Alex Kurtzman Teases Star Trek “Surprises” Coming Up, But Greenlighting ‘Legacy’ Is Out Of His Hands

There are a lot of questions about the future of the Star Trek television franchise, with shows ending and the future of Paramount+ itself in flux. We got some clarity last week with the big Variety cover story. Now there is a bit more coming from Alex Kurtzman, who oversees Star Trek TV for Paramount, as well as more comments from Paramount execs about Trek and the future of Paramount+.

Kurtzman talks Trek’s future and why Legacy hasn’t been greenlit (yet)

During the Discovery season 5 publicity tour executive producer Alex Kurtzman talked to Cinemablend about the series ending pointing out how five seasons is “a really good run” for a modern TV show, especially due to how “streaming cycles work.” He also offered this optimistic view of the future of the Trek TV:

“The good news is that the health of the franchise is vibrant now. We’re shooting Section 31, we’re about to start Starfleet Academy, and there’s a couple of surprises coming up after that. So there’s definitely no shortage of Star Trek incoming.”

Kurtzman said something very similar last October at NYCC talking about the “extraordinary” support Star Trek has from Paramount+ and teasing a “bunch of new things now in the works.”

Alex Kurzman (CBS Studios)

One specific thing that keeps being brought up by many fans is a followup to Star Trek: Picard. The series wrapped up its third and final season in 2023, but the finale set up what has been described as a “Star Trek: Legacy” series as envisioned by showrunner Terry Matalas with the enthusiastic support of members of the cast, including Jeri Ryan, who would lead the show as Captain Seven of the USS Enterprise-G. Matalas has made it very clear no development work has been done on his Legacy concept.

Could Legacy be one of those teased “surprises”? Apparently not. In a separate new interview with Den of Geek Magazine, Kurtzman said:

“If I had a magic button, a magic ‘greenlight button,’ for Star Trek: Legacy, and it was all on me, I’d push that button today. Right now, it’s beyond my paygrade.”

One would imagine that CBS CEO George Cheeks had the right paygrade to give Legacy a greenlight (assuming there was enough money available, more on that later). When he was recently asked about Legacy, he equivocated. The executive said there is a plan to “time it out appropriately” when it comes to “the right cadence for dropping new Star Trek series.” One can see why the YA-focused Starfleet Academy series (set to start filming this summer) has priority in this telling quote from CBS Studios CEO David Stapf to Variety: “There’s a tried and true ‘Trek’ fan that is probably going to come to every ‘Star Trek,’ no matter what it is — and we want to expand the universe.”

For fans hoping to return to 25th century Trek, there is a glimmer of hope. Last week Variety reported, “Kurtzman is already eyeing more opportunities for TV movies, including a possible follow-up to Picard.” Speaking to TrekMovie in February, Terry Matalas said he was open to the idea of a TV movie version of Legacy.

Michelle Hurd as Raffi Musiker, Ashlei Sharpe Chestnut as Ensign Sidney La Forge, Mica Burton as Alandra La Forge and Jeri Ryan as Seven of Nine in “The Last Generation” (Paramount+)

Star Trek’s future tied to troubled parent

Star Trek is certainly important to Paramount+, with Variety reporting nearly one in five subscribers are watching at least one Star Trek show and more than half of the fans who watch one of the new original Trek shows watch at least two others, which is vitally important to reduce “churn,” the bane of all streaming services. According to CBS exec David Stapf, “‘Star Trek’ is one of the most valued, treasured and to-be-nurtured franchises in all of media.” But the reality is that Paramount Global has been dealing with financial trouble. Just last week the company’s bond rating was downgraded to junk status. Paramount simply no longer has the kind of money to spend on streaming content it did just a couple of years ago when there were five concurrent Star Trek shows on Paramount+.

In a new interview with Variety, Paramount’s streaming CEO Tom Ryan touted how the service has moved past “peak investment” ahead of schedule and they are now looking to “leverage our cost base more effectively,” which is corporate-speak for cutting spending on content. Ryan vows that Paramount+ is headed to profitability soon, but its future could be upended by the potential sale of Paramount Global. The media corporation is fielding competing bids with some kind of sale expected this year by industry analysts. There has also been reporting that Paramount Global is considering merging Paramount+ with Comcast’s Peacock.

Paramount Pictures in Hollywood

All of this just adds a new level of uncertainty to Star Trek, which is currently entirely dependent on Paramount+ when it comes to developing new TV content (with the sole exception of Prodigy, now streaming on Netflix). Alex Kurtzman acknowledged to Cinemablend that these corporate moves are beyond his control, but he was still optimistic when it came to Trek’s future:

“Star Trek is bigger than any one moment or any one company. Star Trek is an institution; no matter where, no matter what changes, there will always be Star Trek somewhere… I don’t think Star Trek is going anywhere ever.”

As always, TrekMovie will continue to monitor the latest when it comes to the future of Trek, and Paramount.

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One of the surprises is that “Very Short Trek” has received a full season pick up. (Would have been better if this story came out yesterday.)

LOL! Probably.

I liked the Short Treks! They were hilarious!

I did love the last two but very mixed with the first three.

You need to laugh more my dude.

I do. It’s why I love LDS so much genius.

