Enterprise grounded next year?

Discussion in 'TV Shows' started by Mikel_Cooperman, Dec 9, 2003.

  1. Mikel_Cooperman

    Mikel_Cooperman Producer

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    From Dark Horizons:
    Enterprise" Grounded Next Year?
    Posted: Tuesday Dec. 9, 2003 11:40pm (Au-EST)
    Author: Garth Franklin


    The talk of ratings and critical disappointment has been pervasive for some time now on the latest Trek spin-off. Despite its relaunch this year with a new storyline and purpose which has yielded a better quality show, ratings sadly haven't reflected it - whilst holding steady this year they're still far from ideal.

    Then the other day this scoop came in, whilst the news is reasonable sounding I held off on it to see if I could find out anything corroborating or would deny its content. So far nothing either way but I'd thought I'd share it before it pops up somewhere else as 'fact' when its simply rumour for now:

    "On the Paramount lot this week, a memo was circulated to the production staff advising them that the current season would be reduced to 24 shows from 26. This marks the first time in nearly 20 years that this has occurred for a Trek show; all non-first seasons of all the existing and previous series have always consisted of 26 shows (except TNG: Season 2 due to a writers strike).

    Lot talk behind the memo is that next year will be the last season of "Enterprise". A fourth and final season of 24 shows, which with the first two seasons total episode count of 52, would fulfill the magic syndication requirement of 100 total episodes. No word on the future of the Franchise".
     
  2. Michael St. Clair

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    Dear powers that be,

    Kill it. Kill it dead. Don't even wait for next year.

    Wait five years. Then hire some fresh writers and producers to bring ST back. Get a restraining order keeping Berman/Braga 500 yards from the set.
     
  3. Mike_G

    Mike_G Screenwriter

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    Haha. I agree. Berman/Braga really killed the Trek franchise. I haven't watched Trek on a regular basis since TNG went off the air. Sure, I watched Voyager now and then, but God it went nowhere (gee...we can go Warp 8 and the bad guys can only go warp 2, but for some reason, we bump into them every week).

    Mike
     
  4. Shane D

    Shane D Supporting Actor

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    there is a interview with ron moore out on filmforce.com that has alot of star trek related stuff in it about the movies, next gen, deep space nine and why it was better (no interference from berman) and working with braga, it was a pretty interesting read.

    http://filmforce.ign.com/articles/444/444306p1.html
     
  5. Mikel_Cooperman

    Mikel_Cooperman Producer

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    I use to live for Trek but it's just become so mediocre I cant watch any longer.
    Trek used to be fun and full of ideas but even with the so called reinvention this year, I see nothing else but more sex, titilation and more special effects.
    Thats not what makes good sci fi unfortunately, and Berman and Braga plus Paramount still havent seem to understand that.
    They should have fired the whole creative team and started new if they wanted a new direction and higher ratings. They didnt and look where it got them.
    Paramount has used Trek as their cash cow for way too many years now, caring only that Another Trek show is on the air.
    IN the process they have oversaturated the market and sacrificed Quality for Quantity.
    They should have stopped after DS9.

    I really enjoyed the article with Ron. I have to agree that TNG even though it is my favorite didnt do a lot of character development or take chances with comedy or even a Musical (like he suggested).
    Seems like Rick was a wall from the start.
    That he has lasted this long in the Trek universe is surprising.

    This says it all and applies to Enterprise as well:
    Do you think Voyager suffered from not having someone as strong-willed as Ira to fight against that type of input?


    MOORE: Yeah, probably. You probably needed somebody who stood up and said, "This is my vision of the show and we're going to break all the rules with this one." Because that's what Deep Space did. Deep Space said, "We're going to break all the rules, and we're not going to care… because it's STAR TREK!" Because it's Star Trek, you're being given a gift. Here's the gift of a multi-year run. Here's the gift of an audience. Here's the gift of big market share. Here's a gift where the network and the studio are basically going to leave you alone. So take it and run with it! Do something gray. Push it. Make a fantastic show. Voyager just became safe. It's like, "Okay, we know we're on the other side of the galaxy, and we know we're on this ship with all these Maquis – but we're all gonna wear the uniforms, and the ship's not going to get dirty, and we're all going to play nice…" And just bit by bit, it sucks all the juice out of it and becomes a very safe… Well, it's a Star Trek episode.
     
