CBS is experiencing some amazing growth…and a couple of serious problem. There's good news, but will it be enough to outweigh the bad news?
CBS is experiencing some amazing growth…and a couple of serious problems.
The Columbia Broadcasting Service, CBS, has been home to iconic shows. Their current content offering is no different.
Yet, they’ve made a couple of big mistakes.
But let’s talk about two pieces of good news first.
CBS News To Launch Local News Service
CBSN Local, as it will be called, is a new venture by CBS to connect local news providers with cord cutters.
This is a smart move on CBS’s part.
While customers are getting rid of cable and switching entirely to streaming services, the concern for local news stations have been “who will watch us?” To combat this, CBS News will have market-specific streaming news available. Local CBS affiliates will get to produce and stream their local news while alongside CBS’s original content. This streaming service will eventually be part of CBS All Access in the future.
Not all affiliates are getting their own streaming services right now. Only the largest markets will get some first. Other cities will get their own as they roll out the service more and more.
It’s a great idea, but with a downside.
What if some people, namely the author of this post, are not CBS watchers? What if they get their news from somewhere else and are fine missing the local CBS newscast?
CBS may be up a creek with that one.
Then again, that may not be an issue.
CBS All Access and Showtime OTT Subscribers are Rising
CBS All Access, their exclusive streaming service, and their subsidiary Showtime have been showing strong numbers.
These numbers are so strong that analysts have predicted they’ll break 8 million for All Access and 8 million for Showtime by 2022. Simple math means that will be 16 million new subscribers by 2022.
That’s a big number and something to get excited about.
That is if their forecasters aren’t mistaken like Netflix’s did last July.
The good news is that CBS is adapting to the era of Peak TV better than most of their competitors.
For a broadcast channel that produces shows watched mostly by the over-50 crowd, that’s pretty impressive.
Let’s hope it’s enough to outweigh their bad decisions.
More Star Trek Without Avery Brooks
CBS debuted Star Trek: Discovery exclusively on All Access.
This new show is supposed to be a prequel to the new Trek movies that have come out under JJ Abrams. I haven’t heard much about the show itself. Nor have I had any inclination to.
And for someone who grew up watching Star Trek, that should be shocking.
While it would be easy to blame JJ Abrams for this, in truth, it’s not his fault.
It’s the fault of the executives and producers who decided he’d be a good choice to take control of the franchise. Since I don’t know their names, it’s just easier to blame Abrams for my distaste with the current direction Star Trek has been going.
It wasn’t made any better when I learned that Patrick Stewart was getting another Trek show.
Now, I don’t hate Patrick Stewart. He’s a phenomenal actor.
As Jean-Luc Picard, he brought a certain panache and dignity to the role of a captain. You’ll notice there are very few Trekkie jokes that make fun of his talking style if there are any at all.
Not to mention he did a great job as Professor Xavier in the X-Men movies, despite the horrible turn they took.
No, the issue here isn’t Patrick Stewart at all. Jean-Luc Picard was his role and he made the character what it is today. If he wants to go and make another show based on the character, then that’s his choice.
What I really want to see, and what I’ve been dying to see since 1999, is Avery Brooks step back into the role of Captain Benjamin Sisko.
Who’s Avery Brooks?
For those asking that question, I am deeply saddened.
Avery Brooks played Benjamin Sisko of Deep Space 9.
This spin-off came after The Next Generation, which is what Stewart is known for. Instead of being set on a ship, they set the show on a space station. And not just any space station, but the space station once held by an oppressive regime.
Deep Space 9 wasn’t like the other Star Trek’s, nor any others after it. It dealt with heavy issues like faith, war, and fatherhood, to name a few. DS9, as its called by its die-hard fans, also tossed out the episodic format and set up a mythic arc for the entire series. There were episodes that were "one-offs" like the time Bashir had "James Bond-like" adventure in one of the holosuites.
This idea was ahead of its time. It also made DS9 is perfect for binge-watching.
And yet, no movies, no reboots…nothing.
And why is that?
Just as Deep Space 9 was ending, I expected to see at least one movie where they brought back the entire cast, just like they did for The Next Generation. But they didn’t.
Instead, they made more movies with the TNG cast.
While those movies were fun to watch, I eagerly awaited them to finally give DS9 it’s big budget time on the screen.
But they didn’t.
Instead, someone decided to never go that direction and junk all that story potential.
And for what?
A reboot of the tired old series where we see reinterpretations of characters that we’ve seen a lot of already.
Again, this has nothing to do with Chris Pine, Zachary Quinto, or the cast of the new Trek movies. They’re great actors, and this is not a reflection on them. Nor did I entirely hate the new Trek movies. They were entertaining at least.
It’s a reflection on the absurdity that’s allowed to reign at these production companies.
And it’s no more obvious than with this next bit of news
Les Moonves Is Still There
The CEO, who’s had multiple counts of sexual harassment against him, has been allowed to stay.
While there’s been a long list of offenders who’ve been kicked out for sexual misconduct, and even worse, Moonves name isn’t on that list.
The specifics of the case aside, it’s sending a message that with enough power, men like this can still be allowed to retain their positions of authority.
And I find that unacceptable.
While I didn’t watch a lot of CBS programming, to begin with, I doubt I’ll be doing much of it now.
Maybe one day I’ll get around to watching Patrick Stewart’s new Trek series, but I’m not forking over money to a company that refuses to do the right thing in the name of profits.
Nor will they make a Star Trek: Deep Space 9 movie.
Or reboot the series.
So much potential and such a waste.
Until then, I’ll have to make do with watching reruns of DS9 so I can see one of the best actors, nay, one of the best roll-models I’ve ever seen, get a chance to act on screen.
For the rest of us, it’s a free country. If you want to subscribe to CBS All Access, I’m okay with that. It is, after all, your right.
Just make sure you save some cash first by checking out the best cable and internet packages. Knowing that someone will be saving money will at least make me feel a little better.
And that will have to do until they finally make that Deep Space 9 movie.