Patrick Stewart Captain Picard

Star Trek: Discovery‘ may be returning for its second season in January, but it’s starting to look like that won’t be the biggest thing that ‘Trek’ fans have to look forward to in 2019. Ever since the news broke this summer that Patrick Stewart would be returning to the role of Jean-Luc Picard for a new series on CBS All Access, fans have been wondering how long they’d have to wait to catch up with the beloved captain.

Well, now we have an answer. Or part of one, at least. CBS hasn’t announced a premiere date (or, for that matter, the series’ title) yet, but we do have a premiere window. Speaking at the 45th Annual UBS Global Media and Communications Conference, CBS’s newly-tapped chief creative officer David Nevins confirmed that the Picard series will debut next year:

“In 2019, it’s not one ‘Star Trek’, it’s two ‘Star Treks’. ‘Discovery’ at the beginning of the year, and Picard will start at the end of the year.’

This brings a couple of points to mind. The first is that – depending on when exactly the show premieres – this window means that we’ll finally learn what Picard has been doing with himself some seventeen years (give or take a couple months in either direction, I’m sure) after the December 2002 release of ‘Star Trek: Nemesis’, the last ‘Trek’ production in which Stewart played the role.

More importantly, it also gives us a sense of how CBS plans to stagger the broadcasts of their increasingly crowded ‘Star Trek’ slate. If this pattern – ‘Discovery’ airing in the winter months and Picard in the fall – holds, it will leave both the spring and summer open for their own shows. Presumably, one of those seasonal slots (spring, if I were a betting man) will be filled by the animated ‘Lower Decks’, but whether they fill the remainder of the calendar with a fourth show or take a few months off is anyone’s guess. Bear in mind that this is little more than an educated guess, but it does fit with both the number of officially announced shows (disregarding for the moment the potential Michelle Yeoh spinoff and the apparently stalled Khan miniseries ‘Ceti Alpha V’) and the erosion of traditional television business models brought on by the streaming boom.

For more on this and other upcoming ‘Star Trek’ projects as it becomes available, be sure to check back with!