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  #21  
Old 05-02-2012, 07:15 AM
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I had forgotten that about Wang.

It's gratifying at times that for all the supposed 'shallow pop' of AbramsTrek that BermanTrek used People Magazine to decide which cast members on series stayed and left.
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  #22  
Old 05-02-2012, 07:37 AM
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Them's summoning words.

Now had they killed off Chakotay, I might have thought the franchise still had enough bite left to do what must be done. Though I still would have seen it as an act of desperation.

Not that it mattered, VOY continued to drop as well... even after Seven.
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  #23  
Old 05-02-2012, 10:38 AM
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Originally Posted by Quark View Post
Anyway, back to Rick Berman, where did Gene find him and do you think Berman made the right choices with Star Trek?
The first question has already been answered. To answer the second, like all of us he made some good and some bad choices. As his reign includes virtually all of Trek (25 out of 28 seasons and 4 out of 11 movies) it is hard to judge his work well as outsider.
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  #24  
Old 05-02-2012, 05:43 PM
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Originally Posted by samwiseb View Post
First of all. I've never disagreed on any of this, and it is one of my main criticisms against the eighteen-year 'second generation' or Berman Trek franchise. The feature films (particularly Generations) were heavily effected by this as well.

Which goes back to what I said in my initial post. Again, I don't disagree on any of this.
Indeed, but the defining difference is that the length of time doesn't seem to a factor for other shows. Cops, CIS's Law & Order. Cop dramas have a tendency to remain in the public interest. I see no reason why Trek couldn't too. I think much like a producer. If there is interest then exploit it. The difference is not necessarily the level of interest but the diversity of the medium. In Trek's case DS9 was a good change from the standard format but it was merely set dressing. Station instead of ship. Voyager change the situation. These aspects helped... but the concept itself didn't change. Seven main Cast with in an episodic nature is how all Trek Series have executed and that's what needed a change, aswell as a change in pace.

Here I'm forced to disagree.

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All of the series (following TNG) showed a consistent and mostly-steady decline in ratings from start to finish, and each series performed worse than the one before. This means that the first two 'awful' seasons of DS9 were actually its strongest performance-wise because the numbers continued declining thereafter. The addition of Defiant, Worf and Seven into their respective series was a move of desperation, and it was widely recognized as such at the time (even among fans who seemed to approve). There is no evidence that these changes slowed the decline in any way, or had any (lasting) effect whatsoever. There is no evidence the series would have otherwise failed, or declined any faster. That's speculation.
http://media.photobucket.com/image/r...iseRatings.jpg


Tell me if I'm wrong but isn't there a spike in Season 4 at the very Beginning.
And isn't there a spike aswell at the beginning of Season Five that are very similar to each other in there respective season? Doesn't this correspond to introduction of Worf. They are followed by level periods for several episodes where interest is maintained.

HOWEVER, if you looks at seasons 6 and 7 not only is the view spike weaker than the rest of season it belongs too..but the episodes don't stay very level aftewards either.

The spikes seem to correspond to the:

Defiant in Season 3.
Worf in Season 4
And the resolution of the Archanis conflict by the Klingons in Season 5.
Notice because this was a continuing conflict that the viewship remained somewhat even until the story lines wander from these topics.

THIS seems to be a Major issue in the last two Season where more than half of each Season has absolutely nothing to do with the conflict that was prepared for in Season 4 and 5.

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TNG on the other hand, performed consistently if not better during its latter years. Whether it deserved to or not (especially by S7) is another story.
Indeed. But it was the best player on the block and more people didn't have cable back then. The studio expects decline as a matter of rule especially now days with the much shorter attention spans and internet viewing robbing the commercial time. but rapid declines aren't tolerated nor when series start low like Enterprise and SGU did.
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Old 05-03-2012, 03:17 AM
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Indeed, but the defining difference is that the length of time doesn't seem to a factor for other shows. Cops, CIS's Law & Order. Cop dramas have a tendency to remain in the public interest. I see no reason why Trek couldn't too. I think much like a producer. If there is interest then exploit it. The difference is not necessarily the level of interest but the diversity of the medium.
I was replying specifically to your charge that all of the shows used mostly the same people. My emphasis was not on the duration in particular (although that IS far to long a time for the same people to be in charge, even accepting that most of them probably didn't come aboard until somewhere between years three and six).

