Well, it seems both surprising and inevitable, but after years of uncertainty it seems Star Trek is coming back to television… sort of.
When J.J. Abrams’ 2009 Star Trek reboot debuted to strong box office numbers and critical praise, many figured that a new television show wouldn’t be far behind. Bad Robot felt the same way, but unfortunately talks between them and CBS broke down for various reasons and it seemed like we’d have to wait before Star Trek would return to the small screen.
Well, it seems the wait is over.
[Updated 11/4/2015] Below, we have a new quote from the CBS President on why the new show won’t be airing on network TV.
What is the new Star Trek show about?
We don’t know for certain, as nothing about the premise has been release. However, of the five series that have aired four of them have been set on a starship. One, Deep Space Nine, was primarily set on a space station.
It’s worth noting that the President of CBS, Armando Nuñez, said “We can’t wait to introduce Star Trek’s next voyage on television to its vast global fan base,” which would imply a show set on a traveling ship.
Who’s working on the show?
It seems Alex Kurtzman, who co-wrote Star Trek (2009) and Star Trek Into Darkness will be Executive Producer and most likely showrunner. No one else has been confirmed.
What about Roberto Orci?
He hasn’t been named as part of the show’s creative team, though we imagine it’s possible he’ll be part of the show in a producing capacity.
Will J.J. Abrams be involved?
We imagine if he is involved it’ll be as a producer at most. At the absolute best case he’ll direct the pilot to the series, though we’re very doubtful that’ll happen.
Who’s in the cast?
The cast hasn’t been announced yet.
Which universe will the show be set in? Reboot or Prime?
Well, it hasn’t been announced. However, the reboot films are currently the flagship for the Star Trek brand. In addition, Alex Kurtzman is one of the top men responsible for starting that brand. So, we think there’s a very high likelihood that the new show will be set in the reboot universe.
Could the show be about the Enterprise?
We doubt it. The cast would cost far too much and they’re busy on the long shoots for the films. They will lead the new Star Trek films while the television shows probably flesh out the background.
What channel will it be on?
Well… here’s where we come to “the catch” as it were. Though the series will launch with a “special preview broadcast” on CBS, but the rest of the show will only be available online on CBS All Access.
So, basically you’re getting the pilot for free on TV and you have to pay a subscription to see the rest of the show online.
What is CBS All Access?
It’s an online service kind of like HBO Now that has all of CBS’ catalogue of shows. It costs $5.99 a month.
So… I’m going to have to pay $5.99 a month to watch the new Star Trek when it airs?
[Updated 11/4/2015] During a quarterly earnings call, CBS President and CEO explained why they’re putting the new Star Trek show on All Access:
“A lot of conversation went into what we were going to do [with Star Trek]. All Access is very important.We remain a good partner for Netflix and Hulu. Star Trek is a family jewel; it’s an important piece of business for us as we go forward. We’re looking to do original content on All Access and build up that platform. Netflix is our friend a competitor. They compete with [CBS Corp.’s] Showtime. All Access will put out original content and knowing the loyalty of Star Trek fans, this will boost it. … There’s about a billion channels out there and because of Star Trek, people will know what All Access is about.”
So, basically the new Star Trek show exists as a spearhead for their digital distribution initiative.
When will the show debut?