Bryan Fuller on pitching a Star Trek TV show

Trek alum Bryan Fuller was out doing press interviews for the second season of his show Hannibal when his love for Star Trek came up with Crave Online. Fuller worked on the writing staff of Deep Space Nine and Voyager before creating critically acclaimed shows such as Dead Like Me and Pushing Daises. Click on for more.


On the rumor that he pitched a Trek TV series:

I haven’t pitched it, I just expressed interest that I would love to do a “Star Trek” TV show. Again, that was my very first start, on “Deep Space Nine” and “Voyager.” That was my first job as a writer in Hollywood. So having spent four years on staff and another year of freelancing before that on “Star Trek,” it’s a very near and dear property to my heart, and also a philosophy. I would love to create a “Star Trek” show, so that’s on my dream docket.

Would this hypothetical show be set in the new Abrams-verse or a “old” prime universe?

I think there’s something very exciting about the new J.J. Abrams-verse, and there’s also kind of an interesting reinvention. How would “The Next Generation” evolve from that? Where would that be? Where would that go? But there’s also… “Star Trek” is such a big universe, and there are so many places to go with it. I have a very specific idea that I would love to do. We’ll see if I ever get the opportunity.


— Read more from Bryan Fuller on Hannibal at Crave Online

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October 2, 2013 5:07 am

Do a couple episodes of deleting the Abrams universe and have the rest of the show take place in the Prime Universe and I promise you will live on in Glory.

October 2, 2013 5:16 am

No brains and all dumb action while screwing up the timeline and things (Khan) that came before Nero’s ship. Contradictories galore in the Abramsverse, not to mention a ton of lazy writing.

October 2, 2013 5:23 am

I’d love to see Star Trek back on TV, Any Star Trek… But more like the TOS, We can sometimes be trapped when we have to be politically correct all the time, (( Mom always said no body likes a good boy ))

Andrew P
October 2, 2013 5:29 am

I think the safest option now for a new series would be a spin-off from the Abrams-verse, but set in the Next Generation era, as sort of hinted at above. That way, the show can draw on as much (or little) of the Next Gen tropes as desired, but now filtered through an Abrams-verse, without directly competing with the movies (in the same way that Star Trek VI came out mid-TNG run). I doubt you’re going to get all the current Trek cast signed up for 8 series of TV or whatever the deal is these days, and they wouldn’t run a show without everyone on board.

October 2, 2013 6:02 am
THANK YOU, MAXIMUS! THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU!!! Set it in the PRIME UNIVERSE. And please… Move it forward in time. Set it a good 50 years or so AFTER “The Next Generation”. No more Borg. No more Q. No more paranoid Section 31/conspiracy/secret war/”trust no one” crap. No more clashes with the Klingons & Romulans. Let the Romulans and Klingons be our allies (…albeit not always friendly allies – the relationship can be rocky, for dramatic purposes. But I think that the whole Federation/Klingon/Romulan/Cardassian thing has been done to DEATH. Personally, I think it’d be fascinating to see a Klingon Starfleet starship captain, or a Romulan Chief Medical Officer, or a Cardassian engineer.). Give us a future where all that bullsnot with the Red Matter and Romulus getting destroyed never happened. Give us a future where Spock succeeded in uniting the Romulans with their Vulcan brethren and ushered in a new age of peaceful relations. There is SO much material to be mined from that.. Set it out in the frontier. Give us NEW races, new challenges. Give us compelling characters to care about. The best sci fi – and the best STAR TREK – has always been using these fantastic settings and circumstances to explore the human heart, the human psyche. Roddenberry used TREK to shine a light upon the beauty and ugliness of the human soul, and to show us that our better angels can – and will – prevail. Do that, and STAR TREK will… Read more »
October 2, 2013 6:02 am

I would like to see Star Trek back on TV as a new show. I don’t have any real preference for timeline or universe. I’ll know when I see it if it ‘calls to me’ as Trek.

However, if there’s one thing I’ve learned since I started visiting this site, it’s that trekkies are indeed diverse. I suspect any attempt to make a new Star Trek TV show that appeals to all existing trekkies will be doomed to fail.

Any new show should ‘go boldly’ – in several senses of the phrase. Hopefullly it would attract a following from both existing trekkies and current non-trekkies.

