Lower Decks’ Cancelation: Is Star Trek is Afraid to Bodly Go To New Frontiers?


With the rise of adult animation, such as Rick and Morty, on streaming services, it may surprise many Star Trek fans that their adult animated show has been canceled by Paramount +.

However, there is some good news about the show.

Season 5 will still be released, the show’s final season.

Many fans of the show and Star Trek fans do not understand why Paramount + has decided to cancel the show as the Star Trek universe seems to be on the rise.

We’ll explore why.

What is Star Treks: Lower Decks Animated Show?

Before we examine why the Star Trek: Lower Decks animated show was canceled, let’s talk about what it is about and how it fits into the whole Star Trek lore.

Star Trek: Lower Decks takes place in the year 2380, around ten years after the Next Generation series ended in the Star Trek universe.

It’s named after one of the episodes from Star Trek: The Next Generation and focuses on one of Starfleet’s least essential starships, the USS Cerritos.

The USS Cerritos was a 24th-century Federation starship that was a second contact and support ship. Captain Carol Freeman (Daenn Lewis) was the ship’s captain. 

Star Trek: Lower Decks focuses on the support crew of the USS Cerritos.

There is Ensign Marniner (Tawny Newsome), Ensign Brad Boilmer (Jack Quaid), and Engisn Tendi (Noel Wells).

The show follows the crew as they deal with anomalies and situations but with more adult humor.

It also has well-known Star Trek actors such as George Takei, Wil Wheaton, Marina Sirtis, and Jonathan Frakes.

There are also other quite famous guest stars and recurring voice actors who join the list of characters on the deck of the USS Cerritos throughout the show.

Why Was ‘Star Trek: Lower Decks’ Canceled?

Even with the star-studded list of voice actors and guest stars lending their voices to the show, Paramount+ will cancel it after the next season.

This cancelation from Paramount+ may follow the trend of networks and streaming services canceling adult-themed cartoons for various reasons. 

Adult animations or adult-themed cartoons used to be edgy with witty and adult-geared humor that distanced themselves from kid cartoons.

These shows presented more opportunities for more imagination with fewer budget restrictions. 

For example, an entire armada space battle is far easier to animate than produce with live-action. 

So, why was it canceled? 

If you look closely at the animation style of these shows, such as Lower Decks, Inside Job, Solar Opposites, and Hoops, they all copy or are influenced by Adult Swim’s Rick and Morty Show.

This may be because studios know fans are familiar with the art style, and clearly, it’s a popular option. 

You can also see this trend in other successful adult cartoons that copy the Simpsons, like Family Guy and American Dad.

The reason for cancelation for the cancellation also encompasses these other tender points. 

Firstly, Star Trek: Lower Decks is a departure from other Trek shows of the past, which were monologue-heavy and had serious tones, like Deep Space Nine. 

This animated show is more slapstick, like Rick and Morty. 

Secondly, much of the fan base is older. With Star Trek being a legacy brand, its fan base is primarily adults who had difficulty connecting with the show’s ADHD-esque presentation.

The animated series didn’t grab critics attention like other shows, even though the reviews it did receive were good. It has a 92% critics rating on Rotten Tomatoes.

However, lackluster viewing times and a fan base who were not ready for this new Star Trek show surely helped along its cancellation.

Star Treks: Lower Decks was a big step forward for the franchise to tread some new ground — a step that Paramount+ and Star Trek fans didn’t want to take. 

Star Trek’s Future in Animation

It is not all doom and gloom regarding Paramount+ and animated shows.

The studio may be afraid to continue its adult-style animated show, but it has a second animated Star Trek show on Netflix.

The show is called Star Trek: Prodigy and is meant for kids. This may be great for some older fans, but it can feel slightly weird watching children-themed shows as the storylines are very basic and very much for kids.

Even Star Trek: Prodigy, which started on Nickelodeon, had a tough time finding its footing before its move to Netflix.

You can not fault Paramount+ for taking the risk of making an adult-themed Star Trek show.

But it is safe to say the Star Trek universe is in safe hands with the current set of heavy-hitting albeit live-action shows such as the now-completed Picard series, Strange New Worlds, and the upcoming Starfleet Academy show.

But it would be nice to get a new, more mature, animated Star Trek show to enjoy. It doesn’t need to be a show about vulgar topics; it just needs to have a bit more mature and adult comedy in it.

So whether you are upset or not about the cancelation of Star Trek: Lower Decks animated series, it can also allow other new Star Trek shows to come out.

Plus, who knows if Paramount+ may bring back the show if it sees a demand.

What do you think? Was the streamer right to cancel Lower Decks? 

Jason Collins is a staff writer for TV Fanatic. You can follow him on X.

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