Why did Paramount kill new Trek shows from Shatner and Frakes?

Contributed by
Dec 14, 2012

We haven't seen Star Trek on TV since Enterprise ended in 2005, and we had to wait four years until Trek came back into our lives in the form of J.J. Abrams' successful movie reboot of the venerable sci-fi franchise. But did you know there were a few attempts to bring back Star Trek to television that were literally crushed?

In an interview with UGO, Jonathan Frakes—who played Cmdr. William T. Riker, Captain Jean-Luc Picard's (Patrick Stewart) first officer on the Enterprise in Star Trek: The Next Generation and four movies, made some startling revelations about a couple of proposed Star Trek TV series ideas that Paramount ended up rejecting.

"I had a Star Trek that I developed for TV, and we were told in no uncertain terms that they said no to [a] Bryan Singer television Star Trek, they said no to a William Shatner television Star Trek. They feel at CBS/Paramount that they don't want to make the same mistake that's been made before, which was watering down the brand by having a TV show and a movie. That's what happened with Star Trek: Nemesis, and that's why I think Star Trek: Enterprise didn't last the way they expected to."

The First Contact director and actor then summed up Star Trek producer Rick Berman's franchise fatigue theory for the demise of Enterprise and the whole of Star Trek in 2005:

"It was the classic corporate greed of 'we've got something good, so let's continue to milk it' and we milked it so dry that the fans had no appetite for a movie. So I think what they've done by taking time off before the Abrams Star Trek, and they're doing it again because they haven't even begun to shoot the second one, is a much smarter business plan. Much to my chagrin! Not that [I] wouldn't love the Titan, or the Rikers in Space, or any of those shows on the air."

Were Paramount right in refusing to bring back Star Trek to TV? Think we'll ever get a new series on the small screen now that J.J. Abrams has made Star Trek so successfull on the big screen? What do you think Shatner's Trek series was all about? And do you think that Star Trek: Titan—which is now a very successful ongoing book series about the adventures of Capt. Riker and his crew on the U.S.S Titan— should get its chance to shine on television?

(Via UGO)

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