As Spock would say “there are always possibilities…”

October 2, 2013 6:08 am

I would like to see a Captain Pike series set in the new universe. Follow a younger Greenwood-style Pike as he rises up through the ranks to become a professional badass in a world where Starfleet and the Federation are trying to figure out how to respond to the incursion of an Angry Future Romulan ship. So much potential.

October 2, 2013 6:08 am

Again, I would love to see an AltVerse show with this cast in a TOS-like show, Kirk occasionally being a “cowboy”

10-12 eps/year on Netflix

Long and short story arcs …

But as said above, any trying to please “the fans” and they’re frikked, LOL

October 2, 2013 6:12 am

Get back to basics. After TNG, things ended up going up in different directions, not all of them good. I want to be back aboard the Enterprise, 50 years after TNG. New crew. More diverse. Final frontier. Wagon train to the stars. Bryan Fuller + Seth McFarlane = win.

I am not Herbert
October 2, 2013 6:14 am


October 2, 2013 6:15 am

Sounds like Fuller wants to pitch TNG version 2.0.

Can’t ANYONE associated with Star Trek come up with something new for a change?!? To boldly go where 750 hours of television have gone before…

Sad that the franchise is just feeding on itself these days. It’ll keep ripping itself off until it becomes a copy of a copy of a copy…

Let the Bad Robot movies run their course, and put it to bed for awhile. Obviously ST needs more beauty sleep.

October 2, 2013 6:16 am
personally, i’d love to see another star trek series on tv. i’d watch every week. i never got the opportunity to see NEW star trek the night it was on for the first time. (i’m just 28, and it was syndicated on channels that i didn’t get). first off, prime universe all the way. if star trek xiii doesn’t correct the timeline back to what it was originally(which is a huge story opportunity ‘they’ should jump on), then the new series should take advantage of that. then have it on cable, perhaps showtime, but have a full 22 episode season rather than one with 12. there’s so much stuff untouched by the 5 series. what happened between zefran cochrane and star trek: enterprise? what happened between enterprise and TOS? TOS and TNG? what happened after voyager got home and after nemesis?! (i also still want one more TNG movie to give them a send off like TOS got with undiscovered country). there is such a large universe left, use it. don’t go down the jjverse road. that’s why it’s so disheartening for bad robot to basically trash the previous 4 series(excluding enterprise) and 10 movies for themselves to play with cannon and rehash the classic trek bits. just throwing out random ideas, most for a post nemesis story: origin of the borg, earth-romulan war story, info about world war 3, new romulus, sisko and wormhole aliens, riker and the titan, where’s the voyager crew? ds9 crew? Q, post-nemesis vulcan/andoria, bitterness… Read more »
October 2, 2013 6:21 am

heck, they could even do a show concurrent to the former series. picard and the enterprise are battling the romulans. mean while on the other side of the alpha quadrant, the uss bosman is dealing with cardassians.

now i’m done. i think.

Admiral Kent
October 2, 2013 6:23 am

I would just like to see the Next (Next?) Generation…push the envelope! Have we become so cynical and so obsessed with our own destruction that we’ve run out of ideas of what the future holds? Do we really think the smart phone is the pinnacle of our technological development? It seems there’s no fresh ideas anymore…just running back to the safety of where we’ve already been. Let’s see some future crazy tech and cameos from the Enterprise D crew. Make it so…

October 2, 2013 6:42 am


October 2, 2013 6:50 am

#7 is spot on here. Agree 100%.

Besides, think about all the different ways the Abrahms universe is going to come to a screeching halt.

V’ GER will happen regardless because those events were set in to motion way before. So it’s unreasonable to think that with the divergence in the timeline, that once again Kirk and crew will be in the right place and time to stop VGER. Who knows if Decker was even born based on timeline changes.

The Abrahms universe probably ends there.

October 2, 2013 6:57 am


I disagree with you but love the way you say it :)

October 2, 2013 7:02 am

@9 It wouldn’t be so much a prequel as just filling in the gaps of what was shown in the ’09 movie, from 2233 onward, using a (relatively) minor character. Explaining how Starfleet reacts to its 9/11 moment, so to speak, and grows into the more militarized entity it has become by STID. Plus, Pike never got as much play as he deserved, in either universe, and now he’s double dead.

