With still nearly a year to go before CBS Corp. faces fans with its new Star Trek series, company chairman Les Moonves says the venture already looks like it’s a winning one.
“The numbers internationally are pretty astronomical,” Moonves told the Morgan Stanley Technology Media & Telecom Conference in San Francisco on Monday. In fact, according to Broadcasting & Cable, international sales already have paid for 60 percent of the new Trek series’ production costs. And that’s all without any of those outlets seeing a single frame from the series.
“For this relatively minor investment, this is how we’re going to get All Access to be where we want it to be, where there are millions and millions of subscribers,” Moonves said, referring to the streaming subscription platform where the new Star Trek series will be available, CBS All Access. “They’ve taken this crown jewel property, and they’ve put it in a place where they know there are so many millions of Star Trek fans, that they will pay for this.”
It’s a lot more work for CBS to fund its own projects through advertising pre-sales, but Moonves hopes investors and fans alike will understand how important they are taking Star Trek. Especially since there were far more easier routes they could’ve taken.
“Netflix, Amazon, Hulu, they all offered us a lot of money,” Moonves said. “They all wanted it very badly. We could have taken the quick bucks from Netflix, but it shows we’re investing in a property we really believe in the future.”
No cast has been announced for what fans have temporarily dubbed “Star Trek: Series VI,” but Bryan Fuller will lead the production team that includes series co-developer Alex Kurtzman, and the latest member to the writing staff, “Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan” director Nicholas Meyer.