The last week or so has seen some interesting announcements. First, and for us Canadians, most importantly, the new series will be filmed in Toronto instead of Los Angeles, which is a big departure from the norm. Also, as the series will air in January on the CBS on-demand site (already known), but instead of typical on demand formats, the episodes will be aired weekly. The full story can be seen here.
My thoughts - I love that Trek will be filmed in Toronto, but I acknowledge what this may mean for the tradition of Trek. It has been over a decade since a Trek series has been created, and for easily two decades while Trek was on the small screen, a core group of local production talent that specialized in Star Trek was put into place. True, there is no guarantee that said core is able to meet the requirements for the new series due to other projects and commitments. This is also not meant to say that they cannot tap into that talent, nor that there is not a healthy dose of talent in Toronto. Some new blood may be necessary for this bold new series. I just think that this change in where the show will be filmed could signal a change in the franchise. What that change will look like has yet to be seen.
For me, the biggest concern raised is that this will be a weekly airing. As I understand it, for the first week you will be able to view the first episode, for the second week you will be able to view the second episode, but not the first. While the on-demand format is still evolving, I worry that this decision may be an issue. Television viewing has changed since Enterprise was on the screen. Viewers are used to watching several episodes in a row, what is commonly referred to as binge watching. This meshing of traditional weekly broadcasting with on demand viewing may not be welcomed, and that can be a problem. CBS is taking a gamble here, and I wonder if they are listening to right people. The series needs to attract new fans to be successful, and I think the target fans may be thinking that this approach is too archaic. This could turn off viewers before the show starts. For the first time, the news causes me concern. We will have to see how it develops.