Great news for STAR TREK: DISCOVERY…or is it? (news and editorial, part 2)

Rather than writing a review of STAR TREK: DISCOVERY (that’s coming tomorrow), I decided to take a look at the bigger picture.  Were the record sign-ups right after the premiere really “big news” or simply the inevitable result of hundreds of millions of dollars in production and advertising/marketing budgets?  Also, what does it tell us that CBS remains so reluctant to provide hard numbers about how many people actually subscribed last night?

As I said in yesterday’s blog, my goal here is NOT to try to snatch defeat out of the jaws of victory for CBS.  I’m actually very happy that Star Trek: Discovery did so well in both ratings and sign-ups.  This means that the worst-case scenario—CBS simply assumes that Star Trek has run its course and is no longer a viable sci-fi franchise—has been avoided.  Nearly 10 million people watched the free network TV premiere on Sunday night.  So anyone accusing me of sour grapes is wrong.  Wet blanket, yes.  Sour grapes, no.

My desire, to be honest, is to simply take a wider look at this new series…beyond just Sunday night or this one week.  Now that the horse is fast out of the starting gate, what are the challenges facing Star Trek: Discovery in terms of keeping and growing its viewership?  Obviously, CBS is in a unique situation due to its decision to require viewers to pay to see episodes of the new series.  How does that affect their goal of attracting and keeping viewers?

As I said in a previous blog, good word of mouth can really help a show increase its viewership.  That’s what The Orville is hoping for (oops, I used the O-word again, sorry!)  Many viewers who stuck with the new FOX series found the third episode to be significantly better than the pilot.  But 4 million people didn’t stick with the show long enough to see that third episode, as viewership dropped by 50% when The Orville moved from Sunday to Thursday night.  Can some of those 4 million be won back?  Can new viewers be found?

The answer depends primarily on four things:

  1. Continuing quality and improvement of the episodesThe Orville pilot was, many thought, weaker than the following two episodesThat show can’t afford to slide back on quality lest people say, “I told you it sucked.  I’m outta here.”
  2. Good word of of mouth – I’ve been telling many friends who gave up after the first episode of The Orville to check out the show again.  I even got one to do just that, and now he’s hooked (as are two of his teenaged kids).  The more viewers who “spread the gospel,” the more likely viewership will stabilize and even increase.
  3. Ongoing advertising – Most series do best when they have frequent commercials reminding people to watch them, showing all the cool stuff coming up.
  4. Ease of access – The easier it is for new or returning viewers to check out the show, the more chance they will do so and become regular viewers.

Now, let’s look at these four items from the point of view of Star Trek: Discovery and CBS’s decision to make it available only through subscription after the series premiere…

Episode quality – I am certain Discovery will have that.  Even though I personally wasn’t thrilled with the first episode, I thought the second was an improvement…and critics have said that the third episode is even better.

Word of mouth – Here things get a little more problematic.  Some fans really LOVE Discovery and will sing its praises…but how many?  That’s the hundred million dollar question!  The Orville is trying to claw itself back from having dropped to 4 million viewers in week three.  At best, Discovery has about half of that number of viewers to work with right now.  And it seems that, at least initially, fans are pretty split on whether or not they even like the new series.  The audience score on Rotten Tomatoes remains at 65%.  The Orville is at 89%, for comparison.  That doesn’t mean there will be no word of mouth for Discovery, but it’s likely that The Orville will get more positive word of mouth from more viewers than Discovery will…simply because more people are watching the FOX series and liking it more(at least on average).

Ongoing advertising – This one, I admit, I’m really curious about.  Naturally, I see ads for The Orville all the time on FOX during other shows and football games.  The question is, now that the Discovery premiere has been aired, will we see any more ads for that series on regular CBS TV?  You’d think CBS would want to do just that, but if you look at The Good Fight (the only other original series airing exclusively on ALL ACCESS), you don’t see many (if any) ads on CBS telling people to subscribe to watch it .  Will CBS figure with Discovery, “Well, we’ve built it, now they will come…” or will they feel the need to keep the outreach going?  I suppose that’ll depend on the number of sign-ups, which I suspect will return to more modest levels quickly.  And that leads us to…

Ease of access – Want to check out The Orville?  It’s on Thursdays at 9pm.  If you’re already watching Gotham at 8pm and you see an ad for “The Orville – coming up next on FOX!” then simply don’t change the channel when Gotham is over.  Easy!  Now let’s head over to CBS, and you’re checking out The Big Bang Theory (which probably attracts a similar young adult target demographic) when you see an ad for Discovery.   You can’t simply keep watching CBS after Big Bang is over to check out Discovery…or even set your DVR to record it later.  You’ll need to stop watching TV (or pause it), go to your computer or smart phone/tablet, and sign yourself up for All Access, creating a user account and password.  Or you can leave all that until later…assuming you remember to do it.

