‘The Closer’ Creator James Duff Joins ‘Star Trek: Discovery’ As Executive Producer

There are more changes happening behind the scenes with Star Trek: Discovery. Deadline is reporting exclusively that CBS has brought in The Closer creator James Duff as an executive producer, along with making some other changes.

Hollywood vet Duff brought in to help Kurtzman

According to the report, Duff has signed a new overall development deal with CBS, and will start off by helping executive producer and co-creator Alex Kurtzman run the writers room. Kurtzman was recently named showrunner after Aaron Harberts and Gretchen J. Berg were shown the door due to problems with their management style with the writers and budget overruns. Kurtzman could use the help, as he has also been tapped with expanding the Star Trek television franchise by CBS with new shows under development.

Duff, 62, has many credits as a writer and producer for stage, film and television over the last three decades. He has created the procedural The Closer for TNT, as well as the spin-off Major Crimes. Duff worked as executive producer and writer for both, which ran for a combined total of 13 seasons between 2005 and 2018, as well as directing a handful of episodes for each. In 1992 he received an Emmy nomination for writing for the mini-series Doing Time on Maple Drive, which was based on his play of the same name.

James Duff on the set of Major Crimes, joins Discovery as executive producer

Duff’s Trek connections

James Duff also has some experience with Star Trek, having written the episode “Fortunate Son” for Star Trek: Enterprise’s first season in 2001. Duff also shows his Trek cred by talking in detail about the characters of Kirk and Spock in the 2016 documentary about Leonard Nimoy, For the Love of Spock.

James Duff, talking Star Trek in For the Love of Spock

Osunsanmi and Lumet promoted

Co-executive producer Olatunde Osunsanmi has been promoted to executive producer. Osunsanmi directed the fourth and thirteenth episodes of the first season and according to Deadline, will now serve as the series’ producer/director based on set in Toronto.

CBS has also promoted Jenny Lumet to co-executive producer. Lumet, daughter of famed director Sydney Lumet, had joined Discovery as a consulting producer at the start of season two. Her credits include writing the film Rachel Getting Married and the story for The Mummy, which was directed by Kurtzman.

Executive Producer/Director, Olatunde Osunsanmi (CBS)


Star Trek: Discovery is available exclusively in the USA on CBS All Access. It airs in Canada on Space 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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Duff Beer for me,
Duff Beer for you,
I’ll have a Duff,
You’ll have one too …

I am beginning to wonder if all this shaking up will be a regular occurrence with this show. There was shaking up during filming of season one. There is shaking up during filming of season two. Wonder what will happen when(if) they go to season three? How big will the shaking up be then? Hmmmn…

Well, maybe we’ll get a few professional folks that know how to act like professionals and not belittl and treat the help like garbage while promoting inclusiveness and tolerance.

My guess is that if Harberts and Berg had written a story about the necessity of throwing alien children in cages they’d be aces with you, regardless of how they treated the help.

…well the first season of TNG was full of shake ups and turmoil so…

These shake-ups are NOTHING compared to the Next Generation. That was CRAZY!

Seriously. There was so much drama they MADE a documentary about the early days of TNG!

I feel pretty confident that no matter the quality of the show that if CBSAA still exists there will for sure be a season 3. I think it very safe to assume that STD is by far the most streamed show on the service. And it is also likely they had many times as many subscribers during the show’s run as they had after it ended. As Trek is pretty much 90% of the reason anyone subscribes to CBS I doubt that show will be going anywhere soon.

Star Trek: Monty Python
Season 2
“And now for something completely different”

Hey Mark!
Go to YouTube and search “Star Trek Monty Python” — I guarantee some laughs.

I’m not Mark, but that was great! Somebody needs to make a Dead Tribble Sketch now.

What bothers me is that the choices seem to be all directed by the suits, and not by the creative people. It doesn’t sound like Kurtzman felt this guy would be a good asset to Discovery. It sounds like CBS has said: “You clearly need help. Here’s this guy WE trust.”

Well, Duff appears to be a Star Trek fan, having written an episode of Enterprise, and appearing in the “For the Love of Spock” documentary.

He also knows how to control costs, which may be a concern, because there were a lot of overruns on S1. If he can balance that skill with his love of Trek, then he will be a significant asset.

Yeah, that gives me some hope. But I still think it was CBS’s call, not Kurtzman’s. And, as a general practice, that is not the best way to go about this. Having said that, I wish Duff the best of luck, and appreciated his Enterprise episode.

