ABC Interested In Series V?By Christian
January 23, 2001 - 1:57 PM
Once the next Star Trek series finally makes it to the air, where will viewers be able to see it? At the moment, the only thing that seems certain is that it won't the WB - or at least, that would seem the most logical conclusion, as since today that network is the only one that hasn't yet been connected with Series V. After NBC expressed interest in the show, UPN said they were already talking with the producers, and trade papers indicated both CBS and FOX would also be interested in the show, today British site SFX suggested that ABC would also like to run Series V.
According to a report by SFX's Ian Hepburn, ABC would also like to be able to run the new Star Trek show, and has apparently already had talks with the producers over this. However, according to the site ABC is only prepared to order 13 episodes, as opposed to the full-season order that Paramount would probably want. According to SFX this, in addition to the upcoming writers' and actors' strikes, is another reason why development on the series is currently on hold.
While it is very possible that ABC has indeed expressed interest in the new series, it seems unlikely that this is actually a delaying factor for Series V. Due to the costs associated with a new Star Trek series, Paramount would likely never agree to anything less than a full-season commitment, and this was in fact what caused 'Star Trek: The Next Generation' to end up in syndication rather than on any of the broadcast networks. ABC would also realise this financial necessity for Paramount, and if they were really serious about bidding for a high-profile series such as this it seems unlikely they would balk at a full-season order.
This is especially true because of the fierce competition that ABC would face in trying to obtain the next Star Trek series. For Paramount, the most logical option would seem to sell the series to either UPN or CBS, which (like Paramount) are both owned by Viacom and therefore would offer more security for Series V. In particular UPN has always been seen as a very likely contender for Series V, as 'Star Trek: Voyager' has always been its flagship title.
In any case, it seems almost impossible that Paramount would indeed let development on Series V be delayed by something like this. With the large number of networks interested in Series V, they are virtually guaranteed of being able to sell it, and can just continue working on the series while negotiating with interested parties. Even if the size of the initial episode order is an issue, this would only change how large the budget would be, but would still allow character development and pre-production meetings to go on.
Still, it's interesting to learn that ABC would also like to order the next Star Trek series. The large number of networks interested in Series V prove that the Star Trek franchise is far from dead, and hopefully this will also be reflected in the ratings for the new series.
To read the original SFX report, please go here.