How canceling Star Trek: Prodigy is terrible

Star Trek: Prodigy. Image Courtesy Nickelodeon, CBS Television Studios
Star Trek: Prodigy. Image Courtesy Nickelodeon, CBS Television Studios /

Canceling Star Trek: Prodigy just as season 2 was almost completed will be worse with the strike

As the SAG-AFTRA strike continues and the deal for the WGA has not been signed yet (plus, as the L.A. Times reports, a strike is being organized in regards to video game companies), many projects are now in limbo without scripts being submitted or actors ready to be filmed, leaving many studios facing the possibility of running out of new content, delaying premieres of what they do have available, or having to rely on sports, reruns, or reality television to fill their schedule.  Some networks are now facing the consequences of canning nearly completed projects.  Paramount may particularly be wincing as they realize with season 2 of Star Trek: Prodigy nearly completed when they canceled it, they may have lost a crucial show. Prodigy could have been aired and seen an uptick in viewing numbers while the strike halts production of Star Trek: Discovery, Star Trek: Strange New Worlds, Star Trek: Lower Decks, and several Paramount+ exclusive productions such as the Section 31 movie.

What made canceling Prodigy season 2 even worse is how it is being treated by Paramount+.  The twenty-episode season 2 is still being completed with a January completion date according to a tweet (before Twitter became X) from executive producer Aaron J. Waltke.  Had Paramount+ decided not to cancel Prodigy season 2 after so much had been completed, the cast and crew could have been working on other projects and then joined the strike, but since animation and live-action projects fall under different rules, they were not barred from working on finishing season 2 during the strike, even though no network has picked it up yet. With no network home yet announced, will Prodigy season 2 become lost media?

Star Trek: Prodigy could have held the franchise over the strike

Originally, Prodigy season 2 had been announced with a prospective premiere in the fall.  The unexpected cancelation and subsequent removal of season 1 from streaming blindsided fans cast and crew.  Prodigy may not have been winning reams of awards, but it did earn one award for children’s programming plus had a positive fan reaction.  This is especially important because it is one of the only Trek television productions aimed specifically at children and the only 3D series overall.

Without Prodigy, an entirely new audience has been cut off as many series or movies have something many parents would not feel comfortable showing to very young children, whether the violent battles in more action-heavy series or some heavy themes found throughout the franchise.  There is a dark side to Prodigy where the children are escaping a prison colony, but the show focuses on their growth into Starfleet officers and their friendships whereas a show such as Star Trek: Deep Space Nine is, at its heart, a story of generational war, occupation, PTSD, religious conflict, and more – not something most parents want at the forefront of the shows their seven-year-olds watch frequently.  Some materials do exist for very young audiences such as baby books that introduce children to the franchise while teaching them about colors or numbers, but there are no materials for children older than that besides Prodigy.

Overall canceling Prodigy may cause more harm than Paramount+ intended.  Not only have they sunk effort, money, and time into a project that might not get picked up by another network, but fans who were looking forward to season 2 only to have the cancelation announced just a few months before it was supposed to premiere are now frustrated.  Then the cast and crew who had done most of the work on season 2 are still working during the strike with no certainty of their work finding a new network so it may have been hours upon hours of work that may never be seen.  As the SAG-AFTRA portion of the strike is still ongoing and the deal to end the WGA portion of the strike is not signed with an upcoming video game strike, most parts of the franchise are in limbo; if Prodigy had not been canceled, the premiere would be soon, but now Trek may have very little new material for the season and many projects have already been delayed.  Can the franchise make up for this?

Next. "Save Star Trek: Prodigy" banner flies above streaming channels. dark