Paramount Pictures has taken yet another major step to re-establishing Paramount Television after naming Amy Powell — the company’s head of digital entertainment — the new president of the division.
Powell will continue in her previous role as well, and suggests that Paramount might focus more on alternative platforms like the Internet and streaming services such as Netflix. But it also creates more suggestion that Paramount might be interested in bringing Star Trek back to television, and not waiting for its sister company CBS Television to do it.
“Amy has proven herself to be a highly talented, innovative and creative executive,” Paramount chairman and chief executive Brad Grey said in a news release. “Her skill and experience working across all platforms, at engaging audiences, and most recently her work at Insurge (Pictures), will be instrumental as we build a versatile television operation.”
While Paramount may not be looking to do television networks like CBS Television does with the CBS network and The CW, Paramount might take a role more like Warner Bros. Television in producing quality television that could be distributed on various networks or cable channels and in the growing market of streaming services.
What this might mean for a rebirth of Star Trek on television is still not clear. That is mostly because the distribution of rights for the franchise is still not clear. When Viacom split in 2006, Paramount and CBS were split apart, with Paramount taking the film rights to Star Trek and CBS Television holding onto the rights of the existing television portion. Because “Star Trek: Enterprise” had ended the year before, there was no new Star Trek television being produced, so it remains unclear whether CBS owns the rights to future Star Trek television or if that would actually fall to Paramount.
Paramount is making a lot of money with the Star Trek film franchise, the two most recent films in 2009 and this past summer earning $834.5 million in worldwide box office. Both fans and industry observers believe that it’s only natural that either Paramount or CBS Television could be planning a return to television for Star Trek in the near future to help capitalize on the success and help boost future films and DVD sales of past Star Trek products.