JJ Abrams Star Trek 2009 did something amazing: it revived interest in Star Trek. Naturally, you’d think that Paramount and Bad Robot would take advantage and launch a multi-dimansional Star Trek assault. You know, like the one Disney is planning with Star Wars.
Well, it was going to happen but rights issues got in the way according to a new report by The Wrap. Paramount and CBS used to be owned by the same company – Viacom. CBS broke out of that umbrella in 2006 and took the TV rights as well as the rights to the original 1960s Star Trek show while Paramount kept the film rights.
Therefore, Paramount had to license the character rights for the new film and signed a contract with Bad Robot to develop new films until 2016, which happens to be the 50th anniversary of Star Trek. CBS wasn’t into all of that though and kept producing merchandise for The Original Series while Bad Robot wanted to create a giant Star Trek campaign that would span merchandise, video games, TV and comic books.
CBS still didn’t care and Abrams got frustrated, eventually throwing up his hands and saying “why set all of this up when we’ll just be competing against ourselves?” Bad Robot told CBS once more to back off the retro stuff and to jump onto the new universe but talks broke down over money and Bad Robot deflated their ambitious Star Trek plans, which involved a TV show and spin-off films.
The Wrap does mention that all the parties were able to play nice for Star Trek Into Darkness, which is good to hear but it’s too little too late. This must have been part of the appeal of jumping into Disney’s Star Wars bonanza as The Wrap reports Abrams could be overseeing some of the spin-off films, merchandising and TV shows. I’m not sure how much oversight he’ll get because it’s LucasFilm’s baby. Or even if Bad Robot will be involved at all, but it has to be part of the appeal of taking on his favorite science fiction franchise.
This is all a shame because Star Trek works best on TV. In that format you can really get into the various characters and spend some time exploring the universe without having to become a big summer blockbuster to succeed. And with the recent interest in Star Trek it would have been a huge hit.
Could a Star Trek TV show still happen? Probably, but not until the inevitable Star Trek 3 comes out in 2016, which happens to be when Bad Robot is off of the Star Trek universe. I definitely can’t see CBS stupid enough to keep Star Trek on TV dormant for long, especially once they see the box office receipts for Into Darkness.
I’d love a new Star Trek show, but I’m not sure if I’d want one from Bad Robot because their TV shows recently have been increasingly spotty. I’d rather have CBS go out and find some young and thirsty science fiction writer that wants to play with the best pure science fiction property in entertainment. That’s what would excite me. What about you? What would you like to see happen with a new Star Trek TV show? [The Wrap]