I use to like it, but it’s getting stale for me. I hope they do one more season to wrap it up. I would love to see a live action ST comedy similar to the Short Trek with the tribbles. Maybe base it on Starbase 80. A cartoon will work too I guess.

You can always just stop watching it. No one cares. Really.

I think you would care. 🧐

No I don’t. You obviously have some strange obsession with me but it’s the opposite for me. I just think you’re a troll and should’ve been banned again by now but I don’t run these boards.

Yeah you care. You’re a good egg.

No you should be banned here. Just waste everyone’s time. You’re just a harmless troll.

Wait, what am I missing? Why am I not seeing these???

Belated April Fool’s Day….

OMIGOSH! I have a Paramount + subscription but I can’t find these!!!

If you’re talking about Very Short Treks it’s not on Paramount+ just on YouTube or the official Star Trek site.

And I tried to find if it’s been renewed but I couldn’t find it. So I’m wondering is it official or just a rumor somewhere it was?

Seriously? They are continuing?

Don’t quite know how I feel about that…

Great news

…must be cheap to make.

Read the OP, folks. Belated April Fool’s….

Ah that’s what I thought but wasn’t sure.

Since 2017 I’ve certainly seen more interest in Star Trek beyond its own fan base. I think that Kurtzman is right, Star Trek is bigger than any one company or moment in history. It’s an institution and a philosophy all on its own.

The thing that has always struck me about Star Trek is its ability to resurrect itself and reinvent itself. I think Star Trek as an idea will always be around because it’s not afraid to question itself or the ideas it presents, it’s also not afraid to challenge its fans.

Where Star Trek is still very much struggling is with attracting a younger audience. I tend to think this is more the fault of those in charge of the branding and marketing of Star Trek than the content in the shows. The handling of Prodigy is one example of how poorly managed the brand is and goes to show that Paramount might believe that Star Trek is a valuable and important part of their business, but they have very little understanding of how, what and when to make the right decisions.

How is it that when Prodigy was launched, there wasn’t a huge advertising and merchandising blitz? Playmates were pushing figures of characters and ships based on shows that were so irrelevant to kids…

Where was the brand tie ins that really focused on kids. Yes prodigy needed to work as a Star Trek show but fans were going to watch it regardless, so where was the confidence and belief that Prodigy was going to draw in a new younger generation of fan? It was as if the branding and marketing team responsible for Star Trek were still working on the assumption that Star Trek was still very much a brand for adults who preferred the old Trek to the new Trek…how on earth do you expect the new Star Trek shows to hit with a new audience if the branding and marketing teams are still pushing TOS and TNG. it might be that those shows sell, but without investment into the new content, any new Star Trek will only ever be second best to those classic shows if the marketing, merchandising and branding teams don’t start working in harmony with what is being produced. Prodigy, Starfleet Academy, Section 31, Legacy, Strange New Worlds all need to be at the very top of any licensing agreements and marketing for Star Trek.

I get the sense though that only TOS and TNG really capitalized on the younger audience. The licensing deals were canny but also the shows were fresh. DS9 and Voyager certainly sold toys and merch, but the kids were becoming teens or the teens were becoming adults by then. By the time Enterprise came along, its merch was already geared towards collectors, and while the show was still for families it wasn’t exactly a licensing dream or capturing the zeitgeist.

The marketing tie-ins for the Kelvin movies didn’t perform very well either despite their being high performing four quadrant movies. Paramount is a common factor in all of this, and you hit on a good point that for some time legacy merch is often pushed more than anything new, but it has to be said that Star Trek merchandise is tricky to market, especially for kids. Discovery also didn’t help by being a TV-MA show. Hence the blatant outreach that is Prodigy.

Yeah, you’re right about Discovery. It was definitely more for adults. I didn’t let my kids watch it. They did get through TOS and TNG (except for a couple of episodes) and they loved it. Moving on to DS9 now!

Àlso, even tos related stuff was not a sure thing all the time. In the early 80s, I remember reading in a couple of outlets that tmp lost close to 100 mil on merchandising, and that is even counting a bestselling novelization. By the mid 80s you could find tmp peel off graphics books for 99cnts everywhere, they were very popular with zero budget filmmakers. Tmp alum Lee Cole was using them all over the set of ‘the creature wasn’t nice’ according to vokar who made a set visit to interview Leslie Nielsen.

Yeah, most of the TOS and TNG movies are pretty squarely geared towards adults, but apart from some of the violence of II, VI, VIII and X, I don’t think anything was as misjudged as the approach to TMP when it came to kids. Regardless of if you are a fan of it or not, it’s not exactly made to be appealing to children (despite being Rated G) who were hyped up on Buck Rogers, Star Wars, or even the colorful and action-packed TOS. Any merchandiser would have had to wince if they saw that film and were stuck with a contract to sell toys off of it.

Even the real props looked like toys — that phaser was pathetic compared to the stuff that had been designed and rejected, and I remember an Electronic Enterprise (that was actually more accurate than the model kit) being ruined by a huge knob on it to turn the sounds up.

“Where Star Trek is still very much struggling is with attracting a younger audience. I tend to think this is more the fault of those in charge of the branding and marketing of Star Trek than the content in the shows. “

I think you may be right. Marketing was blamed for the cool box office on the excellent ST Beyond too. So, how should Paramount market SF Academy?

