Divorces aren’t always forever. But if CBS Corp. and Paramount Pictures parent Viacom Inc., do indeed decide to get back together, it won’t be out of love … but instead, necessity.
With family members and company executives battling over control of the majority shares in both companies owned by 93-year-old Sumner Redstone, some serious talk has started that might aim the two separate companies toward undoing the 2006 split, and re-merging Viacom and CBS.
That would have a tremendous impact on a good portion of Hollywood — especially as a combined CBS/Viacom would clearly become one of the largest media companies again, probably second only to the Walt Disney Co. But it also could fix another problem created by the corporate split a decade ago — it could put both halves of the Star Trek franchise back together again.
When Viacom spun off CBS at the beginning of 2006, network head Les Moonves took control of the television side of Star Trek, including the complete episodic library between the launch of “Star Trek” in 1966 to the most recent end to “Star Trek: Enterprise” in 2005. Redstone, however, wouldn’t let Moonves take Paramount. That allowed Viacom to keep not only the film studio, but also the film rights and library to Star Trek, beginning with 1979’s “Star Trek: The Motion Picture” and continuing through 2002’s “Star Trek: Nemesis.”