As per the recent TrekMovie podcast, perhaps all of these changes could be considered equivalent to the shake-up of TNG in its first two seasons, and in that instance, all ended well.

However, there is an important difference from my point of view. I was a fan of TNG from the start, despite whatever behind-the-scenes issues were occurring at the time. Unfortunately for Discovery, I went in with an open mind, but did not find myself becoming a fan of the series. I would have been willing to overlook the obvious canon issues if the story and characters had been compelling. However, (again from my point of view), they were not.

Assuming that many other viewers feel the same way, the creators of Discovery will need to pull a very impressive quantum rabbit from their singularity hat. Otherwise, I have a feeling that Discovery’s days are numbered.

” I have a feeling that Discovery’s days are numbered.”

Umm… You do know that because of it’s success, they are giving the go ahead for more Trek series, right? Have you been hiding under a rock?

Yes, a polystyrene rock – I still get good wi-fi under there by the way. To be clear, I’m not talking about the other proposed series, which I hope turn out well, I’m talking about the longevity of the Discovery series itself.

They wouldn’t have given the go ahead to other Trek projects if Discovery didn’t do well.

Or did they want to spread their bets?

Seriously? There is no way a studio will put that kind of committment into a product that isn’t working. They would cut their losses and close up shop like they did with Enterprise. Discovery is an acclaimed success critically and financially that they want more Trek. Think about it.

Well since neither CBS ‘All Access’ or Netflix release their viewing figures, we can only assume about the financial success.

I don’t doubt that it was probably the most watched show on ‘All Access’, and would have rated highly on Netflix, simply because of intrigue by the worldwide community – but will the fans be satisfied enough to tune in to Season Two? That’s what the producers are asking themselves at the moment.

On top of that, consider the Trek Cold War currently raging between CBS and Paramount. If CBS cancelled Discovery, and Paramount produced some very lucrative films, CBS would end up with egg on their faces.

So the obvious answer for CBS in that situation is to expand the franchise in small bite size chunks, and see what sticks.

They would never go ahead with more Trek is Discovery wasn’t a success. That is why we didn’t have Trek for so long after Enterprise. If Discovery wasn’t a success, you wouldn’t see Trek again for another 10 years. Period.

@Captain Ransom,

“If Discovery wasn’t a success, you wouldn’t see Trek again for another 10 years. Period.”

Hold on, Mr. Spicer.

That’s false for a simple reason. Star Trek franchise is one of the most sought-after brands in TV. Everyone from Netflix, Hulu to Amazon wanted to have a new Star Trek show on their services. It’s the reason why ‘Discovery’ was successful before even shooting one frame as Les Moonves said many times in 2016.

Then why CBS is making couple more Trek shows? It’s has little to do with ‘Discovery’ and more with CBS All Access itself. I’m guessing that the subscribers drop-out after the first season ended was very high; after all there is nothing much on that service for people to keep paying. They needed more shows to keep & increase the subscribers all year-round.

Listen Donald… As always you don’t see the big picture. So you actually think if Discovery was a failure that they would go ahead with Trek again. You are just as dilusional as Trump is Ahmed. LoL thanks for the laugh of the night! Hahaha.

@Captain Ransom,

Netflix covered the cost of season one, so CBS didn’t have to pay much according to Moonves himself.

CBS’s main interest is CBS All Access. Since Star Trek is their major franchise,so regardless of ‘Discovery’, they were going to make more Trek simply because there is a big market for it.

Do you actually think that CBS would put out more of a product if it wasn’t going to make them money? You seriously think that? Ahahahahaha! Please! Stop Ahmed! You are making me laugh so much at your logic! (No pun intended)

@Captain Ransom,

You’re fixated on a single point that you can’t comprehend anything beyond it.

Keep up with your laughs. We’re done here.

My God man… You have absolutely no clue how things work, do you? Thank God you don’t run a network. Think before actually write things down so you don’t appear so stupid Ahmed.

To be fair, I dont think a lot of us in the Trekmovie community run a network.
(But if their is anybody here who has professional experience, working behind the scenes at a network,
I would appreciate their perspective.)

I don’t work on Trek but I do work in the TV industry. Trust me when I say that if Discovery failed, there would be no other shows. That is how the industry works. why do you think there are so many Marvel and DC shows on the air? Because of the success of the movies. It is a hot commodity right now. The same with Trek. If Enterprise would have done well and kept going, there would have have been more Trek back then. Because it was cancelled, no more Trek was made.

