the introduction of Brunt. It’s very important. It’s also the very beginning of Rom’s arc. And most of all, it’s also the introduction of Brunt (💚).


I meant no disrespect to Brunt or the incomparable Jeffery Combs.

I’ve seen test AI-driven 4K upscaling clips of DS9 on YouTube (ostensibly before they were taken down via DMCA), and they were nothing short of spectacular. I’m planning on fine-tuning the methodology they used and doing them on my ripped DVDs of the series for personal consumption.

I want that as much as anyone, but why would they ever do that when the SD versions are keeping people watching P+ already? Seems like an inefficient use of money, sadly.

Because there’s no business justification for it. It’s a pipe dream of TrekMovie commenters.

I don’t know about DS9 but Voyager has been one of Netflix’ most populat shows for years. Even if the remaster costs about as much as a new season (per season), it would probably still be worth it.

Well, if people are happily watching VOY on Netflix in its current SD version there does not seem to be a need to remaster it. The more important question would be: How many people are not watching the shows right now due to bad picture quality but would start watching it if it were in HD?

This is kind of the Catch 22. If a show is already well watched in SD, why spend the money. But if it’s not doing well at all, it’s no guarantee it will increase views either, or at least not to the level that feel it was worth spending.

Of course it’s easy for me to say this, but I just think for the long term, it’s a benefit regardless. In ten years both shows will just look older and it will probably be harder for new fans to get into them as technology keep progressing and people get picker.

And also there will probably come a time these shows ends up on other streamers again and it would be an easier sell if they are all remastered.

It’s already starting to look old now but not as bad as it will later. Plus it’d be nice to see Weyoun’s face in a better quality.

Plus it’d be nice to see Weyoun’s face in a better quality.

You might end up seeing the makeup seams ;-)

Over time, it may get more difficult for Paramount to license the shows to 3rd parties if they are only in SD. Or audiences may watch them less on P+ due to the low image quality. At that point, the bean counters may take another look to determine whether it’s financially more sensible to upgrade them or to let them “fade away”.

Of course, we want the shows at the best visual quality, but I really wonder how many people actually stream on large TVs vs. stream on their phones where SD probably doesn’t make as much of a difference.

I can imagine that the 4K remastered TMP Director’s Cut, which was released as a P+ exclusive first before coming to disc later, was a test case how much a visual upgrade pays off in the era of waning home video sales. Paramount spent substantially more on that film than a “normal” remaster because they had to redo some of the VFX. So not unlike what they would need to do for DS9 & VOY. I have no idea how successful that release was.

You’d think that there would soon be AI which can upscale DS9 and Voyager on the cheap, very fast, and very well. For that matter, go back and see if AI can improve on TOS. Might even consider moving the TOS actors to the SNW sets for a full redo.

Honestly nothing would make me more excited than a remaster of these shows, not even another new Star Trek show. But I bet that doesn’t work for their execs.

While I would love both, ESP DS9, I don’t see them doing that if they can put that money, even if it is a little, to new content. Also both shows were filmed in 4:3 and not 16:9 which might be an issue

If they have to do that Starfleet Academy show let Terry Matalas run it

Keep Matalas away from Trek please he didn’t do a good job with Picard S3 imo.

Agree, he didn’t do a good job, he did a GREAT jot on Picard S3, a masterpiece for every TNG fans.

I hope that Matalas Legacy series is green light ASAP.

It reminded me what I miss about Star Trek. I do hope Terry can return and give us a show in the 25th century.

Yeah I want more 25th century Trek as well and I hope Matalas will part of it again.

I’ll believe it when I see it. Corp heads pushing for trying focus because Cost concerns from the investors. I won’t have bothered with Academy

Totally disagree. He didn’t do a GREAT job on PS3.
He delivered an AMAZING, MIND BLOWING, EMOTIONAL ROLLERCOASTER that I’m still hyped about.

Lay off the drugs.

You’ll take a lot of hits for this, but I didn’t drink the Kool-Aid on Star Trek: Picard, either; I thought S3 was just so-so.

Yeah i liked season 1 and 2. They turned season 3 into a reunion show and it was awful.

I didn’t like they changed the big bads 1/2 way through because I thought that was weak but otherwise I really liked it.

This !

At least they should hire people who know Star Trek lore, understand what it is, and why it is adored by people.

It was ok but not great. Had some of the same problems as discovery. He has said legacy would have Alexander. How about something new?