I mean, none of this has the slightest chance of ever happening in real life, ever, but I love Greenwood’s Pike and I want to see how he got to where he was. And we know practically nothing about people like Number One and Boyce and Colt.

October 2, 2013 7:19 am

I would have no issue with a Pike series but once again you confuse viewers. Prime Universe, TOS, TNG, Abrams-Verse, Enterprise…Star Trek is too big in a way.

October 2, 2013 7:24 am

New crew. New ship. Please.

But, go-go boots and flip hairstyles for the ladies. Mmmm. Oh, and strangenewworlds and all that stuff…

Alex Quirino
October 2, 2013 7:25 am

I would love to see Star Trek back on TV, but only if it’s something new. No more reboots or reimaginations of things we’ve already seen. They could even use the JJ-verse but I would only watch it if the adventures were completely new

October 2, 2013 7:33 am

“Star Trek is such a big universe, and there are so many places to go with it.”

Indeed, the prime universe is big ;-)

October 2, 2013 7:54 am

Yes, a Trek tv show could be great if done carefully – – but NOT AS A “PREQUEL” CONCEPT… I do not want to have an automatic guarantee that the characters cannot die, the Federation cannot be destroyed, etc etc……..

4) A CAPTAIN WHO IS NOT A P*SSY (personally I’d go with one similar to the middle eastern captain at the beginning of NuTrek 1…)

October 2, 2013 8:04 am
It must feel fresh and relevant. Needs new blood. Fuller has done well for himself, but I’m not crazy about his involvement, especially after the Next Gen 2.0 idea. Bad news. I like the idea of something in the style of the cable/Netflix model of a 13 episode season (long gone are the days of a 22 – 25 episode season, which isn’t necessarily bad). A shorter season would probably be more cost-effective with a show that by its very nature requires a large budget for sets, costumers, makeup, etc. It seems that major networks have said bye-bye to most shows like that, unless it’s dead person makeup (ah la Bones, and other cop shows). Also, we need to let go of the flawed Roddenberry idea for TNG that there cannot be any real conflicts among the human characters. I’m sorry but that’s crazy. In a lot of ways Roddenberry gets too much credit for Trek’s development, including TOS. It’s all about the writers. And perhaps the worst film of them all (TMP) is the one film with Roddenberry fully on board. I know this idea is controversial, but there’s a lot of evidence to back it up. Looking at the Trek is Not Broken editorial, I cannot agree more that it’s all about the characters. Stories can be retold and tweaked. It’s the characters that make it new and exciting. The great thing about Trek is if you have fantastic characters you also get this amazing universe that offers… Read more »
Red Dead Ryan
October 2, 2013 8:08 am

A new series has to take place in the new universe; the prime timeline is already overflowing with canon.

It should also be a spin-off of the Abrams movies, not a rehash of TNG.

I say give John Cho a Sulu series where he commands the Excelsior a few decades earlier than in the prime timeline. Then you can include Lt. Rand and maybe even Nurse Chapel, both of whom weren’t in the Abrams movies.

October 2, 2013 8:18 am

Not gonna happen.

Cos CBS aint interested according to Abrams.

Many more years to wait, predict I.

October 2, 2013 8:32 am

Wow if a Fuller show could happen! I’m a huge fan of his Pushing Daises and I’m actually intrigued by the idea of what he would do with a nuTrek: The Next Generation show.

Mainly I want Star Trek back on tv. And well done (which is less rare for the television medium anymore). But puns aside, I agree the cable model for shows – high quality, shorter seasons, more mature themes – is the direction for Trek to go.

And while I do like most of the other ideas that’ve been suggested on this thread so far, I just don’t think we’ll see a return to the Prime Universe anytime soon. If ever.

October 2, 2013 8:34 am

The people that want “new” what do you want? I hear a lot of what you dont want and it leaves me with boring, bland, alien of the week Voyager styler BS.

I’d lov an HBO-styler 12 episode series, no commercials, bigger budget, adult-oriented. Tie it into Abrams-verse directly, spinning off from the next movie. This would allow for some guest stars and be more episodic.

But if it ever comes back, it’s going to be CBS-driven which means it wont come back because it wont generate ratings that CBS will need. Hopefully Paramount can get the rights back and produce a show they can sell to whomever they want.

