1st Look: ‘Star Trek’ Trailer from CBS

They brought it out to show the world at the CBS upfront presentation for advertisers at Carnegie Hall in New York City. Les Moonves introduced the first elements for the show, which will premiere in January, 2017 on the new CBS subscription service, CBS All Access. In all its glory, here is the new trailer for the new CBS series Star Trek.

The upcoming Star Trek series, from CBS Studios, has Bryan Fuller on board as executive producer/show runner, Alex Kurtzman as executive producer and Nicholas Meyer as writer and consulting producer.  In the U.S., a special premiere episode will air on the CBS Television Network and all subsequent first-run episodes will be available exclusively on CBS All Access. The series will also be available on television stations and platforms in other countries around the world, but not in the U.S.

A few notes on this trailer are in order. As exciting as it might be to know that the first new Star Trek is making its television appearance since the ill-fated Enterprise was taken off the air in 2005, there are a few things missing:

  • There are no ships. We see not one single starship.
  • There are no people. We see no crew, no aliens, no new civilizations, and no justification for boldly going much of anywhere.
  • The logo looks like a high school kid knocked it off in about half an hour. Seriously, CBS? This was the best you could do?
  • No new footage can be seen. The backgrounds aren’t original either. They came from the end title sequence of Star Trek: Into Darkness.
  • No actual thought went into the content. The pitch is all buzzwords, aimed at marketing droids who probably have no idea what Star Trek is about. “New Heroes. New Villains.” Who cares? That’s so nebulous that it doesn’t actually mean anything.

This trailer simply should not have been shown to the public, as it clearly isn’t meant for us. This is just an advance to help them sell advertising on the show itself. It’ll be an uphill battle, too, since the new CBS All Access service is a total unknown as far as advertising goes.

CBS All Access is a walled garden approach to marketing and distribution. This idea has failed spectacularly in the past (just ask AOL and CompuServe how that went for them). What CBS is failing to consider is that the rest of the internet is a mouse-click away, and there will be lots of different ways to get copies of these episodes without going through CBS’ ticket booth to do it. The internet will be awash with them. Given the popularity of Star Trek, it will be like a tidal wave. CBS thinks they will be able to construct and control a money funnel in a localized area of the planet, and there’s no evidence to suggest that this will be anything more than a modest success. That CBS may already be catching the hint that it may not be a success is evidenced in their recently filed joint law suit with Paramount against the fan film Axanar, which threatens to eat their lunch.

Will the new show be a diamond, or just a hunk of quartz? We want it to be good. We really do — but we’re all going to have to wait until CBS releases a real teaser later this year to get any real clues.

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About Gene Turnbow

President of Krypton Media Group, Inc., radio personality and station manager of Krypton Radio. Part writer, part animator, part musician, part illustrator, part programmer, part entrepreneur - all geek.

4 Comments

  1. The All Access approach is doomed for almost immediate failure. As you stated Gene the model has failed before. I am not willing to pay $6 a month for a show that I can wait for a week to see for free. With a model like this, I’m afraid the show will be lucky to see two year on the air. And if it’s a poor as this trailer there may not be anyone to clamor for its return.

    • My concern is that CBS just isn’t putting in the effort. This is, of course, just the very first thing we’ve seen at all, but why release this to the public if it’s so far in advance that there’s nothing to see? It makes no sense, especially when Star Trek fandom is feeling especially squicked out over what they’re doing to fans in courtrooms these days.

      • I think you hit the nail on the head with that last statement. The trailer says nothing and means nothing. There’s nothing to actually excite the fan or get them “hooked”. Sorry, CBS, but that’s lousy advertising and worse placement.

  2. Brad Alexander

    I believe this is because CBS and Paramount do not see Star Trek as anything other than a revenue-generating property. They don’t care how it works out, unlike the fans. With this new Star Trek series, they are using it solely as a vehicle to sell CBS all access.

    This is why I am a fan of the fan films, and I am doubly convinced this is why they sued Axanar. Because the fan films have become professional enough to compete with the existing “commercial” properties, and because they are produced by fellow fans, they do the fans more than lip service. The writers and actors and so forth actually care about the timeline and what has gone before.

    So far, they have the right names and faces in the right roles, but are they going to then tie their hands like they did in TOS season 3?

What do you think?

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