The Most Popular New Star Trek Series Is Somehow Also The One Viewers Hate Most

Star Trek: Picard scores badly with audiences, but Paramount+ claims it's their most in-demand series to stream for the franchise.

By Charlene Badasie | Updated

As one of the greatest franchises ever created, Star Trek gained popularity and created a perpetual fascination with science fiction among viewers. Over its 50-year-run, the series has gone through several changes and not every project bearing its name has been successful. Still, most projects related to the property tend to be well-received, but according to data from Parrot Analytics, the most in-demand Star Trek show in 2022 is Picard, one that fans hate most.

According to the publication, the audience demand for Star Trek: Picard is 20.4 times the demand of the average television series in the United States in the last 30 days, proving this Star Trek series’ popularity. However, 2.7% of all shows in this market have the same level of demand. But the demand for Star Trek: Picard also increased by 8.4% on a rolling 30-day average basis, meaning that more people watch the show month-over-month.

Star Trek: Picard also ranks at the 98.1th percentile in the action and adventure genre, meaning it has a higher demand than nearly all other action and adventure titles in the country. Since the United States is the show’s home market, its travelability rating is 100%. This is normal for any series in its country of origin.

star trek popularity
Star Trek: Picard

However, when it comes to whether viewers actually like Star Trek: Picard, the numbers are totally different. The show has a dismal 39% audience rating on Rotten Tomatoes. That puts it in a virtual tie with Star Trek: Discovery (with an equally terrible score) for the most hated Star Trek series of all time.

In international markets Star Trek: Picard’s popularity ranges from 63% in Canada to 29% in New Zealand. 29% for the most popular Star Trek series on streaming.

Debuting in 2017, Star Trek: Discovery was created as a prequel to The Original Series until the story time jumped to the 32nd century. The series has almost exclusively been available on streaming but is the only modern Star Trek series to show true popularity among viewers, setting a subscription record for CBS All Access when the first season premiered, ScreenRant reports. But again, it’s in a virtual tie for most hated show, with an audience score below 40% on on Rotten Tomatoes.

By contrast, the other two new Star Trek shows currently airing on Paramount+ seem to be loved by audiences, but somehow aren’t getting the same high viewer numbers. Strange New Worlds leads the pack with a fantastic 80% audience score on Rotten Tomatoes, yet somehow Parmount+ claims it’s less popular than Picard.

Star Trek: Lower Decks

Star Trek: Lower Decks is part of the recent Star Trek revival, with its first season debuting in 2020 and a second outing a year later. As one of the only animated series in the franchise, its writing and comedic style has earned praise and criticism from fans. This Star Trek series has immense popularity among its fanbase, with a 67% audience score on Rotten Tomatoes.

Competition between streaming services has ushered in a new era for Star Trek’s popularity. Although shows like Picard may not have captivated audiences like some of the older incarnations.

Star Trek: The Next Generation is universally the most popular, airing from 1987 to 1994. While the first season wasn’t the greatest, the series hit its stride quickly. It consistently maintained high ratings, often ranking in the top 10 of hour-long series and it still holds an 89% audience score on Rotten Tomatoes.

Star Trek: Picard is the most recent Star Trek series to air on streaming services. The series premiered in January 2020, with critics praising Patrick Stewart’s performance as Captain Jean-Luc Picard. But after two seasons, the series audience score on Rotten Tomatoes has dwindled from 39% to 26% in the second season, while the critic score has maintained an 80% average. Still, Star Trek: Picard with its popularity set the record for the second most subscriptions to CBS All Access, and it beat Discovery’s streaming record with 115% more total streams.