Scott Bakula believes Star Trek: Enterprise could’ve gotten seven seasons if this was changed.
Star Trek: Enterprise told the story of how the Federation came to be, and how it recruited and grew the alliance to include the Vulcans, Andorians, and others. It was not only the first series canonically, but it was also the first to seek out a huge name to play its captain. Typically, lesser-known actors got hired and the franchise would raise their profile considerably. But this time they hired Scott Bakula, a well-known commodity, to helm the show.
With it being a prequel that told the story of how the Federation of Planets came to be, while featuring a huge name in Bakula, as well as airing as a franchise piece of the UPN Network, many expected Enterprise to be a season-season hit like the other contemporary shows were.
Except it wasn’t. Enterprise, despite its hype and star power, lasted just four seasons. The show has found a second life decades after airing and it’s finally being viewed for the landmark and impressive product that it was. And while the four seasons are still impressive, when asked, Bakula believes it could’ve gone a few more.
Scott Bakula believes the contracts were to blame for Star Trek: Enterprise’s cancelation
Bakula spoke to Trek Geeks via (Transcript via TrekMovie.com) about the topic, making a rare appearance for the franchise, and the topic of why Enterprise was canceled came up. Bakula believes that had the show not been a UPN show, but a syndicated show, Enterprise would’ve had seven seasons easily.
Bakula went on to say;
"Had we been syndicated, we would have gotten an easy seven, easy breezy. And our numbers were beyond what anybody else had done when we started out, but the nature of network television… it was just a different animal. There were lots of changes in the hierarchy, of not only Paramount but of the network. And we were there at an kind of an unfortunate time. And yet I still have to say, gratefully, we got four seasons. But yeah, it would have been nice to do more. We certainly had more stories to tell, we have places to go, but it didn’t work out.You can’t really point a finger at one person or another. There were so many elements to the beginning of UPN and the transition there in terms of [UPN President] Dean [Valentine] leaving [in 2002]. And just people at Paramount left also. A lot of champions that were Star Trek folks kind of left during the course of the four years. It was a strange time and volatile time. But we slugged our way through it. And I’m so glad that we got the four years because there was a moment when we were only going to have three and that would have been a real shame."
Bakula points out just how easy it is to see a show that is doing well get the axe when you get different people in charge. In a lot of ways, that’s largely what happened to fellow era and genre show Firefly. The people in charge had more power than the people show supported the show and the chord was cut.
Bakula and his series look much better sometime later, and the fan support for the series has gotten to a point where there’s a large group that would like to see a revival series.