Is it possible to attract those SW and Marvel numbers to ST. ST is certainly more thoughtful and literate and I thought Abrams did a beautiful job adding SW rock and roll action to ST and yet, it didn’t stay for ST Beyond and its been years since that film. My son says none of his friends are even aware of ST and those Abrams films, at least the first 2, were hits with critics and movie goers. Part of this is just so much content, including video games and the like. There’s so much more competition. Then there might be intimidation with regard to how much of the franchise there is. That might discourage new folks from checking the show out too.

Frankly, with so much Marvel content, I think Marvel is facing that problem too and its showing in their box office now, e.g. the superhero fatigue at the box office now.

Perhaps. I still think it’s the TREK concept. It’s just not a cartoon-based or fantasy-based franchise. It attempts to be more drama and science fiction-based, and that’s not what the world wide audience wants to see today. They want total escape. STAR WARS is the grand daddy of escape cinema because though it contained sci-fi elements, it was at heart, fantasy. Even when TREK produces cartoon programing, like PRODIGY and LOWER DECKS, it still maintains a grounded sense of drama and adult sensibility… even with the comedy. I just hope one day soon we grow out of DC, MARVEL, PIXAR, KING KONG, GODZILLA, LORD OF THE RINGS, HARRY POTTER and all the other fanciful nonsense and return to more adult entertainment. Not making a judgment. I’m just not a fan of any of it.

Alex Kurtzman is super talented for real.

I think he’s doing pretty well. I definitely think he’s better than Rick Berman.

Rick Berman created Marvel universe before it was a thing. He resided over the most successful period of Star Trek to date.

I’m not saying Rick Berman didn’t have times when he gave good creative input, but he barely ever got story credits on Trek until the movies and then Enterprise, when he started actively co-writing with Braga. And it was a decidedly mixed affair there.

Berman’s strength was maintaining the logistics/budget/studio relationship/making canny decisions with casting and crew etc. We often give him shit for bad calls, but he did get a lot right and did a very difficult job. In terms of creativity, I don’t think he ever did as much as Kurtzman though.

The crazy thing is I actually liked most of the Berman written episodes…minus TATV lol.

And I always thought he got way more wrong than right since 80% of my favorite Star Trek are his shows.

Could not disagree more strenuously. Except for his having some hand in the WATCHMEN movie, I’ve never liked anything he has written, which places him even a little below Goldsman.

There’s nothing but hell below Goldsman.

Really enjoy these write-ups that spell out the big picture and cut through the corporate speak.

Yeah, they’re really helpful to keep track of what’s going on

Sports fans pay $2-$300.00 (or more) annually for NFL Sunday Ticket, MLB, NHL and others.
I’d HAPPILY pay a similar fee for a Trek + service, provided weekly content was provided.
I’d pay the same for the Yellowstone franchise…

You’re not the only one.

…..and yet, there were plenty of people posting here, proudly bragging that they were only going to pay for P+ only when new Trek dropped, and cancelling it the second the last credits rolled.
So there’s that.

Same here (and Yellowstone too).

Netflix ponied up five billion (Billion!!) for ten-year rights to WWE’s Raw. They’re imagining a decent ROI on that investment. A Trek service would have to have a much bigger audience then it does now for that service to come into being.

Apparently CBS/Paramount, and TPTB etc. don’t know their butts from a hole in the ground.
There is a lot interest in ST: Legacy from the fans, etc. this could be a very good story to continue… and yet we are going to get a spinoff of of the 32nd cent. ST:D in “Academy”?
TBH, I cannot really say I have heard or read much postive interest in this Academy series… I think its going to flop.

At least Section 31, which I am very pleased to see that it takes place during the time of Enterprise-C with Captain Rachel Garrett. This span of trek history in the 24th century really needs to be explored more on screen.

The point of SFA is to find a way to entice and keep younger fans. While everyone’s money is worth the same subscription fee regardless of age, advertisers still pay more for younger demographics, and an aging fan base eventually leads to diminished returns. See: Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny.

Paramount has to thread a needle of appealing to older fans and also trying to infuse the fan base with fresh ones. I think they missed the boat by not making Discovery and Picard family-friendly from the get-go, but regardless, they have a demo problem which can’t be ignored.

Conceptually, SFA is such a surface level reaction.. much like prodigy was targeted at kids (and didn’t work) this too will most likely not attract who they want, in the numbers they want. The best way to attract kids is to give aspirational characters doing cool and fun stuff. They could literally make SNW appeal to a wider audience that includes kids if they want to. Legacy, with its young, new bridge crew could do it. TOS did it. TNG did it. I just don’t get going with such an expensive show that’s targeted at such a specific audience. It’s just going to be another show that will mostly be supported by the existing fandom, and not bring in the numbers of the audience they want.

I agree, but there’s still a chance older fans will like it. We just have to wait and see!

I wasn’t saying they won’t. Actually, I think that’s exactly who they’ll end up with. And they won’t get the young adult audience expansion they want.

I did not read your post correctly. I agree, but for the sake of the franchise hope we’re wrong and this works, even if it feels like pandering.

I have mixed feelings on it, honestly. I always want it to work… just don’t agree on r=the pandering part. If it’s not good, I’d rather it go away.

