Anonymous Coward writes, PRESS RELEASE

Feb. 18, 2003

Fans spearhead campaign to take back Star Trek

Star Trek fans disappointed with the newest series and lackluster feature films have launched a campaign to oust Rick Berman as head of the Paramount franchise.

“Trek Fans United: Give Back Star Trek!” is the brainchild of Trish Bennett of Ohio and Layla Brown of South Carolina, who launched the internet campaign in response to spiraling ratings for the UPN series, “Enterprise,” and what they see as the imminent death of Star Trek. The campaign encourages dissatisfied viewers to make their opinions known with a detailed letter-writing campaign, publicity and an online petition.

“Star Trek has been a prosperous franchise for Paramount for well over 30 years,” said Bennett. “But now we’re seeing even die-hard fans turning away in droves. You can look anywhere on the Internet and find fans calling for Rick Berman to step down. We decided it was time to gather all that energy in one place and hopefully make it happen.”

Since its inception in 1966, Star Trek has spawned five television series and 10 feature films. The most recent theatrical release, “Nemesis”, failed to impress audiences and earned less than $50 million at the box-office, leaving the future of the feature films in question.

And “Enterprise”, which debuted September, 2001, with Neilsen ratings of nearly 13 million viewers, has progressively lost its eager audience. The series pulled in a mere 3.9 million viewers for the recent episode, “Dawn.”

“It’s disappointing, because people actually want to enjoy ‘Enterprise’,” said Bennett. “They just can’t because it’s not Star Trek as we know it. Berman has tried to make it more commercially successful, which is absurd when you consider there’s already a built-in audience of millions around the world. But in doing so, he has managed to alienate those millions. The ratings prove it.”

Fans cite recycled plots, gratuitous sexual content and lack of continuity as a few of the reasons for their declining interest in the formerly successful franchise.

“Star Trek has always been good science fiction with fresh, innovative stories and amazing characters,” said Bennett. “We want that back. Paramount expects us to tune in and to open our wallets for movie tickets and merchandise, and we’ve always been willing to do that. But we’re not mindless sheep who will blindly accept anything with the Star Trek name attached to it. Give us something worth our time and money, and we’ll be there.”

The campaign web site can be found at http://trekfansunited.bravepages.com.