You’re way off base, Ransom. You don’t seem to realize that TREK means more to them than a single show, especially when there is the potential for huge success. They are absolutely covering their bets, especially with the decent possibility that DSC doesn’t get better. There’s the adage don’t change horses in midstream, but if your mare goes lame and there are good alternatives, to the glue factory with you and on with the race.

Can’t understand why you don’t understand what everybody is explaining to you.

It is a business. Just like CSI, NCIS. There were plans for another CSI but after Miami was pulled and then the other short CSI Cyber, they scrapped the plans for it. That is how the TV industry works no matter how much you want to believe otherwise. They strike while the iron is hot. Ask anyone in the industry. I’ve been working in TV since 1990. I think I know a thing or two about the business.


And I find it disingenuous to automatically conclude STD was a “success” because of the announcement of the STEU. First, I think it depends on what one defines as a “success”. As an end user, I found STD to be an adjunct failure. In terms as what the hottest property on CBSAA is, STD I’m sure was a tremendous success. But if STD was intended to KEEP people paying for the service, I’d guess it was a monumental failure. And 2nd, what you said about hedging their bets. Trek is their big franchise. I don’t think they had any intention of letting their first effort kill their streaming service or that entire franchise. I think they had a STEU in mind from the start. They just fast tracked it when STD did not do what they hoped it would. Just my guess but I think a reasonable one.

I agree.
More Trek was always the plan.

“Then why CBS is making couple more Trek shows? It’s has little to do with ‘Discovery’ and more with CBS All Access itself. I’m guessing that the subscribers drop-out after the first season ended was very high; after all there is nothing much on that service for people to keep paying. They needed more shows to keep & increase the subscribers all year-round.”

I agree with this Ahmed. For the record, I think Discovery is doing fine, but I too question just WELL its doing. My guess is its doing well enough in the sense its probably the only show seriously bringing in subscribers but I really do question if its what CBS was hoping for? I’m really guessing no and part of the reason why they went from 15 episodes to 13 next season. If the show was doing THAT well your instinct would be to make more, not less.

But I’ll make it clear, I’m more than sure DIS is a big enough hit for AA, but probably because there is just nothing else there. And its also why they probably feel adding more Trek shows is a plus. So DIS proves fans will pay for Star Trek but its probably not enough on its own and why they are rolling the dice with other shows.

The reality is they have to add more shows anyway, so why not add more of a brand they know people will at least give a chance to? Star Trek has shown people had NO problem watching multiple shows at once, and those shows produced way more episodes a year as well.

I have always said the show will get to three seasons NO MATTER what because of the situation AA is in and of course the deal with Netflix. We’ll have to see if it can get beyond that if we truly know its a big enough hit to go long term with.

” It’s has little to do with ‘Discovery’ and more with CBS All Access itself. I’m guessing that the subscribers drop-out after the first season ended was very high; ”

I share your theory, Ahmed. I think it possible that CBS may have had long term plans to create a STEU on AA. But my guess is the churn was FAR worse than they ever expected. Because of that, I think it a very real possibility they fast forwarded their EU plans. I understand the knee-jerk reaction is to assume STD was a major success. But I think if you slow down and look at all the angles and consider the likely possibilities that STD may not have done for CBSAA what they were hoping it would.

No assumption needed. Ratings for the premiere were available and were excellent.

CBS released info indicating record subs.

Netflix’s fee covered production budget for season 1.

CBS has tapped Discovery’s producer wirh creating more content.

What about any of that indicates poor viewership or bad financials?

“CBS has tapped Discovery’s producer with creating more content.”

That is an excellent point. Even if we fly with Ahmed’s proposition that they are doing more Trek regarless of Discovery’s performance, you can bet your ass they wouldn’t put a guy who failed with a Trek show to do more of what he’s doing with other Trek shows.

Kurtzman was the first name attached to the return of Trek, back in 2015; he is co-creator and executive producer of Star Trek: Discovery, and now he is its showrunner. That screams success. If Discovery were a failure, even if CBS still recognized Trek as a great brand after such failure, they sure wouldn’t give him the keys to expand the franchise…

” If Discovery were a failure, even if CBS still recognized Trek as a great brand after such failure, they sure wouldn’t give him the keys to expand the franchise…”

I’m not so sure. The way things went down for STD it would be rough to blame it on Kurtzman. And CBS already had a good working relationship with him. So giving him the keys to the kingdom do not seem far fetched. Especially if you consider that the likelihood of churn being overly extensive. They would want to fast track the STEU and he would be the right man for the job.

