February 3, 2005
In the late 60's, a fellow named Whitfield asked "Whither Star Trek?". The answer appears to be "right back where it ended up the first time".
With "Turnabout Intruder", the original Star Trek series came to an end. For the next 18 years, there was no Star Trek. Then, in a bright shining moment for the fans, there was Star Trek once more. Now, 18 years later, it is announced that there will again be no Star Trek.
The original Star Trek was a great show with low ratings that finally got cancelled by its network. The current series Enterprise faltered at first, but now is a great show with low ratings that is about to be cancelled by its network.
And so . . . here we are.
In its fourth season, Enterprise has found itself and its proper voices in the form of Coto and the Reeves-Stevens duo, along with Sussman. To be sure, survival was to be an uphill affair. Thanks to mismanagement by Brannon Braga and Rick Berman (carried over from Voyager), along with a history of no network support of the show from UPN, the original extraordinary ratings have been squandered. The first two seasons were bland, and meanwhile UPN's target demographic shifted to exactly opposite what Trek commonly draws in. Worse yet, numerous competing sci-fi series . . . several of which are helmed by Trek alums . . . are all competing for the same basic audience.
The show would've continued to have very good ratings had it been on one of the major networks like Viacom-owned CBS, or in a 1990's-era syndication environment. But unfortunately, it isn't. Even an airing of the show on CBS's chronically-weak Saturday night would boost it and them, but the powers that be just don't see that.
We all knew that someday it would end, probably after Enterprise finished her seven-year run. But, for Enterprise to be dropped where Voyager was allowed to run a full seven years is just sickening.
For many of my readers, I'd imagine that this new generation of first-run Trek has been around for most of your lives. Current 35 year olds have had it since they were 17 . . . people who are graduating from high school this year have had first-run Trek since they were born.
Only some of the 'old-timer' Trek fans from the 60's and 70's know of what it is we are about to witness . . . a Trek interregnum. It's a very strange feeling. Even when Voyager was on the air, it felt good to know that new Treks were still in progress, even if . . . like so many people . . . I couldn't get UPN. (And even if, in the case of Voyager, it blew Braga-style.)
While it's almost certain that cancelling Enterprise is a done deal, there's still hope until the bitter end that Viacom-owned CBS might pick it up. (The Sci-Fi Channel, an NBC/Universal property, is unlikely to. Viacom-owned Showtime, however, might also work.)
Fan efforts are focusing at SaveEnterprise.com.
In the meantime, feel free to give
UPN some feedback on this decision. Or, contact Paramount:
323-956-5000 (Paramount's publicly-posted number) followed by speaking the name David Stapf ("staff") into their voice-recognition system gets you the office of Paramount Network Television president David Stapf. The girl there does not know the complaint procedure, but if they get enough calls I'm sure she'll learn it quickly enough.
The publicly-posted Paramount number also gets one the number of Les Moonves. The voice-recog system freaks and sends you to an operator when you say that name. The operator says that 323-575-2345 gets you the office of Mr. Moonves. This was given openly with no inquiry as to my need, so it is not secret or private information.
All of the above took about five minutes on the phone. Even if you're getting robbed by your long-distance provider you can do this for less than a buck.
You can also write Paramount Television at:
5555 Melrose Avenue
Hollywood, CA 90038
And of course SaveEnterprise posted this:
Mr. Leslie Moonves
Co-President, Co-Chief Operating Officer
CBS Television City
7800 W Beverly Boulevard
Los Angeles, CA 90036
Best case scenario, Enterprise is renewed for just one more season on CBS Saturday nights, or on Showtime.
It might not do a lick of good in the long run, but let's make sure history never forgets the name Enterprise.