One of the most ambitious shows this season is CBS All Access’ Star Trek: Discovery, but it could’ve ended up just about anywhere else. Would you have preferred it on cable, or a major streaming service?
Variety has a new piece digging into CBS’s decision to put the huge, expensive sci-fi series on its niche streaming service, as opposed to a primo spot on the schedule at a bigger home (though the pilot will also air on CBS). Well, not surprisingly, the studio had options. Buried in the feature, CBS chief Leslie Moonves confirmed the CBS broadcast network, Showtime, Netflix, and Amazon Prime were all vying to be the home for Star Trek: Discovery. Which, yeah, would've made this show a lot easier to watch, right?
Instead, the studio decided to use it as a flagship for the fledgling CBS All Access, which has fewer than 2 million potential U.S. viewers at the moment. Obviously, CBS is hoping to leverage the buzz (assuming the show is good, of course) to gain new subscribers, but it’s still a bold move for a show costing around $8 million per episode. Netflix is the show’s international home, which also made for a lucrative deal to help pay for the series.
Looking ahead, the showrunners are already mapping out ideas for a potential second season. It’ll be interesting to see if anyone actually ponies up the cash to watch it.