The “company line” from CBS about the release of Bryan Fuller from his duties as showrunner behind the new ‘Star Trek: Discovery’ was that it was a “mutual and amicable decision” – but with information newly released via a Variety feature on the show, that version of the situation is now cast in serious doubt.
Fuller, who declined to comment specifically on the story, was chosen to lead the newest iteration of ‘Trek’ on TV thanks largely due to his familiarity with the subject matter, having performed writing duties on previous ‘Star Trek’ iterations ‘Deep Space Nine’ and ‘Voyager.’ Said David Stapf, president of CBS Television Studios:
“It was really important that we get somebody with a lot of ‘Trek’ cred versus just getting somebody who would be an interesting voice. We felt like it would be smart business to give the fans what they wanted. There’s not a whole lot of people who have the visionary capability along with the ‘Star Trek’ credibility and experience. So Bryan became a good and obvious choice to do that.”
But it seems that some of the show’s delays were in part Fuller’s fault, including scripts not being delivered on time. ‘Discovery’ Executive Producer Alex Kurtzman seemed to understand the delays, as he lamented the fact that the show was so niche:
“Every element of production was challenging. For props, you can’t go to a store and buy pieces of something. You have to manufacture everything.”
About a month after the first ‘Discovery’ premiere date delay – from January 2017 to May 2017 – the move was made, and Fuller was gone. Again, CBS stated that it was a mutual decision, but sources close to both Fuller and CBS, according to the Variety article, insist that Fuller was pushed out.
Whatever the case, Fuller did enough work on the series to warrant his name appearing sprinkled throughout the first season’s credits in various showrunning, production, and writing capacities.