Cancellation Star Trek: Enterprise (continued).....
The trigger for the decision to cancel Enterprise comes from the decline in ratings
the show has had. From UPNís perspective an individual called Les Mooves to be
precise it is purely a matter of numbers. When a TV show just is not pulling the
ratings it no longer becomes economically viable to continue producing it especially
as Trek shows are costly to produce with Enterprise costing approx $1.25 million
So why did the ratings decline? It there is plenty of blame to go around but letís
start at the top with (B+B) Rick Berman and Brannon Braga.
They were in charge for the majority of the dissapointment that was Voyager. The
show was promised to be so much more that what we got and in conclusion was a
stray from the premise and damage to the Trek franchise. This went on for 7 years!
They then go on to create Enterprise and give us an abysmal season 1 and 2 for
dozens of reasons. By this time many more had turned away. The prequel concept
of the show was virtually ignored, the stories were weak and the characters were
not even defined properly nor were they developed. By the end of season 2 it was
clear that the show was in trouble and something needed to be done.
Season 3 improved things somewhat. The show took a distinct change of direction
and new writers were bought onboard. The entire season was devoted to a single
core story - something not done before in Star Trek. Whether this was an
improvement or not is debatable but at least it was different. Moreover there were
actually improvements in the stories and characters and the overall quality of the
show. These have all been attributed to one name; Manny Cotto.
Whilst the show may have improved for some people who were still watching it did
not manage to find some new audience but the show was renewed for a fourth
season mostly in part to various fan based campaigns.
So now in the fourth season under the new direction of Manny Cotto and with other
new writers the show is actually getting some good responses and even rave
responses in some cases. He is actually making Enterprise tie-in with the rest of
Trek history following the premise of a prequel.
But it seems though that the improvements in the show have come too late.
Ratings improved but not my anything significant and the show has been moved to
Friday nights Ė not a good place to get a new audience.
UPN themselves deserve to take some blame. Apparently itís somewhat of a crap tv
channel which does not pull high numbers and ironically Enterprise is one of itís
highest rated shows despite itís low numbers. Itís also the home of WWE
Smackdown which is also one of their biggest shows. Reports suggest that UPN is
probably not going to renew the contract with WWE in 2006. UPN has recently been
issuing statements regarding a shake-up of their programming in an effort to make
itself more popular. Itís highly possible that the channel itself will not exist in a year
or so. There have been several management changes in the time Enterprise has
been on air which have not improved things.
Blame goes to them for doing nothing to promote the show and moving it around
It is possible that Enterprise was simply too expensive as they are commenting
because they are now a small network but it feels like that they have pushed Trek
The logic of axing (potentially) itís two biggest shows to make your self more
popular escapes me.
Blame also goes to Paramount for allowing B+B to be in charge of Trek for so long
and running it into the ground.
Itís unfortunate that a show that is actually starting to show promise is now going
to be scrapped. I can not help but wonder that if we had not been subjected to the
B+B years and loosing all the viewers that Enterprise might be going on for longer
especially with people like Manny Cotto in charge who seems to really understand
In times like this Rick Berman simply blames other people, other entities or trends
rather than taking any responsibility.
The way in which people watch TV is changing and way the US television system
works is bizarre to say the least. The true audience of a TV show is not accurately
reflected. For example a re-run of the show a day or so later is not counted, TiVoís
and people who download episodes which is popular activity in the UK.
Did people even know about Enterprise? For the first two years it was simply called
Enterprise - the Star Trek prefix was dropped for some dumb reason. Unless you
were a fan you may have missed it. This was rectified by the time season 3 came
with Star Trek being officially included in the title.
A break of Trek I think is a good idea but not like this. I thought we should have
had a few years break at end of Voyager and certainly after Enterprise but not via
All this is now coupled with the bomb that was Nemesis a few years ago. Thanks go
out to Mr Berman for that too. Itís clear that the general public has simply lost
interest with Star Trek. Something Rick Berman refers to as ĎFranchise Fatigueí. He
believes that Star Trek will be back in a about 3 years time.
But is this naturally induced or just because of the quality of Trek produced over
the past few years? Millions of fans are calling for B+Bís heads.
The news of the cancellation has triggered various fan based movements into action
but their hopes of reversing Moonves decision but the chances are slim. The
primary campaign is SaveEnterprise who are continuing to fight the decision.
For us in the UK we still have Season 4 left to see. Sky will begin airing it 7th March
and has moved it from itís usual Monday (where it had been since 1997!) slot to
For us who have grown up with Trek (like me) for the last 18 years we have been
extremely lucky. I for one know I have been spoilt.
To keep abrest of all the latest developments check out the articles on Trekweb.com
Iíll be updating this article with future versions as things go on. Hope you have