Shuttle Pod – The TrekMovie.com Podcast Episode 5: Star Trek Returns to Television (sort of)!

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Hey, everyone! There’s going to be a new Star Trek series! On television*! This week on Shuttle Pod, we dissect last week’s announcement about the 6th (or 7th) Star Trek series and speculate not only on the theme, characters, universe, and story of the new series, but also about how it will fare on it’s new platform as original content for CBS’s online streaming service, All Access.

*Well, internet television.

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Shuttle Pod: Episode 5 – Star Trek Returns to Television (sort of)!

 


 

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Just make sure you don’t cross the streams!

Good podcast, good analysis of the CBS All Access arrangement. I bet they’ll add more original content, add a $9.99 ad-free tier, and I bet it will not draw any new viewers who are casual is non-Trek fans.

Also, I seriously doubt CBS will bring in ANY creators who were involved in any past Trek.

Here’s my analysis of the 4,000 responses I got on my Star Trek Uncharted site over the past 2 years about whether prospective viewers would watch a new Trek show on broadcast TV vs pay/streaming:

http://www.startrekuncharted.com/captains-blog/broadcast-vs-streaming-analytics

I don’t think they have a concept yet. Variety says they’re “shopping for a writer”. I think they’ve got a deal in place,and that’s about it for now.

CBS reportedly opposed the JJ reboot of Trek because they didn’t want to throw away their whole library of old shows and merchandise. I’d bet real money it’s set in the original universe, but in the distant future.

I’ll mention this again, the nation’s internet infrastructure is nowhere near ready for a massive sea-change movie from people to streaming instead of Cable/Satellite.

@ MCG

I disagree. I think it will be in the new universe.

…..or it will be presented in such a way that it’s undefined which universe it is in.

Why do you think that?

I think behind the scenes there must have been a handshake been CBS and Paramount. I doubt they are just doing their own thing here — it’s in their shareholders’ interest for them to cooperate. And so I think you will see a new series that is spun off from the new movies universe to some extent.

BTW, can you share some info on how your pitch went?

I don’t think CBS needs to work with Paramount on this. They own the Star Trek TV rights, plain and simple, they can do what they want. After JJ wanted to reboot the franchise and CBS disagreed with him, they went their separate ways.

The rumor I heard was that, if CBS wasn’t going to cooperate with the reboot, they would at least not get in the way. Supposedly there was a deal between Paramount and CBS where Paramount would pay CBS some token amount each year to not make a new TV series while Paramount was making the movies.

Given that CBS was always opposed to the reboot (assuming that’s true), then I seriously doubt CBS would tether themselves to the reboot timeline. In fact, I would be more convinced that this means Paramount may be giving up on the movies for the time being, after Star Trek Beyond? But that’s pure conjecture on my part.

I shared my experience pitching (the details I felt I could share at the time) on my “Captain’s Blog” on the Star Trek Uncharted site. A few posts down…

http://www.startrekuncharted.com/captains-blog.html

@ McG

That is an extremely cool summary of your pitch. Wow — just to get to do that would be incredible. And I like your concept — so long as you don’t make the mistake of putting a bland professorial bald guy type as Captain…lol

Well done!

Thanks, it was an interesting experience, to be sure.

Of course, the next step would be to get it in front of CBS, too! Anyone here happen to know Alex Kurtzman or Heather Kadin?

@Michael Chang Gummelt

If they really “shopping for a writer”, please try to contact with them.If they really wants original timeline back you can rewrite Uncharted again.

And I venture to tell you that, because I think that Uncharted is really good pitch for new Trek series.

Michael Chang Gummelt

@Q

Thanks, I appreciate that. I do have a couple contacts that I’m trying to go through to see if I can at least send the pilot script through – if nothing else than as an example of my writing (I wouldn’t expect them to use my concept)…

As a member of the Q continuum, can’t you just snap your fingers and make it so? That would be so much easier. :)

@MCG

We, in continuum, have Prime Directive too ;).

Michael Dorn has reported that he’s been told the show will be set in the JJverse.

It’s inconceivable that they’d set the show in the Prime timeline. Surely they’ll just do TNG – the alternate Generation, and recast some of the main cast. Mark Strong would make a good Picard?

Michael Dorn at the Rhode Island Comic-Con: “I can confirm it right now.” Dorn said. “CBS/Paramount is coming out with a television series in 2017 and from what I’ve read, it’s going to be the J.J. Abrams-universe. So, it’s going to be a different timeline and we are not in in.”

Hmm, not sure that sounds like inside information. To me that just sounds like him telling the Con audience about the CBS press release. “From what I’ve read” being the key phrase there. He may just be assuming it’s JJTrek because Kurtzman is involved. But as Kayla, George and Jared mention in the podcast, Bad Robot is not involved. And as far as we know so far, Bob Orci (who wanted to do the TNG JJTrek reboot) is also not involved.

