Is the lack of a Star Trek: Legacy spinoff a sign that Star Trek: Picard didn't bring in strong viewing numbers?

Could a lack of viewership for Star Trek: Picard be the reason we don't have Star Trek: Legacy yet?
Jeri Ryan as Seven of Nine, Todd Stashwick as Captain Liam Shaw in "Surrender" Episode 308, Star Trek: Picard on Paramount+. Photo Credit: Trae Patton/Paramount+. ©2021 Viacom, International Inc. All Rights Reserved.
Jeri Ryan as Seven of Nine, Todd Stashwick as Captain Liam Shaw in "Surrender" Episode 308, Star Trek: Picard on Paramount+. Photo Credit: Trae Patton/Paramount+. ©2021 Viacom, International Inc. All Rights Reserved. /

It's fair to say that terrestrial television never should've been abandoned for streaming. Not only are there health concerns with streaming; from how much someone consumes, the need for instant gratification only getting worse, and other issues that stem from over-consumption of products, but the specialness is gone. The slow appreciation and excitement that came in week after week, tuning in to our favorite programs at the times they premiered. Sure, we weren't able to instantly gratify an itch as easily, but there was more appreciation for things. Fans stuck around longer, and shows made more money in turn.

Then streaming came along, and killed so much wonderfulness all for the sake of instantaneous gratification. Now, we no longer own what we buy, we're just renting it until a streaming provider decides they can make more by licensing it out to a competitor than by keeping it on their platform.

In short, streaming sucks. Not only does it impact our day-to-day in an unhealthy manner, but it also has overly quantified the amount of content people can watch. We thought it was bad when cable had 100 channels, now there is a near-infinite amount of content to consume. It's staggering. Due to such an abundance of options, viewership is down across the board for shows. Before, you'd be able to funnel audiences of a certain type to a certain channel, and you'd know what you could expect from that. Now, it's all up in the air.

It's partly why streaming is now dying. They diluted the audiences so much that no show or platform is really getting the viewership that they to survive. It's why so many streaming services are merging or shutting down. Paramount+, currently the home for Star Trek, is no different. Viewership isn't good, and it's why so many platforms are leaning on live television to save themselves.

For Paramount+, it's the NFL, for Peacock it's the Premier League, the WWE, and sometimes the NFL. More and more streaming services are looking to add a sports package because fans show up for live sports. Even on television. This trend is only being done because traditional content isn't drawing the eyes anymore.

It's not because the scripted content is hard to watch, though some of it is, it's because there's too much of it. There are too many studios splitting too many viewers across too many platforms. It's why when something hits, we get endless sequels and seasons of it. Hello, the "Kissing Booth" trilogy.

So it's not out of the realm of believability that the reason we haven't gotten Star Trek: Legacy is because its' predecessor, Star Trek: Picard, didn't pull in the numbers needed for Legacy to happen. The Yellowstone franchise is still pumping out sequel series. Why has Star Trek slowed down? Clearly, we only got Strange New Worlds because Paramount+ had the money to finance it. This was before the venture capitalist groups and banks that own the debt for these platforms came calling to get their money back.

Once these giant platforms had to start paying their own bills, new content dried up. Popular, but not popular enough, shows were canceled. Corners were cut, and content was minimalized. If a show wasn't earning X amount of viewers, the streaming service would cut it. Is that what happened to Legacy?

Dave Meltzer, a famed pro wrestling journalist, and a man who has endless connections in streaming and television, recently highlighted a major issue with streaming. He cited that the reason why we don't get authentic viewership numbers, and instead "hours watched", is because shows aren't doing great.

It's easy to say that Picard had 100 million hours watched this past week, but how many people watched it? When we get reports like that, where X show had 100 million hours viewed (or however many hours), it usually encompasses the entire released franchise. In Picard's case that's three seasons worth. 30 episodes in total. If we split the difference and go conservative, that's 1,500 minutes of content between 30 episodes. At least.

If you do the math, and assume one person is watching the entire series, that comes up to under 67,000 people watching your show. Meaning, that it's very easy to see that most streaming shows, not just Picard, are probably garnering under one million viewers per episode after the show drops. Considering that the show will never be more relevant than when it airs, it's important to get as many eyes on the product at the jump as possible. Very rarely does a show or film find a second life years after debuting and when it does, it's organic through the fandom. Not through some campaign of corporate ideas and synergy.

So if Legacy was going to happen, the most likely of time for it to have been announced was just after Picard. Marina Sirtis clearly doesn't think the show is happening, and while you may think she's trolling fans so we can have a big announcement, nothing hurts a show more than people throwing cold water on its potential. If people think the show isn't happening, then they stop paying attention and go about their time. So if Sirtis knew the show was happening, she sure put her foot in her mouth.

And we believe her when she says she doesn't think it'll happen, and the why. Shows like Star Trek: Picard just aren't getting the viewership they need to justify big-budgeted sequels. Truthfully, not many shows are. The dilution of entertainment across a dozen or so streaming services, each promising endless entertainment, has given fans so many options that no one thing can really find room to breathe.

It's why Netflix paid a metric crap-ton for WWE's Monday Night Raw program. It's weekly, it's easy to produce and it has millions of viewers who follow it from network to network. If even Netflix is getting into the live sports arena, what hope does Paramount+ have to keep funding super-expensive shows that cost hundreds of millions of dollars to make, but barely bring in a tenth of the viewership they need?

Legacy may still happen, we can't see the future and we don't have industry ties. It very well may. Yet, we need to remind everyone that franchises like Star Trek don't get their budget slashed, projects canceled, or delayed time and time again if things are going well financially. We know that things aren't going well financially for Paramount Global, and super-expensive shows with low turnouts like Star Trek are usually the first casualty of cost-cutting.

We're hopeful that fans can get more shows, but with the state of the industry, we'd be cautious to hope too much.