I haven't followed reality TV such as COPS, and wouldn't consider it a realistic comparison. I also wouldn't have the time to look up the ratings of Law and Order's various spinoffs, or the names attached, although as a franchise that seems a fairly good comparison. Your ENT/SGU comparison rings true with my understanding, and I presume the Stargate franchise as a whole has suffered the same decline over the years as ST. The studio, producers and UPN probably felt there was 'no reason' ST couldn't recapture its glory TNG days, as long as they were still able to make money off it (and it's not like UPN had many successful series anyway). Most fans seem to think they know in retrospect what ideas might have saved the franchise, but they don't.

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In Trek's case DS9 was a good change from the standard format but it was merely set dressing. Station instead of ship. Voyager change the situation. These aspects helped... but the concept itself didn't change. Seven main Cast with in an episodic nature is how all Trek Series have executed and that's what needed a change, as well as a change in pace.
Yes, seven stick figures, put Starfleet uniforms on them, make two of them aliens, another an 'observer', the leader a minority and throw in a couple outsiders. Then hire once again the same writers, designers, cinematographers and composers. That's the Berman regime formula. I completely agree.

DS9, I don't agree that the change from standard format is 'merely' window dressing. That implies all of its stories are interchangeable, and they are not (though many of them are). In addition its large supporting cast would not easily lend itself to a mobile setting, and neither would much of its politics and continuity. ST would have to seriously rethink the formatting of its starship-based shows (latter-season ENT comes to mind) before such interchangeability was possible. VOY on the other hand was only different on the surface. It dabbled in being about isolation, limited resources and opposing agenda, but its TNG formula would not be sacrificed to any of these ends (the one time it was; UPN's "next week on VOY" teasers made sure we knew a temporal reset was inevitable). BSG was VOY unrestrained (and with obvious DS9 influences), while B5 was DS9 with a plan and 25 percent less fat.

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http://media.photobucket.com/image/r...iseRatings.jpg
Tell me if I'm wrong but isn't there a spike in Season 4 at the very Beginning.
And isn't there a spike aswell at the beginning of Season Five that are very similar to each other in there respective season? Doesn't this correspond to introduction of Worf. They are followed by level periods for several episodes where interest is maintained.

HOWEVER, if you looks at seasons 6 and 7 not only is the view spike weaker than the rest of season it belongs too..but the episodes don't stay very level aftewards either.
Yes I've seen the spikes. Somewhere there's a graph with the exact same information that's (considerably) easier on the eyesight. Most likely, that's what they represent. While the 'middle' highest point on TNG is probably Nimoy's guest appearance.

The clusters are too dense to make out, but I'd say interest held for an average of 4-8 eps whenever there was a significant spike. And I did specify previously that there was no lasting evidence of improved change in the series' performance. And certainly no evidence that these changes 'saved' the show. These spikes no doubt looked promising at the time, but they did not last, and they did not turn the show around.

Most telling of all: when the ratings declined again they fell not only to where the had left off, but even lower so that the imaginary vector of declination was restored. You could almost hold a ruler up to it (you would have to bend it slightly).

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THIS seems to be a Major issue in the last two Season where more than half of each Season has absolutely nothing to do with the conflict that was prepared for in Season 4 and 5.
First of all, let's not forget that S6 was the season which began with a six-episode story arc (a trend Moore would later revisit on BSG). And S7 was fairly plot-intensive; almost nonstop through its second half. By your arguments this likewise should have held viewer interest (and it probably did, for those people still watching). Second, the actual variables are likely too complex to quantify. Serialized story threads are not always the answer, because you could be 'locking in' your losses and discouraging viewers from even trying to catch up again. Which is probably why networks were more often reluctant to try it prior to the age of DVD boxsets and bloody streaming. (In this case it didn't seem to matter, the downward slope continued, might as well reward the more 'loyal' viewers with some payoff).

