CBS Interactive CEO Jim Lanzor doesn’t believe “Star Trek: Discovery” belongs on broadcast television. During an interview on the “Recode Media with Peter Kafka” podcast, he explained the decision to make the show available on the CBS All Access streaming subscription service rather than on the main network.
"Sci-fi is not something that has traditionally done really well on broadcast,” he explained. “It’s not impossible, for the future, if somebody figures it out. And things like 'Lost' and 'Heroes' have had parts of, you know, sci-fi, but historically, a show like 'Star Trek' wouldn’t necessarily be a broadcast show, at this point.”
While the sheer number of genre shows on cable and broadcast television suggests that Lanzor may be wrong, and that CBS is mishandling the latest installment in the “Star Trek” franchise, the actual ratings of fantasy, science fiction and horror series suggest otherwise. “Game of Thrones” and “The Walking Dead” are the only two genre offerings that regularly crack the weekly top 25.
Despite Lanzor’s attempt at justifying the economic necessity of streaming “Star Trek: Discovery,” many U.S. fans are still upset at the decision, given the subscription price of $6.00/month ($10.00 without commercials), especially since it is being carried on Netflix in the rest of the world (except for Canada where it is being broadcast on Space).