‘Star Trek: Discovery’ will boldly go without their showrunner Bryan Fuller.
Sources close to the project have stated that while CBS execs have been quite happy with what Fuller has brought to the series so far, they feel his rather full plate of projects seem to take up too much of his time for him to be able to give ‘Star Trek: Discovery’ the attention and direction it needs from a showrunner. Fuller is currently finishing up on Starz’ adaptation of Neil Gaiman’s ‘American Gods’ where he not only serves as an executive producer but also as writer and showrunner for the series. In addition, Fuller is in the process of rebooting ‘Amazing Stories’ for NBC where he also will serve as an executive producer, writer, and showrunner.
In a statement released by CBS Television Studios:
“We are extremely happy with the creative direction of ‘Star Trek: Discovery’ and the strong foundation that Bryan Fuller has helped us create for the series. Due to Bryan’s other projects, he is no longer able to oversee the day-to-day of ‘Star Trek,’ but he remains an executive producer, and will continue to map out the story arc for the entire season…Bryan is a brilliant creative talent and passionate ‘Star Trek’ fan, who has helped us chart an exciting course for the series. We are all committed to seeing this vision through and look forward to premiering ‘Star Trek: Discovery’ this coming May 2017.”
While the news of the diehard self-proclaimed Trekkie stepping down as showrunner may seem like a cause for alarm, as stated in the statement, Fuller is not completely walking away from the project. He will still remain as an executive producer and will still be involved with the series but in a lesser capacity. Taking over the day to day showrunner reign will be Gretchen Berg and Aaron Harberts. In addition, Akiva Goldsman will be joining the creative team in what is being called as a “top creative role” and will be providing producing support for not only Berg and Harberts but also Fuller and Alex Kurtzman.
It’s being reported that Berg and Harberts will continue to follow Fuller’s vision for the series which is good news. Fuller has already developed some of the mythology for ‘Discovery’ and an overall story arc for the first season. He has also scribed the first 2 episodes but the slow pace seems to be a concern for CBS. With the studio having already pushed back the series premiere from January to May in order to give the production team longer to work on the scripts and visual effects, CBS felt it needed a change. Hence the shake-up. Also of concern is the fact that with production slated to begin next month, the lead role of the female Lieutenant Commander has yet to be cast.
A lot is riding on ‘Star Trek: Discovery’ and CBS has a right to be anxious about the series. With the show’s budget estimated to being $6-7million per episode, there needs to be a big return on their investment just to break even. The decision to air the series on the CBS All Access site does not bode well as some Trekkies feel slighted to have to pay a monthly fee to see the series.
How all this will affect ‘Star Trek: Discovery’ won’t be known until May 2017 when the series will premiere.
Do you think Fuller stepping down as showrunner is cause for a red alert? Let us know! And as always, we’ll keep you updated when further details emerge.