It’s been well over a decade since Star Trek left the airwaves with the final broadcast of Enterprise. With the iconic sci-fi franchise boldly going into its 50th Anniversary next year, it was announced today that Star Trek is officially returning as a TV series from Star Trek and Star Trek Into Darkness writer Alex Kurtzman and CBS Television Studios.
It’s not to say there aren’t few asterisks regarding this announcement. The new series’ first episode will make its broadcast debut on CBS in January 2017 and then it will be a little harder to find. The show will then move to subscription based digital live streaming and VOD platforms via CBS All Access.
“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 CBS Television Studios President David Stapf in a press release. “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.”
Obviously details are scant right now with the just broad stroke announcements coming down the line today. Case in point with the most basic of premises for the new series:
The brand-new “Star Trek” 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.
This could mean absolutely anything in Star Trek terms and as far as the direction of the show is concerned. It goes without saying we are not expecting a new Captain Kirk and Enterprise crew, but it’s even left wide open to the exact when the show may take place. Keep in mind throughout the several TV series and films, the Star Trek timeline spanned over 150 years.
But then we get to this:
The new television series is not related to the upcoming feature film “Star Trek Beyond,” which is scheduled to be distributed by Paramount Pictures in summer 2016.
So with the rebooted movie franchise set for its third big screen adventure next year, it looks like the new show is already being distanced from the film timeline. It should be noted that Paramount holds the film rights to Star Trek, while CBS has the TV rights. It will be interesting to see how this plays out and whether the new show will reflect the intellectual property traits from J.J. Abrams’ rebooted universe or if Kurtzman will legally have to take his own new creative route and reboot the franchise all over again.
It would certainly be interesting to see a new version of Star Trek: The Next Generation set in the movie timeline, but that may not be even a possibility. There is so much still left to explore with a franchise as rich as Star Trek, but since the show will likely target fans foremost if it will be on a subscription based platform, the creators may not feel the need to tailor the show to a broad network audience.
From Star Trek.com about CBS All Access:
CBS All Access offers its customers more than 7,500 episodes from the current television season, previous seasons and classic shows on demand nationwide, as well as the ability to stream local CBS stations live in more than 110 markets. Subscribers can use the service online and across devices via CBS.com, the CBS App for iOS, Android and Windows 10, as well as on connected devices such as Apple TV, Android TV, Chromecast, Roku players and Roku TV, with more connected devices to come.
Star Trek made its broadcast debut on September 8th, 1966 and spawned a sequel animated series (1973-74), the four television follow-ups The Next Generation (1987-1994), Deep Space Nine (1993-99), Voyager (1995-2001) and Enterprise (2001-05) in addition to twelve theatrical adventures (1979-2013).
SOURCE: Star Trek.com