Actually, I think that’s exactly who they’ll end up with.

Well, at some point existing fans may give up, too. Time is a finite resource and not everyone is a completist. I will probably tune in to the pilot, maybe the first couple of episodes, but unless they defy my expectations and really hit it out ot the park, I don’t plan to continue watching.

I honestly don’t know when I won’t watch. I guess we’ll see, but without knowing anything but the concept… this certainly feels like a version of Trek I’m least interested in. Right now, The only Trek I don’t watch is Lower Decks.

Conceptually, SFA is such a surface level reaction.. much like prodigy was targeted at kids (and didn’t work) this too will most likely not attract who they want, in the numbers they want. The best way to attract kids is to give aspirational characters doing cool and fun stuff.

Spot on. This is precisely my prediction as well.

I’m not interested in the Academy series, but, after reading that Variety article, I know why the powers that be want that show before ST Legacy.

They want to attract younger fans.

So do the idea I proposed here a few weeks ago. Reconfigure Academy to the 25th Century and introduce the E-G in season 2 as the training vessel.

Academy and Legacy all in one!

Well, the notion that it’s Academy vs. Legacy just isn’t reality. Academy was too farther along by the time Legacy was even a thought in the fanbase. There was no opportunity to supplant it. Contracts had been put in place, and money was being spent before Picard S3 even aired. By the time we were told about Academy, a lot of work had already been done behind the scenes. To stop it, it would take a studio head pulling a Zaslav (a la Batgirl) and shelving it for the tax write off to make it go away. Otherwise, they have to follow through with it. If the Trek fanbase doesn’t stick with it, then that’s the next opportunity for it to go away via cancellation.

Ok, so if Academy is well on its way, I get that. It’s not a Legacy vs. Academy thing, then.

So, basically, Paramount doesn’t want another live action show streaming with 2 ongoing shows like it had done these past, 3 years? That’s it?

Isn’t there some incentive to develop Legacy now while the iron is relatively hot?

The other possibility is that, with Section 31, if it’s successful, will they greenlight a Legacy film as a possible pilot or something like that? Another test of the waters so to speak?

Whatever. I just finished Picard Season 1 and loved it. I liked it more than the 4 seasons of Discovery I’ve seen. I love Discovery’s writing and production, and I like that it has flawed characters and drama, but I’m just not as enamored with that collection of characters. I loved the new characters and the returning ones (Picard, Riker, Seven, Deanna) in Picard. My wife was pretty cool on Seven of Nine in the Voyager episodes she watched with me (I can’t for the life of myself understand why), but she said she liked Seven a lot more in Picard, where, of course, she is much more emotive and living with her pain.

With Paramount ownership in flux, nothing not already greenlit is going to get greenlit, so that’s why Legacy isn’t moving forward. That has nothing to do with show competition. They’ve scaled back spending and are not sinking more money into streaming enterprises. If they want the sale to look attractive, they are not going to incur more expenses. The decision on what happens to the Trek franchise in a broad sense moving forward will be for new leadership to decide, and it could be a full stop on new shows / seasons, or en expansion of the current product. We just don’t know, and the deal is going to have to close until any decision is made. At this point, it’s all business.

By the time we were told about Academy, a lot of work had already been done behind the scenes. To stop it, it would take a studio head pulling a Zaslav (a la Batgirl) and shelving it for the tax write off to make it go away. 

While I don’t disagree with the general tenor of this argument, it still remains a sunk cost analysis. If they think it will flop, they shouldn’t be throwing good money after bad.

Look at it this way. Kurtzman got the go ahead. He’s not going to axe anything. He gets paid if this airs, even if it’s just one season. If he’s the one that pulls it, then he’s admitting defeat. He will not get money to do another show in its place right now, so he has to be all in. The decision to axe it would come from above him, and they’re not going to admit defeat in the midst of a sale. It’s an extreme measure. The Zaslav / Batgirl comparison isn’t an equitable situation, so the only real correlation is just going to an extreme as an example. Zaslav’s move was for tax purposes, and an extreme example that seldom happens. I don’t think anythign similar will happen here, even after a sale of the studio.

Look, I’m in the camp that wants this, but Kurtzman finally came out and said what I’ve suspected all along. He does not have the ability to green light it. I think he’s 100% sincere when he says he’d green light it tomorrow if he could. It’s really no different than SNW in his mind, but the streaming environment is different now, and the money is not flowing. I criticize Kurtzman a lot, but not about this. I always thought it was out of his hands, once it gained momentum from fans. Best we can hope for is for Paramount to get settled quickly and see if they’ll figure out a path forward for Trek where it can be greenlit.

Yeah, I believe Kurtzmann is sincere too. It’s a bummer. I also hope he’s not jeopardizing himself by saying that, putting the onus on the higher ups.

He’s not. Just saying what everyone else already knows.

Star Trek needs videogames/computer games to entice the younger fans; DS9 and VGR on Blu-ray, the older fans.

Yes and if physical mediums don’t sell as well, at least air HD DS9 and HD VGR on their precious streaming platforms. They will get even more views!

heard of sto?
star trek online… its been going years
all previous games were shit and half assed

Not all. Most, but not all.

Bummer. But I also think that Kurtzman truly does not want Legacy to happen due to ego.