I’d prefer Henry Alonso Myers, myself, since he’s doing such a wonderful job with Strange New Worlds.

Season 5 on the Re fit Enterprise Romulan war year one 15 episode min series

Absolutely not. The thought of Scott Bakula in a war epic fills me with dread. The man has absolutely no range whatsoever.

I tend to agree that Bakula was a miscast. But I would gladly take him back if the Enterprise special is produced by someone other that Kurtzman & his Secret Hideout.

Love Bakula but because of Quantum Leap not Trek

Scott Bakula was a has-been D-list actor when he was cast for ENT, ain’t happening. The series was supposed to be a marquee property for the fledgling UPN network at the time but shit the bed very quickly.

And ENT, from a more fan perspective, never delivered on the core premise which was the same issue with VOY.

He was not a D-list, has-been actor when cast in Enterprise. He was a well liked, recognizable and steadily working actor when cast (and continues to be to this day). His name alone brought a lot of goodwill to Enterprise when the series was announced.

Enterprise didn’t deliver on its premise until season 4, thanks largely to Manny Coto as showrunner. Berman and Braga have both said that he was the one who got it in a way that they never did.

I didn’t find anything better In S4. The one season that wasn’t unwatchable for me was season two

He didn’t even want the job right away. He took it because they promised him the role of first Captain of the Enterprise. And since then he has moved on to NCIS and turned down the Quantum Leap sequel.

Blue ray Ds-9

I wish. Would cost as much as a new show.

Nope. Google it. It’d cost about 24 mill to do all of Voyager or DS9.

Each episode of DSC costs upwards of 8 million.

It’s a bargain.

How come B5, seaquest DSV and other lesser shows get remasters?

You’re looking at the cost side without any consideration of the revenue side.

Wait to do the whole series.

Do the TV movies of the week, re-edit them as movies. Add in any deleted stuff.

License them out to Netflix and other streamers. Content is king.

Voyager was the most crowd funded documentary in history! They will sell on digital and disc. Then re-do the series proper and issue sell those too.

It was the single biggest mistake TNG-R did – to release season 1 first. Instead of TBOBW, UNIFICATION, REDEMPTION etc… Season 1 did great – but obvs if you aint seen TNG, its a massive disappointment.

Well Paramount are sitting on massive losses from Mission Impossible Dead Reckoning 1 + 2 + Indy 5 financial involvement as co-producer with Disney …so I think that alone sinks new Trek franchise content even more!

But that’s their film division? Not sure that would necessarily impact CBS Studios and their plan. They have their own content budgets for streaming. Or are you thinking about a Star Trek film? I think losses at the studio could go either way. Less money lying around so no Star Trek film… or the thinking could be we need to make some money let’s invest in Star Trek again.

Dead Reckoning Part 2 hasn’t finished filming or been released yet, so that investment can’t be considered a loss unless it fails upon release next year… if it even happens next year. With Indy 5 I don’t think they contributed financially to that production, but when Disney bought the rights to the franchise Paramount negotiated residual participation in at least Indy 5. I think it goes back to the original deal Paramount had for distribution was was to make four sequels to Raiders. Anyway sorry to be a pedant.

Everything eventually subsidizes something else in a company like this. Every division’s revenue has subsidized Paramount+ on its road to profitability, certainly. The problem now is that the broadcast assets are in rapid decline, so they have limited time to get there. If Paramount Pictures has a bad year it ends up affecting everyone. So with these Q2 results they can take some solace in ad sales only decreasing 2% and the Simon & Schuster sale, and the small uptick in P+ subscriptions, with the effect of reduced spending coming soon. That balances out P+ losses and the movie studio being down on 2022 when Top Gun was the story of the year.

Everything eventually subsidizes something else in a company like this

Exactly. Money is fungible!

Trek 4 has been in development hell since it was announced. Until someone comes along and agrees to make it for less then 150MM, that’s likely where it will stay.

Oh, I bet that if the Hawley project got enough along to do a budget, it would have been under 150m.

Is that even enough to pay Pine, Pegg, Saldana?

Paramount didn’t have to contribute anything to Indy 5. Their deal with Disney for the rights to future films meant they’d get a fee and the rights to show Dial of Destiny on Paramount+. If that fee was negotiated to be part of a net profit rather than the gross, then that would mean they are out of luck, but they didn’t have to spend a dime.

When I saw Indy 5 in theaters, knew it wasn’t perfect and loved it.

