Star Trek: Discovery and Star Trek: Picard were likely canceled due to cost-cutting by Paramount.
We’ve been warning fans for three years that the market bubble around the streaming industry was going to burst. And boy has it. HBO Max is canceling many of their more successful shows simply because they can’t afford to keep them going, the WWE Network sold itself to Peacock, Disney is thinking of spinning off (or selling) ESPN, Netflix is billions in debt, and now Paramount+ is also showing off how the change in the streaming economy is affecting things.
Paramount+ is cutting its spending, and there are few if any shows more expensive on their service than Star Trek to produce. See what happens when everything needs to be “movie quality”?
Despite there being rumors of a Rafi and Worf spin-off series (ugh), the constantly “in development” Section 31 series, and a slew of other rumors, Star Trek’s parent company is cutting spending on Paramount+ due to mounting losses.
Apparently none of these major streaming services, not even Disney+ if you can believe it, have yet to turn a profit. This pressure from their debt holders to finally turn a profit has given Paramount CFO Naveen Chopra a new business model for 2023 and beyond; raise subscription prices and cut costs.
Star Trek is in trouble even if no one is saying it
It turns out that letting people make vanity projects that cater to a minor amount of people was a bad idea. Despite Yellowstone apparently getting spinoffs left, right, and center, there has not been a new Star Trek show announced since 2020, when Prodigy and Strange New Worlds were both announced. Prodigy wasn’t even a streaming show at the time, it was a Nickelodeon show, that Paramount+ stole to help bolster their subscriber numbers.
We’ve gone nearly three full years without a new show being announced, despite there being a dozen rumors a year about what’s “in the works”. Yet, Tyler Sheridan is making his 45th Yellowstone show around the same plot. “Get off our land!”
This is a sign that Star Trek, at least with Alex Kurtzman in charge, has become too expensive to warrant keeping around. They’ll likely cancel Lower Decks next and run Strange New Worlds and Prodigy until the fan support is no longer there. After that, who knows?
I would be surprised, but not shocked if they greenlit another show, but it won’t be until they clear the board of the other bloated carcass first. That, or they’ll put a new show in development that is more in line with the production styles of the mid-90s and early 00s.
Star Trek may be re-imagined as a film-only series or may even pivot back to terrestrial television, where I believe many networks will end up returning to take advantage of the easier revenue streams.
And to think, Paramount+ wasted hundreds of millions of dollars on the slog that was Picard and Discovery to not only hinder the franchise but maybe kill it off outright.