From 1987 to 2005, the Star Trek franchise was a constant presence on television, but following the cancellation of Star Trek: Enterprise, the franchise lay dormant until the release of J.J. Abrams‘ STAR TREK in 2009 and wouldn’t be seen on the small-screen until 2017 with the debut of Star Trek: Discovery. The franchise is now in the process of growing bigger than ever, with Star Trek: Picard and Star Trek: Lower Decks joining Discovery on CBS All Access, but franchise producer Alex Kurtzman has even bigger plans for the series.
Heather Kadin and Aaron Baiers, who work with me at Secret Hideout, we literally just got off a call before this with the network mapping out with us through 2027. When I say that, it’s not like it’s set in stone, it’s just “okay here’s a plan, here’s what we’re looking, here’s how the different shows are going to drop.” Consider the that it takes a year from start of production to airing, so you have to plan way way in advance to get these things done and you have to stay on top of the zeitgeist and make sure what you’re doing is relevant.
In addition to the third season of Star Trek: Discovery, a second season of both Star Trek: Picard and Star Trek: Lower Decks, CBS is also developing Star Trek: Strange New Worlds, which will put the focus on Captain Pike (Anson Mount), Spock (Ethan Peck), and Number One (Rebecca Romijn), onboard the Enterprise, as well as a Section 31 series starring Michelle Yeoh as Philippa Georgiou. There’s also Star Trek: Prodigy, a CG-animated series aimed at younger viewers that will feature the return of Kate Mulgrew as Captain Janeway. Kurtzman also discussed how the different shows will appeal to different audiences. “You always have to sell the property to the deep fans,” Kurtzman explained. “They scrutinize everything in a way that fans of Trek have done since the beginning. You can never be doing anything that seeks to sort of say “Well we’re only going to hit one group here and we’re not going to care about another.” That being said, I think that the death of a great franchise is when you try to please everybody… I think some things have to be really focused on specific groups or specific ideas and you can assume not everybody will love it.” While that definitely seems like an awful lot of Star Trek, Kurtzman believes that the different types of shows will help avoid a problem with over-saturation.
I feel like the world needs Star Trek right now. The key is not to homogenize Star Trek. The way to do that is to make sure each show is carried by a different voice. I think about the crayon analogy. There’s a bunch of different colors in the box, but it’s all in the same box. That’s how I look at Star Trek, each show has to be a unique proposition, it can’t be like another show.
As a life-long Star Trek fan, I’m certainly down for more, particularly if the variety of shows means that there will be something for everyone. The third season of Star Trek: Discovery will debut on CBS All Access on October 15th.