And of course, there are so many other unknowns.  What percentage of the people who just signed up did so only to see the conclusion of the pilot episode and then immediately canceled once they did so?  How many of those first night record sign-ups were people on the East Coast of the United States who had set their DVRs to record Discovery only to find that the game ran late and they only got the first 12 minutes of the new show.  (I suspect that number is actually pretty high!)  How many are waiting until the end of the season to binge watch…paying for only a one-month subscription before canceling?  (That’s my plan.)

And although I hate to mention the elephant in the living room, but how many people are just going to download the episodes illegally?  (And I in NO WAY encourage or endorse such practices!)  But multiple news sources have reported that Discovery has quickly cracked the TOP 10 on the Pirate Bay’s list of MOST PIRATED SHOWS!  In fact, the pilot episode has actually been pirated more than the second episode of Discovery…which kinda supports my theory that a lot of folks on the East Coast missed the first episode and wanted to see how it ended.  And the fact that the second episode has fewer pirated downloads than the pilot implies that the first episode didn’t exactly leave a bunch folks wanting more…even though they were illegally downloading it anyway!

Ironically, the high rate of piracy could actually be a help to CBS!  Sure, they are going to lose potential revenue from subscribers, but the WILL expand their viewer base.  And with more people watching the show, there’s more potential for good word of mouth, right?  Of course, CBS simply has to hope that the good word of mouth FROM the pirates doesn’t simply go to OTHER pirates!  Instead, with luck, those pirates will convince viewers with actual moral compasses to go and legally subscribe.  We’ll see.  If that does happen, then the cloud of online piracy ends up with at least a small silver lining for CBS.

In the end, Star Trek: Discovery is the canary in the coal mine right now.  There’s no instruction manual for CBS, no rule book.  Every decision they make will either turn out brilliant or idiotic, and it’ll be tough to know anything for certain immediately.

So yes, the news was really good for the premiere.  But as the weeks and months go by, CBS might need to get creative in finding ways to keep Star Trek: Discovery in the spotlight, dangling it temptingly in front of potential new subscribers.  Otherwise, there might have been record sign-ups on September 24, but that could also end up being the last hurrah when it comes to bringing viewers to ALL ACCESS to pay to watch Star Trek: Discovery.

23 thoughts on “Great news for STAR TREK: DISCOVERY…or is it? (news and editorial, part 2)”

  1. The dip for The Orville could also be the result of time confusion. Some viewers tuned in Sunday night for a new episode, only to discover the new one had aired three days prior.

    1. Sort of happened to me (though I have to get it elsewhere, since it doesn’t air in Germany yet). I totally forgot about the slot change and was surprised to see some clips and reviews on Friday instead of Monday… So I would’ve missed it, if I were living in the US…

  2. Really?

    CBS might be hoping that online pirates would take the moral high-ground approach and voluntarily decide to pay instead of getting it for free? When they clearly don’t have to?

    I’m no math expert but I’ve got to think that the probability of that happening would be a really small number.

      1. Well, according to that article, the potential hit to CBS’ revenue from piracy would be about 4.4% (which isn’t much). But as I said, pirates could provide good word of mouth for Discovery. HBO is ecstatic that Game of Thrones is always holding multiple slots in the most pirated top ten.

  3. I have one comment on: “This means that the worst-case scenario—CBS simply assumes that Star Trek has run its course and is no longer a viable sci-fi franchise—has been avoided. ”

    To me that’s not the worst case. If CBS (and presumably Paramount) abandoned trek then maybe we could see very high quality Trek from fans with no onerous rules come back alive.

    To me the worst case scenario is that STD does well enough so that CBS feels no need to offer it in other channels for years on end forcing people to either pay or get no Trek along with the current rules staying in force. I’m actually betting on that scenario right now but hopefully I’m wrong.

