Rick Berman, one of the producers of Star Trek: Enterprise, has given his own take on why the spin-off failed.
Rick Berman, one of the producers of Star Trek: Enterprise, has given his own take on why the spin-off failed. Enterprise, as it was originally launched as, was the first Star Trek since the original series to be cancelled by a broadcaster rather than coming to a ‘natural conclusion’.
The series ran for four years although faced cancellation at the end of its third season but was renewed and given a revamp – with short story-arcs – to try and boost ratings. While the revamp was well received by fans it ultimately failed to boost audiences and Enterprise was cancelled. Various reasons have been put forward since over why Enterprise failed and now Rick Berman has put forward his own reasons.
I think Enterprise was embraced, but by certainly a smaller audience. It was not embraced by a lot of people. There are a lot of different guesses one could make about why. I always felt that whoever came up with the term “franchise fatigue” was right, that there was definitely some of that. There was just too much going on at the same time.
By then, DS9 had ended, Voyager was still on the air, a third TNG movie was coming out, and there was definitely a feeling that maybe we were pushing it. “Oh, my God, here comes another Star Trek show.” It was the fourth Star Trek series in a decade. The prequel idea I think was a good idea. After Voyager we certainly weren’t going to say, “OK, now it’s time for a new show. Voyager is going to go off the air in May and in September you’re going to get a new crew on a new ship in the same century.” – Rick Berman quoted on Blastr
Enterprise was a prequel to the original series but was set after the movie Star Trek: First Contact. It dealt with the first exploration of space, past the solar system, by humans and starred Scott Bakula as Captain Archer and Jolene Blalock as Vulcan T’Pol. The spin-off was widely rumoured to feature the franchise first regular gay character with the character of Malcolm Reed (Dominic Keating) widely tipped to be gay. In the end though it seemed to be pure media speculation.