‘Star Trek: Discovery’ Showrunners Confirm Number Of Episodes In Season 2, Give Production Update

(source: Twitter @abaiers)

Speaking to TrekMovie at Wondercon, Star Trek: Discovery co-showrunners Gretchen J. Berg and Aaron Harberts were able to give us an update on some of their plans. We will have more from our interviews later, but for now can share three important bits of news about season two.

Gretchen J. Berg and Aaron Harberts at Wondercon 2018  (Photo: Nathan Adams)

13 episodes for season two

Discovery co-showrunner and executive producer Aaron Harberts reported that CBS has revealed the second season order, saying “We are doing 13.” This is the same original number of episodes Discovery had for the first season, but during production CBS extended the order to 15, which were then split into two ‘chapters,’ with a two-month gap between episodes nine and ten.

Production starts in April

Harberts replied in the affirmative when asked if production on the second season is still planned to start in mid-April, adding “We will start filming in about a month.” This matches what executive producer Alex Kurtzman said in February. Last week actor Shazad Latif (who has already been confirmed for season two) said production would start in May, so it’s possible he was referring to when he would start his work, specifically.

Nine days ago, Harberts shared an image showing how “Construction continues apace” for the second season.

No release target for season two

When asked if they have a target date for the premiere of the second season, Harberts said, “We don’t,” adding “I wish, I really do wish” there was one confirmed. Co-showrunner and executive producer Gretchen J. Berg noted they are waiting for CBS to set a second season target date, saying they will know “when they tell us.”

Last September, well before it was announced, Alex Kurtzman estimated a second season may not debut until early 2019. It’s possible such an estimate was to give the team plenty of leeway after facing criticism for the multiple delays in the first season. Based on times required to produce the first season, early 2019 seems easily attainable, and late 2018 is certainly plausible, possibly as early as October/November.

However, Discovery’s production and post-production times aren’t the only consideration when picking a premiere date. CBS has a number of other original All Access series in various stages of development and have stated they would like to space their new releases out. The mystery show $1 starts production shortly and is reportedly set to debut in August. Les Moonves has estimated the new Twilight Zone will debut in the fall and their drama Strange Angel is also currently in pre-production. CBS All Access also ordered the new drama Tell Me a Story and a second season of the comedy No Activity.

So for now, the release date of the second season of Discovery will remain TBA.

More WonderCon 2018

Earlier coverage:

7 Things We Learned About ‘Star Trek: Discovery’ Season 2 At WonderCon Visionaries Panel

WATCH: ‘Star Trek: Discovery’ Bonus Scene Reveals A Familiar Storyline For Season Two

WonderCon18: IDW Announces ‘Star Trek: The Next Generation: Terra Incognita’ + Talk ‘Discovery’ Comics

And there is more to come, so stay tuned.

Star Trek: Discovery is available exclusively in the USA on CBS All Access. It airs in Canada on the Space Channel and streams on CraveTV. It is available on Netflix everywhere else.

Keep up with all the Star Trek: Discovery news at TrekMovie.

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Excited for filming to begin. Hopefully we hear some casting news and story rumours soon!

During the production of season 1 they were quite successful in preventing any leaks. But maybe they’ll be a little more willing to share information.

We knew the cast though and we can assume some Enterprise actors are joining the show at least for X amount of episodes.

Plus, we knew about the mirror because Frakes leaked it.

In terms of cast, they have already introduced this new character from the deleted scene who supposedly is going to be in season 2, as well.

Sweetness, looking forward to the casting announcements for Gorgan and Doctor Sevrin soon! Stay classy, San Diego.

San Diego? Oh you mean there might be some news at Comic-Con in July? That’d be cool!

Hey folks, just for kicks I checked out the IMDB page for ST: Discovery, Season 2, and found the following for episode 1:

Crew of USS Discovery, Commanded by Acting-Captain Saru, and CDR. Michael Burnham, respond to a “Priority One” distress call from the USS Enterprise NCC1701, Commanded by Captain Christopher Pike and Spock (Zachary Quinto).

It may be bullshit but just thought I’d share.

In case more of you missed what I posted here, IMDB says Zachary Quinto will be playing Spock in Season 2 Ep 1 of Discovery.

Sorry dude, IMDb is basically Wikipedia for TV/Movies. It’s full of incorrect information for unreleased productions. It’s maintained by volunteers (just like Wikipedia), and is open to anyone adding information. All of that is to be taken with a massive grain of salt.
Eventually once Season 2 is released, valid information is added/sorted through by the editors.

For example: the DSC page last year had Rainn Wilson in 9 episodes, Michelle Yeoh in 13, etc. which we knew wasn’t true.

Your opinion of Wikipedia is several years out of date

You DO realize that IMDb is full of false information submitted by trolls… don’t you?

Someone is jerking IMDB chain there. Probably fake.

