Paramount+ is here to ruin Star Trek’s good time.
While one can argue with the quality of the Nu Trek era, nobody can deny that the excess of Star Trek content hasn’t been welcomed. It’s been a very interesting time and while the new stuff didn’t always work, it did bring in new fans who found the iconic Trek content we all love, which just helped re-awaken a passion for the franchise. Iconic characters and shows got a second life, and deserving shows were given their due.
That was in part due to the near-year-round cycle that Star Trek was on. At one point, the franchise had five active shows; Discovery, Picard, Lower Decks, Prodigy, and Strange New Worlds. That’s at least 10 episodes per show, and that meant that 50 of the 52 weeks had Trek.
Even if some shows were better than others, there was something for everyone. That, seems to be over, however.
Paramount CFO Naveen Chopra took part in an investor-centered conference call alongside Paramount CEO Bob Bakish, and Chopra revealed that the year-long content cycle that Trek has is over, though in not so many words.
Speaking to the investors (via TrekMovie.com), Chopra would go on to say they’re angling to “super-serve key target audiences”, and going on to say;
"We’ve learned that success is not purely a function of content volume. It’s having the right content for the right audience at the right time. For example, we know that if a Paramount+ subscriber watches 4 hours or more of content in a month or engages with more than two different series, they are over 30% less likely to churn from the service. With these types of learnings, we’ve carefully defined specific audience segments and have evolved our programming strategy to super-serve them in an even more efficient manner. Our programming slate is designed to ensure that each key audience segment has compelling content to enjoy throughout the year, not too little, but also not too much. The content charges we took in the first half of 2023 reflect this go-forward targeted programming strategy."
What does this mean for Star Trek?
Frankly, this means that Trek’s explorative era is over. That’s not a bad thing, inherently, but shows like Discovery, Lower Decks, and Prodigy are likely to never see the light of day again in a new form. It’d make sense for Lower Decks to end its run after this current season. While it has been renewed for a fifth season, we saw Paramount+ cancel Prodigy after it not only got greenlit for a second season but was halfway through production on it.
Until Lower Decks season five debuts on Paramount+, it’s fair to say that the show is not safe from cancelation.
All that also means that there will be less Trek content moving forward. There aren’t likely to be any more new shows coming down the pipeline, and the development of Star Trek: Starfleet Academy isn’t a sure thing anymore.
The franchise may just fall on the shoulders of Strange New Worlds until they decide to go in a different direction.
Expect more heartbreaking moves from Paramount with regard to the future of Star Trek.