It’s not a matter of whether or not he wants it to happen. Legacy simply isn’t a thing. It never has been, except in the minds of some wishful thinkers. It’s the latest in a cycle of nonexistent shows, including Captain Sulu and Captain Worf, for which fans have naively asked “Why hasn’t this been greenlit yet?” due to their lack of understanding of how the TV industry works.

Nothing is a thing until they decide to make it. But that’s not saying it will never be made, especially since it’s clearly obvious it is an idea they would at least consider. He just said it, he would make it if given the choice but there is only so much Star Trek they are making right now.

I’m thinking of it does get the green light we will probably see it in 2027 the earliest.

not going to happen 😏

You also said a post Nemesis show and SNW wasn’t going to happen either lol

Dude maybe I would be more worried if you said it WAS going to happen..😉

Yah, not going to happen… until it does.

Well, it’s Terry Matalas himself that keeps throwing bits out there. I listened to all the commentaries he did on the Blu Ray, and every so often he’s like “would be great to have a Captain Seven show” or words to that effect. It’s one thing if an actor like Michael Dorn or George Takei keeps the hope alive, but it’s different if the showrunner does it. Add that to the little bits he puts on Instagram and other social media for a Legacy show and it really makes me wonder. He also has the support of Kevin Feige (although Feige might get fired by Nelson Peltz, so not sure if he holds much sway anymore).

And I am a wishful thinker, but also a realist that it probably will not happen. So, again, bummer.

But based on what? I’m not seeing any reports or even semi-reputable insider gossip that he’s pushed around any showrunners including Matalas. He’s an EP on every single one of these shows, he benefits when they are greenlit.

I don’t believe this either, the biggest being they let Matalas make the season and gave him zero push back on anything. Matalas said it himself which oddly goes completely against what happened in season 2 where they had to basically rewrite the entire season (and it showed).

I just don’t get this argument? Kurtzman job is to hire people who make great shows and that can attract a audience who likes it and will continue to watch. That ultimately reflects positively on him.

And I don’t understand where anyone gets he doesn’t want the show to happen? He seems to be saying the opposite. Yes he could be just saying that but again I have no clue why he wouldn’t want a show he thinks people will love and begging for. That’s why SNW exists.

That would be logical, but humans are seldom that.

I have heard chatter about Kurtzman upset over all the accolades that Matalas received. Not sure if it is true, but it seems to track.

I haven’t. Not at all. And can you give me one example where you heard Kurtzman had issues with others due to his ego in his 30 years in the business.

One clear example. At the very least you should be able to tell me someone who has worked for him has at least claimed that; especially someone so high profile.

If you can not do that do you understand why I wish people would stop making such negative claims about people online?

Good points. I did hear it on a podcast, but not sure which episode. So without direct proof (or my own laziness by not listening to every past-podcast to find the evidence) I will stop.

Speaking of which, it would be cool if Kurtzman went on a podcast as a guest. Perhaps the Inglorious Treksperts? Matalas has been on many podcasts

Ok that shows real integrity and appreciate that. Thanks.

And yes I would like to see Kurtzman more things like that. He seems to be involved at every CC but an indepth interview with Treksperts would be great. But they would probably just hound him about Legacy lol.

And you arrived at this conclusion, how?

Actually I don’t see this as bad news, just the reality they can only produce so much Star Trek right now. I have faith (of the heart) that we will eventually get a Legacy show but as I been saying for nearly a year now it’s probably several years away or after SFA premieres.

It was sateted in the Variety article Kurtzman is thinking of doing a Picard movie of some kind which is probably just the Legacy idea and it’s far cheaper to a TV movie and probably why it would be easier to get off the ground.

If this were May of 2020 (when SNW was greenlit), Legacy would be moving forward. They were throwing money at any no-brainer of an idea back then.

I could not disagree with this more. The dude is just a producer. It’s the only reason he “loves” Star Trek. His measure of success is about making money. If you reversed the timing of SNW and Legacy within the Secret Hideout era, we’d be anxiously awaiting S3 of Legacy, and banging the drum for SNW.

Could’ve had Legacy but instead are getting 90210 in space. I really hope Netflix renews Prodigy so we’ll have some good Trek on TV.

Very few fans were ever thrilled with all the prequel premises. Enterprise was good, but people wanted post-Nemesis/Voyager. And I think still do.

After reading a recent Variety article, I can see why the focus is on the YA Starfleet Academy. The age demographic for ST is generally older than the SW and Marvel franchises. Of course, Marvel is comparatively new compared to ST. Similarly, SW has only recently come to television (and, personally, I think that was a bad idea) and been put into overdrive after Disney acquired Lucasfilm. Nevertheless, as seen from the box office returns of Abrams ST films compared to the Marvel and SW films, the latter two, newer franchises outdo ST at the box office, no matter how good the films are. There was, of course a ceiling in the original film franchise too that Paramount was aware of.