  6. Davin D

    Davin D Agent

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    I disagree. I actually like Enterprise. I hope they do not cancel it.
     
  7. Jason_Els

    Jason_Els Screenwriter

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    Count me in! I loved the original and TNG. DS9 was too much of a soap for me and Voyager/Enterprise were just dull. I don't think the cast has the right chemistry and Star Trek is exceptionally dependent on cast chemistry to work properly. Sci-fi requires extremely good writing to be believable in the first place. I wish SOMEBODY at Paramount would wake-up and go over what made Star Trek so successful in the first place:

    1) An unknown cast with chemistry. Bakula tries hard but I still keep expecting him to pop into someone else's body. Viewers need a cast they can make into the characters and that requires largely unknown performers. Now I know Patrick Stewart was famous long before TNG but he was a only blip on the radar to the critical American market. He is also a damn good actor. Chemistry is more ineffable but it is essential.

    2) Well-written episodes! Get sci-fi authors to pen episodes. Nearly all the best Trek episodes were written by established authors who knew how to make the genre work. Writing fantasy of any sort is difficult. It takes consdierable skill to establish the suspension of disbelief in the fantasy genre and if it doesn't succeed it crashes badly as everything quickly slides into the ridiculous.

    3) Be contemporary. ST is at its best when ethical and moral quandries faced by the characters reflect the issues that concern society. Sci-fi is extremely suitable for this because it divorces the issues from the subjective context of contemporary society and places them in the more objective context of an alternative universe.

    4) Integrate the history. ST has such fans who know more about the series than the prodcuers do themselves. To be authentic and acceptable to the fans, any ST has to work within the realm of the established canon of ST. The few episdoes of Enterprise I have seen don't do this very well. In fairness few shows do. It's all too common in dramas and sitcoms for the alcoholic cured in episode one to be seen drinking without a problem in episode 17. Crap like that doesn't wash in ST. Nor does making "convenient" technologies of dubious plausibility as wryly parodied in Galaxy Quest ("That banging, smashing thingy! What the hell is that? Why the hell would somebody build such a thing??!!") Being faithful to Roddenberry's concept has resulted in the finest iterations of ST. Don't mess with what works.

    and finally,

    5) Boldy go where no TV has gone before. Hollywood loathes risk. The staples of most TV shows: sex, love intrigue, laugh-a-minute comedy, and forumlaic plots don't work at all in ST. ST viewers are more intelligent than your average viewer, better educated, and better read. Certainly more intelligent than the producers of the current show. They can smell bullshit a mile away. They don't watch ST for any of the reasons most people watch TV. If they want to watch formula they could just as well watch something else. ST has a history of in-depth storylines which not only address risky issues (without having to do the, "very special episode of...") but of trying unconventional story techniques. ST fans want originality and for ST to be intellectually challenging.

    It's not easy to carry-on someone else's artistic vision. Look at all the businesses that lose what made them great when the founder(s) leave, die, or sell-out. Hollywood is not known for respecting legacies (look at what they've done to the Bond series) and I doubt that Paramount will succeed until they find a ST czar with the balls and ability to go back to the vision and take some risks. Trying to shoehorn ST into the standard action/drama pattern won't make the fans come back.

    Live long and prosper!
     
  8. Jack Briggs

    Jack Briggs Executive Producer

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    Rex, Jason: Have either of you heard any rumors? JB
     
  9. Tony Whalen

    Tony Whalen Producer

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    I'd hate to see Enterprise go... as I'm one of the few folks who seem to enjoy it.

    That being said, I agree that Trek needs to go away for a while...and to lose Berman. Not so sure about Braga after reading that excellent interview with Ron Moore. Sure sounds like Berman is the one who insists on everything staying "safe".

    *sigh*
     
  10. Jason_Els

    Jason_Els Screenwriter

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    Sorry Jack, I haven't.
     