I knew already it was considered a bomb, but I as a result, I had another “death of cinema” moment:there is no way to know what people want if they get offered that kind of film and pretty much reject it by word of mouth.

I completely understand, at least for a minute, why corporate executives hate risk.

Same. Doesn’t have the same magic as a Spielberg film, but as an interesting swan song to a great character it’s totally on point and fun. Made with love. Too many people went in demanding to hate it, or just assumed they would and stayed away. Didn’t deserve that.

I liked Dial of Destiny too. I think it is better than Temple of Doom and Kingdom of the Crystal Skull. Was it a great movie? No. Why it took Paramount/Disney 15 years to make it is anybody’s guess. But it was a fun movie, especially the first 15 minutes.

I didn’t consider it as bad as some. It was better than Crystal Skull but the original 3 were the best and they should have just stopped with Last Crusade with Indy and his friends riding into the sunset. The worst part was that Fleabag chick. I feel like it would have resonated better if that part was rewritten to make it work for Short Round. Also, there really was no reason for the price tag to be that high and the reshot ending was painfully obvious.

To each his/her own, I’ve never been a fan of Temple of Doom. I still think Short Round was one of the most annoying characters in movie history. Willie with her screaming every 45 seconds was only a little better. I’m not a fan of Fleabag whatsoever, but Waller-Bridge’s Helena is a much more interesting character than Screaming Willie or One-Dimensional Irina from Crystal Skull.

Paramount didn’t finance Indy 5. That’s all on Disney.

Dead Reckoning 2 hasn’t flopped. It isn’t even out yet. And the first one would have made money were it not for the release date.


I think this is good news overall. Focusing on volume, in my opinion, resulted in less-than-stellar content. While each show has their audience, actually seeing what’s working for the most amount of people will likely lead to better quality programming, hopefully.

There wasn’t enough content so they kept throwing money at projects so that there was and that resulted in a lot of crap being produced over the past few years on virtually every streaming platform out there. Notable exception was Apple+ where there was a pretty high quality over content ratio.

Also, Apple is not a studio and they can afford anything they want

I think they went a bit over board with trying to have Trek content all year around or close to it and made way to many other shows as well.
They seemed to try and copy what Disney did with their Marvel shows/non Marvel shows and look at the drop in quality that Disney+ is now suffering.

As the saying goes Quality is better than Quantity.

In regards to the newer Trek shows i love Discovery it’s one of the best Trek shows made imo and it’s my favorite of the current shows and looks set to keep it’s place as my number 1 favorite.

Remember Discovery was only canceled because of Paramount’s financial trouble. The show was one of Paramount’s most watched shows with millions of viewers worldwide but because it cost to much it got the axe. With Discovery ending after S5 SNW will be the most expensive Trek show currently being made and i hope that doesn’t affect the shows future too.

Picard was really good in S1 but S2 was a bit of a let down and S3 was while not as bad as S2 it wasn’t great.

Lower Decks was great in S1-2 but i didn’t enjoy S3 but from the trailer of S4 it looks it might recapture what made S1-2 good.

Prodigy was great from the start and I’m sad that it was cancelled and i do hope we get to see S2.

SNW has been a hit and a miss for me while S1 was good it did have some bad episodes and S2 imo has had more bad episodes than good but hopefully the season finale makes up for a lackluster season. I also hope the writing improves in S3 as SNW has potential to be a great Trek show but so far the writing is holding it back imo.

Discovery’s cancellation was a result of a few factors but ultimately for more traditional reasons: Discovery got more expensive to produce with each passing season and the numbers weren’t there to justify the expense of continuing the show beyond season 5.

Most shows don’t go beyond 5 seasons anyway. Don’t expect any Trek show to go past 5 years.

I think the expectation should be that shows may go under after just two seasons if not just a single season.

S2 of Picard was largely shot during pandemic.hence, the over reliance on L.A. as a location.

Agreed. Discovery is a great example of what happens when you push too much content out–there has been a massive drop in quality in the past two seasons, to the extent that I don’t even care that season five will exist. Frankly, the cancelation of this show will be a mercy killing at this point.

Completely agree. Sadly I don’t care if they ran Discovery’s fifth season or not. But of course will watch it when it airs. I have a feeling Discovery has had a huge drop in viewership between seasons 3 and 4. Of course it has its fans but I can’t think of another show that was this hated by its fourth season.

