Why CBS Isn’t Allowing Reviews of “Star Trek: Discovery” Before Premiere

New Star Trek Discovery Logo

Bad Press Not Letting Up

Star Trek Discovery has a problem.

It’s not a problem with the sets or the costumes.  There are no issues behind the scenes, even though there may have been one late last year with Bryan Fuller.  It’s not that the show will be airing on paid-for streaming services, such as CBS All Access (USA), Netflix (world), and CraveTV (Canada).  For those that remember, Star Trek: The Original Series was a first in color.  That meant upgrading to color televisions.  It’s certainly not that the Klingons look different.  It’s not going to fail because Discovery sticks to canon, or doesn’t stick to canon.

No, Star Trek Discovery is not doomed.

This revelation comes, of course, in contrast to so much of the media surrounding the upcoming series.  If one is to keep up with all the buzz around the show (and we do), they’d probably think the whole thing is a mess.  The amount of negative media towards the new Star Trek series is astounding.  And the show hasn’t even aired yet.  What’s sad is that most of the negative press isn’t even true nor accurate… an echo-chamber of headlines based on other headlines that were geared to bait and draw clicks.

Seriously.  Everything from Star Trek fans making racist and other bigoted comments about the cast and characters, to Klingons being Trump supporters and the enemy, to the series being doomed before it even gets started because of being placed on CBS All Access.  Bad press sells.  Because of that some media have taken to stretching the truth as far as they can.  Occasionally they flat out tell mistruths, be it purposefully or not.

No Reviews Before Premiere?

A few articles were written yesterday about the fact that CBS isn’t allowing any media to review the show before it premieres.  That article was picked up again and again, being rewritten and regurgitated by each media outlet along the way.  Take this ludicrous article posted yesterday on io9, for example.  There’s more than a little spite in the words of the writer, who isn’t being given a chance to watch the premiere before the public.  That’s right.  It’s not that CBS isn’t allowing reviews – CBS simply isn’t allowing media to watch the premiere before the public.

The hyperbole is out of control!

It’s going to burn!

Glad to know?

There are literally dozens of these articles and hundreds, maybe even thousands, of these social media comments.

Anyone that’s paying attention would know CBS isn’t pre-premiering to stop bad reviews from being written.  Star Trek fans are going to watch it and make up their own minds anyways.  It’s obvious to even the layperson that the Star Trek Discovery showrunners have been extremely secretive about the series.  More tight-lipped than any other tv show this writer has even seen.  The show airs just nine days from now and there are still characters with actors that haven’t even been made public yet.

CBS is protecting their asset in hopes of avoiding spoilers until the last possible minute.  They’ve managed to keep just about everything under wraps for well over a year now – why would they blow that just because some in the media want early access to the show?

Check out this great thread by David Mack, writer of the Star Trek: Discovery: Desperate Hours, the shows first tie-in book being released later this month.  (Click the Tweet to check out the entire thread)

We couldn’t have put it better.  No CBS isn’t trying to hide a poorly-produced Star Trek: Discovery series at all.  They’re trying to protect something that they think is great and of high value to the organization.  Given the way the press has been acting around the series, we certainly don’t blame them for their decision.

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About Enrico Pastellio

Rico became a Star Trek fan after being introduced to it during Star Trek Enterprise's run. After finishing that series, he went back watching TNG, DS9, VOY, and most of the movies. He's a big fan of Star Trek (2009) for its action, but favors the cerebral nature of each tv series. When Rico first heard about the new Star Trek Discovery series (then just know as 'Star Trek'), he immediately wanted to start up a new site about the show. You can email him at enrico@ncc-1031.com.

  • ButtonShoes

    Shows and movies that do well don’t have reviews embargoed like this. Shows and movies that have reviews that are embargoed like this are usually flops that the studio is desperately trying to conceal from the public until the last minute. Quit your mindless cheerleading of Discovery and try to embrace rational thinking: everything about this show up to this point has been a giant disaster. CBS has no idea what it’s doing and this is the latest proof of it.

    • cass ada

      Can you tell us about one specific “giant disaster”? Would like some of what you’re saying quantified. I’ve seen more mindless bashing of the series than mindless cheerleading and want to understand why… because these people are clearly seeing something different than I am.

      • ButtonShoes

        Recently? First thing that comes to mind is “The Dark Tower.” Reviews were embargoed until 1-2 days before release. There was also the last Die Hard film:


        Basically, when reviews get embargoed, it’s usually the studio’s attempt at damage control.

        • cass ada

          I’m not sure how that’s a “giant disaster” about this show (star trek discovery). I was referring more to your comment where you said “everything about this show up to this point has been a giant disaster”. I just don’t see it. Actually, to me, it’s looking the opposite.

          • ButtonShoes

            Really? From the ship design to the look of the Klingons to the emphasis on war, along with the embrace of the JJ-verse aesthetic and the blatant disregard for canon, there’s a lot here that’s questionable at the very least. Let’s not forget the various mishaps that have happened in the production of the show: putting on CBS All-Access, the endless delays in getting the show made, the firing of Bryan Fuller, the constant mixed messages we keep getting from the people making the show, and now this review embargo. None of this has been smooth sailing.