In the latest case of studios underestimating the intelligence of their target audience, it has been revealed why the new ‘Star Trek’ TV show is not going to premiere until 2017. It seems that when Viacom and CBS split almost 10 years ago, there were contract disputes over who would retain the rights to ‘Star Trek,’ with Viacom/Paramount claiming it was a film series they should keep, and CBS claiming it was a TV series they should keep. So in the end, they decided to split it thusly: Viacom/ Paramount would retain the cinematic rights and CBS keeps the television rights.
Up to this point this has not been an issue, but now that there is a new TV show and a new movie coming out, studio thinking is back in play, and their number one concern is that having a show and a movie out at the same time would be confusing to audiences. Instead of realizing that fans of ‘Star Trek’ are a particular brainy lot, the studios are instead looking at the confusion of having a movie out that is in no way connected to the TV show coming out and people getting mixed up about the world. Now, according to CBS Corporation President Les Moonves during a recent teleconference for the Deutsche Bank Media, Internet and Telecom Conference, it has more to do with contractual obligation. but I am not sure I am buying that.
In Moonves’ words:
“When [CBS] split from Viacom ten years ago, January 1, 2006, one of the big sticking points, as you can imagine, was “Star Trek.” You know, we both wanted it. [Paramount] said “It’s a movie!” and I said, “No, no, no, it’s a TV show.” Actually, we’re both right. So they kept the feature film rights, we kept the television rights; they have [Star Trek Beyond] coming out July 22. Our deal with them is that we had to wait six months after their film is launched so there wouldn’t be a confusion in the marketplace.”
“Confusion in the marketplace” is a pretty fancy way of saying “people won’t understand,” which, again, is frustrating. If someone truly does not get that the characters/ story on the big screen are not the same as the ones on the small screen, than ‘Star Trek’ probably is not right for them in the first place.
What are your thoughts on the split? Do you think the new TV show should also be coming out in 2016 to commemorate the 50th Anniversary of the first show? Share your opinion in the comments below!