A new Star Trek TV series, from CBS
After years of rumors the bullet is finally through the church (a saying in my part of the world). CBS has announced it will be producing a new Star Trek TV show set for release in 2017. Not much is known besides that. The press release did say that veteran TV producer Alex Kurtzman would helm the reboot. Kurtzman has worked on shows such as Xena, Alias, Fringe and Sleepy Hollow. He has also worked as writer and producer on movies such as The Island, Watchmen and Star Trek among many. He is also directing the upcoming reboot of The Mummy set for 2017. Meanwhile Star Trek Beyond, the third in the new series, is scheduled for release next summer.
The wait for the new Star Trek TV series may also not be as long as feared. The release date is set for January 2017. However after the show has premiered it will move to the CBS subscription service similar to Netflix and Amazon Prime. That last part may be sour, but those living in the sane world can still use bit torrent.
A new Star Trek TV series has long been rumored. Ever since the announcement that J.J. Abrams was working on a reboot did fans speculate and hope it could help revive a TV incarnation. Star Trek was born on TV and despite its success in the cinema as a space opera it simply works better on TV. The long 4 year gap between Star Trek 2009 and Into Darkness was too large and could have been filled with a series. In my reviews on The Next Generation Blu-ray release as well Enterprise I already discussed why the show was cancelled in 2005. Despite the quality of Enterprise it did not innovate with the time (read Why was Enterprise cancelled?). Enterprise catered too much to a fan base that was dwindling. It wasn’t cool for any new viewers. It wasn’t until the 2009 movie that the general public became yet again interested in the franchise.
Truth to be told, this announcement is not without risk. To truly captivate the audience Alex Kurtzman would have to pull out all the stops. This show needs to measure itself with Lost, The Walking Dead and Game Of Thrones to succeed. Once, a long time ago, Star Trek dared to experiment. Episodes from the original series starring William Shatner tackled issues with race and sexuality. The follow-up show The Next Generation continued 20 years after the original. It tackled issues such as gender-equality and gender-identity. Subsequent shows only dealt with similar issues in a desperate attempt to stay relevant. For the most part the focus was placed on drama and special effects, but without a clear concrete message about the future.
If Alex Kurtzman is to succeed with his new Star Trek TV series he will need to put Gene Roddenberry’s vision center stage. With issues such as gay-marriage, gender-identity (Caitlyn Jenner) and gender-equality (possible female president) it stands a chance to be more relevant than ever before. TNG started off well with unisex uniforms, both men and women wearing the skirt uniform, and women in more important ship positions. The new Star Trek should definitely use these themes as part of its larger narrative. So far little is known about the timeline in which the show is featured. Some fans don’t like the new alternate timeline, though I suspect it is mainly because it implies the previous shows never happened. I do think the new show should be set in the J.J. Abrams timeline. It looks vibrant and fresh and it allows for the gap between Star Trek beyond and the fourth movie slated for 2019 to be filled. That said, CBS has omitted to say specifically when it will take place leading people to speculate. I question why a show would be set in the older timeline that has been mostly forgotten already.
I will remain hopeful that Alex Kurtzman can bring some wonderful science-fiction to the little screen. Oooh here is a thought. Lucy Liu as captain of the Enterprise! You read it here first at SciFiEmpire.net. This was ‘thoughts on the new Star Trek TV series set for 2017’.
Below you can read the full press release from CBS
The Next Chapter of the Legendary “Star Trek” TV Franchise Will Premiere on the CBS Television Network, Then Move to CBS All Access Digital Subscription Service
Alex Kurtzman, Co-Writer and Producer of the Blockbuster Films
“Star Trek” and “Star Trek Into Darkness,” to Executive Produce
CBS Studios International to Distribute the Series Globally
For Television and Multiple Platforms
STUDIO CITY, CALIF. AND NEW YORK, N.Y. – Nov. 2, 2015 – CBS Television Studios announced today it will launch a totally new “Star Trek” television series in January 2017. The new series will blast off with a special preview broadcast on the CBS Television Network. The premiere episode and all subsequent first-run episodes will then be available exclusively in the United States on CBS All Access, the Network’s digital subscription video on demand and live streaming service.
The next chapter of the “Star Trek” franchise will also be distributed concurrently for television and multiple platforms around the world by CBS Studios International.
The new program will be the first original series developed specifically for U.S. audiences for CBS All Access, a cross-platform streaming service that brings viewers thousands of episodes from CBS’s current and past seasons on demand, plus the ability to stream their local CBS Television station live for $5.99 per month. CBS All Access already offers every episode of all previous “Star Trek” television 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.
Alex Kurtzman will serve as executive producer for the new “Star Trek” TV series. Kurtzman co-wrote and produced the blockbuster films “Star Trek” (2009) with Roberto Orci, and “Star Trek Into Darkness” (2013) with Orci and Damon Lindelof. Both films were produced and directed by J.J. Abrams.
The new series will be produced by CBS Television Studios in association with Kurtzman’s Secret Hideout. Kurtzman and Heather Kadin will serve as executive producers. Kurtzman is also an executive producer for the hit CBS television series SCORPION and LIMITLESS, along with Kadin and Orci, and for HAWAII FIVE-0 with Orci.
“Star Trek,” which will celebrate its 50th anniversary in 2016, is one of the most successful entertainment franchises of all time. The original “Star Trek” spawned a dozen feature films and five successful television series. Almost half a century later, the “Star Trek” television series are licensed on a variety of different platforms in more than 190 countries, and the franchise still generates more than a billion social media impressions every month.
Born from the mind of Gene Roddenberry, the original “Star Trek” series debuted on Sept. 8, 1966 and aired for three seasons – a short run that belied the influence it would have for generations. The series also broke new ground in storytelling and cultural mores, providing a progressive look at topics including race relations, global politics and the environment.
“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 David Stapf, President, CBS Television Studios. “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.”
“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 Vice President/General Manager – 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.”
“Every day, an episode of the ‘Star Trek’ franchise is seen in almost every country in the world,” said Armando Nuñez, President and CEO, CBS Global Distribution Group. “We can’t wait to introduce ‘Star Trek’s’ next voyage on television to its vast global fan base.”
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.
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.