October 2, 2013 8:53 am

I would love to see a new TV series, but, Star Trek was stale when it ended. So, from my point of view, it needs to be new. The new movies have taken it in a new direction which IMO would be best to grabe new people, peak interest, new stories. I do not want a show to pander to me as an old trek fan. Change is good. I believe in the IDIC and their are many creative ways to achieve it. The stale, “we are better then everyone else” mantra that was in ST when it ended cannot come back. I agree with 28 TUP, a mini-series would be good to see reaction to it if a show was viable. My idea, the new timeline, with the crew setting out on voyages. You could have a Garth of Izar tangent to it, Commodor decker, April or Mitchell, (I know the last two were delt with already).

October 2, 2013 8:56 am

TUP, while I think an adult-oriented show would have a lot of potential, I don’t think Trek would do well to cut out the younger demographics. One of the biggest reason Trek has lived on is its appeal to people of all ages, including children. That being said, audiences are more demanding than they used to be say in the 60s, 70s, or 80s.

Anyway, I just think Trek should stay accessible to a wide range of age groups.

October 2, 2013 9:35 am

The Sopranos did alright on HBO.

The Walking Dead does alright.

Voyager was such a great concept that they didnt actually explore. Same with Enterprise. Im still interested in seeing those concepts come to live.

DS9 was truly amazing in being a stuck-on-a-spacestation show that was very, very good because the producers and writers made it all about the characters and the intrigue. I like intrigue.

October 2, 2013 9:39 am

If there was going to be a new series, it most likely be a “reboot”, since Paramount/CBS/Viacom/Whatever would use the new series to market older ‘Trek episodes. But if TNG does get a reboot, I think this is the way to go:

Out of all the proposed casting choices, this one seems credible, IMO.

October 2, 2013 10:01 am

I’d love to see a TOS year 4 & 5, & the eighteen months right up to TMP fleshed out on network TV – kind’ve like the New Voyages/Phase II group has started.

2nd choice: TOS Red Uniform movie era in a weekly format.

October 2, 2013 10:07 am

@1. Well that’s a formula for cancellation after about three episodes. Go watch the fan films.

October 2, 2013 10:21 am

@32 that TNG reboot sounds aweful.

They missed the boat with a great series idea – Enterprise B. New ship, “future-ish” and a time in canon that we know very little of. A popular ship design and an era where they could have guest appearances.

October 2, 2013 11:29 am

I say go w/the prime uni & have the series set in the 2280’s (movie era). I like the uniforms, ship designs, and have James Horner come up w/a theme.

October 2, 2013 11:53 am

Good Lord no more TNG-style Trek. We just broke out of that moldy mold of almost 20 years of sameness. While I respect Fuller’s talent and originality, I don’ t know if he can disassociate himself, enough, from those Trek’s he worked on and bring something totally different to the table. And the product would have to be radically different from TNG in mood and execution to succeed today. I just don’t know if Fuller could do it.

Anonymous Coward
October 2, 2013 12:53 pm

Prime Universe, Post TNG, Ent F or G, somewhere out where the Delta and Gamma Quadrants meet.

A ship full of reunited Romulans/Vulcans, a Kilngon Starfleet captain, stuff like that. A chance to show old antagonists attempting to live up to Federation ideals and not always succeeding.

Some time ago Fuller threw out some ideas about a post-conflict Federation that I still think has the most going for it.

Gene L. Coon was a U. S. Marine. Stand at ease.
October 2, 2013 12:55 pm

Since it is always, and finally, only about money:

Q: How do CBS and Paramount make money with Trek?

A: Not easily, or very clearly.

CBS owns the rights to the Trek characters. Paramount has to license the use of the characters FROM CBS in order to make the movies. CBS could make a series on their own and (theoretically) completely ignore the movies (but probably wouldn’t).

CBS owns the CW network, and Showtime. The most mass marketable theme would have to feature Kirk & Co. set in the original timeline. TNG and later iterations are too niche pigeonholed, and don’t have the same earniong potential.

