General Question

Zone36's avatar

Why did 'Star Trek The Next Generation' end after 7 seasons?

Asked by Zone36 (413points) August 22nd, 2010

Were ratings dropping substantially? Did they want to end while the show was going well?

The “ending” seems so abrupt. Of course they don’t really stop, but because each episodes’ story is self contained; they couldn’t really build towards some grand finale. The ending was good, but it was just so open ended. Towards the last seasons I felt they really got a good formula down.

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16 Answers

ipso's avatar

Producers look at writing, market, contracts, and 1000 other variables, to determine when best to end a series.

This was on Wikipedia

“The show ended with its final 7th season 2-part episode “All Good Things…”, which brought the events of the series full circle, back to the original confrontation with Q. An interstellar anomaly that threatens all life in the universe forces Captain Picard to leap from his present, past and future to combat the threat. Picard was successfully able to demonstrate to Q that humanity could think outside of the confines of perception and theorize on new possibilities, while still being prepared to sacrifice themselves for the sake of the greater good. The show ended with the crew of the Enterprise feeling more like a family, and paved the way for four consecutive motion pictures that continued the theme and mission of the series.”

I think the last sentence says it all.

Zone36's avatar

But why did they feel they had to stop at 7 seasons? I couldn’t find information about the shows ratings. OR if the contracts/production was getting too expensive compared to the profit. OR were the writers/actors/producers just tired of the show and wanted to move on to other things?

ipso's avatar

You’d have to talk to the producers who made the decision (or possibly the network who denied the producers). They probably are not going to publish the reasons why.

I suspect lack of writing. The producers did not have enough high-quality writing to support another full season. Full stop.

Zone36's avatar

Ok thanks. I guess they don’t document those things as much as they do today. Like I know why Scrubs ended. Or why Supernatural is ending next year.

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

Ending the TV series made the movies more viable to pursue. I have a feeling they wanted to keep the momentum going from the successful First Gen Trekkie movies.

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Austinlad's avatar

Another reason is that actors get tired of their roles and want to move on to other things, plus they don’t want to get typecast. Look at the variety of roles Patrick Stewart did after Star Trek—he was trying to erase his Capt. Picard image.

Austinlad's avatar

One more reason occurs to me: many producers like to end their series when ratings are relatively high so that they can negotiate for more syndication money. That’s where the big bucks are. Desi Arnez invented that trend when he sold “I Love Lucy” to a syndicate. It’s still running all over the world and making a fortune for the estates of its stars who both have been dead many years.

ipso's avatar

@Austinlad – your last two points are great ones!

Going out on top makes everyone look better.

tedd's avatar

@Austinlad Are you telling me that Rici Ricardo is…. DEAD?!?!?!?! :O

You just ruined my day.

GeorgeGee's avatar

What I heard at the time was that a studio head realized that the franchise could be continuously reinvented… New cast, new ship, every few years, thus keeping their payroll small. And they held a carrot in front of the cast telling them they could make their fortunes on the big screen after the series end. But frankly that was a weak cast, and the series was often hamstrung by poor writing (though there were exceptions such as the Borg conflict), so studio heads rightly felt the public wouldn’t have much interest in paying to see them in a long string of movies. The 2009 Star Trek movie returning to the original characters, however, was brilliant and will likely see several sequels.

xenagaby77's avatar

@GeorgeGee – The reinvention part was probably true, but the ST:TNG cast was not weak. Brent Spiner was excellent creating one of the most memorable sci-fi characters, Stewart was obviously great, Burton was terrific as Geordie, Michael Dorn was simply wonderful as Worf, and Jonathan Frakes was solid as Riker. John De Lancie as Q and Whoopi Goldberg as Guinan contributed superb moments in the series. The writing was inconsistent, but occasionally brilliant. Many of the episodes in the last two or three seasons were very well written. I wonder how much of TNG you actually watched based on your casual dismissal of a mostly excellent series. Also, the 2009 movie (while a big hit) is laughably poor when taken in context of previous Star Trek efforts (television and movie). The acting was mostly awful, the script was just embarrassing (the Spock/Uhura romance and the mindless destruction of the Vulcan and Romulus planets) and nonsensical (Kirk quickly promoted to captain after being a stowaway). It abandoned any idea of “science” fiction and was like an example of very bad fanfiction. JJ Abrams has had an excellent career, but this movie was a misguided effort.

NerdyKeith's avatar

It was their contract. No Star Trek series got a longer contract than 7 years. The original series was supposed to only get 5, but got cancelled after 3.

TNG, DS9 mad Voyager all got 7 seasons. Enterprise was also supposed to get 7 but couldn’t keep the railings up, so only got 4.

To be fair though, there has been so many TNG movies to compensate for the lack of a sadisfactory endomg.

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