Star Trek: Strange New Worlds sets the record as the most-watched Star Trek series debut on the Paramount+ streaming service in their history. The latest entry in the multi-generational science-fiction franchise takes place five years before Captain James T. Kirk takes command of the USS Enterprise and follows Captain Christopher Pike (Anson Mount) and his crew as they embark on their five-year mission to explore the vast reaches of the galaxy. Due to its episodic structure, stellar writing, and outstanding performances, Strange New Worlds has become the highest-rated Star Trek entry on Rotten Tomatoes.
The series is the sixth show introduced into the long-running franchise following its rebranding by writer-producer Alex Kurtzman with Star Trek: Discovery in 2017. Kurtzman has since overseen the release of four additional television series including the Star Trek: The Next Generation sequel series Star Trek: Picard, the adult animated series Star Trek: Lower Decks, the children animated series Star Trek: Prodigy, and Strange New Worlds. Although critics have been kind to the latest live-action programming, longtime fans have largely disapproved of the franchise’s turn to heavily dramatic and serialized storytelling. However, Strange New Worlds has won audiences over with its return to the classic Star Trek form.
Paramount+ recently announced that Strange New Worlds has set a record as the most-watched Star Trek series debut in the streaming service’s history. According to the company, the viewership numbers were gathered over the show’s first 90 days on the service. Read what CBS president and chief executive officer George Cheeks had to say about the announcement below.
Strange New Worlds’ episodic formula along with a dash serialized story elements has helped draw back loyal fans and attract new audiences to the franchise as well. The pushback against the franchise’s live-action series has been drastic with Picard garnering a low 40% audience rating on Rotten Tomatoes and Discovery below it was a paltry 36%. Strange New Worlds’ return to classic Star Trek form undoubtedly helped the franchise leap back into the forefront as the premier science-fiction franchise on television.
Setting the show as a direct prequel to Star Trek: The Original Series also likely helped to lure audiences to Strange New Worlds. This allowed classic Star Trek characters like Pike, Spock (Ethan Peck), Nyota Uhura (Celia Rose Gooding), and Nurse Chapel (Jess Bush) to make their return. The series also gave audiences a chance to finally see Pike in action, a character who was only briefly seen in early episodes of The Original Series, although an alternate version was portrayed in the J.J. Abrams reboot film, Star Trek (2009). With Strange New Worlds already renewed and returning for season 2 in 2023, the show is shaping up to be considered one of the best entries out of the entire 56-year-long franchise.