Season 1-3 of Discovery had the benefit of running on Netflix internationally. The Netflix license fee reportedly covered a substantial part of the show’s budget.
Season 4 was pulled from Netflix, and I doubt that the slow international rollout of P+ could compensate for the missing revenue from Netflix.
I do wonder how Strange New Worlds is doing financially. It’s the first live-action show that P+ is doing on their own (Picard had Amazon Prime). Yes, we’ve heard that both Picard and SNW made it into the Nielsen streaming charts but those are just for the US unless I’m mistaken. Is P+ big enough now so that their own subscriber base can compensate for whatever Netflix and Amazon Prime paid to have those shows?

Discovery was an example of so many things. The concept of the show from S1 – S4 changed 100%. So much so that the era of the show completely changed, the Klingons changed, the plot changed, the producers changed, pretty much everything except the cast.

I don’t think, having Trek content (almost) all year round isn’t the worst idea, you just have to do it the old fashioned way: with a 21-26 Episode season. You’d have to turn it down in scope and per episode cost but, looking at the shows now, that’d be a good thing.

The 10-Episode season makes sense financially because for a streaming service it makes more sense, to get new people in than to hook the old ones. But if you look at what’s actually popular in streaming, it’s all the old network shows that have a couple of seasons with more than 20 Episodes each. The ones you can get lost in. The ones you can have on in the background because you’ve seen them so often.

I’d love that but these new era shows have much higher budgets than the Berman ones. I don’t think they could sustain such a large season. 13-15 sounds good tho.

If we can only have one live action show, I’d pick Star Trek: Legacy. Have that coincide with Lower Decks, as it’s animation (cheaper) and only 20+ years apart from Legacy timeline wise.

Though I’ve never wanted a Section 31 show as I feel the premise conflicts with Trek’s principles and S31 always worked better as a ‘less is more’ fashion, at least it is a limited series. For a follow up limited show, I’d love to see the NX crew with President Archer. Seeing the early days of the Federation, plus Shran!

A Starfleet Academy series I could take it or leave it but if it has to happen, I would prefer it be set in the late 24th or 25th century and not the Discoverse/3200s, though this is sadly where it will likely be set.

I do think the 60th anniversary deserves a big multimedia event that has a timeline expansive story that runs through whatever on-going shows are out in 2026. Much like the Arrowverse shows when they had big crossover events. Legacy or even a film could be the focal point and allow for characters to pop up to celebrate like Picard, Sisko, Janeway… maybe even Shatner’s Kirk out of deepfreeze!

Anywho, whatever happens, I’ll be watching.

Legacy is a non-starter that exists only in the heads of the actors and audience. At no point has it actually been something considered by the studio.

Judging by the metrics of Picard’s performance and the executive quotes above, it’s seems only logical to assume they are mulling it over.

According to what I’ve been told by friends at Paramount, they aren’t. I wish they WOULD, as it’s a cool idea. But the studios (who care only about money) are aware that a show about legacy characters played by actors who can demand high salaries to return would be a lot more expensive than one about new characters played by unknowns. The studios care ONLY about money. So unfortunately, the most logical thing to assume is that they aren’t.

But . . . but . . . they can reuse the existing sets that were made and costumes, etc.

Did they ever report that they kept the set?

The Enterprise D set was kept according to Drexlers Facebook

Paramount also has a deal with Secret Hideout to produce Trek through, what, 2026? The rest of our lives? They were the ones who hired TM and his efforts to publicly drum up support for his own show is a good way to get got from a professional standpoint. Alex Kurtzman has, improbably, taken down far bigger men than Terry Matalas.

I liked ST:P-S3 quite a lot. Matalas had to put lipstick on a pig, a terribly conceived series that was a cynical nostalgia ploy from the very beginning. But I think we’re already experiencing Star Trek: Legacy in every show they’re currently making with the possible exception of Discovery’s last three seasons. Strange New, Lower, and Prodigy are *about* Star Trek. I know I’m in an insignificant minority of, like, 12 people, but I’m bored with nostalgia and tired of “””writers””” cobbling together Memory Alpha factoids and off the shelf stock drama to dance between the raindrops, take wild swings, or whatever PR phrase they trot out ahead of each season launch. The challenge will be making something that’s interesting. Nobody currently involved with the IP is capable of that. I mean, Terry’s big idea is literally, “What if Captain Seven and Picard’s son?”