Anyway, they are doing the same thing on the newer ST shows to save money. They’ve redressed sets for use on the Section 31 TV film and the like. And they want to try to bring younger fans on board. It’s kind of a bummer that the Abrams films didn’t do as well as Paramount hoped, as I think these films had all the ingredients and were generally, as a trilogy, better than the SW sequel films (The Rise of Skywalker was really a let down). Prodigy, of course, was focused on bringing kids to the franchise and Starfleet Academy is aimed at a younger, late teens/early 20s demo I guess. That’s what the corporate brass wants Kurtzmann to focus on, and I get it. Also, it’s looking like, unlike before, the powers that be don’t want to have 3 live action ST shows filming anymore. They’ll have Strange New Worlds and SF Academy after Discovery wraps up. All these folks are concerned about their streaming revenues and I guess they’re being conservative. So, I’m guessing no Legacy until Strange New Worlds wraps. In that regard, I’d guess that SNW has at least 2 more seasons in it, like Discovery. In that regard, am I right in saying that SNW has performed and been received better than Discovery?

I’ve got one episode left on the first season of Picard and so far I love that show more than Discovery.

I wonder what changed from TOS and Berman eras of Star Trek to now that special shows need to be made to attract a younger audience. TOS and TNG were appealing to me as a child and young adult and I liked them for not being Star Wars or anything other than Star Trek.

I dunno. Discovery looks to me that it’s clearly targeted towards adults, not kids. Like I said above, I wouldn’t let my kids watch it. It’s at least PG-13 whereas, TNG and TOS would be, at the most, PG. Discovery skews older. The characters are late 20s /early 30s and that’s pretty much on par with other ST shows, like TOS and TNG as you said, that you watched as a kid, so that’s not it.

The other big thing, I think, is that these shows are on streaming. You have to pay for Paramount+, whereas both TOS and TNG were syndicated and kept growing their audiences because they were on all the time and had less competition. Now, all the original ST shows are syndicated on cable, so they are there. Of course, they’re also competing with syndicated NCIS, Law and Order, Friends, Seinfeld, etc. Just too much stuff on.

Competition for sure is a big factor. TOS and TNG had nothing like them on the air. DS9 and Voyager even were suddenly up against all the shows TNG proved there was a market for. And now they are fighting for oxygen from behind a paywall on the #5 streaming service or amongst the thousands of other things on Pluto alone.

The differences being the classic shows were mostly family shows where anyone can watch them at any age for the most part.

It’s no way Discovery, Picard or even Lower Decks were made with kids in mind. The first two shows were rated Mature out of the gate which is basically TV’s version of rated R. Lower Decks is geared younger but it’s still geared mostly to teenagers in mind like most adult cartoons. It’s no way there would be so many cuss words in it lol, even if they are still bleeped.

The only shows that are made for younger audience are obviously Prodigy and SNW.

I guess what changed is the TV landscape today and where the biggest shows are now very adult and edgier like GOT, TWD, Breaking Bad, Sopranos, etc and they tried to make Star Trek for that audience.

But when the fans balked we got comfort food and safe Trek again with SNW.

There is space for mature Trek, but the danger is always that it interrupts the self-perpetuating loop where Trekkies grow up with a show, then start their own families and introduce it to their kids who would do it again. Preferably that’s done via new shows and films with each cycle a la how it’s worked out for Doctor Who, Star Wars, Jurassic Park and superhero franchises. It worked that way with TOS going to TNG, and then to the Kelvin films, but to me Disco and Picard broke the cycle.

I think SNW’s comfort food approach was wise. An inclusive show that largely can be watched as a family where great memories can be built together as a family, and a nostalgia for Trek can lead to future generations being introduced to new shows and films rather than potentially dated reruns.

Exactly. I agree with everything you said. Yes I think the early days with Discovery (and yes Picard too) was trying to appeal to a more adult audience. And since they knew the old fans was certainly older and many liked adult content as well they probably thought it would work.

But yes as usual they didn’t understand their base as much as they thought and really underestimated how much of them wanted Star Trek of old. It took them awhile to get there but SNW became the product most of the fans wanted on day one.

Again this idea that Paramount has decided that the old fans is becoming a thing of the past is just an odd argument when practically all the shows now have all been geared to old fans including Discovery itself. Season 2 was already a big difference in tone and style from season 1. It’s literally why Pike and Spock was there.

But today you see how huge that shift became. Anyone who doesn’t believe this should watch the first episode of Discovery and then watch the first episode of SNW. It honestly feels like it was made by two separate studios.

SNW couldn’t feel more sanitized and family friendly if you tried versus Discovery which really was trying to do something a lot more contemporary and edgier.

Kids are very mature these days. I would make my kids watch and I would buy them all the violent video games they want. But I would rather have a condo in Bangkok. So no kids for me 😆

I didn’t say they weren’t. I’m saying Star Trek just doesn’t really appeal to them in general and that’s ultimately the issue.

Ironically it’s the adults who thought Discovery and Picard felt too mature because they had five shows and 13 films up to that point and the only curse word ever used was shit literally used only 3 times.

I have literally seen people on these boards making a big deal over Kirk saying the word hell. That’s the reason why all of that was pulled back altogether although Picard season 3 oddly got away with it and no one cared.

Hey, if you don’t want kids, nothing wrong with that! Enjoy your life! Mine’s over (since I have kids). All that I have left to do, after spending all my money on my wife and kids is to die in front of my computer. I’ve already told my wife she can just put me in a garbage bag and leave me on the curb to save money.

Discovery is Rated R in seasons 1 and 2. There’s graphic violence with gore and sexual violence. Language too but people’s mileage varies more there.

