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CBS All Access Is Laying the Groundwork for Non-Stop Star Trek

Star Trek fans after catching a glimpse of CBS’s future plans.
Star Trek fans after catching a glimpse of CBS’s future plans.
Image: CBS

CBS’s plans for the Star Trek franchise do not start and end with Discovery. In addition to the Captain Picard series that was announced over the weekend, CBS executives have confirmed there are other potential Star Trek shows being considered for CBS All Access. The plan looks to be all Star Trek, all the time.

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“My goal is that there should be a Star Trek something on all the time on All Access,” CBS TV Studios president David Stapf told Deadline.

During an extended interview with Deadline, CBS All Access president Marc DeBevoise and executive vice president of original content Julie McNamara joined Stapf to chat about ongoing and future projects for the streaming network. However, most of the questions surrounded CBS All Access’ growing Star Trek franchise. On the heels of the announcement that Sir Patrick Stewart would be reprising his role as Captain Jean-Luc Picard in a new standalone series—as well as the news of Star Trek: Short Treks, the Discovery shorts that will air before the next full season--the executives shared that more Star Trek projects are on the horizon.

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“We’re looking at limited series for some Trek shows, and we are looking at ongoing series for some other Trek shows. We’ve obviously announced the one that’s coming next with Sir Patrick Stewart, but we have more in development there,” McNamara said.

There are no details about what form those shows could take, but it sounds like a hell of a lot of options are on the table. For example, according to McNamara, nearly every Discovery character has been considered for his or her own show, including a series about Michelle Yeoh’s Emperor Georgiou. However, Stapf did insist that episodes in the Short Treks series, which will feature characters like Tilly, Harry Mudd, and Saru, are not test pilots for potential spinoffs.

However, one thing that isn’t being considered (for the time being) is another series based on a former Trek franchise. As of now, the only one in development is the one featuring Stewart, which will take place 20 years after the events of Star Trek: Nemesis, the final film in The Next Generation series. During the interview, Stapf shared how they got Stewart to sign on for the show, considering how he’s previously said he wasn’t interested in returning to the character unless it was for a Quentin Tarantino-led Star Trek project:

It came to us, as do all things Trek now, through Alex Kurtzman, with the idea of, wouldn’t it be cool to do something Next Gen-oriented, [or] get Patrick Stewart [or] any of those iconic Next Gen characters. As Patrick himself has said, he was of the opinion that “I’ve done that character,” but he got a meeting with Alex and some of the other guys and they won him over. The deal didn’t take that long once he decided to do it.

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Star Trek: Discovery is set to return in 2019, with Short Treks coming out later this year. No word on when Stewart’s new Star Trek series will begin development, but we’re guessing and hoping it’ll be soon. In the meantime, we’ll keep pushing for a Star Trek show from the aliens’ point of view, and will keep you posted if William Shatner gets a Star Trek spinoff of his own. As Stapf put it during his interview: “Never say never.”

The other updates provided to Deadline were on CBS’s adaptation of Stephen King’s The Stand, saying it’s on course to come out sometime next year, as well as Jordan Peele’s The Twilight Zone, which is in development and should start production in a couple of months.

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Video Editor and Staff Writer at io9. My doppelganger is that rebelling greeting card from Futurama.

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DISCUSSION

chrispaine1
Chris Paine

Here are some ideas:

Star Trek: Klingons!

There’s a lot we don’t know about the Klingon Empire. This is a large canvas to paint on and explore. There is also a humans in the empire angle that can be exploited to give us new insights into a misunderstood culture. Probably more fun that Star Trek: Romulans because the great houses intrigue and their “war as sport” mentality lends itself more to Game of Thrones treatment.

Star Trek: Deep Space 9 - The Next Generation

Putting a focus on the station as a city in space, maybe beginning with Citizen/Author/Journalist Jake Cisco telling the stories of ordinary people in the post-war Bajoran sector of space. Foregrounding the civilians rather than Star Fleet.

Star Trek: The West Wing

Taking a “West Wing” approach and looking at the Federation from the point of view of the politicians, ambassadors, and civil servants who actually have to run it.

Star Trek: Into the Delta Quadrant

Exactly how it sounds. Exploring the Delta Quadrant, but constantly worrying about the threat of the Dominion on their home turf.

Star Trek: SFCIS (Star Fleet Criminal Investigative Service)

Remember those alien infiltrators from wayback in the early ST:TNG? SFCIS does! And a whole lot more that doesn’t fall under the purview of Section 31.

Star Trek: Section 31

Federation spycraft! Jason Bourne, James Bond, Gary “Eggsy” Unwin, Sterling Archer. It’s spy vs spy against the Obsidian Order, the Tal Shiar, and the Dominion.

Star Trek: Anything that isn’t Star Fleet

Looking at the federation as civilians. Maybe a police procedural?

That’s all I got as possible Star Trek series ideas. Check please CBS!