Paramount+ has become overly reliant on the Star Trek and Yellowstone franchises.
Paramount+ is having some significant issues at the moment. Not only is their parent company, Paramount Global, laying off thousands of employees as they try to restructure and cut costs, but the amount of money Paramount+ intends on using for upcoming seasons of shows has been cut. This is a big problem, considering that Paramount+ is trying to cost cuts, become profitable, and, somehow, add subscribers all in the same move.
And right now, it appears though the only two franchises that anyone is getting Paramount+ for are Taylor Sheridan’s Yellowstone franchise and our beloved Star Trek. The Yellowstone franchise has several shows out right now, with Yellowstone, 1883, and 1923 out now, with three other spinoffs coming; Lawman: Bass Reeves, 6666, and a Matthew McConaughey-led spinoff.
Star Trek has more with Discovery wrapping up its run, Picard having just ended its, Lower Decks getting a new season, as is Strange New Worlds and Prodigy. Then there’s the in-development series, Star Trek: Starfleet Academy, the upcoming Star Trek: Section 31 film, and another unnamed series in early production.
Altogether, the three Yellowstone shows that were out for 2022 made up 11.5% of fan interest for Paramount+, while Star Trek topped that by pulling in 32.4% subscriber demand according to The Wrap.
Star Trek may take a step back in quality if budget-cut rumors are true
Despite Trek carrying a bulk of fan-generated interest, the franchise may take a step back in quality if rumors are true. There was a rumor a few months back that every show on Paramount+ was getting their budgets trimmed, save for Taylor Sheridan’s Yellowstone franchise. Now, this may be true, as it may not need the same size budget as a show like Star Trek needs.
That said, if that rumor is true, then that means Star Trek will likely not have the same amount of money per episode that they had in 2022, which means shows like Strange New Worlds may be impacted by it. It may also explain why, despite Picard being a success with its third and final season, it was ultimately canceled by Paramount+.
While fans will die on the hill it was only supposed to go for three seasons, Akiva Goldsman and Alex Kurtzman have both gone on the record saying they wanted to do more seasons of Picard, just as long as Patrick Stewart was on board. Stewart himself is open to doing more work as Picard, so that can only mean that Paramount+ canceled the show.
Discovery has also been canceled, but that show may not have been just to save money, fan interest in that one has never been high.
Either way, shows that have growing budgets in this new, leaner streaming era, may not last. But that also means shows like Lower Decks and Prodigy, who generally have a much tighter budget due to being animated, may find life beyond other, bigger-budgeted, and more popular shows.