“What about any of that indicates poor viewership or bad financials?”

Nothing. But what DOES indicate problems is that after the premiere there has been zero from CBS about how strong their subscriber base is. If it were really that great, you know CBS would be crowing about it publicly. Their silence speaks volumes here.

>> There is no way a studio will put that kind of committment into a product that isn’t working. They would cut their losses and close up shop like they did with Enterprise. <<

Ummm… you realize Enterprise made it thru FOUR seasons before they pulled the plug, right?

Going by your logic, the fact UPN renewed the show for a second season is "proof" that Enterprise was a acclaimed success critically and financially that they want more Trek.

Billy, Yes I do know how long Enterprise was on the air. And I do know that they were planning another Trek as well at the time. The fact that the numbers for Enterprise were not good. They pulled the plug on it and the other Trek show never saw the light of day because of it. And we did not get any new Trek on TV until Discovery. Why do you that is?


Re: Enterprise was a acclaimed success critically and financially

Well, it being some sort of a financial succcess would certainly account for why Paramount saw fit to release not just 1 or 2 but all 4 seasons of it on DVD, and then 7 years later a CBS divorced from it decided to go to the expense of doing it all again on blu-ray. Wouldn’t it?

Honestly, I don’t give a rap, as long as the series are all Trek and they’re all good.

I think they had a steep learning curve in S1 what with Fuller’s departure and other issues. Perhaps they’re steadying out the ship and she’ll get onto her true, best course.

I agree with this Marja. I think they will learn from their mistakes and go on. Firing the other show runners is probably more good news than bad since I don’t think they really understood Trek all that well. I know people are still iffy on Kurtzman but he was also the guy who hired a lot of Trek vets in the beginning. Looks like they all left lol but it doesn’t mean more can’t show up.

I don’t know anything about this guy but hopefully he has a good reputation with past productions.

Trek shows cost money.
If they had financial concerns about Discovery, there would be no Season 2.

“If they had financial concerns about Discovery, there would be no Season 2.”

Not if they had a commitment to season 2 going into season one. Which in the premium cable and streaming world is VERY common. And still think STD will get a minimum of 3 seasons just because it will continue to be the only thing that gets people to subscribe to CBSAA. That may even be the only thing that gets it a 4th. Unless the Netflix financial deal ends sometime after season 2…

ML… That is not how the TV industry works my friend.

No, that is exactly how TV works, my dear Captain.

Hahaha oh ML you poor fool. I WORK in the television industry ML. And I have worked in the industry for about 30 years in various roles… here in Canada and the US.

How sad for you that you have to resort to name calling. The true indicator that you have nothing. I don’t care what you may or may not have done. For all we know your contribution to the industry was getting coffee for the meetings. And it doesn’t matter. The fact is that the most watched property on a network or a streaming service will have a tremendous advantage when it comes to getting renewed. Especially in the first two or three seasons. This has been the case time and time again. But sure, go ahead and keep hurling the insults. That totally solidifies your postion.

ML I called you a fool because even though someone that works in the industry is telling how it works, you still think whatever is in you head is the right that. That is being a fool. You have no clue how things are done in the industry. Please stop making wild assumption about some you know nothing about. I have worked in the industry for over 30 years. I think I know what I’m talking about. You? Not so much.

No, the fool would just outright buy into whatever any anonymous poster on an internet thread claimed even if it makes little reasonable sense. Also, you have no idea what insights I may or may not have into the business. Again, your condescending attitude speaks volumes to how seriously you ought to be taken on the matter.

I know you have no insights into the business because, like I said, I AM in the industry.

Assuming you really are (just because you SAY you are doesn’t make it so. This IS an internet thread afterall and you are arguing against a well known and common industry practice) you know this because EVERYONE in the industry knows EVERYONE else in the industry.

Yeah. Sure. Knock yourself out.

Listen ML I never once said that I know everyone in the industry. I am telling you what the industry does in these cases. If a show does well or if the network sees that there is a future for the show, they will green light another season. Or, in this case, other shows in the same vein. Such as was the case when CSI was a huge success and it spawned 4 other companion shows and there were plans for others. With the low interest in CSI NY and the dropping numbers from CSI Miami… And the horrible CSI Cyber not getting numbers, they cancelled the shows and scrapped plans for the CSI LA that was in production. If the other CSIs did well, we would have had another show on the air.
If Discovery was an utter failure for CBSAA, they would have never greenlit other TREK shows. And they would have maybe done a second season and scrapped it the way they did with ENTERPRISE.
I don’t claim to know everyone in the industry but what I do know how the industry works.
Canadian productions tend to have more leeway up here on the Canadian networks due to Canadian content laws.

