Here’s Why CBS 2017 ‘Star Trek’ Went to All-Access Over TV
Star Trek fans ecstatic by yesterday’s announcement of a new 2017 TV series may have found excitement tempered by CBS’ revelation that the newest iteration would arrive exclusive to CBS All-Access streaming platform, rather than TV itself. Now, CBS boss Les Moonves explains the thinking, as well as some accessible changes to the service before its 2017 launch.
Speaking in a wide-ranging conference conference call with reporters, CBS head Les Moonves elaborated on the decision for Alex Kurtzman’s Star Trek to increase subscribers for CBS All-Access, simultaneously competing and collaborating with other outlets like Netflix and Hulu. Also alluding to a potential $9.99 ad-free option to rival Hulu, so sayeth Moonves, via The Hollywood Reporter:
A lot of conversation went into what we were going to do [with Star Trek]. All Access is very important … We remain a good partner for Netflix and Hulu. Star Trek is a family jewel; it’s an important piece of business for us as we go forward. We’re looking to do original content on All Access and build up that platform. Netflix is our friend and competitor. They compete with [CBS Corp.'s] Showtime. All Access will put out original content and knowing the loyalty of Star Trek fans, this will boost it. … There’s about a billion channels out there and because of Star Trek, people will know what All Access is about.
All the series have done well in terms of streaming. Added in to that, Star Trek is a huge international franchise. Our international distribution guy is going crazy; he can’t wait to get out to the marketplace and sell that. Right away, we’re more than halfway home on the cost of the show from international alone. The risk is small in seeing the track record. We think it’ll be great and bring in a lot more subscribers. We’re really excited about it.
So reads the initial synopsis:
The brand-new “Star Trek” will introduce new characters seeking imaginative new worlds and new civilizations, while exploring the dramatic contemporary themes that have been a signature of the franchise since its inception in 1966.
Kurtzman wrote both the 2009 Star Trek reboot and its 2013 sequel with frequent partner Roberto Orci, though we’re told Orci would have no involvement in any new TV series. Surprisingly, the new series will not have any ties to the upcoming Star Trek Beyond, though Moonves called the new series “a world-class effort that will make all Star Trek fans proud.”
We’re due for more announcements in the coming weeks, but will TV’s next Star Trek succeed on such a specific platform? Will the TV landscape have shifted even further by January 2017?
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