Monday, November 2, 2015

New Star Trek Series Coming in 2017

In an out of nowhere announcement CBS Television Studios revealed via press release (below) that Star Trek is returning to television. Well sorta as the endeavor will air the pilot on CBS sometime January 2017 but the rest of the series will "air" via the CBS All Access streaming app that costs $6.99 a month. The show will be the first original program for the streaming service.

While the press release is long, it is very light on details about the show itself. There are no details on casting, story, or what universe the series is set (the 40+ years of Star Trek series and movies or 8 year old Abrams-verse) nor what time period. There is a statement, probably mandated by Paramount Pictures, that says "The new television series is not related to the upcoming feature film 'Star Trek Beyond'" but all that really means is literally that. Its not a tie in to that particular movie. It does not mean the series is or is not set in the Abrams-verse. The executive producer on the series will be Alex Kurtzman and Heather Kadin via Star Trek 2.0 Kurtzman's and Roberto Orci's Secret Hideout production company . No show runner (the one that makes the day to day decisions) has been named. So with so little information, let the speculation begin.

Which universe?
There are two important things to understand before can answer that. The first thing is how the rights of Star Trek are divided. Paramount Pictures owns the rights to the movies. They can possibly advise and help on a TV show but ultimately they have little say about that TV show. That is because TV rights are owned by CBS Entertainment. In turn they also can advise on the movies but really have little say about the movies themselves.

Add to that nugget is another thing. Roberto Orci and Alex Kurtzman helped created the new Star Trek 2.0 universe. However, some unknown fallout occurred between them so while their names still appear in credits on TV shows and the like that is because of contractual obligations. Their actual working relation is done and the "divorce" is finalized with what seems like all that hate that divorces generate. Of the two Roberto Orci was the Star Trek fan when a deep well of the franchise that extended beyond just the TV shows and movies. Kurtzman's knowledge was almost completely based on what Orci told him (and probably whatever wiki entries he read). He might have watched a few TV episodes here and there but I doubt it. Orci's name will probably show up on Star Trek Beyond and TV series credits but in regards to anything Star Trek Orci is persona non grata for unknown reasons.

What that means is we have a movie studio that wants the Abrams-verse spread far and wide, a TV studio who has enjoyed the benefits of the original universe for quite a while (but always on the look out for new and shiny) who has put in charge a team that knows nothing of Star Trek beyond its money making capabilities and also was co-creator of the new shiny universe. So yeah it is going to be set in the Abrams/Star Trek 2.0 universe. Its the -verse Kurtzman knows, for CBS its new and shiny with the "support" of three recent movies, and Paramount gets something that keeps the "flame" alive in between movies with possibility of some synergy leading to the fourth movie (a la Agents of SHIELD).

When will it be set?
If assume the former is true, that is easy. It will take place parallel to the movies, either just a little bit during or after the third movie now that the five year mission has kicked off. All they have to do is set the series on a sister ship to the Enterprise and assuming Paramount cooperates (and see no reason why they wouldn't), that will allow them to just alter existing sets, CGI designs, and special effects that were already created for the movies thereby saving a ton on production costs.

As always time will tell. Now for the press release:
The Next Chapter of the Legendary “Star Trek” TV Franchise Will Premiere on the CBS Television Network, Then Move to CBS All Access Digital Subscription Service

Alex Kurtzman, Co-Writer and Producer of the Blockbuster Films “Star Trek” and “Star Trek Into Darkness,” to Executive Produce

CBS Studios International to Distribute the Series Globally For Television and Multiple Platforms

STUDIO CITY, CALIF. AND NEW YORK, N.Y. – Nov. 2, 2015 – CBS Television Studios announced today it will launch a totally new “Star Trek” television series in January 2017. The new series will blast off with a special preview broadcast on the CBS Television Network. The premiere episode and all subsequent first-run episodes will then be available exclusively in the United States on CBS All Access, the Network’s digital subscription video on demand and live streaming service.

The next chapter of the “Star Trek” franchise will also be distributed concurrently for television and multiple platforms around the world by CBS Studios International.