  4. I have to Yarr, and mention that HBO saw exactly the same thing with Game of Thrones and celebrated their #1 spot on the piracy list every week Game of Thrones came out, it meant that they were doing something right and people loved the show. As long as people love the show the paying audience will grow or at least stay. Personally I’d have to say I’m watching only to see if it gets better and to complain about it when it doesn’t. If CBS all access was the only means by which to watch it I would simply accept that Star Trek is dead and move on with my life. At least until CBS gets a clue and signs up for netflix or hulu like any normal sane adult, then i might binge watch it and complain about what they’ve done to it.

  5. Jonathan,

    I don’t think you can look at the Orville in the way you are… They premiered 1st 2 episodes behind football – then Moved it to it’s normal time slot. So the way you have to gauge it is against other Scifi/Genre shows.

    Quickly here are some average viewer figures. For Fox and CW which are the comparable networks. My Viewing figures are in Millions not Ratings points because that’s what I understand.

    Gotham 4.5 mil (even at their high point they were @ 5 mil) Lucifer 3.3 Exorcist 1.96 Master chef (Not Masterchief, Carlos) 3.5 Hells kitchen 2.5 F-Word 3 mil premier -1.5 mil finale.

    All of these are considered successful shows and get renewed every year.

    Over on the CW – Flash 2.5-3mil Arrow 1.9 Super girl 1.5. I didn’t look it up but even though like the 100 gets lower ratings than that – It gets another season because it doesn’t cost a lot to make. The other shows like Arrow and Legends sit at around 2 Million

    Even The Big Dogs, Walking Dead 10.6 Mil and Game of Thrones. 16 mil.

    Oh and just because Ghost Rider was so cool. Agents of SHIELD netted 5.3 Million viewers.

    So when you consider, That these are the current viewing figures for your average Fox/CW shows the Orville is flying comfortably over the top of the Heap. (As fall and winter approach these are all going to go up.) The Show to watch this year will be the new X-Men series Gifted. If anything we should measure The Orville against that.

    Getting Beyond, the Hype of Discovery’s premier. The Best Model we have to look at as far as CBS goes is what happened with CBS and Super girl.

    It premiered to Solid Ratings and then as the season went on it declined (but not a huge amount) But still Super Girl was shuffled off rather unceremoniously to the CW which is where it should have been to start off with. Since CBS doesn’t do Genre shows….

    Also it’s interesting to note that they are projecting the STD premier at 9.5 Million US. Contrast that with The Big Bang Premier @ 17Mil and Young Sheldon @ 16.6

    Funny how we still can’t “Access” those All Access sign up figures….

    One more thing. That I think is of note here…. Although Netflix data isn’t collected the Same as Regular TV Data, they estimate that Daredevil Season 1 was viewed 4.4 Million times in the first 30 days of release… That netted them what 4 sequel series…

    And… I am guessing here somewhat, but combined with all the other data out there I think it’s a pretty good one.. I’d seriously estimate. Approximately 5 million, Genre fans out there… as Opposed to casual viewers… people who would buy a T-shirt or an action figure or coffee cup.

    And if that is truly the case, why not market to the core genre fans. And Budget accordingly.

    1. Great numbers there, Mickey. Thanks! I wasn’t going to spent too much time explaining the ratings–my blogs are long enough as it is! My main point was to show that Orville sank DOWN to the same level that CBS was hoping to CLIMB UP to: 4 million viewers/subscribers.

      Personally, I think Discovery should have been put on the CW from the beginning. It would have done a much better job of nurturing and expanding the fan base and keeping the franchise commercially viable. But hey, that’s just me.

  6. Jonathan, you said you weren’t going to be negative about Discovery at the beginning of this article but all I read here was negative to Discovery and positive for Orville. I feel like you aren’t trying to be fair at all but trying to list all the reasons Discovery will fail. You hide your opinion by saaying ‘might’ but anyone really reading your article can tell that you are really saying is ‘will’.

    I know you are going to refute what I say by answering with a one sentence reply that is not only meant to refute what I am saying but also to make what I say as silly as you possibly can. How do I know this…because that is how you have responded to almost every comment I have made in the last few months. Why should I expect anything different now?

    Making your article as a comparison between Orville and Discovery is not only unfair to Discovery but also Orville too. They are both completely different shows with totally different ideologies and in a lot of ways a different fan base as well. Orville by it’s very nature, because of its creator, writer and star actor will always be though of as ‘that funny Star Trek ‘ no matter how serious they try to make their episodes. (A command officer drinks tequila, the helmsman keeps a big gulp at his station and penis jokes). Discovery on the other side will be considered ‘serious Star Trek’ (a captain really in control, consequences for your actions and real death and life situations).

