Star Trek: Strange New Worlds is the new standard bearer for the brand.
Star Trek has always had its flag bearer franchise within the franchise. There was of course the original, which was so successful it went from the 1960s through the 1990s across live-action shows, animated shows, and eventually films. When the brand was relaunched in the 1980s, The Next Generation became the next big brand, and remained as such through the Deep Space Nine, Voyager, and even Enterprise years, despite it going off the air in 1994.
When the brand was brought back as a streaming show, Discovery was the first show to get greenlit. That means that it was supposed to be the franchise’s face. While it was for a little while out of necessity, when Picard came along, Discovery became an afterthought. The show’s quality couldn’t hold up against Picard’s name value.
Then people saw Picard and realized that neither show was really well done. Short Treks came and went, and then Lower Decks premiered, both of which found some fans but not enough to be the flagbearer of the show.
Then Strange New Worlds launched. It became a darling of a show, earning awards, accolades, top spots on Must Watch lists, and actually becoming a ratings hit. So it’s not surprising that it’s now front and center in advertising for CBS and Paramount+.
Strange New World is the first true hit the brand has had in years
You can claim that Discovery, Picard, Short Treks, and Lower Decks all had their fans, and you wouldn’t be wrong. Three of those shows didn’t have enough fans, however, and that’s why they’re canceled.
Yet, regardless of your views on those previous shows, Strange New Worlds didn’t just cater to Star Trek fans, or specific sects of the fandom, but instead to a more general audience. It went back to Trek’s roots and found an audience that fit more in line with contemporary streaming fans, as well as die-hard Trek loyalists.
It didn’t try to be just for one group of people and for that reason it found a huge audience. It’s become the face of the franchise and the blueprint for all future series. Though, it’s not like it’s a new blueprint.
All Strange New Worlds did was look at the 80s and 90s Trek shows and do that.
Now, here’s hoping that the folks at Paramount+ cancel everything else and just give Strange New Worlds and Prodigy 20 episodes per season.