The First crew of the starship Enterprise shall fly no more. Paramount has announced they are canceling the most recent iteration of the Star Trek franchise and will not bring the show back for a fifth season. This version featured a prototype Enterprise on a mission 100 years before Capt. Kirk and the original crew.
This development has cast further doubt on the future of an already floundering franchise. The last Star Trekfilm, 2002’s Nemesis, fared poorly at the Box Office and has only moderate sales on DVD. In 2003, video game maker Activision, which made a five-year licensing deal to publish games featuring the science fiction franchise, sued Paramount’s parent company Viacom for letting the property diminish into mediocrity. They claimed, “Activision cannot successfully develop and sell Star Trek video games without the product exploitation and support promised by Viacom.”
Fans, who were of a mixed opinion on the prequel Star Trek: Enterprise, have considered the franchise as being at its lowest point. Paramount Network Television President David Stapf has said, “We all look forward to a new chapter of this enduring franchise in the future.” Yet, it will be several years before a new television program and possibly longer for a new film.
This all leads me to question if it is proper for a company to sustain a long-running property, even if it is suffering creatively. The fans should be angry if a company has let a beloved franchise, whether it is television or film or other media, dwindle to nothing. The status quo should be defied during challenging times. Executives need to put fresh minds on any such brand and revitalize it for future products.