You may be giving Kurtzman a bit too much credit. He’s never taken anyone down. Inherited projects, sure, but not maneuvered to take control of them. Is he successful? Yes. Is he a powerhouse in the industry? Not exactly.

As for Matalas, he delivered exactly what Paramount asked for on Picard Season 3 and the studio tends to remember when you come in on budget and deliver the numbers that they were hoping for.

It’s just odd since it doesn’t need to be continually populated by legacy actors, just pick one like Seven or Worf and bring others back now and then. Recurring guests won’t break the bank.

It’s not only the actors. They could dislike very much the idea of Legacy for a very simple fact, Hollywood, if Stewart is involved in the show. These investors are so greedy, they may only agree if they could choose Toronto Studios, simple, ROI.

Shooting in L.A. was at Patrick Stewart’s request, which resulted in a show that was more expensive to produce. Without Patrick Stewart as the series lead, the show would more than likely shift to Toronto to reduce costs.

Legacy characters would be reoccurring, not regulars. The three leads would have the highest salaries, while the supporting cast typically earn significantly less (like, 70% to 80% less).

“Legacy” would likely come in at a budget similar to that of “Starfleet Academy”, with production shifting to Toronto to save money (securing Patrick Stewart meant shooting in L.A. and thus higher production costs).

Having been involved with a number of shows over the years on a network level, a lot of the info that trickles out from those who aren’t directly in the know tends to be less than reliable.

Star Trek: Legacy, Matalas’ pitch, IS NOT about legacy characters. It’s about the legacy of those old characters — the next next generation.

Of course the studios are all about money. They are a business. Not a charity put there solely to please IP fans. Star Trek exists because people are trying to make money.

Legacy is a non-starter that exists only in the heads of the actors and audience

So was Strange New Worlds… until it wasn’t.

Yup. Nailed it.

How Do You Know This?

We used to say that about SNW too tho

I’m wondering if the decision to drop Prodigy was also based on the audiences they were trying to reach. Prodigy was very specifically aimed at kids, and maybe the network is pivoting away from the “a different Star Trek series for everyone” model and moving more towards “give the fans what they want” model.

I want Prodigy!

I do too, but I’m just thinking about why they wanted to greenlight it.

This is sort of good news, as they’re claiming quality will be paramount (pun intended) going forward. However, it really means nothing at all since the studios NEVER care about quality, even when they claim they do. The creators care about quality. The studios care about money, and you should never let their lies fool you into thinking otherwise. That is exactly why those of us who work in film and television are currently not working while the money-hungry vultures resist treating the writers and actors fairly. Many of us have been impacted by the strikes, across a wide range of jobs (not just actors and writers), but we all support the strikes (even as we worry about paying our bills) because the studios are evil organizations run by evil people who don’t give a crap about those of us who work for them or those of you who are their customers. So when you see a studio head claiming that quality matters to him, automatically assume he’s lying. If they cared about quality, there would be 45 seasons of TV about the Cardassians, instead of 45 seasons about the kardashians.

not all the blame rests with the executives. Somebody keeps watching, following, etc…the Kardashians. Blame those <redacted> people as well

Studios love the accolades and awards so they do care about quality. They also like the big returns on cheap to produce unscripted programming, with entire channels dedicated to them to pad the bottom line. The crap helps finance the stuff that isn’t crap. Not everyone shares in the rewards, however.

“they do care about quality”

They don’t. That’s why great shows are canceled prematurely all the time, while reality shows and other complete crap continue–because the latter are a lot cheaper.

Great shows get cancelled because no one is watching them and they’re losing money. One series I worked on some years back was fantastic and everyone loved it internally but there was no way to justify extending it beyond season 1. We had cash for 5 shows and someone had to make the call to continue a series with continually declining viewership or roll the dice on another show with roughly the same budget but with the potential to be a critical and commercial success. They ultimately made the right call but no one was happy to see the other show go.

They do, but lets be honest. Other than Saturn awards or something like that Trek is never going to get any. Emmys and Oscars are way out of Trek’s reach :/

I think this is not just a specific problem of studious or entertainment. Its a general human folly. As a species we are greedy by instinct, its just some of us are better at controlling this greed while others just let it guide them. Until we can somehow get rid of greed this is an impossible problem to fix.

what a load of corporate meaningless double speak

Yup. When it’s all good news, earning calls tend to be a bit more direct. When the news is mixed, you have to dig through what they’re saying to get a real sense of what they’re actually saying.

