CBS has announced the development of a new Star Trek for television.
Only you’ll have to pay for it.
Producer Alex Kurtzman is developing a new installment in the franchise, which celebrates its 50th anniversary in 2016. The new series has been picked up in a straight-to-series order with the premiere slated to air on CBS in January 2017. But then…
the show will live in the US on CBS All Access, the digital and VOD platform. That’s video on demand. The service costs $5.99 per month for access to the programming. This is the first Trek developed specifically for CBS All Access, which hosts shows from the CBS library as well as grants access to stream the network live.
“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.”
The CBS announcement also gives a strong indication that this will not be a show about the current film crew: “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.” So don’t expect Chris Pine or Zachary Quinto to do anything more than a cameo, assuming this series is set in the same universe and time frame.
According to Deadline, Kurtzman has been in talks with CBS for quite some time. He’ll executive produce under his Secret Hideout banner along with development chief Heather Kadin. They’re currently looking for a writer to take the first script assignment. Kurtzman’s history with Star Trek includes co-writing and producing the first reboot film directed by J.J. Abrams, along with co-writing Star Trek Into Darkness.
Star Trek has ventured into uncharted distribution territory before, when Star Trek: The Next Generation was produced for first-run syndication and Star Trek: Voyager the flagship series on the new United Paramount Network (UPN), which eventually merged with The WB to form The CW Network. But this is the first time the show’s had a price tag attached.
The decision seems to be looking to the success of original programming on Netflix, especially in the genre: Daredevil, House of Cards, and other shows have proven track records that show people are willing to pay for content.
Are you ready to pay for Star Trek?