Star Trek fans have a lot to be excited for. The sci-fi television giant is getting revamped for the small screen and is set to premiere on CBS in January 2017 to celebrate the franchise’s 50th anniversary. However, subsequent episodes will not be airing on the network. All episodes following the premiere will be exclusively released on CBS All Access, the network’s personal Netflix-esque streaming service.
The new series is set to be produced by Alex Kurtzman, who’s produced Sleepy Hollow, Hawaii Five-0 and, most recently, the Limitless television series. Being a massive fan of the franchise, Kurtzman also produced and co-wrote 2009’s Star Trek and 2013’s Star Trek Into Darkness.
CBS was the network that aired the original Star Trek series back in 1960s starring William Shatner and Leonard Nimoy. After three seasons the show became a major hit and would later spawn four more television iterations – The Next Generation, Deep Space Nine, Voyager and Enterprise.
Each television iteration of Star Trek has featured a new cast of character who go on to visit new worlds and alien civilizations. The upcoming sixth series will follow in their footsteps.
As it stands right now, Kurtzman and Heather Kadin are the only two people attached to the project as producer and executive producer. According to a report by The Hollywood Reporter, they’re currently looking for a writer willing to pen this new version of the iconic sci-fi series.
The new Star Trek series will be the first original series developed for CBS All Access, which currently hosts episodes of past and present CBS series for $5.99/month. Marc DeBovise, the executive GM at CBS Digital Media, said in the aforementioned report, “This new series will premiere to the national CBS audience, then boldly go where no first-run Star Trek series has gone before — directly to its millions of fans through CBS All Access. We’ve experienced terrific growth for CBS All Access, expanding the service across affiliates and devices in a very short time. We now have an incredible opportunity to accelerate this growth with the iconic Star Trek, and its devoted and passionate fan base, as our first original series.”
Despite claims of over 100,000 subscribers and DeBovise’s comments, the network giant hasn’t released any numbers regarding the state of CBS All Access and its relative success. Most people didn’t believe the streaming service would last a day against streaming giants like Netflix, Amazon and Hulu, and whether or not it can stand toe-to-toe remains to be seen.
Can Star Trek breathe life into the service? It’ll largely depend on how well the series premiere is received. Star Trek could make or break the service as a whole, but there’s hardly a better franchise to place your faith in. If Kurtzman is half as good at producing the television series as he was producing the movies then CBS could have a massive hit on its hands. Although it still seems rather strange to place it solely within their budding streaming service.