“Listen ML I never once said that I know everyone in the industry. ”

Correct. You just implied that you did. You do seem familiar with semantics.

What you did was tell me I was wrong when I commented to someone who claimed that there would be no season 2 if there were financial issues with the show that that would not be the case if they had a commitment to season 2 going into season one. Which in the premium cable and streaming world is VERY common. You dropped the “fool” label on me for that absolutely correct assessment. Thus not really cementing your position as someone whose opinions on the subject are more informed than others.

And for the record, I’m not prepared to say how much of a success or failure STD is for CBSAA. We don’t have their numbers and CBS has never made them public. (I would guess they aren’t great because if they were it seems likely CBS would tout how great they were as they did at the beginning of STD) I only think it is safe to assume that STD is likely by far their most streamed content. So in that sense, it’s a success. I will also say the commitment to other Trek projects may or may not be connected to how CBSAA thinks STD has fared. One version is it did so great at getting and keeping subscribers that they suddenly decided to announce an entire STEU for the future. Anther is that so very many subscribers bailed out that CBS, who was already thinking about creating a STEU down the line, fast tracked their plans in an effort to get the subscribers why bailed out in droves after the STD finale. Or it could be a number of other things. We just don’t know. All we are doing is speculating.

Keep dreaming ML, you have no clue how the television industry works. Just because you “think” that is what you would do doesnt mean the industry does that. You are incredibly obtuse with this.
And I never once implied that I knew everyone in the industry. I work in the industry. I have worked in the Production side, I have worked in the operations side. I have been on the side when my show was cancelled due to ratings or because the high expectations did not come through.
The show I am working on now is going very well and there are talks of spinning it off if we do well in the next season. If we do not keep our numbers, then there is no chance. So you’ll have to excuse me if I sound like I know what I am talking about because I do. You can keep believing in what you want along with Santa Clause and the Easter Bunny.

There is no evidence whatsoever that I have no idea how that industry works. None. The one comment you are hinging your entire theory on does not support that conclusion and you have yet to explain why it doesn’t. Very telling.

You can CLAIM anything you like. You can deny the very real possibilities others say could be taking place no matter how reasonable they are. I honestly do not care what you “think” you do in the industry. Once you made your petty insults and tried (and failed) to discredit a perfectly REAL and legitimate comment about the streaming and cable industry without any kind of explanation why…. You have lost whatever validity you might have had. But by all means… Please continue in your next post with your childish tantrum. Keep in insisting your are right and offering nothing to explain where my comment went off the rails. Because the best way to counter a fact you don’t like is to kill the messenger, right?

“what I think I do in the industry…”???? You know what dumbass, that it. I am done talking to an arrogant idiot like you. I have been in the industry over 39 years, I don’t need a troll like you to tell me I don’t know what I’m talking about in my career.

LOL! That’s rich. You have an issue with something I have said. But instead of saying something like, “That is incorrect, and here are the reasons why…” You responded with arrogance and claimed, “You don’t understand the industry. I work in it. Therefore, you are an idiot and I am smart.” Why is it so important to you that a complete stranger in an internet thread buy into whatever you say about yourself? You SAY you worked in the industry for 39 years. Yet your comments strongly suggest otherwise.

And for the record, if I say something incorrect then I appreciate it when people point out why. The last thing I’m looking for is some arrogant poster tell me what an idiot I am, expects me to believe everything he writes as law and never once explains where I was off on my original comment in the first place. You have zero credibility when speaking about what you “claim” is your career. Go try and fool someone who’s actually gullible.

I didn’t say 39 years. I said for over 30 years. I know exactly what I am talking about and I have explained that to you. I already told you that I have worked in the industry in both Canada and the US in many different rolls over the years. I have tried to explain how the industry works by using examples and from my own personal experiences… Which you ignore and tell me that I am wrong because you think otherwise. I Direct, I Produce, I have been a Technical Director, a camera man, an editor, a vtr operation and I was Operations Manager. I know what I am talking about. So don’t tell me I am not saying “you are incorrect because of…” I have. You are too close minded to look past your own unsubstantiated beliefs.
Good day and good riddance.

