“Star Trek Discovery” May Get Unfortunate ‘TV-MA’ Rating

Star Trek Discovery may get a TV-MA rating

Star Trek is a Family Time Show

Star Trek has always been considered a family show.  While it deals with subject matters that are of importance and relevance to the world at large, it has always done it in a way that has made it accessible to almost everyone of any age.

It’s so much a family show, as a matter of fact, that many people considered Star Trek: The Original Series to be mostly for children and teenagers.  I even remember watching some of it as a child, though I didn’t really get into Star Trek until The Next Generation‘s third season.

Earlier today, CBS All Access posted a one minute teaser for Star Trek: Discovery – the newest series in the 51-year family-friendly franchise.  Of immediate notice was the apparent TV-MA rating in the video.  The MPAA has apparently slapped that rating on the upcoming television series.

Showrunners Wanted Family-Friendly

This is confusing because recently, Discovery execs explicitly stated that it’s still a family show.  “I’m not saying we’re not doing some violent things or doing a tiny bit of language,” said Aaron Harberts, one of Discovery‘s showrunners. “[W]hat’s important to the creative team is the legacy of the show which is passed down from mother to daughter, from father to son, from brother to brother. We want to make sure we’re not creating a show that fans can’t share with their families.”  That would realistically mean no more than a TV-14 rating.  “You have to honor what the franchise is. I would say we’re not going much beyond hard PG-13.”  A PG-13 is similar to a TV-14 rating.

Of course showrunners have already said this Star Trek incarnation was going to be darker and grittier than those of the past.  Just how much grittier they mean isn’t exactly clear.  But consider this;  Hannibal, a television series about a serial killer who eats his victims, is rated TV-14 – a lighter rating than Star Trek Discovery seems to be getting.

It’s unclear specifically what content may be bringing the series into to such a restrictive rating.  But if the rating holds, it’s likely the next generation of Star Trek fans won’t be like the generations that grew up watching the show, being inspired by its ideals.  It won’t be shared with our children and initiate them into the wonderful world of science, technology, engineering, health, psychology, or many other myriad of fields.  And that’s a real shame.

Star Trek Discovery airs this September 24th on CBS All Access, Space/CraveTV, and Netflix.

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About Cassius Adams

Cassius Adams is the creator of ncc-1031.com and is a content contributor. He has been a Star Trek fan for nearly three decades. Cassius discovered his passion for the franchise early into TNG's run, and nourished that passion throughout DS9, Voyager, Enterprise, and the movies. Cassius can be reached by emailing cass@ncc-1031.com or you can follow him on Twitter at @supercass

  • Christian

    I don’t watch TV-MA shows. Period.

    I have always LOVED Star Trek up through Voyager. It always had intriguing stories, situations that were always required wit and savvy to get out of, and generally positive and hopeful.

    These new shows, Enterprise included, are dark and gritty. There is enough darkness and grittiness in the world. I don’t need to get that from my entertainment.

    Seems we part here, old friend.

    Such a shame.

  • Justin Redd

    I have watched every start trek episode that there is but I have never seen a show with a TV-MA rating. I will not compromise even for star trek. I am so disappointed.

  • Hveðrungr

    I love TV-MA shows. I’m grown up, and I am happy to watch grown up TV.

    But that shouldn’t be what Star Trek is about. It’s supposed to be for the whole family.

    Just because some good shows are TV-MA, doesn’t mean all shows have to be if they want to be good.

    I am so worried about the new series right now.

  • Theo Bear

    It’ll be MA for all the gay sex that Fuller openly promised before he was fired. You can get away with pretty much any level of violence or language at PG14. The MA can only be for the overt gay propaganda most people have been fearing for the last 2 years.

    • Joshua Price

      You may be right, but even those issues on cable network shows like ‘the fosters’ get by without MA, and there’s been some risky scenes on that show.

  • Joshua Price

    I won’t watch it at all, if it’s not appropriate for me to share it with my 13 year old… They lost a lifer too as I’ve been watching since I was 3 years old back on my old VHF/UHF TV in 1984…

  • disqus_0PtLV9c2IT

    In the interests of accuracy…

    The MPAA is a trade association for the movie industry. It has nothing to do with television. It certainly does not “slap ratings” on TV shows.

    The TV Parental Guidelines arrangement is completely separate from MPAA ratings. Under the TV Parental Guidelines arrangement, TV networks are individually responsible for assigning ratings to the shows that they broadcast. In this case, it means that CBS itself assigned the TV-MA to Star Trek: Discovery.