Well the one good real factoid we got here is that subs are up

I must agree. These are platitudes, not actionable strategy. “Super-serving” the audience could mean cancelling all current projects and offering a single, high-quality Trek show. It could also mean continuing the current strategy of offering as many Star Trek shows as will stick on the muddy wall.

LOL well yeah, that’s what earning calls are. Make Wallstreet happy with double talk and everyone else can go to…

Perhaps the best way Paramount could save money is not by cutting the number of episodes, but instead cut the budgets per episode. TNG cost $1.2m per episode in 1987, which equates to around $3.2m today, while DS9 cost approximately $2m per episode in the mid to late 1990s, which would equate to $3.7m in 1998 or $4.1m in 1994 (depending on when exactly the figure was from). Discovery and early seasons of Picard were much more expensive, costing approximately $8 to $10m per episode.

Without knocking them, as Dicovery has its fans, most fans would say that TNG and DS9 were superior to DIS and Picard seasons 1 and 2. Picard season 3 was supposedly a lot cheaper, hence more bottle episodes, and was some of the best Star Trek in 20 years. I think most of us would be happier with 20 episodes of cheaper, yet well written Star Trek, than 10 episodes of more expensive Trek.

a 20-episode, $5.75 million/episode (the 2023 equivalent of Voyager’s alleged $3.3 million/episode budget in its final season) for Strange New Worlds, split up 10/10 could capably fill a schedule. Do it September-March/April and I think it could really work and it would equal less than what they’re spending on the 20 combined live actions they’ve been doing per year ($115 million vs. $150-$160 million if the per ep SNW & DISCO budgets are to be believed).

14-15 episodes would be fine and they can be done as per DIS seasons 1 and 2. The problem with modern Hollywood is the showrunners have no fiscal responsibility and spend like drunken sailors. They probably also prefer to do fewer episodes as they still get paid a lot for less work.

That’s a management talking point. Most shows have a 3-6 producers who take a percentage of every episode’s budget but are in no way involved in the creative direction or physical production of the show. You think Heather Kadin is in the writers room or on set making sure they make their days?

The writers fired their agents not too long ago because of this very issue. Doesn’t mean it stopped, just means that fewer agents are one of these producers (usually Executive Producer) in name only.

I have Paramount+. Because of Star Trek. New and old. If Paramount+ ever decided to drop all Trek, I drop Paramount +. It’s that simple.


Same. I imagine there are at least a few million of their subscribers that are there primarily for Trek.

Totally the same. I haven’t tried the Terry Sheritan shows (probably will) but right now the only reason I have P+ is Trek new and old.

Star Trek belongs in a show format, NOT movies!

I read that in Indiana Jones voice.

Why not, BOTH!

Chris Pine said it best. Paramount spends too much on Trek movies and exxpects MCU returns and frankly they are not going to ever get that

Paramount/CBS should be licensing out all new Star Trek content to basic cable, while also keeping it on Paramount Plus for subscribers, say a year after the final episode of a season premieres on Paramount Plus.

The episodes are already built out with places for commercial breaks anyway, and while some content would have to be edited out, it would likely be minimal.

Might as well get a little bit of ad revenue for what you’ve made after its been out for a minute.

I think they already do with this with some of the Berman era Trek.

They’re doing exactly that by porting them over to Pluto TV a year or so after first run P+ and Paramount owns that, too. There are 78.5 million monthly active users worldwide for that free, ad-supported platform. That reach is better than basic cable.

Ad supported television. What an amazing time to be alive!

That works, although everything I’ve just read indicates that Pluto TV in the US (and I’m only talking about the US in this reply) only goes up through Voyager (it doesn’t include TAS but that’s not surprising). And I couldn’t find any information that talks about Discovery, Picard, Lower Decks, or Strange New Worlds being planned to be ported over to Pluto TV in the near future. I’m not including Prodgiy because right now it doesn’t have a home anywhere, outside of hard format options for season 1.

Which is all to say that Paramount/CBS is still leaving money on the table when it comes to the newer Trek shows. Whether its on Pluto TV or basic cable, honestly why not both, doesn’t matter, the issue is they’re still sitting on shows that could be making them some money on other delivery platforms.

Please cancel Starfleet Academy show and Section 31 movie.

Why because you don’t like them? I want them so i hope they get made.

Because with clearly limited budgets and interest in streaming, I would rather they focus on SNW and LD.

