Star Trek: Prodigy is almost done making season two but will there be a season three?
Star Trek: Prodigy had a banger of a first season. 20 episodes, epic call-backs, returning legacy characters, and a host of new characters for fans to glom onto and enjoy for the foreseeable future. The show got its own video game and was the catalyst to restart the iconic Playmates action figure line of Star Trek figurines.
It’s done its job to help bring in younger fans and that’s why it got a second season order before the first was even out of the can, so to speak. Yet, as we look forward to the release of the next season sometime later in 2023, the talk of a potential third season is now on the minds of everyone.
"Our hope right now is just that now that season 1 is fully out on Paramount Plus, we’re hoping that the numbers are good. And we’re all kind of eagerly waiting to see if we can get a green light for season 3.… I could write these characters for a long time. They’re so fun. And unlike some of the other Trek shows, these are kids who started off so far from Starfleet. And now we get to do this fantastic growth of them growing up and becoming young adults and becoming Starfleet. It’s exciting to think about where we could go with them."
On the Mission Log podcast, Hageman also revealed what it would take to get a third season;
"I think the future of our series just it really rests in viewership. If the viewers are there, then the show will keep going. But if the viewership isn’t there, if the numbers aren’t there. it’s going to be hard to convince the studio."
Of all the shows that deserve multiple seasons, it’s Star Trek: Prodigy
The tone and vibe around Star Trek have changed over the last year, and that’s become apparent when we start hearing things like “viewership”. Shows like Discovery and Picard aren’t anywhere close to the viewership of a show like Strange New Worlds, but Discovery got five seasons? Why? Well, when you’re launching a streaming service, you eat a lot of money to create content. A show doesn’t even have to be good or watched a lot, it just has to be more affordable to do a new season than it is to launch a new IP.
But that was during the streaming bubble’s expansion. Where networks and services were willing to eat hundreds of millions of dollars of losses to launch what they thought would be the Netflix killer. It turns out the only service that really did that was Disney+, and every other streaming service either has huge financial issues (Peacock, Netflix), has no real subscriber count (Paramount+), or has already been deconstructed and sold (WWE Network).
That doesn’t even factor in the technical issues that Disney+ and EPSN+ have. It’s very likely that in the next 10 years either everyone is airing new shows on television again just to save money, or most will lease out their content to third-party streaming services again, like what happened with Netflix originally.
So with the bubble about to burst, if it hasn’t already, you can understand why the mindset over what gets created and why has changed. Prodigy has to deliver in the ratings now because Paramount+ can’t keep hemorrhaging money.
It’s why Picard was canceled despite everyone saying they wanted to go past three seasons, it’s likely why Discovery is on its last legs, and even more likely why Section 31 will never be made. The money the organizations are willing to invest is no longer there and people are no longer excited to lose nine figures on a streaming service with the way the economy is.