Recently CBS announced that in 2017 they’ll be releasing a new Star Trek TV series. Rejoice! Except… it’ll only be released on their CBS All Access streaming service. To be more specific, they’ll be releasing the very first episode on TV as a tease, then the rest of the episodes online.
Little is known about the new series except that it stars a new crew with new adventures of exploration, and it appears to take place in the original universe of the original series and the Next Generation rather than the new and parallel universe of the movies.
So far CBS’s streaming service hasn’t gained a lot of traction, with complaints of limited content and that it doesn’t even offer all the shows that CBS has. So it would appear that this move is aimed directly at trying to bring people to the service.
Whether or not this move will be successful is another matter. If the new series was coming out on Netflix or Hulu Plus or Amazon Prime people may be enticed to join as those services all offer a wide variety of additional content, but with CBS only offering a limited selection on their service, people might not be so inclined to sign up, even for Star Trek. Also, despite there being many people now signed up for streaming services, regular TV still has a larger audience so a new Star Trek TV series would gain the most viewers if it was broadcast on regular TV.
There’s still some time before CBS will air the new series so there’s a chance it could change its mind and air the whole thing on TV instead of making it exclusive to CBS All Access. Doing that would offer the new TV series the best chance of succeeding.
This perhaps also sheds light on why CBS has been so determined to turn down the ideas for other Star Trek TV series by the likes of Jonathan Frakes, who played Commander William Riker on the Next Generation, because they had their own plan in the works.
Either way, it is a new Star Trek TV series of a sort, so at least there’s that.