But those shows are still going anyway. Neither one of them has been cancelled and both of them were renewed after announcing SFA and Section 31.

I still think anything that was announced (and not just Star Trek) is still up in the air. We’re reaching a point where we’re moving so far away from pre-production and those initial announcements that we’re rapidly approaching write-off territory. It was unimaginable just two years ago that a series could be completed and then cancelled. It’s much easier to pull the plug on a show that hasn’t been cast or shot a single frame.

One of the things that stood out from the earnings call was how oddly unspecific it was as it related to the actual content they were discussing. I suspect there are announcements looming on the horizon.

Because they are dumb ideas.

Keep in mind if that happens a Picard spin off never sees the light of day.

Or they cancel one project to replace it with another that’s a surer bet. Risk aversion is running high.

Believe it or not, some of us are really looking forward to the Starfleet Academy show and the Section 31 show.

SNW is a young adult show. I don’t know why they want to do a second one.

Strange New Worlds is not a Young Adult show. The only character on it who is a young adult is Uhura. Everyone else is in their 30s at the youngest (Jess Bush at 32.)

Really? Because S2 feels like I’m watching a CW show. It definitely isn’t adult entertainment.

Yes. Young Adult entertainment has the primary character(s) being Young Adults (probably Age 17-24 or something like that, such as the main cast of Riverdale.) Uhura is the only such character on SNW.

Kind of have to agree with you there. SNW doesn’t feel at the adult level of a TOS, TNG, DS9 or VOY. The way they handled the Spock and Chapel relationship really feels like its out of a CW teen melodrama.

Yep, typical CW lova triangle

I would bet those are going away. SNW and Legacy and hopefully LD is what you will see in 2026. It would be cool to see a Kirk based series on the Faragut as he takes command for the first time – with McCoy and Gary Mitchell.

I would consider subscribing to PP+ to watch Star Trek, but in Australia we don’t get it in 4k, nor HDR! Like… seriously? At least on the only device I have that has the app, the NVIDIA Shield (because apparently it’s so hard to write software for a 2016 Samsung TV, then top of the line...).

MBA bean counters are destroying Hollywood as fast as they can- it’s surprising we get any decent Trek as it is with these 🤡 🤡 in charge.

If they want a cheap to produce Trek related series, then revive the joke idea of COOKING WITH THE CAPTAINS, but this time call it WHISK IS OUR BUSINESS.

OK, that gave me a chuckle. Thank you!

If I could trade my penchant for punning into genuine cunning, I’d be one dangerous mofo. Alas …

Ha! Ya’ never know!

We have a growing roster led by more than a dozen franchises that have grossed over $1 billion in revenue.

Really? What are they?

Star Trek
Taylor Sheridan universe
Mission Impossible
NCIS & spinoffs

I’m guessing they are counting GODFATHER and maybe even GREASE in there, but I really don’t see how they jig and rejig the numbers to make the latter add up that high (especially since we know none of these things ever *make a profit.*) Am guessing maybe they are also counting Mr. Jones in there too. It would be nice to hold the speechwriters toes to the flames, just for him to experience how time is the fire in which we burn and to see when he/she would holler uncle and own up to the truth behind the claim.

Maybe it was based on erroneous blue-sky projections of AMERICAN GIGOLO and GREASE and FATAL ATTRACTION streaming income.

Yeah, much less there than meets the eyes. Analysts and investors see through all that. While pushing that subscriptions were up for Paramount+, the call also indicated that those numbers were directly related to folding Showtime into Paramount+.

There’s always a lot of spin but this was kind of special.

Maybe some of the Nickleodeon stuff like Sponge Bob? Maybe some of their reality shows like Survivor?

If we are counting the billion club can’t forget Top Gun

They needed all that to learn, that a subscriber is more likely to stay subscribed, if there’s something he actually wants to watch every month? Wow … impressive!

Other than that: Given that most of those Trek seasons alone probably were around 50 Million each, a Billion in revenue likely isn’t even profitable.

And hyperfocusing on specific audiences certainly works. Other streaming services have been doing that for years, but for a Star Trek it kind of ruins the appeal of the brand. It has only been around for so long because parents would force their children to watch their favorite show with them and some of them became fans themselves. If we’re now doing Sexy Trek, Violent Trek, Funny Trek, Trek for Babies, Trek vor wierdos and so on, you’ll have a revenue stream but you’ll actually kill the franchise for good.

