CBS Chief Justifies “Star Trek: Discovery” Plans

One of the least well-received elements of the upcoming “Star Trek: Discovery” series has been CBS’ choice to restrict the property to its CBS All Access streaming service in the United States.

Overseas users aren’t so restricted, the show set to make its debut on Netflix in overseas territories essentially day-and-date with the U.S. episodes. Trek’s fanbase though on TV was always primarily North American and so this walling off has understandably upset some.

Talking with podcast Recode Media, CBS Interactive CEO Jim Lanzone tried to justify the decision this week in a strange way – saying that science fiction doesn’t do well on broadcast television:

“Sci-Fi is not something that has traditionally done really well on broadcast. 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. And so, you kind of look at the other networks we have, CW and Showtime, it just fit the with the digital audience and having that digital Star Trek audience.”

Basic and premium cable channels have had more success with science fiction than the broadcast networks in recent years, the latter likely to cancel their sci-fi shows before they have a chance to get off the ground.

“Star Trek: Discovery” is currently targeting a May premiere.