Picard is super graphic too and also firmly meant to appeal to older fans from the get-go.

Berman Trek conforms to standards and practices of the day. It’s largely sanitized, exploding Remmicks notwithstanding, the humor is genteel and more prevalent. It only really gets more overtly adult for ENT season 3 when the youngest fans realistically are grown up. TOS is all about 60s fun, adventure, color, and a bit of silliness throughout. All of that can appeal to kids and not be at risk of traumatizing kiddos.

A lot of people forget that Kurtzman works for Paramount, not the other way around. As the developer of content, he’s tasked with expanding the base of the franchise. S31 with Michelle Yeoh accomplishes that in the international market. STA accomplishes that with a younger audience (hopefully). Legacy doesn’t do this – when Paramount decides to create more content for the older, shrinking North American demographic, Kurtzman will get that call.

I don’t buy this reasoning at all
If that was the case Picard itself would’ve never existed.

Again I don’t get this idea Paramount isn’t trying to keep their biggest demographic and fanbase happy when three of the five shows is directly geared to them: LDS, PIC and SNW.

Everything they have done and I mean practically everything has been to appease the old fans. That’s why the Klingons were changed after the Discovery backlash.That’s why four out of the five shows exist in the post Nemesis era. That’s why nearly sixty, yes sixty legacy characters have now appeared. And we already know many more are coming. It’s also why three of the shows have iconic legacy characters as their leads.

Even Discovery, from all the reviews I read or watched with the first few episodes have all said it has a very strong TNG bent to it story wise. Why are you attaching your show that is 800 years into the future to a 30 year old TNG episode unless you’re trying to attract those specific fans?

The same ones that would naturally be attracted to Legacy?

I think Paramount very much wants to keep that part of the fanbase happy but they are also trying to get new fans which is applaudable. It’s not black and white, either/or. Yeah you can just do both. Right now they are trying the latter with SFA as they are with Prodigy.

But believe me there will still be tons of stuff in the future for older fans. I’m pretty convinced Section 31 is going to ultimately be just as much nostalgia bait as PIC and SNW is too.

And why I’m 100% confident Legacy will eventually happen. They simply didn’t plan for it but my guess is that will be the next big thing on the table when it is time to make a new show.

Here’s the actual problem. The franchise is not drawing in new viewers in the numbers they’re shooting for. If it were, Paramount+ wouldn’t be in trouble. I’d argue Legacy is a better vehicle for attracting young viewers than this academy show. Prodigy and Academy are a very corporate view of how to grow an audience. That’s not going to work for Trek. We know it didn’t work for Prodigy, and it’s not going to work for Academy either. The better decision would be to focus on a strong overall concept, and make it great. They haven’t done that yet… although I’d argue SNW had the best concept. But it hasn’t even lived up to the promise of its title.

I mean Prodigy was cancelled after one season on Nickelodeon while LDS is now on season 5. That really tells you a lot.

It does. No matter what you think of the quality of the output of these shows, they just aren’t brining in new fans. DSC was intended to build a streaming service around, and it largely didn’t work. At least, not in the numbers that would have put Paramount+ in the upper echelon of streaming services.


And not a shock why season 2 had such a big tie in with TOS just like season 5 is having with TNG.

If Discovery was really bringing in more new fans as they hoped I really doubt they would be using decades old characters and episodes that only old fans are going to really care about.

We’re not talking just Easter eggs or cameos but season long arcs using that is meant to keep old fans invested.

The Variety puff piece really laid out how Kurtzman sees himself as a CEO more than a storyteller and that his instincts are based on market research and recent summer blockbusters. That’s probably the case with a lot of these extremely successful showrunner types, but it also makes Star Trek feel more like McDonalds over a family recipe.

I think we all need to come to terms with the fact that Trek is now firmly a corporate product, and the approach to driving content is therefore, superficial and not substantive. This is the case with any corporate owned IP. I find it best to just appreciate when they get a creative that truly understands it and we get something that is more personal like Picard S3.

To me this is a great sign, fans just HAVE TO BE PATIENT!

Kurtzman knows what a gold mine this could be. But yeah they have a plan in place for now and sticking to it.

In time, they will probably consider it when that time comes. I’m guessing IF a show is made it will come around 2027. It’s not going to happen tomorrow guys but it most likely will come. I don’t see any movement until after SFA starts or another show is cancelled. Probably not before either of those.

All this talk about Trek “needing new fans” or a “younger demographic”… yeah, I get it. I know how the business works. The question is… does the studio?

How many “young fans” pay the subscription bill for Paramount +?

The answer is zero. Their parents pay it.

If the studio really wants to build up a younger fanbase, they need to be putting Trek where young people will find it… on the internet, on kiddie TV networks like Nickelodeon, or on a network like CBS. If they’re not prepared to do that, we can just assume that this is just blowing smoke. A Starfleet Academy series on Paramount + will do absolutely nothing to bring in new or young viewers. The only audience for that show on a subscription-based service is adults. Specifically Gen X adults, who have no interest in a Trek show about a bunch of whiny teens talking about their feelings.