  11. Mikel_Cooperman

    Mikel_Cooperman Producer

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    Funny, while reading Moores comments he said that a lot of the challenges even with TNG was to make the characters intersting because one of the rules was to have no conflict among the crew because Rodenberry said so.
    The funny thing is and he said this too was that Spock and McCoy were always at each others throats.

    Another thing that I thought was interesting was why he thought the first TNG movied failed creatively.
    They were given a whole list of things that had to be in the movie. They had to have Klingons. They had to have a major Data plot. You gotta work Guinan into it. You got have this and that and he said it became too problematic.

    Anyway, Treks problem now is what Moore and others were working against then and that was to keep Trek from being too predictable and mediocre.

    MOORE: I am still of the firm belief that the franchise needs to lie fallow for a few years. It needs to go away. People sort of have to want to see it. You have to let it just go away for a few years so that you have people who are actually saying, "God, I wish they would bring back Star Trek." Instead of saying, "Oh god, another Star Trek series?" You've got to get to that point.
     
  12. Nelson Au

    Nelson Au Executive Producer

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    It's fun to read and pass these rumours around, but they're just rumours.

    It sounded like the change from 26 episodes to 24 is not about lack of interest in the show, but to give the creative staff a break to ease the workload. 26 episodes is not industry standard for most Network shows, that being a standard season lasts less then 26.

    And if it goes to only 4 seasons, it would be too bad. An unfortunate situation in the history of the franchise. I hope it's not true. I can see the change to less shows per year as a way for them to save some money. I don't know how it works for who pays who to make a TV show, but UPN might be in trouble and needs to save money.

    Here's another one that is posted on Trekweb, that the show may move to Fridays. That would be the route that led to TOS going down. Friday being the night when the young kids are going out on dates and stuff. But today's audiences are not the same as those of 1968-69, we have TiVo and VCR's. It could be a good move or not, but it get's it away from Smallville.

    The change to 4 seasons is a rumour, perhaps if the show does better on Fridays, they'll renew it for a 5th year. So I see the move as a possible way to help the show survive long enough to improve ratings and public opinion.

    Well, I hope it stays for a while and contimues to improve.

    Nelson
     
  13. Mikel_Cooperman

    Mikel_Cooperman Producer

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    I think some fans have settled into the Play it safe Trek and will watch it no matter what. I was there for a while with Voyager but it just wasnt worth it anymore to go another seven years with writing and characters that are bland on yet another show with the Trek name on it.
    Its no longer about ideas, just money....for Paramount.
     
  14. Nelson Au

    Nelson Au Executive Producer

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    Mikel-

    Definitely would be cool to get away from "play it safe and by the numbers" Trek and see a new take on it. Sounds like lots of factors at play here. There's politics going on with the creative staff (Berman's rules for Trek), the studio and Network and perhaps the parent company of Paramount. They are trying to keep Trek within a particular mold. I find the statement from the Moore interview particularly apt that a strong vision from a leader within the creative group would have a better chance of doing good Trek, such as the case with TOS and DS9.

    Nelson
     
  15. Mikel_Cooperman

    Mikel_Cooperman Producer

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    You said it Nelson. They want to keep it in a particular mold but its time to break that mold and also get Berman out of there.
    He needs to go play it safe somwhere else.
    I want good Trek back.
     
  16. Rex Bachmann

    Rex Bachmann Screenwriter

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    Jason_Els wrote (post #7):


    While I heartily agree with (most) of your first two points, I think you've missed the boat on the latter three.

     
  17. Dan Szwarc

    Dan Szwarc Stunt Coordinator

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    Kill it. Come back in 5 years with ST: TNNG (The NEXT Next Generation).
     
  18. Randy Tennison

    Randy Tennison Screenwriter

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    I would be very sad if they killed it. With all respect, it's interesting that the people who are adamently against Enterprize are the ones who say

     
  19. Mikel_Cooperman

    Mikel_Cooperman Producer

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    Now most people havent watched this season but when I have I am Still not impressed. Rubdowns and more actions is what they are going for and young teens may want to see that but not me.
     
  20. Michael St. Clair

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    Every season I try to watch...I never make it more than 3 episodes. Next season I try again...
     

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