Paramount’s financial issues will likely impact Star Trek to some degree.
Star Trek has had an unprecedented amount of content produced since 2017. Five full series have been released, Star Trek’s Discovery, Picard, Lower Decks, Prodigy, and Strange New Worlds, while a sixth show, Starfleet Academy is in the works (or was before the writer’s strike.). A mini-series, Short Treks was also created but has since run its course. Now a film, Section 31 is coming out.
You’d think with all of that content that Paramount would be rolling in the money, after all, it costs millions, if not hundreds of millions of dollars to create a modern Star Trek property. Yet, that isn’t the case. Deadline is reporting that Paramount’s stock is down 25%, with dividends being cut from 24 to 5 cents per quarter.
This is being done to save the company $500 million annually, with the idea that they can conserve cash with the current state of the economy.
This move apparently shocked investors, and even more concerning, this will likely see losses affect Paramount+. CEO Bob Bakish and CFO Naveen Chopra both claimed that their streaming services will see their peak loss this year.
They’re optimistic that 2024 will be better, but you can never expect the economy to do anything.
What does this mean for Star Trek?
We already know that shows like Picard and Discovery are being ended due to the cost-cutting going on at Paramount+. While many say Picard was only set up for three seasons, everyone, including Patrick Stewart himself, had imagined playing Picard beyond the third season. And since Akiva Goldsman once said “Star Trek: Picard, in my view, will go as long as Patrick Stewart wants to do it,” it’s fair to say that Paramount+ canceled the show, as they did with Discovery.
Both were likely canceled due to their rumored $100 million per season price tag. With investors and large corporate banks wanting to see returns on their investments in streaming services, the days of ultra-expensive shows are likely over.
That means that newer shows will likely have tighter budgets already. Now with the belt-tightening at Paramount, on top of the cost-cutting at Paramount+, the writer’s strike, and the upcoming actor’s strike, it’s very likely that we see some properties in development get canceled outright.
If not whole shows that are actively in production. While it hasn’t happened to Star Trek before, this thing did happen in 2007 during the last writer’s strike, which also coincided with a recession. And with inflation the way it is due to a variety of reasons, things could repeat themselves, and this time, it may affect Star Trek.