Fine. Go back and find the post in this thread where you did indeed explain where my comment was incorrect. We both know you won’t because you haven’t yet and if you did you would point it out. All you did was say “That’s not how the TV industry works.” Sorry but for that comment to be taken seriously you need to explain why I was wrong. I know you think otherwise but I sorta need more than some anonymous internet guy just saying it is so. It needs to be backed up with something that is either verifiable or that, you know, makes logical sense.

You “saying” you did is no more valid than you dishing me your perceived resume. Please please… Prove me wrong. (He asks knowing it won’t happen)

YOU go back and reread the thread. I know exactly what I said. I told you that is not the way the industry works (that means you are incorrect with your belief)..And I used the examples of the CSI series and with Enterprise.

See? I was right again. We both knew you wouldn’t do it. For the record, I DID go back over it. Multiple times. It started with you saying, “ML… That is not how the TV industry works my friend.”

I came back with a denial that it WAS how it worked, especially in the cable and streaming side of the business.

Then you responded with your first petty put down (the first indication that you have nothing to support your comment), “Hahaha oh ML you poor fool. I WORK in the television industry ML”.

And it went down hill from there. Nowhere did you ever even make an attempt to debunk my original comment. It was all about how you were all knowing because you CLAIM to work somewhere in the business. As if your unsubstantiated claim validates anything you said. News flash… It doesn’t.

PS… I’m done here. Been hoping you might actually offer something to support what you said but for the last week you haven’t. We both know it’s not happening. Get your last word in. I won’t see it. Not clicking on this thread again.

Take care MR Self-Proclaimed-TV-Industry-Expert!

Hey dumbass… Once again you overlooked everything I said complete with examples as to HOW the industry works in these cases…. Including cable and streaming. Currently my show is on cable. Like I said, I have years of experience to back me. What do you have?? Show YOUR cards and why YOU think the industry works differently in your head.

Technically that doesn’t mean that Discovery’s days are not numbered. Remember DSC was originally envisioned as telling a story over one season as part of an anthology series so it’s not like there’s a long term vision for this crew. Couple this with the fact that the show has been incredibly divisive, that TV productions typically get more expensive year on year as stars command higher salaries plus the fact that we are talking about a franchise that already has numerous spin offs under it’s belt and I think it’s possible that it’s days as Star Treks flagship could indeed be numbered. Don’t get me wrong, I like DSC but I think the days of 7 season Star Trek shows are over and I have a feeling that we’ll ultimately be seeing a more familiar version of the franchise become the face of CBS Trek and that it will focus on an Enterprise. Albeit a more modern take on the he concept but my gut feeling is this is the direction we’ll go in the next year or two, Whether or not this will be a Pike show spun out of DIscovery or a 1701 F series launched by the proposed Picard mini I don’t know but either way I wouldn’t be surprised if the latest ship is replaced by the big E. If this does happen though it will be planned, DSC will get a proper ending and it will take its place in TV history as the show that relaunched the franchise.

It’s been a short term success. There are countless examples of Hollywood studios counting their chickens before they’ve hatched in recent years. Hell, even Kurtzman’s own Dark Universe franchise is an example. Things can change very quickly in Hollywood. If Discovery has a drop off in terms of income and/or viewership then it could very quickly result in a change of direction for the TV side of the franchise. Discovery will have to maintain some level of quality and interest to keep things going. Just because they are confident right now and have plans, it doesn’t mean they will still be thinking this in a year or two. It’s entirely down to franchise performance.

If Lucasfilm can put the breaks on Star Wars after trying to pump out too much too soon, then so can CBS for Trek.

Just because you were a fan of TNG and not of DSC does not equate to an important difference. The fuller exit was par for the course for him.

And this latest departure was obviously for the best as well. If anything TNG shake up was more negative as it was creatively poor. Discovery isn’t really making changes due to poor creative.

Regardless, these seem like positive changes and they’ve brought in a very experienced TV creator/writer/producer. Should be a good thing.

@Dytallix B,

“As per the recent TrekMovie podcast, perhaps all of these changes could be considered equivalent to the shake-up of TNG in its first two seasons, and in that instance, all ended well.”

I don’t buy that argument. It’s a completely different world between TV productions and standards back in the 80s and nowadays.