And let’s not kid ourselves. Alex Kurtzman has been a disaster for the franchise. The only successes he’s had are shows that he’s been kept at a distance from. He is threatened by Terry Matalas which is why all the articles in the trades over the last week about Star Trek have barely mentioned his name. Matalas has his finger on the pulse of what fans want and greenlighting Legacy would confirm it and not coincidentally, would mean that Kurtzman would have to split his profits with another person.

The best thing that could happen to Star Trek at this point is that someone buys the studio and tears up the Bad Robot & Secret Hideout contracts, which have cost CBS/Paramount countless millions in development with not one financial success to show for it except possibly SNW. They are spending way too much money on the episodes and it doesn’t show on screen so I’d kick out the movie people like JJ and Kurtzman and bring TV showrunners like Matalas and Ron Moore who know how to deliver the goods without breaking the bank in-house to run everything.

“How many “young fans” pay the subscription bill for Paramount +?

The answer is zero. Their parents pay it.”

Yep this is the biggest problem. It’s hard to appeal to a base of potential fans that already has no real interest in your product but has to entice them enough to want to pay for it when most don’t have the money to do it or have to convince their parents to pay for it.

End of the day the majority of people who are paying to watch the shows are the adults who can afford to pay for it and obviously wants to pay for it.

A well known poster just said in their post they are literally willing to pay $2-300 a year for Star Trek if they could get it all year. I’m guessing they have been watching it for 30-40 years minimum.

The average 15 year old doesn’t remotely have that kind of commitment to this franchise and even if they did they don’t have that kind of money to just watch one show.

Ultimately this is the problem, it’s really the older fans that has both the interest and money to pay for Star Trek today. Your average teenager simply doesn’t have the same level of interest and will be a lot harder to convince to watch something they have to pay for when they have so many other options geared to them and not all of it behind a pay wall either.

Well put, both Locutus and Tiger. 100% agreed.

Agree 100%. In addition, when I read Matalas interviews, I can hear an exuberant fan underneath the insights he provides. And he’s interesting to listen to. Alex Kurtzman’s interviews sound like carefully crafted political spin.

I partially agree. Kids do not watch networks like CBS, though. Or even Nickelodeon as much anymore. They mostly watch Disney+, Netflix, and You Tube (not counting TikTok and IG Reels). I teach high school, and very few of my students’ families have cable or satellite. Most people just have streaming services.

The best thing for Star Trek right now is Prodigy on Netflix. Years ago I used to have a few students “discover” Star Trek when it was on Netflix, but most do not have Paramount+ and those that do have it do not watch it (yes, I polled them.)

When I was a teenager in the 1980s and early 90s, I discovered Star Trek due to syndication, as most did. Today, Star Trek needs to be on the biggest streamer to gain new fans: Netflix.

Rumor is that a deal is being finalized with Amazon to help finance 50%+ of Legacy, and there should hopefully be an announcement sometime in the summer.

If that’s from a certain YouTuber then take it with a grain of salt.

This is the same guy who said several days before it was announced that the Starfleet Academy show was completely dead according to their ‘sources’ only to backtrack on it a day later after it was announced.

There is no show secretly in development. It’s just some guy trying get more clicks.

“Legacy of the Summer Wine” is not going to happen 🤣

You also said a post Nemesis show or SNW would never happen either. 🤣

This “tried and true” Trek fan has zero interest in Academy.As for rumors of a Picard movie – well as much as I love Patrick Stewart – they’ve done the solo Picard stuff, and the third season proved that fans want the ensemble.
How about a tv film with Stewart and Shatner where they fix the end of Generations?

Been watching since the mid-70’s, I guess that’s not tried and true enough. I completely support the Academy show, I understand why they are doing it and agree with the reasons. As far as the quality of it goes, I’ll reserve that judgement until when I see it.

For all we know, Paramount+ could shut down within the next 2 years due to Paramount’s financial predicament and high probability of being sold off.

I think the primary aim should be to get SNW and hopefully PRO concluded before thinking about series that are going to commence around the time everything might fall apart.

The next cinematic movie actually needs to be one that widens the net for new fans during a summer or Xmas release. Doing that on a shoestring budget, as has been discussed, won’t work. It needs to be Marvelesque in stature (but not suck). Not sure the JJ-verse version can hit that high a mark. Three films with a net loss is kind of a signal that it’s time to move on.

I feel like we’re only gonna get Legacy tv movie(s)….which i guess is better than nothing. i personally would have loved a ST Legacy show with Capt. Shaw commanding the Titan-A with Seven, Ensign Picard, the LaForge sisters and crew of S3, with limited TNG cameos (maybe just Admiral Riker giving them their mission assignments). Raffi has grown on me (she was at her best in S3 w/ Worf) but i wouldn’t miss her if she wasn’t on the show.

“There’s a tried and true ‘Trek’ fan that is probably going to come to every ‘Star Trek,’ no matter what it is”

Explains a lot of their thinking.

i hope if legacy is greenlit matalas is to busy on another project with another production company
cause that will gaurentee legacy will not be a repeat of the overfilled pointless fan service Easter eggs/references that added nothing to the story plot and was just nostalgia bait for the that same group of fans that a season proir hated the show i bet if season 3 did not have that pointless bait for those fans it would have had the same reaction that the first 2 seasons and pretty much every other new trek show gets from this small loud toxic vocal minority of the fanbase which have a very fun name givin the fandom menace