It’s easy to forget that Star Trek is mainstream: Star Trek: The Next Generation was arguably the single most financially successful show of the 1980s, and the five TV series are streaming monsters for Netflix. Which means, in turn, that Netflix would like more Star Trek. But will it actually happen?
So far, apparently it’s in the form of Netflix sending CBS an email saying “Hey, this Trek thing seems to be a big deal, how about we do a new series?” The main problem seems really to be over at Paramount: CBS and Viacom both hold some of the Star Trek rights… but they’re technically two different companies with two different CEOs who, by all accounts, absolutely hate each other.
Adding to the problem, Viacom tends to prefer to work with Amazon, while CBS prefers to work with Netflix. That makes negotiating a Star Trek series as a streaming exclusive a bit tricky. Oh, and also, the premium cable networks involved, Epix and Showtime, probably wouldn’t be happy at losing a plum series to a company essentially killing them.
On the other hand, it’s the job of a CEO to make money, something Netflix has in abundance and would really like to give to these companies. And the lure of having Netflix pay for a show that will be guaranteed to make them money on everything from merchandising to home video sales to theme park rides is hard to dispute.
There’s also the question of where a new Trek series could really air, outside of streaming services. The syndication networks that made Paramount $1 million an episode off Star Trek: The Next Generation don’t exist anymore. Most cable channels have become more restrictive and vertical, focusing on properties their parent company owns.
So, essentially, it’s going to happen sooner or later. One suspects that Viacom or CBS is taking a wait-and-see approach with the Marvel series that will be hitting Netflix. So, if Daredevil does well, don’t be surprised if a new Trek hits the streams in fairly short order.