Always the case with IMDB and bad info. Back around the turn of the century, somebody had John Dykstra (vfx supervisor on original STAR WARS) listed as having worked on Kubrick’s 2001 — even though he was in a different country and still in school at the time that film was in production. And to show how these bad bits of info hang around, the ‘geniuses’ at Titanbooks who do a lot of these Disney authorized STAR WARS mags had at least two publications last year that repeated the ‘Dykstra worked on STAR WARS’ story. It’s like everybody quoting Rick Berman about Klingon blood color being ratings-related in TUC when it was strictly plot-driven, more examples of ‘print the legend’ rather than look for facts.

It bothers me when episode totals are different between seasons :P

The first season had too many.

Since the Discovery wasn’t even in the first two episodes, Discovery did have 13 episodes in season one.

That’s one thing all the Trek tv series share in common now.

15 too many!

Can’t wait to hear who the new captain is.

I hope Jason Isaacs will be flying to Toronto. :-)

So an already short season gets shorter. The gaps between season are too long. It’s like starting all over again and ST:D completely leaves your mind in between.
“But TV has changed” I hear you cry.. Nobody who watches it wants it that way is the response.

And you can speak for every TV viewer ever, can you? You have been given that authority, have you? You can speak on behalf of every Star Trek fan around the world?

I didn’t think so. Shut up.

We all have different views and opinions and we all have every right to express those, without disrespecting others. If you see an opinion you don’t like or disagree with, I respectfully suggest that it be ignored or rebutted; telling someone their opinion is factually wrong and to shut up is a shameful reflection on your character. There is no need for aggressive and nasty comments.

What double dumbass says “Wow, I really liked the first season of that show. Now if only I had to wait two years for a shortened second season!”

I don’t understand why it takes so long to produce so few episode when the sets and costumes are already built.

I’d suggest reading some making of books (not the PR fluff ones) and watching some writer roundtables to get an idea of what production is like for TV. If you’re making the equivalent of a feature film every 20 days, that takes a lot of time and planning, or else you’re going double budget reshooting and fixing everything that went wrong because you didn’t take the time to plan things out carefully.

Wow… It’s as if 24 episode seasons on a yearly basis were physically impossible to accomplish. Such a thing surly never ever happened.

It’s pathetic to be under 24 episodes!!!
If TNG could do it, WITHOUT CGI, than certainly Discovery could do it, if anything than money would be of any interest.

In other words, you’re an idiot.

Hi there Dana, you were warned to stop naming calling a few days ago by our site’s owner Anthony. So we’re done here, you’re banned from commenting.

CGI doesn’t automatically make production faster. If anything, Discovery’s VFX shots are much larger in both number and complexity than the stuff on TNG. Regardless, VFX are not the reason for the short seasons. You may be aware that many so-called premium shows have shorter seasons. You can argue whether this is to ensure a higher quality or to keep costs in check. A heavily serialized show requires more planning to make sure everything “fits together”. It may also require more pre-production (design, props, costumes, sets etc.) and post-production time. On the other hand, the first season of Discovery probably cost as much as 3 to 4 seasons of TNG so money is definitely a factor, as well.

TNG s1 was budgeted at about 1.2 mil per ep, for more than two dozen shows, so that’s well over 30 mil for the season. 13 eps of DSC at the 7-8 mil number more than doubles that, though if you take inflation into account, that screws up the analysis. But TNG was only budgeted for S1 for 75 grand per ep for VFX (and no, I can no longer find the print source for that, but I’m pretty sure it was Rob Legato or Dan Curry), which is like six percent of the budget, which is why I was wondering why TNG cost so much!

Believe me, a much bigger hunk of the budget is going to VFX for DSC, and yet they have picked a style of work that is far from photorealistic, outside of the critter with the teeth. The ship stuff ranges from mediocre to downright terrible, with the emperor’s ship looking like seaQuest imagery minus the blue tint. The fact that you can do ten times as many shots now doesn’t mean they’re going to be quality ones (though Pixomondo and other vendors all seem to deliver much higher quality work for their other projects, which suggests the makers WANT the show to look this way.)

I found a number of 1.3 mil per TNG episode from a quick online search. I also found a number of 8 to 8.5 mil per episode for Discovery (8 mil x 15 episodes = 120 mil) so that’s what I was basing my comparison on. No idea if this is correct. In any case, Discovery costs much more to produce than TNG.

I do agree with you that most of the ship stuff on Discovery was disappointing. I don’t know what they are doing there because other sci-fi shows have done much better (on a lower budget).

NextGen rose to around 1.8 by s7, and I think DS9 hovered near 2mil per for most of the first part of the run. But it’s very hard to look at the numbers from different eras just based on inflation alone, because different costs go up at different rates, based on unions and overtime and so many other factors.

If Discovery keeps going for several seasons its budget will likely go up as well. For season 2 I hope they start to flesh out the secondary characters more. And I do hope they improve on the ship VFX.

Luka the business of TV is totally different now. I dont think any shows are 24+ episodes anymore at all actually let alone “premium content” or streaming shows.

Okay… 13 episodes…
I hope they learnt from season 1 and decided that they need to be at least 50 minutes long, for effective story telling.