Star Trek is finally heading back to television.
After months of rumours that CBS Television Studios has been quietly looking to develop a new Star Trek TV series, the studio has officially set Alex Kurtzman to shepherd and produce a new Trek TV series for CBS’ on-demand platform CBS All Access, TVWise has learned. The episode order was not disclosed, but is expected to be at least 13 episodes.
CBS All Access is CBS Corporation’s streaming service which charges members $5.99 per month for unlimited access to titles in CBS vast library of content, including all the previous Star Trek series. This new Star Trek series, which will get a special preview broadcast on CBS, is the first original series developed specifically for U.S. audiences for CBS All Access.
The Untitled Star Trek Series 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. A search is presently underway for a writer to pen the scripts. CBS Television Studios and Secret Hideout with Alex Kurtzman and Heather Kadin executive producing. The project is eyed for a January 2017 premiere. CBS Studios International will handle global sales
The news of a new Star Trek series comes after the property has been mired in rights issues since the Viacom split a decade ago. Paramount retained feature films rights, while all TV (including international distribution) and merchandising rights stayed with CBS.
Famously, the rights issues scuppered JJ Abrams’ plans to create a TV series tied to the rebooted universe in 2009. CBS Corp, who have been waiting for an appropriate time to bring Trek back to TV, feel that getting a new series on air shortly after Star Trek‘s 50th anniversary will be a fitting tribute to the franchise.
“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 of 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 as-yet untitled series would be the seventh TV series entry in the Star Trek franchise, following Star Trek: The Original Series (1966-1969), Star Trek: The Animated Series (1973-1974), Star Trek: The Next Generation (1987-1994), Star Trek: Deep Space Nine (1993-1999), Star Trek: Voyager (1995-2001) and Star Trek: Enterprise (2001-2005). There have also been some twelve feature films, with a thirteenth, titled Star Trek Beyond, due for release in 2016.