I just don’t get the argument that because other Trek series started with some wobbly early seasons and a bit of turmoil that automatically means Discovery will greatly improve and settle down behind the scenes. Maybe it will, maybe it won’t. But the confidence some have that it certainly will seems misplaced right now.

I agree, Chup. Just because something happened before that way doesn’t mean it will again. Where is the logic that rolling snake eyes the first time means you will get the same result on the next roll? Makes no sense. In fact, one could argue that TNG getting better after early behind the scenes turmoil is the exception rather than the rule.

” the creators of Discovery will need to pull a very impressive quantum rabbit from their singularity hat.”

That is very well put. They do have a tremendous task in front of them. And it is sounding very much like the first 5 episodes (at least) of season 2 could very well be a shambles like the last 6 of season 1. However, at the moment STD would seem to be an “unscrewable pooch”. Even given the problems it is not unreasonable to conclude it is still by a large margin the most streamed content on their service. As bad a situation the show is in, that right there is enough to get it at least a 3rd mini-season.

These changes make sense. They needed someone to manage the writer’s room, especially if Kurtzman is overseeing everything and potentially one of the other series in development. I just happened to see “Fortunate Son” recently. Despite being a Travis-heavy episode, it holds up pretty good. I’m curious how he came about to write that episode.

Both of Osunsanmi’s episodes were pretty good. I thought the action sequences in “What’s Past is Prologue” were particularly well filmed.

Yes many of us noted the hiatus was likely to being in more people. Makes total sense and a responsible thing to do. Sounds like good talent being brought in.

Well, they had mentioned the hiatus was planned. I figured Kurtzman took over until the hiatus, when they’d address the showrunner issue, so as not to prematurely stop production.

“Her [Jenny Lumet’s] credits include writing […] and the story for The Mummy[…]”

That’s not exactly confidence-inspiring, unfortunately…

Well, The Mummy was directed & produced by Kurtzman the current showrunner.

Yeah, and it’s a steaming pile. I’m amazed they convinced Tom Cruise to be in it.

True. I’m going to give her the benefit of doubt, maybe she wasn’t involved in the final script if she provided the story. I also think any remake after the very popular Brendan Fraser version was doomed to fail, regardless of who wrote it. Hopefully Kurtzman brought her onboard because he sees something in her that will push Disco in the right direction.

Don’t prove me wrong Jenny…

The failure of The Mummy is not down to having to follow the Fraser movies. It’s flat out bad.

She also wrote “Rachel Getting Married” which was a really good character study. Anne Hathaway did a great job as the lead, a human wreck of a character who nearly spoils the whole wedding.

So if Lumet wrote that, I feel we can depend upon her for good characterizations, which is at least half of Trek’s magic.

As for the Mummy, writing a formulaic thriller action adventure is probably just not her kind of thing.

I do not think it is fair to blame in particular one or more writers or producer for the failure of the Mummy.
That film had a apparent really bad production and everyone, including the studio and Cruise, was part of it. Sometimes this happens. Check out the imdb pages for the writers – none of them has an entirely history of bad production. This is also the case for Kurtzman…

It’s show business. I wouldn’t be surprised if Aaron and Gretchen were on thin ice all of season 1.
The optics would have been disastrous if CBS replaced Aaron and Gretchen in season 1.

It probably would have been worse if they had kept them on after the staff and writers reported the abuse.

This is great news. The Closer was a great show. He is a Trek fan and has written for Trek in the past. Make it so!

Finally, someone being sensible

Well as soon as Kurtzman was given his five-year mission to develop new shows, it was only a matter of time before CBS got him some help. Sounds like Duff has some Trek cred so we shall see how it goes. Also, for continuity reasons it is good to hear they hired from within for exec producers. As for the shakeup, it was interesting to listen to the Shuttle Pod podcast describe the turmoil that happened behind the scenes at TNG for seasons 1 and 2. In the end, the show did not suffer, in fact it became even better for seasons 3-6, so there is hope Disco can do the same.

For all we know, Kurtzman ASKED for more help.

Btw can you even imagine the endless torrents of derision about TNG if social media existed back in 1987 about a boy on the bridge, the counselor on the bridge, the casting for a French Captain with an actor with an English accent, the poor acting in the first half of season 1, the ripoff of Naked Time, the funny looking hand phasors, etc., etc., etc.!! (Not that I am completely dismissing those complaints then or today’s complaints about Star Trek Discovery because SOME of the naysayers both then and now, made some good points) That said, thank goodness we didn’t have to continuously hear that diatribe of complaints, and that let TNG go on for seven mostly brilliant seasons. Let’s hope Disco can do the same.

