Star Trek appears to be floundering under CBS’ direction, as a new set of rumors details how various projects related to the franchise have been performing below expectations or outright cancelled.
According to the rumors, which were posted to 4chan by an anonymous user, the upcoming Captain Pike-led series Star Trek: Strange New Worlds “has already been cancelled internally at CBS due to lack of interest from licensees and investor funding.”
This rumored cancellation would contradict the mentions of the show made during the recently held [email protected] Star Trek panel, though the anonymous poster does clarify that “the ’10 broken stories’ that were mentioned at the Star Trek SDCC panel were literally just titles and loglines.”
If this supposed fate of Star Trek:Strange New Worlds is to be believed, it would mean that simple titles have been the only material produced for a show that is being actively hyped-up to the fanbase.
Given that shows such as Star Trek: Discovery and Star Trek: Picard have been wildly expensive to shoot, with Discovery season one coming in at an estimated 8 million dollars per episode, the rumor of a lack of “investor funding” may have some weight to it.
The struggles of finding partners willing to license their new Star Trek shows faced by CBS over the last two years were detailed in a video by Midnight’s Edge.
According to their sources, Netflix opted out of distributing the series within the US due to being unhappy with Discovery’s cost and viewership.
This same source also told Midnight’s Edge that Amazon paid much less than Netflix for Picard, which meant that more of the burden to finance the show was left on the shoulders of the studio.
In April, CBS/Viacom reported that the company had been losing money since the 3rd quarter of 2019, when the two companies successfully completed a merger. This is worrisome because, if this rumor is indeed true, it would indicate the Studio is running out of resources, promising fans more than they’ll be able to deliver, and has exhausted the list of buyers and licensees the studio was relying on to finance new productions.
Another aspect discussed in the rumor is that “nobody is buying anything made under (Bad Robot’s banner),” indicating fans have little love for Bad Robot’s series direction. This lack of enthusiasm translates to a loss of revenue from merchandising, further complicating CBS’ financial windfalls.
The recent announcement of ’23 weeks of New Star Trek’, a schedule being followed by CBS which will see a new episode of a Star Trek show released every week for the titular twenty-three weeks, took fans by surprise, but none were more surprised than members of the Star Trek team, as the rumor claims “the 23 Weeks of Star Trek and release date of STD S3 announced by CBS came as a surprise to the post production team.”
Furthermore, the rumors would claim that CBS wasn’t even finished! It seems the mid-season break is what producers are placing their bets on as the rumor goes on to say, “they’re nowhere close to finishing the last half of the season due to constant changes from producers, trying to transform the mess of a plotline into a coherent way to end the series.”
The alleged leaker also emphasizes that “Yes, it’s the end of the series, Drekkie morns”.
The rumors of chaos within the franchise were also recently echoed in a separate set of leaks surrounding cancelled CBS Star Trek projects, which may hint that the current heads of Star Trek aren’t sure what they’re going to do with the long-running franchise.
The rumors also claim that the newly released animated series Star Trek: Lower Decks wasn’t a hit with test audiences, saying, “Lower Decks has received the lowest test-screening rating of any television show in the history of CBS” and reveal “that is why CBS took so long to reveal it, they were embarrassed.”
The anonymous poster goes on to further explain that, “If Kurtzman hadn’t pushed for it, it’s likely that before its premiere we wouldn’t have seen anything at all.”
Turning to Star Trek: Picard, the rumors indicate that despite Patrick Stewart praising Star Trek: Picard as a reaction to Trump and Brexit, that the seasoned actor is not all that happy at the prospect of returning for another season.
It seems that Stewart was not a fan of Picard dying and being reborn in an artificial body, as anonymous says “Sir Patrick does not like the idea of being dead and now a ‘golem’- this is one aspect of the series he did not sign off on.”
This is a rather bold claim as Stewart has clearly stated he’s going to appear in Season 2 and even hinted that they might be closer to starting production on a second season.
Stewart told The Ready Room with host Wil Wheaton, “I had some encouraging news, only yesterday, about when we might be looking at starting again. You know it’s all these predictions are dependent on the best possible circumstance.”
Nevertheless the leaker goes on to say that, “The writers are scrambling to reconfigure the season into something with coherency, which is not something the show has a lot of. ”
It will be interesting to see how this reconfiguration will play with the more culturally relevant storylines promised by Picard Producer Akiva Goldsman in season 2.
The final part of the rumor has to do with last year’s Short Treks, short videos meant to provide a canon foundation for storylines seen in Picard and current Star Trek.
It seems that reactions to Short Trek were less than what the studio was hoping for, as the leaker states, “Short treks has been canceled, thanks to the extremely poor fan response from all of you.”
You can read the entire rumor below in the screen shot provided:
Like with anything on the internet you’re going to want to take these rumors with a massive grain of salt, though the countless amount of negative YouTube reviews of all current Star Trek shows since 2016 seem to indicate one thing: the poor direction of New Star Trek has left the fandom fractured.
What do you think of these latest leaks from 4chan? Could they be trusted? Or is this all off base?