CBS's All Access digital and Video on Demand platform is launching a new Star Trek series in January 2017.
This is dope for a number of reasons. One that jumps out to me first is the embrace of more video on demand and online content. With Netflix, Amazon Prime, and other broadcast networks video on demand and digital content services are tapping a whole new audience these days. Everybody doesn’t have time to be at home in front of a television at 8 PM anymore so more and more people watch their favorite shows on demand when they have the time. Other will binge watch entire seasons at a time over a weekend. I really think that putting this online opens makes it readily available for both the hardcore Star Trek fans and the casual watcher who can watch this at their leisure without any pressure.
Alex Kurtzman is attached to the new series, which will premiere in January 2017 on CBS before new episodes debut on its digital and VOD platform.
Just in time for its 50th anniversary, Star Trek is returning to the small screen.
Prolific producer Alex Kurtzman is developing a new take on the beloved sci-fi classic for TV, The Hollywood Reporter has learned. The new Star Trek has been picked up straight to series at CBS, with the premiere slated for the network in January 2017. Subsequent episodes will air on its digital and VOD platform, CBS All Access. The premiere and all subsequent episodes will then be available in the U.S. on CBS All Access, the network’s digital subscription video on demand and live streaming service. Star Trek marks the first original series developed specifically for CBS All Access.
The 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.
The cross-platform streaming service, which hosts thousands of episodes from CBS’ roster (both past and present) is available for $5.99 per month. Included in the fee is the ability to stream the local network live. All previous Star Trek series are currently available on CBS All Access. CBS Studios International will distribute the series for TV and multiple platforms around the world.
The drama is set up at CBS Television Studios and Kurtzman’s Secret Hideout banner. Kurtzman and development head Heather Kadin will exec produce. A search is under way for a writer to take on the cult hit. The franchise is poised to celebrate its 50th anniversary as the original series debuted Sept. 8, 1966.
The new Star Trek TV series continues Kurtzman’s relationship with the beloved franchise. He produced the Star Trek feature film series, co-writing 2013’s Star Trek Into Darkness and 2009’s franchise revival. The fourth in the franchise set for 2019, though Kurtzman is not attached.
CBS TV Studios distributed the original series, which was produced by Paramount Television and Desilu Productions. Created by Gene Roddenberry and starring William Shatner and Leonard Nimoy, the series ran for three seasons and 79 episodes from 1966-67 on NBC and became a monster hit via syndication. It spawned an animated series (1973-74), a series of feature films — starting in 1979 — and four TV follow-ups including The Next Generation (1987-1994), Deep Space Nine (1993-99), Voyager (1995-2001) and Enterprise (2001-05).
News of a new Star Trek TV series comes as the franchise has been mired in rights issues between CBS and Paramount after Viacom merged with CBS in 2000. CBS Corp. absorbed Paramount for television, while Paramount Studios — the company that distributed the films — went to Viacom.
The Star Trek revival comes as reboots and follow-ups continue to be in high demand on broadcast (and cable/streaming). Kurtzman — and frequent partner Roberto Orci, who is not attached to CBSTVS’ Star Trek — is behind CBS’ follow-up to Bradley Cooper’s Limitless and also exec produces the network’s veteran Hawaii Five-0 reboot. The K/O banner currently has four shows on the air — Hawaii, Limitless and sophomore drama Scorpion as well as Fox’s Sleepy Hollow. K/O is repped by CAA and Gendler Kelly.
“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,” said Marc DeBevoise, executive vp and GM at CBS Digital Media. “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.”