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Indeed. But it was the best player on the block and more people didn't have cable back then. The studio expects decline as a matter of rule especially now days with the much shorter attention spans and internet viewing robbing the commercial time. but rapid declines aren't tolerated nor when series start low like Enterprise and SGU did.
If it was the best player on the block, then 'someone' gets credit for that. Either it was Berman at the top, or it wasn't. Either he's equally accountable for both the franchise' failures AND successes alike, or someone else is. If television was a different game at the time of TNG (which I don't think it's that simple since TNG and DS9 overlapped, and were both doing very different things with the ratings while competing in the same market), then the same was true for every other show on TV at that time as well.
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  #26  
Old 05-03-2012, 12:22 PM
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I don't suspect it was ever within Shatner's capability to decline an appearance as the character that he was most famous for.
Don't get me wrong, of course he had every right to play his character. However, if it was me, I would want to have a say as to how my character would demise, let alone one of the most popular character in science-fiction. However, I am glad that it was Shatner to add the last lines of the character: "It was...fun. Oh my..." I remember Shatner using those words as a way to say that Kirk was truely going to a place where he had never gone before.
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  #27  
Old 05-03-2012, 12:40 PM
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Shatner has always been a wh0re so why should he care what happens to Kirk? And it is not like saving billions of people and being buried by another captain of the Enterprise is such a bad end.
People who complain about the "unheroic" death of James T. Kirk confuse glory and heroics. Real-life heroes are never people who die a glorious death. What matters is not how you die but what you have done before you die.
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  #28  
Old 05-03-2012, 05:16 PM
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I haven't followed reality TV such as COPS, and wouldn't consider it a realistic comparison. I also wouldn't have the time to look up the ratings of Law and Order's various spinoffs, or the names attached, although as a franchise that seems a fairly good comparison. Your ENT/SGU comparison rings true with my understanding, and I presume the Stargate franchise as a whole has suffered the same decline over the years as ST. The studio, producers and UPN probably felt there was 'no reason' ST couldn't recapture its glory TNG days, as long as they were still able to make money off it (and it's not like UPN had many successful series anyway). Most fans seem to think they know in retrospect what ideas might have saved the franchise, but they don't.
Nothing would have saved ENT or SGU.
Once a show starts off bad or with low ratings the decline is inevitable. You always want to start off high and sort of ride the wave down.

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Yes, seven stick figures, put Starfleet uniforms on them, make two of them aliens, another an 'observer', the leader a minority and throw in a couple outsiders. Then hire once again the same writers, designers, cinematographers and composers. That's the Berman regime formula. I completely agree.
LOL
But notice that's exactly what the've endeared upon the fans.
The fan films look the same way....no imagination and no deviation from the Roddenberry/Berman form.
Namely Pheonix and Odyssey.



Quote:
The clusters are too dense to make out, but I'd say interest held for an average of 4-8 eps whenever there was a significant spike. And I did specify previously that there was no lasting evidence of improved change in the series' performance. And certainly no evidence that these changes 'saved' the show. These spikes no doubt looked promising at the time, but they did not last, and they did not turn the show around.
While I disagree with your conclusion of the info I understand.
I would point out that saving a series is more about the ratings at the time then after the fact...although they do look at the trend. But saving a series is about that weeks ratings and of course the previous year trend. To me the trend looks different in these two seasons.
Quote:
Most telling of all: when the ratings declined again they fell not only to where the had left off, but even lower so that the imaginary vector of declination was restored. You could almost hold a ruler up to it (you would have to bend it slightly).
Well further match up the episodes and I'm betting you'll find that the marked drop off is directly attributable to "fluff" episodes rather than maintaining a story line. That's where the episodic concept bites you in the ratings.

Quote:
First of all, let's not forget that S6 was the season which began with a six-episode story arc (a trend Moore would later revisit on BSG). And S7 was fairly plot-intensive; almost nonstop through its second half.
I've done my homework here.
You're right but they still left half those seasons to non plot stories...many of then all in a row until the last half of 9 episode arc (which I didn't find particularly intensive or suspenseful. But note that it was final episode that garnered viewer attention.


Quote:
By your arguments this likewise should have held viewer interest (and it probably did, for those people still watching). Second, the actual variables are likely too complex to quantify. Serialized story threads are not always the answer, because you could be 'locking in' your losses and discouraging viewers from even trying to catch up again. Which is probably why networks were more often reluctant to try it prior to the age of DVD boxsets and bloody streaming. (In this case it didn't seem to matter, the downward slope continued, might as well reward the more 'loyal' viewers with some payoff).
True its difficult but that's more about the story than the serialized concept. Hero's for instance. Once the audience new the suspense wasn't ramping up to anything new and there was a wash and repeat method it dropped off radically. The same thing happened to 24. You have to keep it fresh.

