Comic-Con: Braga Talks Future of Trek and scifi on TV

I had a chance to ask Brannon Braga (C0-Creator: Star Trek Enterprise, EP: Star Trek Voyager, Producer/Writer Star Trek: The Next Generation, etc) if CBS Paramount was considering bringing Trek back to TV now that Paramount Pictures has greenlit another Trek film. He quickly responded “There are no plans for Trek on TV”. In a follow-up I asked him and the panel why (even after the success of Lost and a bit of a resurgence of ‘genre’ TV) there are no shows set in the future. The panel included fellow Trek Alum Rene Echevarria (Medium), David Goyer (Blade), Jeph Loeb (co-executive producer, Heroes), Bryan Fuller (consulting producer, Heroes), and Frank Spotnitz (Night Stalker, Star Chamber) who all agreed that TV executives are still afraid of scifi, “especially when you start talking about ships, aliens, robots and all that stuff” said Fuller.

Scifi on TV vs Film
Braga noted that although half the top grossing films are scifi/genre films, there is a limit to how scifi you can get on TV, as an example he said that he co-creator (David Goyer) were told to not mention the word ‘alien’ when promoting their now cancelled Threshold. Braga said that scifi is all about 'experimenting', then explaining the demise of his latest show he said "Threshold was an experiment that failed". Brian Fuller noted that many people who enjoy Comic Book films don't realize they are watching scifi. Braga joked that a network can have a dozen procedural crime shows on but gets nervous when they have more than one scifi show (which seems a dig CBS...home of Threshold and rights holder to Star Trek on TV). Star Trek XI’s JJ Abrams himself recently discussed this issue of the ‘scifi taboo’ on network TV by finally coming out of the closet and admitting that his mega-hit Lost is scifi to TV Guide but saying that he kept that a secret from the executives at ABC.

posted by Tony P @ 11:04 AM,


At 3:08 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

A good omen for XI imho is what Fuller said about comic book heroes cos I'd argue Kirk and Spock are *almost* in the same league as those guys ;)

James Bond
Darth Vader....
Captain Kirk

Absolutley, he can mix it up with those guys any day, especially in the gold tunic which he is still associated with to this day. Superman had the cape, Batman has the Bat Mobile, Bond has a tuxedo... Kirk has the gold tunic, a phaser by his side, can punch & chop his way out of anything and he always gets the girl.

What more does Mr and Mrs Joe Sixpack want?

At 12:41 AM, Blogger Tony P said...

I totally agree

At 1:36 AM, Blogger Mr. Nilsen said...

It's sad that the TV execs are so scared of sci fi. Although, sci fi can sometimes tend to get a little wierd on TV, so I can see their hesitation. I'm just hoping that Trek XI will do really well at the box office. Then Abrams can bring Star Trek back to TV and make it as popular as LOST! Or maybe I'm just dreaming, haha.

I definately agree with their comments, though. All the comic book movies that have been comming out recently aren't really any different than sci fi, a lot of people just seem to get scared off by aliens and spaceships.


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