Re: UPN Cancels Enterprise!

 Posted on 2/15/2005 by to

Thunder, Agent '005 wrote:
> From Sci-Fi Wire...
> "UPN Cancels Enterprise
> UPN and Paramount Network Television jointly announced Feb. 2 that
> low-rated Star Trek: Enterprise has been canceled after five seasons.

> "This will be the final season of Star Trek: Enterprise on UPN," the
> companies said. The series finale will air on May 13. When Star Trek:

> Enterprise ends its run, it will mark the first time since 1987 that
> new Trek series will appear on the air.
> Enterprise becomes the first Trek series to end prematurely since the

> original Star Trek aired on NBC in the 1960s. All previous Trek
> series, including The Next Generation, Deep Space Nine and Voyager,
> completed seven-season runs.
> This year, new executive producer Manny Coto re-energized
> storylines with episodes that hearkened back to the original series.
> Last year, the series attempted an ambitious season-long story arc
> centering on the hunt for the Xindi.
> UPN said that the prequel series will have produced a total of 98
> episodes. The early cancellation announcement presumably allows
> producers to write and produce a series finale. "
> --
> This sucks! I actually liked the series this year... they let crap
> Voyager go on for seven painfully long and dull seasons but axe this
> show when it starts to get good! Maybe Berman held on to it just
> enough to drive the audience away and then tossed it to Coto when he
> realized his job was safe...
> t.k.

I'm trying this via google to see if I can access the groups, since
I've been offline since AOL stopped carrying newsgroups.

I don't normally do fact, I don't think I've ever done this
in any group before, because I've always kind of waited to make sure it
was worth doing, and that it would make a difference.

I'm sending this to both the B5 folks reading this and any Trek fans
looking on.

Bryce Zabel (recently the head of the Television Academy and
creator/executive producer of Dark Skies) and I share one thing in
common. We are both long-time Trek fans, from the earliest days, who
felt that the later iterations were not up to the standards set by the
original series. (I'm exempting TNG because that one worked nicely,
and was in many ways the truest to the original series because Gene was
still around to shepherd its creation and execution.)

Over time, Trek was treated like a porsche that's kept in the garage
all the time, for fear of scratching the finish. The stories were, for
the most part, safe, more about technology than what William Faulkner
described as "the human heart in conflict with itself." Yes, there
were always exceptions, but in general that trend became more and more
apparent with the passage of years. Which was why so often I came down
on the later stories, which I did openly, because I didn't feel they
lined up with what Trek was created to be. I don't apologize for it,
because that was what I felt as a fan of Trek. That's why I had Majel
appear on B5, to send a message: that I believe in what Gene created.

Because left to its own devices, allowed to go as far as it could,
telling the same kind of challenging stories Trek was always known for,
it could blow the doors off science fiction television. Think of it
for a moment, a series with a forty year solid name, guaranteed
markets...can you think of a better time when you take chances and can
tell daring, imaginative, challenging stories? Why play it safe?

When Enterprise went down, those involved shrugged and wrote it off to
"franchise fatigue," their phrase, not mine.

I don't believe that for a second. Neither does Bryce. There's a
tremendous hunger for Trek out there. It just has to be Trek done

Last year, Bryce and I sat down and, on our own, out of a sheer love of
Trek as it was and should be, wrote a series bible/treatment for a
return to the roots of Trek. To re-boot the Trek universe.
Understand: writer/producers in TV just don't do that sort of thing on
their own, everybody always insists on doing it for vast sums of money.
We did it entirely on our own, setting aside other, paying deadlines
out of our passion for the series. We set out a full five-year arc.

But when it came time to bring it to Paramount, despite my track record
and Bryce's enormous and skillful record as a writer/producer, the
effort stalled out because of "political considerations," which was
explained to us as not wishing to offend the powers that be.

So on behalf of myself and Bryce, I'm taking the unusual step of going
right to the source...right to you guys, fueled in part by a number of
recent articles and polls, including one at in
which nearly 18,000 fans voted their preference for a new Trek series,
and 48% of that figure called for a jms take on Trek. (The other
choices polled at about 18% or thereabouts.)

See, if somebody doesn't like a story, doesn't want to buy it, that's
all well and good, that's terrific, that's the way it's supposed to be.
But when "political considerations" are the basis...that just doesn't

So here's the deal, folks. If you want to see a new Trek series that's
true to Gene's original creation, helmed by myself and Bryce, with
challenging stories, contemporary themes, solid extrapolation, and the
infusion of some of our best and brightest SF prose writers, then you
need to let the folks at Paramount know that. If the 48% of the 18,000
folks who voted at sent those sentiments to
Paramount...there'd be a new series in the works tomorrow.

I don't need the work, I have plenty of stuff on my plate through 2007
in TV, film and comics, so that's not an issue. But I'd set it all
aside for one shot at doing Trek right, and I know Bryce feels the

If you want this to's up to the Trek and B5 fans to make it

The rest I leave to the quiet turning of your considered conscience.

J. Michael Straczynski