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If it was the best player on the block, then 'someone' gets credit for that. Either it was Berman at the top, or it wasn't. Either he's equally accountable for both the franchise' failures AND successes alike, or someone else is. If television was a different game at the time of TNG (which I don't think it's that simple since TNG and DS9 overlapped, and were both doing very different things with the ratings while competing in the same market), then the same was true for every other show on TV at that time as well.

I can only give him credit for his life support efforts.
He didn't adapt, he was a product of a particularl weak 20 years of sci fi and he took full advantage of it. (granted)

This is like many Football and Basketball discussion I've had. How do you know if a coach is effective in the NBA. Is it the coaching or the players or the bad competition. Does the coach get credit just because he's beating up on bad competition? I personally don't think so. Isn't that much like saying "a monkey could do this job"?
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  #29  
Old 05-04-2012, 01:10 AM
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Isn't that much like saying "a monkey could do this job"?
Ook?

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Old 05-04-2012, 05:08 AM
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Originally Posted by samwiseb View Post
Yes, seven stick figures, put Starfleet uniforms on them, make two of them aliens, another an 'observer', the leader a minority and throw in a couple outsiders. Then hire once again the same writers, designers, cinematographers and composers. That's the Berman regime formula. I completely agree.
That does seem to cover his range.

Quote:
DS9, I don't agree that the change from standard format is 'merely' window dressing. That implies all of its stories are interchangeable, and they are not (though many of them are). In addition its large supporting cast would not easily lend itself to a mobile setting, and neither would much of its politics and continuity. ST would have to seriously rethink the formatting of its starship-based shows (latter-season ENT comes to mind) before such interchangeability was possible. VOY on the other hand was only different on the surface. It dabbled in being about isolation, limited resources and opposing agenda, but its TNG formula would not be sacrificed to any of these ends (the one time it was; UPN's "next week on VOY" teasers made sure we knew a temporal reset was inevitable). BSG was VOY unrestrained (and with obvious DS9 influences), while B5 was DS9 with a plan and 25 percent less fat.
Also an opinion I would broadly agree with, but I still consider DS9 to be the most 'experimental' of all the second era TV Trek series. It may not have ended up vastly 'experimental' but it tried more than the other series did. I wonder if that was because in part it had the luxury of being around while other aspects of Trek were more commercially successful, thus allowing for a bit more leeway than if the franchise had been in the shape it was a decade later.

I seem to recall (but can't find offhand) that it was once either outright stated or strongly implied that DS9 was the one Trek show that Berman took the least involvement in and pretty much left the likes of Behr, Hewitt, Moore etc to do their thing with it.

Quote:
First of all, let's not forget that S6 was the season which began with a six-episode story arc (a trend Moore would later revisit on BSG). And S7 was fairly plot-intensive; almost nonstop through its second half. By your arguments this likewise should have held viewer interest (and it probably did, for those people still watching). Second, the actual variables are likely too complex to quantify. Serialized story threads are not always the answer, because you could be 'locking in' your losses and discouraging viewers from even trying to catch up again. Which is probably why networks were more often reluctant to try it prior to the age of DVD boxsets and bloody streaming. (In this case it didn't seem to matter, the downward slope continued, might as well reward the more 'loyal' viewers with some payoff).
I think that does very much become a problem for almost all shows with an over-riding arc. There comes a point where the viewer has to have seen too much previously to know what's going on and the casual viewer ends up having too much homework to do to catch up.

The audience declines to a core that have stayed since the start and then it gets very hard to expand the show's viewership again without compromising the original show. I think this is a phenomenon that has recently afflicted 'Fringe' and certainly Moore's 'Battlestar Galactica' series. Although, at least FOX has been prepared to give 'Fringe' a reduced final season to finish the show off properly for the viewers left, but I think that is because they negotiated license fee reductions as well that made it viable to greenlight.

But as far as I understand the US TV market that's also where being able to get a show into syndication stripping helps because when you run a serialised show properly and continously it's easier for viewers to get into it and stay into it. Similarly, the 13 episode final fifth season order for 'Fringe' pushes it over the 100 episode syndication territory (again, as far as I understand how it works). A show like CSI, however, a bog standard procedural you can pretty much show in any order so viewers can tune in and out and not miss a lot.
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