Easiest thing to do politically would seem to be renegotiating the current JJ crew’s 3 film deal to add a limited TV run on Showtime/CBS network (CBS keeps the $$). High quality TV is hot right now (Breaking Bad), lets actors stretch out a bit, (slightly) cheaper to produce and market. Set it in TOS and it’s a winner. Hell, you could even have fun filming exact TOS scripts using the new crew, on updated sets.

Gene L. Coon was a U. S. Marine. Stand at ease.
October 2, 2013 1:04 pm

Memo to CBS (this is a freebie):

This idea has been mentioned many times before…

You boys are stting on a nice little payday. Not blockbuster money, but something. You have in your possession the animated half hour Treks, which feature all the original actors’ voices. For a relatively small investment, you could replace the wooden Filmation animation and cheesy music with some new CG animation and updated (Giacchino/Horner/Goldsmith) music, as was done with the updated FX for the live action TOS high def release a few years ago. Run them on a limited syndicated basis, or a half hour on Showtime (you own Showtime), to build awareness, then sell them on iTunes.

You’re welcome.

October 2, 2013 1:12 pm

I would love to see a new series set in the TLE era. It was such an unexplored era in a Trek and still has that air of the wild west about it which TNG was sorely lacking. It would be good to see the beginning of the Cardassian border wars and the declining relations with the Romulans. The uneasy peace with the Klingons, there is so much and I would love to see it realised on TV.

Jay Pierce
October 2, 2013 1:13 pm

I would like to see a series set in the prime universe & the Lost Era between the Movies & the Next Generation. I’ve read the Lost Era series in the books & found it great. I would like to see more of it.

October 2, 2013 1:13 pm

If they were to redo TNG only one man could play Picard. Former James Bond, Timothy Dalton.

It is quite uncanny.

October 2, 2013 1:27 pm

# 26 James

That’s probably a good thing too.

ST shouldn’t be flooding TV screens just because it can. It should come back to TV when it really has something important to say to a new generation and not just rehash past glories.

I agree with CBS. We really don’t need a new ST series now; let the current movies run their course and then wait a few years. Build an appetite for it again.

October 2, 2013 1:39 pm

It would be a huge mistake to set a TV show in the 24th century of the Abramsverse. It immediately turns the movie series into a historical period and handcuffs it. I mean. Can you imagine the outcry and the retcons involved if Chang had blown up Vulcan in STVI, for example?

I’d love to see a series running parallel to the movie series as the new 23rd century with all its new tech has so much to explore. Why not follow a starship and crew that’s transwarp beamed into another galaxy, for example. What might they discover in, say, the Andromeda Galaxy?

Anyway, for now, I’d rather Mr Fuller stick with Hannibal; I love that show!

October 2, 2013 2:19 pm

For the TV series, it better to go back to the Prime Universe. As for the movies, leave it in the Alt-universe & keep all the relentless action & explosions for the fans all over the world to enjoy it on the big screen in 3D!

October 2, 2013 2:23 pm

Just as long as it isn’t the tedious, exposition-heavy, monotonous misery of “Sleepy Hollow”. Please. Is it the budget on that show that’s the problem? Lack of imagination? It’s the same issue we had with Khan! Why does everyone talk about what’s happened, happening and will happen, and we never actually see anybody DO anything! And it takes itself so seriously, with everyone talking in whispers about riddles. Boooring.

Ahem. Anyway. To sum up — yay, just as long as it’s not Sleepy Hollow-esque.

October 2, 2013 3:06 pm

@16: except, Voyager 6 never existed so they could capitalize on that to say that V’Ger as it was presented in the 1979 film would never be created. No probe falling into machine planet, no V’Ger.

October 2, 2013 3:09 pm

What about setting it up with the “temporal prime-directive” agents from the distant future that popped up on Voyager and Enterprise? Wasn’t his name Daniels? You could have a crew, even a time traveling cloaked ship that jumps from universe to universe, timeline to timeline, correcting anomalies that doom the galaxy as a whole. That way, you see the prime universe one week, the alternate universe the next. You could explain away all alot of inconsistencies with that concept, and we’d get to play in the Terran Empire alot. Wouldn’t that be fun? it would be part Back to the Future, part Quantum Leap, part Mirror, Mirror.

October 2, 2013 3:21 pm

(oops, my response up there was for BatlethInTheGroin, I used to be #4…the comment numbers have gone all crazy again.)