And they should not do a TNG reboot. Casting actors to recreate the roles realized by other actors is a disservice to both and probably won’t be as good as the original. I don’t want to see actors cosplaying the TNG characters and rehashing their stories.

For Star Trek to survive, thrive and be relevant again, it must move forward. Not look backward. Star Trek must always be about the future, not the past.

@ MCG

“and from what I’ve read, it’s going to be the J.J. Abrams-universe. So, it’s going to be a different timeline and we are not in in.”

I’ll just take Dorn’s comment at face value.

The thing is that we have a year before an official announcement is made (though I vote for the Uncharted treatment be used as the basis for a new series, set a few decades after NEM in the Prime Universe). I say relax, and wait a bit.

Hi Michael –

Thanks for the feedback on the podcast – we’re still working some kinks out but we’re making progress. It’s Brian, by the way – not George ;-)

Enjoyed reading about your pitch meeting – hope something comes out of all this for you.

Re: Dorn

If that quote is accurate, it means he knows as much as the rest of us, which is absolutely nothing.

Hah, sorry Brian! I don’t know where I got “George” from… I had just watched an episode of “Humans”, maybe that was it… :)

Guys, I am picturing the “don’t call me tiny” scene from ST3. ;-)

Great analysis guys, thanks for all of that.

The other piece I wonder about, is whether this new series is representative of compromise of bigger plans for Star Trek. After all these years, I really hoped the next big announcement would be a consolidation of all the disparate pieces of the Star Trek universe under a single brain trust, with broader plans for a shared Star Trek transmedia universe. These days, announcing just a single new series that will run in parallel to a tangentially related film series just feels small-scale, given the potential of the property.

Maybe the folks in charge decided this was really what’s best for Star Trek, CBS, and Paramount. But could this also just be Star Trek continuing to limp along as best it can – hamstrung by rights complications and business concerns, and unable to reach its full potential in the digital age? Guess we’ll find out.

So, even if the new Trek show is the lame, K/O type of show that I fear it’s going to be, I’ll still have to subscribe to CBS All Access just to watch the old shows. . .

Once again: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A-sA-NqMlvI

Got any more wonderful little bonuses like this to point out, guys?

Like maybe the new show will come over and make a mess in my kitchen while I’m at work?

@Jared Whitley

I’m confused about the meaning and use of the term “showrunner,” as you used it. I’d thought that the showrunner was the person in charge of the writing and day-to-day creative decisions of the show, like Michael Piller for TNG, Ira Steven Behr for DS9, and Manny Coto for ENT Season 4. Or, Carlton Kuse and Damon Lindelof for Lost.

But, some people have been referring to Alex Kurtzman as “showrunner” for this new Trek series, while others saying that Kurtzman has to hire a showrunner. The most common defense of this new show seems to be that Kurtzman will not be making the day-to-day creative decisions, but rather acting in a nuts-and-bolts capacity like Rick Berman did on TNG, DS9, VOY and ENT.

Can somebody please clear this up?

@ Cygnus

For me, it’s a win-win here for all of us if you never get to see it — because then we all don’t have to listen you incessantly bitch about it for years on end, with you cutting and pasting the same arguments about why you think it sucks, OVER and OVER and OVER.

Please CBS, do the Star Trek fan community a huge favor and price out Cygnus on this — that would be AWESOME !!!!!

Admiral James T. Kirk

Captain’s Log star date 2015-11-10. There appears to be signs of life emanating from the CBS planetoid. Long range sensors picking up a decentralized web transmission. Perhaps it’s the Tholians. Commander Spock reports that it’s unlike any interplanetary frequency we’ve encountered before.

Jared needs to get off of the speaker phone. His connection is horrible and irritating compared to Kayla and Brians.

Star Trek: 2017, Boldy Going Where Only Urban Americans Can Go

Don’t live somewhere with high speed internet? you screwed, so sorry.

@36

You really need to get out more.

Nobody has anything to say about the meaning of “showrunner?”

Who was the Showrunner of DS9? Was it Behr or Berman?

Øystein Håvard Færder

As long as it’ll be available on DVD/blu-ray as well..

Here you go Cygnus. Per Wikipedia-

“A showrunner is a person who is responsible for the day-to-day operation of a television series—although usually such persons are credited as executive producers.[1]

The showrunner is at the opposite end of the staff hierarchy from runners, who are the most junior members of the production team, although showrunners are sometimes (often humorously) called runners for short.

A showrunner’s duties often combine those traditionally assigned to the head writer, executive producer and script editor. Unlike films, where directors are in creative control of a production, in episodic television, the showrunner outranks the director.[2]”

So by all indications Kurtzman will indeed be the shows showrunner.

