The weekend saw big news at Star Trek Las Vegas with the announcement of a new Star Trek series featuring the return of Sir Patrick Stewart in the role of Jean-Luc Picard. Over the weekend there was also a big event with network executives in Beverly Hills for the Television Critics Association, where Deadine interviewed CBS TV Studios president David Stapf, COO Marc DeBevoise and EVP Original Content Julie McNamara, who talked about the future of Star Trek and CBS All Access.
All Access, All Star Trek, All The Time
The biggest news from the interview comes from David Stapf, who spoke to the scope of their ambitions when asked how big of a Star Trek franchise they are seeking to build:
My goal is that there should be a Star Trek something on all the time on All Access. We know it draws an audience, and Discovery has done quite well.
Later in the interview, Julie McNamara spoke about what kind of shows they hope to create:
We’re looking at limited series for some Trek shows and we are looking at ongoing series for some other Trek shows. We’ve obviously announced the one that’s coming next with Sir Patrick Stewart but we have more in development there.
Disco spinoffs under consideration
When asked if they are looking to spin off a show with Michelle Yeoh, McNamara said they are looking for Discovery spinoffs but nothing specific for the actress who has played both regular and mirror Georgiou:
We’ve really talked about virtually all of the characters who popped in Discovery as potential spinoff shows. It’s obviously very much driven by our conversations with Alex Kurtzman’s Secret Hideout and the other creators involved. I wouldn’t say at this point that we are actively pursuing a Michelle Yeoh series but it has been discussed.
However, she seemed more open to the idea of a show built around Rainn Wilson’s Harry Mudd:
He definitely falls in that category of it could be interesting to build around this character. But, I will say, it hasn’t progressed any further than that.
Wanted to do something around TNG
David Stapf also discussed why they decided to do a show that brings back Patrick Stewart:
It came to us, as do all things Trek now, through Alex Kurtzman, with the idea of, wouldn’t it be cool to do something Next Gen-oriented, and/or get Patrick Stewart and/or any of those iconic Next Gen characters. As Patrick himself has said, he was of the opinion that “I’ve done that character,” but he got a meeting with Alex and some of the other guys and they won him over. The deal didn’t take that long once he decided to do it.
Stapf specifically said there weren’t any other Trek series they were looking at now, but when asked about William Shatner he responded with a laugh, adding, “I would say, never say never.”
What about Netflix?
No international partners have been announced yet for the Patrick Stewart Star Trek series. Deadline tried to get details on plans for future series but the execs didn’t get into specifics, with Stapf saying, “It’s complicated.” He indicated that they would have an obligation to work with Netflix on any shows that were deemed as Discovery spinoffs.
However, regarding the Patrick Stewart Star Trek show, he noted “that’s a new series. Which I think is important to distinguish,” so it’s possible that they could find other partners for that show besides Netflix. One obvious option would be CBS All Access itself, which has now expanded into Canada and Australia, with more countries planned. Regarding All Access in those markets all Stapf would say is, “We’re looking at all of it and have the ability to do that.”
All Access up to 2.5 million subscribers
Also during their presentation at TCA it was announced (via Broadcast and Cable) that CBS All Access now has 2.5 million subscribers with an average age of 43. The stated goals now are 4 million subscribers in 2019, and 8 million in 2022.
They also announced that the Twilight Zone reboot will arrive in the first quarter of 2019, following the debut of the second season of Star Trek: Discovery.
Keep track of all the upcoming Star Trek TV shows at TrekMovie.com.