This kind of proves my theory on another thread that in the long run Paramount is gonna have one live action and one animated Trek series on the air. (Not including the streaming only movies) I think they could merge the Academy show idea with the Legacy format and make a show down the road but I don’t think this will air until SNW finishes. What I don’t understand is why they don’t ever consider using a miniseries format for Trek?

I was kind of hoping Simon and Shuster would get sold to Penguin, as that way all Star Trek novels would finally be under one umbrella. (Bantam, Ballantine, Del Ray are all Random House imprints.) Ah well.

Still…looking over their schedule, I see that in the entire 2023, there was one DIS, one SNW, and three Prodigy books released…and until that Picard novel in February of 2024- the *only* release planned for next year so far- there will be the Sisko autobiography in October, and that’s it. One book- and not even a novel- in seven months!

Maybe I’m just resting on memories of the early 90’s, when there were times you could get two or even three Trek novels a *month*.

The 90’s. Ah….The Good Old Days.

I’m not looking forward to Starfleet Academy at all. Rather do the Legacy series while many of the actors are still with us. There’s already a built-in audience for that!

The clear message here is “Star Trek is important to us. How little of it can we get away with?”

Their stated metric is “4 hours a month or more than 2 series” which suggests that they think they can get away with SNW + ACAD + LD.

LEG seems like a better bet than ACAD if they’re trying to focus on existing fans. (As opposed to growing TREK.) It’s possible that the extended strike break will give them a window to reassess.

Legacy is a safer bet overall while SFA may be a tougher sell. SNW and Picard season 3 raised the bar on what the parameters are for a successful Star Trek series. With the content boom over, it’s all about delivering ratings again. A marginal performer will no longer survive.

Might I submit that you are arguing from a bias place. LGC (a better abbreviation if I do say so myself) may be a safer bet overall in your opinion because you and other fans like you want to see it more than LDS.

I would however suggest that if they think LDS is a safer bet it means they have data to back it up.

I’m not sure you do have that data. My guess is, SNW and LGC serve essentially the same audience while LDS has a different demo, even if you or I don’t know it.

You seem to have misread what I wrote pretty epically.

How about just concentrate on making ONE good show instead of trying to aim for short term success via quantity?

I’m not going to be one of those people to bash any current trek but I’ll say that I’ve abandoned most of it except Picard S3 recently, for now at least.

Irrespective of what anyone things I’d say we can agree generally that one really good show is better than 3 hit and miss shows.

So far every new trek series since Discovery I’m not sure most of us would say they’ve been more hit than miss. I could be wrong, after all I’ve not seen much of it since early in Discovery S2, and I bearly remember Discovery really – but it seems to me that all the shows have had lots of downs and a few ups. This is just my own opinion and observation.

Whatever that case I’m happy for those that enjoy it currently and perhaps I’ll get more into it eventually.

For me personally I would say more hit than miss. The only shows I really didn’t like were DISCO and PIC seasons 1 – 2

Much C-level word vomit, very little actually said.

61 MILLION !!!!

That is a lot higher than the detractors here have been suggesting for years.

According to Deadline on September 13th, 2022:

“While the numbers are not routinely broken out from the overall Paramount total of 64 million streaming subscribers (two-thirds of which are Paramount+), Showtime OTT has grown more than 200% over the past three years, say people acquainted with the numbers.”

Deadline also reported that of those 60 million plus subscribers, 43 million subscribed to Paramount+. So, 1/3 of the 61 million reported in the earnings call carried over from Showtime+.

What they didn’t indicate was where they saw subscriber growth but if Showtime OTT was seeing growth of more than 200% over three years for linear in 2022, the growth reported was likely on the Showtime+ side.

Folding Showtime+ into Paramount+ was inevitable but combining both services also allowed Paramount to avoid having to report numbers for the two separately in the latest earnings report. Reporting growth for Showtime+ but Paramount+ plateauing would have landed with a thud.

I would buy the remastered Blu-Ray’s of Deep Space Nine, i’d even buy Voyager which i don’t care for nearly as much. I bought all the remastered 4K discs for Star Trek. I’ve bought all the DVDs, i’ve bought VHS and Laserdiscs. Make it So.

So continue to dump Disco…and add Academy and Section 31. Use the money for longer SNW seasons and Legacy.

What this guy just said! 👍

On Star Trek: Academy. Please, just,,,, no. Don’t do it.
Give use Star Trek: Legacy