When it rains, it pours. Following the success of the first season of ‘Star Trek: Discovery’, it was pretty much a given that more ‘Trek’ was coming. But I think it’s fair to say that most of us didn’t quite expect it to start coming quite so soon. After all, it hasn’t even been a year since ‘Discovery’ premiered, and already we’ve seen two new projects announced in the last month. First, the quasi-spinoff ‘Short Treks‘ was announced at San Diego Comic-Con, described as a series of four shorts that will lead into the second season of ‘Discovery’. And then, of course, this weekend brought with it the official announcement of an as-yet untitled series that will see the return of Patrick Stewart as Jean-Luc Picard.
Suffice to say that after letting the franchise lie fallow (on television at least) for more than a decade, CBS is already making a big push with ‘Star Trek’. And it’s clear that there’s more to come. Speaking with Deadline at a TCA event, CBS execs David Stapf (CBS TV Studios president), Marc DeBevoise (All Access president and COO), and Julie McNamara (Executive Vice President of Original Content) offered a number of insights into the network’s current approach to ‘Star Trek’.
- McNamara confirmed that more ‘Trek’ shows are in development. No word on exactly what those shows might be, but in terms of format some will be limited series (akin to ‘Short Treks’) while others will be ongoing series (the Picard show falls into this category.)
- While neither is being actively pursued at this time, characters like Rainn Wilson’s Harry Mudd and Michelle Yeoh’s Philippa Georgiou have been considered for the spinoff treatment.
- As Stapf describes the process, CBS itself has no “grand design” for ‘Star Trek’. Rather, Alex Kurtzman and his “‘Trek’ brain trust” pitches ideas to the network, typically on the strength of character or plot.
- The Picard series is given as an example of that process, with Stapf explaining that the idea came from Kurtzman, who was interested in revisiting ‘Next Generation’ “and/or get Patrick Stewart or any of those iconic ‘Next Gen’ characters.” Though Stewart, by his own admission, believed himself to be done with Picard, Kurtzman won him over in the course of a meeting, after which, “the deal didn’t take that long.”
- Stapf’s ultimate goal for this ‘Trek’ expansion is that “there should be a ‘Star Trek’ something on all the time on All Access.”
What do you think of the way CBS is approaching ‘Star Trek’? Are there any characters you’d like to see get their own spinoffs? What do you want next from the franchise? Let us know in the comments and be sure to check back with ScienceFiction.com for more on the second season of ‘Star Trek: Discovery’ and other upcoming ‘Star Trek’ projects as it becomes available.
‘Star Trek: Discovery’ will feature returning stars Sonequa Martin-Green, Doug Jones, Mary Wiseman, and Anthony Rapp alongside newcomers Anson Mount and Tig Notaro. Though no premiere date for the second season has been announced yet, we know that it will begin airing on CBS All Access in January 2019.