Star Trekkin’ in to a New Series (but not where you think)

The new, as yet in subtitled, Star Trek spin off is expected to premiere in January 2017.  It will even receive a special preview broadcast on the CBS Television Network (perhaps following a 2017 NFL Playoff game?). but after that, fans will have to look a little harder to find the show. It will move to CBS All Access, the network’s digital subscription streaming service, which launched in the fall of 2014.

The announcement was very light on content details.   They didn’t specify what era of Trek History the new series will take place in, or even which continuity, but it seems highly unlikely that it will involve any of the lead cast of the recent Star Trek films.  Nor was the number of format (episodic or feature length) of the new production. “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” said the press release. That could mean they follow the adventures of another ship from set in the movie universe, or even visit the Next Gen era of that timeline, or even later.  It could be set on an alternate version of the Enterprise B, or C.with new actors cast in familiar roles, or entirely new roles.

They did confirm the Star Trek movie producer Alex Kurtzman  will serve as series executive producer. The show will be co-produced by CBS Television Studios and with Kurtzman’s Secret Hideout.  Heather Kadin (Scorpion, Limitless) will also serve as executive producer.

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 in a press release. (Ed note – except maybe, during the show’s actual 50th anniversary) Star Trek originally debuted on NBC in 1966 and celebrates 50 years in the fall of 2016.

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.” Continued Stapf in the press release.

“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 of 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.”

The network’s digital platform currently runs about 6 bucks a month, and as of this past spring, reportedly had about 100,000 subscribers (compared to Netflix, which is closing in on 70 million subscribers worldwide, mostly in North American and Europe).   CBS All Access provides complete back catalogs of most but not all of its current series (CBS does not have the streaming rights The Big Bang Theory).   You can also find a large selection of episodes of classic series from the CBS Television Distribution program library, like the original Star TrekCheersMacGyverTwin Peaks and CSI: Miami).  The addition of original, exclusive content from a franchise with such a large and devoted following is bound to lead to a large influx of new subscribers.

So what do you say Trekkers?  Ready to voyage beyond CBS’s paywall for new episodes ot Star Trek?

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