# 38. Cygnus-X1 – November 11, 2015 ” Nobody has anything to say about the meaning of “showrunner?”” — Cygnus Its meaning over the decades, might be an interesting diversion but I prefer to stay focused on its specifics with regards to Kurtzman. For example Kurtzman’s name is on SCORPION as producer but it seems clear to me that he does not run that show, as both he and Orci have said that in television productions the lead writer is the showrunner. So his TREK, as of this moment, has no showrunner. What he has in mind for it is a big unknown and therefore full of possibilities for the nonce. Your worse nightmare could indeed come to pas$, but I, however, prefer to dwell in the much more brighter spaces in a broader spectrum of alternatives that have a shot as things stand now. Heather’s working relationship with Kurtzman seems to have begun as president of K&O Paper Products. She doesn’t pop up on the Imdb sharing executive producer credits with him until 2013 with their SLEEPY HOLLOW and 3 more shows after that. The year 2013 seems to be a time for flux in the K&O professional relationship. In August of that year, it was announced that they would be writing the third STAR TREK for Paramount and then by year’s end Alex was out. Also by the end of that year, everything looked great for K&O with Spider-man 3 and Kurtzman was going to direct that franchise’s… Read more »

40. crazydaystrom – November 12, 2015

“A showrunner’s duties often combine those traditionally assigned to the head writer, executive producer and script editor. Unlike films, where directors are in creative control of a production, in episodic television, the showrunner outranks the director.[2]”

So by all indications Kurtzman will indeed be the shows showrunner.

But, the press release said that Kurtzman is looking to hire a writer, which people have interpreted as head writer, which would mean that Kurtzman is not going to be the showrunner, but is looking to hire one. Right?

41. Disinvited – November 12, 2015

So his [Kurtzman’s] TREK, as of this moment, has no showrunner. What he has in mind for it is a big unknown and therefore full of possibilities for the nonce.

Right, that is my interpretation as well. Kurtzman is not to be the showrunner, according to the press release, but has been given the top exec job of overseeing the whole production, which was Rick Berman’s role on DS9/VOY/ENT and Season 3 onward of TNG. Again, the main defense of Kurtzman having been put in charge of this new series has been that Kurtzman will not be in charge of the day-to-day creative decisions and writing, which means that Kurtzman is not going to be the showrunner. It seems an odd role for Kurtzman, who’s been a writer his whole career, which is why I’m dubious about him being hands-off the creative decisions.

41. Disinvited – November 12, 2015

The year 2013 seems to be a time for flux in the K&O professional relationship. In August of that year, it was announced that they would be writing the third STAR TREK for Paramount and then by year’s end Alex was out. …and we know what happened to Orci’s directing gig in that year too.

Makes me wonder if this is like the industry’s demands for whatever TPTB perceive as the strengths of each individual man could be pulling them apart as say what happened with Martin and Lewis?

Still, running a Trek series seems like it would be Orci’s dream job. I have this sneaking suspicion that we’re going to find out next year that Kurtzman has hired Bob either to run the show, i.e. as head writer, or in a slightly lower position, like a co-executive producer.

#18. Michael Chang Gummelt – November 9, 2015

FWIW here’s what Dina Appleton [THE FIRM] has to say about some of the ins and outs in your pursuit of that:

https://www.writersstore.com/the-ins-and-outs-of-tv-series-writer-deals/

https://www.writersstore.com/are-sequels-fair-game/

@ Cygnus

Yea, we heard your “Orci will be involved in the series” thing the first five times.

How about some new material? No more cut and paste?

…besides, if Bob stays true to to form, his humongous level of hubris would never allow him to take a subservient role to his former partner, Alex.

42. Cygnus-X1 – “But, the press release said that Kurtzman is looking to hire a writer, which people have interpreted as head writer, which would mean that Kurtzman is not going to be the showrunner, but is looking to hire one. Right?’\” Maybe yeah, maybe no. It just depends. I’ve found various and varied definitions of the term ‘showrunner’. This from the Writers Guild of America (yes WRITERS) speaks of the position – EXECUTIVE PRODUCERS – THE SHOWRUNNER You are now in charge of pre-production, production, and post-production. In other words, everything. The most critical task on your agenda, however, is making sure that quality scripts get delivered on time. You do this by effectively managing a writing staff and freelance writers. Only by giving a director and your entire production team a script on or before its prep date can you achieve maximum results over time. If you fall behind in writing scripts, it often becomes impossible to catch up. In the chaos that often results, not only does the quality of the writing suffer but so does the acting, directing, and post-production…. The professional showrunner knows how to multitask, making constant decisions that allow everyone to do their best work and production to proceed as efficiently as possible. Per this description of the position the fact of Kurtzman’s “looking to hire a writer” does not negate the possibility of his being the showrunner but could in fact actually reinforce it. But just as ‘executive producer’ means different things… Read more »

You’ve also continually provided us all a great example of the emerging new term, “THE SHOWBITCHER”

…referring to Cygnus

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