The new program will be the first original series developed specifically for U.S. audiences forCBS All Access, a cross-platform streaming service that brings viewers thousands of episodes from CBS’s current and past seasons on demand, plus the ability to stream their local CBS Television station live for $5.99 per month. CBS All Access already offers every episode of all previous “Star Trek” television series.

The brand-new “Star Trek” will introduce new characters seeking imaginative new worlds and new civilizations, while exploring the dramatic contemporary themes that have been a signature of the franchise since its inception in 1966.

Alex Kurtzman will serve as executive producer for the new “Star Trek” TV series. Kurtzman co-wrote and produced the blockbuster films “Star Trek” (2009) with Roberto Orci, and “Star Trek Into Darkness” (2013) with Orci and Damon Lindelof. Both films were produced and directed by J.J. Abrams.

The new series will be produced by CBS Television Studios in association with Kurtzman’s Secret Hideout. Kurtzman and Heather Kadin will serve as executive producers. Kurtzman is also an executive producer for the hit CBS television series SCORPION and LIMITLESS, along with Kadin and Orci, and for HAWAII FIVE-0 with Orci.

“Star Trek,” which will celebrate its 50th anniversary in 2016, is one of the most successful entertainment franchises of all time. The original “Star Trek” spawned a dozen feature films and five successful television series. Almost half a century later, the “Star Trek” television series are licensed on a variety of different platforms in more than 190 countries, and the franchise still generates more than a billion social media impressions every month.

Born from the mind of Gene Roddenberry, the original “Star Trek” series debuted on Sept. 8, 1966 and aired for three seasons – a short run that belied the influence it would have for generations. The series also broke new ground in storytelling and cultural mores, providing a progressive look at topics including race relations, global politics and the environment.

“There is no better time to give ‘Star Trek’ fans a new series than on the heels of the original show’s 50th anniversary celebration,” said David Stapf, President, CBS Television Studios. “Everyone here has great respect for this storied franchise, and we’re excited to launch its next television chapter in the creative mind and skilled hands of Alex Kurtzman, someone who knows this world and its audience intimately.”

“This new series will premiere to the national CBS audience, then boldly go where no first-run ‘Star Trek’ series has gone before – directly to its millions of fans through CBS All Access,” said Marc DeBevoise, Executive Vice President/General Manager – CBS Digital Media. “We’ve experienced terrific growth for CBS All Access, expanding the service across affiliates and devices in a very short time. We now have an incredible opportunity to accelerate this growth with the iconic ‘Star Trek,’ and its devoted and passionate fan base, as our first original series.”

“Every day, an episode of the ‘Star Trek’ franchise is seen in almost every country in the world,” said Armando Nuñez, President and CEO, CBS Global Distribution Group. “We can’t wait to introduce ‘Star Trek’s’ next voyage on television to its vast global fan base.”

CBS All Access offers its customers more than 7,500 episodes from the current television season, previous seasons and classic shows on demand nationwide, as well as the ability to stream local CBS stations live in more than 110 markets. Subscribers can use the service online and across devices via, the CBS App for iOS, Android and Windows 10, as well as on connected devices such as Apple TV, Android TV, Chromecast, Roku players and Roku TV, with more connected devices to come.

The new television series is not related to the upcoming feature film “Star Trek Beyond,” which is scheduled to be distributed by Paramount Pictures in summer 2016.


  1. Wish the guy from the Abrams movies weren't involved. Trek definately needs new blood....something extreme for television. Something familiar, yet different. I think it would be cool to set it in the prime universe, but 200 to 500 years in the future.

  2. I am really excited to see what this new series will be. I have always been of the persuasion that Star Trek works best on the small screen anyway. The only thing that concerns me is that it is on a streaming service that not everyone is on. It would certainly find a larger following on a service like Netlfix or Hulu...We'll see I guess.

    1. it's a risk they are indeed taking with it being on a little known platform as CBS ALL ACCESS. I didn't even know CBS had a streaming service like Netflix and Hulu. I don't know why CBS didn't go with one of those to at least distribute it. I don't think we are going to get the typical 20 something per episode season like when it airs on a network. Probably we will get like 10 to 13 episodes per season.