    I’m not trying to be an asshole here but I feel that in no way was this article fair to either show. I’m sorry for writing this much but once I started I couldn’t stop. If anyone has, I appreciate your reading this. Take care.

    1. Ed, if you really wanna see me rip into Discovery, just wait for my review on Thursday! 🙂

      I never said my blog was going to be “fair”–only that it was going to look at the bigger picture. CBS got to do their happy dance on Sunday night, but the bigger picture isn’t necessarily quite as rosy. That might not be “fair,” but everything I said was truth. Discovery faces many more challenges specifically because it’s a pay-TV program on a brand new service. As for comparing it to the Orville, it’s hard to compare Discovery to anything simply because of its unique situation airing on All Access and Netflix. I suppose I could have compared it to Daredevil or The Defenders, but that didn’t seem accurate either. At least with The Orville, the demographic fan base is much more likely to be similar.

      And I’m sorry if you feel I tend to answer your comments in one sentence and make you feel as silly as I possibly can. I’ve checked back through your last few comments, and I haven’t seemed to have done that, but if I have done it previous to that, my apologies. I don’t always have time to write elaborate responses to everyone. Sometimes I say nothing. Other times, a quick one-liner chuckle seems sufficient. And sometimes I can go on forever. That’s my bag, baby. 🙂

      Anyway, I hope this response feels more substantial for you, Edward. And remember that you are more than welcome to your opinion, but please allow me mine, as well. And I don’t try to “hide” it. I do NOT by any means WANT Discovery to fail. I’m not rooting for crappy ratings or low subscriptions. I simply feel that outcome is more likely than CBS might want to believe…and for a variety of reasons which I’ve shared. Sure, I’d love to be proven right. But I won’t cry in my Kharn Roast coffee if I turn out to be wrong. I’ve created waaaaaaay too many BPDs (Business Planning Documents) predicting customer and user behavior to believe that I will be proven right 100% of the time. If I were right that often, I would have been paid a LOT more than I used to! 🙂

  7. I really hated the Thursday night move for Orville. I actually almost forgot about the switch. Sunday was just fine people at FOX

    1. Personally, I think a Sunday night line-up of “The Simpsons”, “Family Guy”, and “The Orville” would kick Nielsen ass! But then where do you shift “Last Man Standing” and “Brooklyn Nine Nine”? Tuesday night? Then “Lethal Weapon” floats. Programming a network is HARD! 🙂

  8. Mr Lane,

    Thank you once again for your insightful analysis you did highlight a point in your previous blog I hadn’t thought about that the space battle was extremely poor. I used to have space battle games on my phone that were better all round well I did till I deleted them for the selfsame reason. In a show which was very visually appealing ok not to every ones tastes not even mine but very high production values it looked as if they hand it over to the work experience lad who was there after school to make the tea.(Sorry I am English, I meant make the Coffee). I would like to raise the following points in ascending order of importance and would love feedback or if anyone has them answers, also not STD bashing if I was I would just point out some of the many glaring holes in the “plot”.

    1/ The Theme tune opening intro whatever you call it did they get the work experience lad in on a saturday to knock it out? I mean they have now made the Enterprise opening titles look excellent.

    2/ After Trek Why? yes its a great way to make relatively cheap television but the host Matt Mira perhaps hes a superfan/big american celebrity I haven’t heard of him but as I said British had his tongue so far up the producers arse that I am surprised he could speak. Sure its his job to promote the show fair enough but if he had asked a few questions to allow them to defend their choices rather than oh how great how wonderful it became tedious. Personally I would ask is the stun setting a new feature that made it into TOS since obviously if phasers had that capability in STD Sonequa wouldn’t of kicked off the war especially as she had made the extremely valid point that the baddie Chris Obi excellent actor must be captured not killed. Perhaps tongue in cheek but they could of come up with some explanation perhaps even well since it didnt have it it did kick off a war that’s why they were redesigned.

    3/ Bryan fuller why was his name all over the opening credits. I mean it has been established that he was fired early in the process and in interviews even stated he had passed all his work along to them and had no more input. So was it a contract thing?? or a desperate attempt to claw back some Star Trek credit by the producers??

