Thursday, January 19, 2017

Star Trek: Discovery Release Delayed Again

It seems that Star Trek: Discovery continues to be on rocky ground as the release date of the series is bumped yet again. Now CBS has announced that the show will no longer premiere in May, 2017 and has not announced what the new date will be. Considering they have now been burned twice, the refusal to make another launch date makes sense. It is SOP now for the various streaming services to wait to announce a premiere date until the entire season is in the can. It seems that CBS and Trek fans have learned the hard way on why they do that.

CBS said "Production on Star Trek: Discovery begins next week. We love the cast, the scripts and are excited about the world the producers have created. This is an ambitious project; we will be flexible on a launch date if it’s best for the show. We’ve said from the beginning it’s more important to do this right than to do it fast. There is also added flexibility presenting on CBS All Access, which isn’t beholden to seasonal premieres or launch windows."

The show was supposed to premiere this month but due to previous responsibilities from then show runner Bryan Fuller the premiere was moved to May. Fuller then asked for yet another delay and the end result was he was removed as show runner and replaced by Aaron Harberts and Gretchen Berg. As a result his influence on the show would have been in pre-production and the pilot episode. This delay suggests to me they scraped everything and re-started from scratch. Seeds of his ideas will probably live on in the show depending on how much had already been spent on pre-production elements but whatever the first season had been envisioned as has likely now morphed into something different.

This does not mean the show is on the verge of being cancelled. The current plans are to start filming the series on January 24. Even if that was in doubt a new casting was announced and overseas commitments have been made that helped pay for the show's production. Additionally I would not be surprised if some of the cast and crew have pay or play contracts. This means they would get paid for full season of work even if the full season is never filmed. Long story short, it is cheaper now for CBS to continue then to cancel. I hope they plan on avoiding launching in the Fall 2017 as that always tends to be a very crowded time of year with returning and new shows all over the TV calendar.

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