Since CBS first announced that they were bringing Star Trek back to be an original show on their CBS All Access app, the premiere date has been a moving target. Initially it was set for January of this year. Then last September the premiere was moved to May 2017. In January the date was pushed back again and in February CBS CEO Les Moonves said Star Trek: Discovery’s first episode would arrive “late summer, early fall.” He used the same wide range prediction of “late summer, early fall” again as recently as five weeks ago.
Now in a new interview the head of CBS Interactive Marc DeBevoise (who oversees CBS All Access) doesn’t seem to want to get any more specific, even when pressed. In fact, he wouldn’t even confirm what Moonves already stated for a target window. Here is the exchange with Vulture:
Vulture: I have to ask you about Star Trek: Discovery. It’s been delayed a bit, and you parted ways with Bryan Fuller. You still haven’t announced a premiere date, or even a launch window. Where is that right now? And how big of deal is that going to be?
DeBevoise: It’s going great, I’ve actually been up there [to the set]. It is, you know, phenomenal. It is huge. And we’re very excited about the content, the creators, the actors, all coming together. As you said, we’re not tied to any specific release date. It’ll be there when we’re ready to do it, and when we feel it’s in a great place. We’re not worried about anything here. We’re excited, and we’ll have more specifics as we get closer to what will likely be the release dates.
Vulture: Is it likely going to be the fall?
DeBevoise: We’re not stating.
DeBevoise did confirm that CBS will be sticking to their strategy of releasing episodes weekly (as they have for their first original show The Good Fight) as opposed to the Netflix model of releasing entire seasons at once. The first season of Star Trek: Discovery is set to have 13 episodes. Production started in Toronto at the end of January. As TrekMovie recently reported, production on episode 102 wrapped at the beginning of this month.
Delivering a successful new Star Trek show is obviously very important to CBS. Not only because the franchise is a valuable asset (or “family jewel” as CEO Moonves likes to say), but specifically because they are relying on Discovery to get CBS All Access to its target of 4 million subscribers. The flexibility they have already shown with regards to the premiere date indicates they are more concerned about getting it right than meeting a specific date. Hopefully we will get more info soon on the release and maybe even get a glimpse of the show via images or a trailer.
We await first trailer (and so is the Supervising Producer)
The big news today was the release of the first trailer for Star Wars Episode VIII: The Last Jedi. TrekMovie picked up on the buzz around that with a tweet about the wait for the first Discovery trailer, and interestingly this tweet was retweeted by Supervising Producer Ted Sullivan.
— TrekMovie.com (@TrekMovie) April 14, 2017
When specifically asked if a trailer for Discovery was coming by the end of July (in time for Comic-Con) Sullivan replied that he had “no idea,” but he would be “pumped” to see one.
— Ted Sullivan (@karterhol) April 14, 2017
The unofficial account for Star Trek: Discovery writer/producer Nicholas Meyer’s dog Stella (which presumably is run by Meyer himself) also decided to make a joke about the new The Last Jedi trailer and the wait for the first Discovery trailer, quipping “only share footage when you’re ready.”
It’s okay to be excited about what those cats at Space Battles have cooked up for their trailer!! (Only share footage when you’re ready.) pic.twitter.com/jXqG6ZErNC
— Stella Star Trek Dog (@StarTrekDog) April 14, 2017
Possible WGA Strike looms
One thing that is definitely high on the minds of all the executives at CBS (and pretty much everyone in Hollywood) is a possible strike by the Writers Guild of America. The latest contract (which itself was only concluded after a strike) is about to expire, and talks resumed this week between the studios and the guild to craft a new one. If a deal isn’t finished by the end of the month then the WGA will go on strike. Just today the WGA released a video urging members to vote to authorize a strike. This doesn’t necessarily mean things are headed to a work stoppage, but could be a form of getting leverage for the talks.
While production on Star Trek: Discovery could continue with any scripts that were already completed before a strike is declared, eventually they will run out of material to shoot. A prolonged strike could easily push the premiere date yet again.
As always, stay tuned to TrekMovie for all the latest news on Star Trek: Discovery.