    4/ My Last question which I am sure people are grateful for that fact is why? seriously what use were the first two episodes? Yes it established the background introduced us to Sarek, that Blue death bloke Doug Jones and Sonequa. It also introduced us to the brilliant Michelle Yeoh and the aforementioned Baddie Chris Obi which they promptly killed off so wasted my time millions of dollars of budget and achieved what? We hadn’t had time to become emotionally invested in either character, the whole 2 episodes could of been recapped with a bit of dialogue in episode 3(Which I bet it will be) and it would of allowed people to use their imaginations which no special effects team have yet beaten on price or quality. This is my greatest worry since surely if you are producing any tv surely every second is precious and you spend them grudgingly advancing the story the character development the plot etc you dont decide well we could add a bit of dialogue so that gets everyone up to speed and we have a couple of flashback scenes or hey lets have two episodes doing that instead. Could these episodes just be filler as they have already run out of ideas???

    OK finished my questions I do hope someone has answers as I am confused(a not unusual state for me nevertheless). I will leave with a couple of observations firstly on IMDB it lists Michelle Yeoh as in all 15 episodes. I hope that this is not a typo and they find a way to resurrect her. Not because she is a woman or damm hot or ethnic but she is by far the best actress or actor on the show. I also found a way to greatly increase my enjoyment of the show which may also be of use to other viewers. Mentally edit out the Star Trek bit lets face it it certainly isnt not prime line not Kelvin not mirror universe the ships characters motivation nothing about it is Star Trek or even Trek Ish the Orville and Axanar so much more Trekish its ridiculous. However as a new Sci Fi series its excellent you also stop worrying about the plot holes like in ten years time the Klingons are all going to look totally different, perhaps that is how the federation win by biological warfare that will teach the Klingons to mess with us humans otherwise we will make you look like devilish versions of us oh the cruelty.

    1. I’ll try to take a stab at some of your questions, Glenn…

      1) The opening title credits were done by the same design company that did the title credits for Fringe and Westworld, both of which were made by Bad Robot. Although BR didn’t have any involvement in Discovery, Alex Kurtzman (a longtime associate of BR) is executive producer. He likes that design company and he likes that style of opening credits.

      2) I didn’t watch “After Trek”…and now I pretty much don’t want to. 🙂

      3) Fuller was very involved in the first three episodes, starting major work on all of them. Although he wasn’t around to see them through, he still gets his name in the credits in several places. Contractually, you’ll still see him listed as “created by” or “executive producer” or some such for the rest of the season.

      4) I suspect Michelle Yeoh will still appear in flashbacks for the remainder of the season. The show has established those as a story-telling technique.

      1. Thank you very much

        Its clears up some of my confusion though doesn’t give me much hope for episodes 4 onwards.

        Still Next Episode you have Jason Isaacs appear and hes British so some hope there 🙂 Plus we might get to see Discovery they might have spent the last 9 months hammering out the toblerone look from the ship.

  9. This is a more general look at not only CBS but all the efforts to have many different pay channels. We’ve started seeing it in comments here but the article I’m about to post a link to has a good point. Sooner or later more and more people will be upset at paying as much or more than standard cable charges to buy everything a la carte.

    1. It’s a good point, and the studios are scrambling to get ahead of the wave of cord-cutters. The music industry didn’t take mp3 downloads seriously until it was too late. The movie and TV studios don’t want to make the same mistake. I don’t blame CBS for trying this. I just think that trying it with Star Trek at a point when the service has so little else to offer a sci-fi genre fan might not have been the wisest business move.

  10. Jonathan,
    I tried watching Orville episode 4 last night and found it to be a little better than episode 1 and 2. Still the writing is very poor and the jokes not funny at best. Why the bathroom humor? In a previous note I said that I hoped that Star Trek Continues could take over this mess… and you said that they are a small fish in a large sea… yes I agree but could you imagine that fish with an Orville budget? As for episode 3 again, I got my wife and one of my older sons to watch it with me. A 3rd time for me and they were even more disgusted with the show than I was and my wife was so angry it took 2 drinks to calm her down. She yelled at me… don’t the TV sensors look at these things any more. She is in total agreement with me that it was vicious, anti female, brutal and disgusting and she is contemplating writing the network and their sponsors. Now that is one angry woman. I told her your comment that dozens of your associates didn’t see my analysis of this show and her comment was… must be those people who think CNN is fake news. My son said can you imagine a world where a good percent of the population was female in a male body. I know you like Orville especially in comparison the Discovery… and that you liked episode 3. To each his or her own… We still live in a free society… some of us from Canada even think we are more free that our neighbours to the south… but when people can watch that episode and not see what I have spelled out than I fear what may happen in the future…. Isaac Asimov once said that the good guys always win the wars etc… because even if they are bad they are the ones who write the histories and no one ever calls themselves bad.

