Perhaps the man whose opinion means the most, CBS CEO Les Moonves has viewed the first six episodes of Star Trek: Discovery.
In this business, you want to keep your fans and viewers happy, but you NEED to keep the man cutting the checks happy too. According to early returns, Star Trek: Discovery has made CBS chief exectutive officer Les Moonves very happy indeed.
"“You have all heard quite a bit about the debut of Star Trek: Discovery next month,” Moonves said. “I have now seen the first six episodes and I can assure you that it is terrific. It is the perfect vehicle to take All Access to the next level and beyond.”"
The timing of Discovery’s launch coinciding with the NFL’s regular season is a strategic move, according to Moonves.
"“With a full season of NFL, Star Trek: Discovery, and more and more original programming and every episode of every CBS show on CBS this fall, and international expansion, we are just getting started with All Access,” Moonves said. “This fall with Star Trek, the NFL and new programming we really think it should grow quite a bit.”"
Many fans are loudly opposed to CBS putting Discovery on CBS All Access, a subscription based service which costs $5.99 ($9.99 for the commercial-free version). So much so, in fact, that many fans claim they’re going to completely skip the series altogether.
Mind you, a range of $12 to $20 (depending on how much you like commercials) for the first half of the season is equivalent to buying a movie ticket (and adding popcorn if you don’t like commercials). This influx of cash from All Access has made it easier to put a movie-style budget into Discovery and attract talent which otherwise may have been inaccessible.
For the price of a beer (and maybe a hot dog) at a baseball game, a well-funded project more than a decade in the making can get a nice long leash with big network support.
And supporting this show is something CBS is clearly doing, if Les Moonves’ enthusiasm is any indication.