The cast of Star Trek: Discovery has been building up slowly but surely, and though the series has hit a few snags in development (including losing Bryan Fuller as its showrunner and getting delayed from its original May 2016 premiere date), it appears as if the people at CBS finally have an idea of when fans will get to lay their eyes on new episodes of Trek.
Deadline reports that CBS chief Les Moonves addressed investors on a telephone call and revealed that the new show will be available on CBS All Access “sometime late summer, early fall we’re looking at probably right now.” That’s not what I’d call specific, but I guess a loose timeframe is better than nothing.
“It’s important to get it right, and Star Trek is the family jewels,” Moonves said on the call. “We’re not going to rush it in. There’s a lot of post production. But I’m very confident based on what I’ve seen so far.” That might be the first time anyone at CBS has ever compared the franchise to testicles, but let’s not get hung up on that.
The important thing is that Moonves is still gung-ho about the idea of airing the show on CBS All Access, the network’s subscription service that costs $5.99 per month. The Star Trek: Discovery pilot will air on the traditional network, but all of the other episodes will be available exclusively through the digital service, and Moonves knows he can count on all the Trek fans to shell out that monthly cash to tune in.
“There are millions and millions of Trekkies out there. We know for a fact that the other versions of Star Trek — there were seven other series, some of them were great and some of them were terrible — they all did really well on Netflix. That gave us great confidence that this was the right choice to put the full court press on All Access.”
Sure, Moonves knows the die hard fans will pay up to watch, but how about people who are only passingly interested? Or maybe people who have seen the movies, but none of the TV shows? I feel like putting the show behind a paywall like that is going to massively limit the potential audience, and I’m sure there are people smarter than me who have done all sorts of calculations about this, but considering the “I want it now” attitude of today’s consumers, I still think it’s a mistake to have this be an All Access exclusive. They should do a first-run broadcast on CBS proper, and then only have the episodes available to watch on All Access for people who miss them when they air live.
What do you think? Are you going to pay for CBS All Access to watch new episodes of Star Trek?