    1. Forgive me if this sounds facetious, XMAN, but if your wife needed two drinks to calm down, then the writers did their job! 🙂

      But seriously, how many television shows, let alone sci-fi shows, have that much of an emotional impact on your or her (or me, for that matter)? Twenty-five years ago, there was a TNG episode where Riker falls in love with a “woman” from a planet where gender is seen as taboo. Being male or female is considered a perversion, and such “throwbacks” are surgically “converted” to the right way of being–without a gender identity–for both their good and that of society. But this “woman” WANTS to remain a woman. It’s part of who she is. The Prime Directive and Picard’s orders prevent Riker from interfering, and yet he still does. But in the end, she is taken away and altered, now comfortable being androgynous and no longer feeling anything for Riker. It’s a sad, tragic ending…intended to make viewers look at our own social norms trying to make men and women, heterosexuals and homosexuals, conform to one “acceptable” way of being. Or at least, that was how it was a quarter century ago in America (and still is in many other parts of the world).

      And that was the purpose of this third episode of The Orville. There are places and cultures in this world today where women are marginalized, ignored, condescended to, persecuted, demeaned, oppressed, and yes, even mutilated simply because they are women. It’s unfair, immoral, even sickening…and yet its existence is justified and even codified by centuries and (occasionally) millennia of religious and cultural tradition.

      This episode of The Orville held up a mirror to that, using a fictional “all male” alien race to represent an extreme analogy to such cultures here in today’s world on Earth…just as the Ferengi in DS9 were created as an extreme form of capitalist greed that we see in our own society. In such an all-male, extreme culture such as Bortas’, of course women would be seen as worthless…and correcting such an “aberration” as being born female would seem, to them, as natural as correcting a birth defect such as a cleft palette (as was mentioned in the episode). The writers weren’t saying that such a thing should be considered here on Earth, and I hope your wife noticed all of the attempts the show made to show the value and skill and capability of women:

      – The XO of the USS Orville (and Bortas’ superior) is a woman.
      – The chief of security is strong enough to best Bortas in physical combat.
      – The greatest author of Bortas’ planet is, in fact, female.

      Even Bortas himself undergoes an “evolution” of his convictions about gender reassignment for his daughter after seeing, of all things, “Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer”…which carries with it a simple message that what seems like a deformity from birth can actually be a unique and special gift. And so Bortas comes around to “our” way of thinking. His mate does not. This creates the drama and conflict of the episode and gives us a side to root for (ours, of course). We’re not simply imposing our values on another race and the girl’s parents. One of the parents actually agrees with us! So we can’t be wrong, right?

      But in the end, even when faced with the ultimate example of their wrongness (the female author), Bortas people cannot find their way to enlightenment so quickly. (How long did it taken America to integrate blacks and whites? How long did it take us to allow same-sex marriage?) The episode ends in defeat for our side…and tragedy, as far as we are concerned. It’s an emotionally devastating ending. Well, guess what? The tragedies aren’t simply on our TV. Look at women in Saudi Arabia. Look at homosexuals in cultures throughout the Middle East. Look at tribes in Africa who believe in female circumcision or that raping a virgin will cure you of AIDS. Look at the female sex trafficking trade around the world (one of my best friends is a psychologist specializing in helping women who have been rescued from being sex slaves here in Los Angeles…yes, I said here in Los Angeles!).

      This episode was SUPPOSED to be hard for your wife to watch. This is NOT a comedy romp like “Family Guy,” and I do wish they would realize that. Maybe in season two. But for now, I think that “About a Girl” (episode 3) was excellent…as do many of my friends, a good number of whom are liberals like me with good educations (I went to Cornell, my friend David went to U. Penn) who watch CNN as real, not fake, news. Granted, I think CNN is spending too much time lately trying to embarrass Trump and not enough on other matters. For example, it took until yesterday for CNN to stop spending each hour discussing the NFL and start covering the devastation and desperation in Puerto Rico. But no, I don’t see CNN as fake news…not at all!

      Oh, and now that episode 4 has aired, I think The Orville is now officially Star Trek: The Next Next Generation. That episode could have been TNG almost word-for-word (except the word “bitches!”–they really didn’t need that one).

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