Yes, to all of this. If social media had existed back then, TNG likely wouldn’t have made it past its first season.

Star Trek fans did a picket sign protest against Paramount for daring to make a Star Trek without Kirk and Spock. I would have loved to see that hot mess as it happened.

No it would’ve been fine because most people who complain still watch. Thats proven over and over again with truly horrific shows and movies. People have been complaining about how ‘bad’ The Walking Dead is literally since season 2. Ratings are now starting to take a hit but its still a big hit 8 years later.

And while people complain about DIS, they are obviously still paying to watch it. Maybe it will have a bigger effect next season but I doubt it.


“Btw can you even imagine the endless torrents of derision about TNG if social media existed back in 1987 about …”

I think Disinvited would like to have a word with you about that.

My understanding that while there was no social media at that time there were other outlets available to the fans like fanzines, traditional media such as newspaper & TV, also Usenet groups on the internet…etc.

The claim there were no negative reactions toward TNG back then is inaccurate, just google “New Star Trek Crew Flies into Trouble from the Trekkies”

Yeah but that took actual effort, not just a few keystrokes. That is why you can admire those who actually took the time back then to find an avenue to voice their opinions, both positive and negative.


Similar claims were made with the telegraph and society’s extensive use of it. And yet, Lincoln, cursed with his addiction to the telegraph and its equally short dispatches, was able to write his deliberative and historic Gettysburg Address despite this “problem” of a society so afflicted by new communication tech.

This sounds like provisionally good news. Modern Trek has long-needed its Gene Coon or Bob Justman: a seasoned, production-savvy hand who knows how to make a story work (and, more to the point, what makes sense and what doesn’t). Is Duff that person? I have no idea, but at least there’s a shot now for an improved second season.

No problem with in principle with Duff. Not sure about the promotion for Jenny Lumet though. The Mummy was atrocious in both script and direction and her and Kurtzman both on Trek makes me worried.

I haven’t seen the Mummy, but fr some of the reviews I’ve seen the problems with The Mummy were how it tried to be a launch pad for this entire Dark Universe shared continuity, shoehorning in characters etc, which was all studio-mandated.
They got handed a laundry-list of things to stuff into the movie and did the best they could. And we all know how that can hinder a decent movie (Generations).

No. I have seen it and it’s flat out bad, well beyond having to cope with a “laundry list”. I’m amazed Cruise agreed to be in it.

” I’m amazed Cruise agreed to be in it.”

I’m not. He keeps churning out MI movies. And he has made a LOT of mediocre to bad movies his entire career. It’s a paycheck. So he took the work. I don’t blame him for that.

I’m glad they aren’t lagging in replacing missing pieces. Now on with the show people!



Jesus, just what the show needed was another cook in the kitchen. Don’t they already have like 22 executive producers already? Oh well, at this point, it sure can’t hurt.

I’d feel more comfortable if we were getting someone who wasn’t coming from a background in crime series. Making Discovery overly dark was one of the biggest mistakes that was made during its inception. A cop show guy won’t help that much I imagine. On the plus side though Duff is a bit older than what we’ve had up to now, so hopefully will be a bit more mature and less minded to fill the show with gimmicks and flavour of the month fads.

I wish him luck in organizing the show, but I can’t help thinking Star Trek just doesn’t fit in with today’s conception of drama. Star Trek is basically an adventure show — that’s a format modern TV does not excel at — everything is basically a soap opera — character driven and serialized. Discovery is exactly the Trek you would expect done in today’s style. Whether that works is the question.

I didn’t have time to read all the comments, but I hope someone mentioned that Jenny “The Mummy Story” Lumet is also the granddaughter of Lena Horne. She was kind of big deal. Alexa also tells me that James Duff is a billionaire. I wonder if true. Alexa could be confusing him with Sir Jimmy Duff, the boron baron.

I vaguely remember the promotional spots for DOING TIME ON MAPLE DRIVE. Jim Carrey wanted to do somber drama, and he was a character who had AIDS or lupus maybe. See, the title refers to the notion that the suburbs can sometimes feel like a prison.

Deadline reminds me that Jenny Lumet’s accusations led to titanic Russell Simmons being ousted from Def Jam Industries. I think there is a decent chance that Discovery could become, not less woke, but possibly even more woke.

I love The Closer and Major Crimes. That is a great idea to have him as Executive Producer.