Animated Comedy ‘Star Trek: Lower Decks’ From Rick & Morty’s Mike McMahan Gets Two Season Order

After months of speculation about Star Trek’s return to animated form, news has emerged that a show is in development from Rick and Morty‘s Mike McMahan.

Star Trek getting an animated comedy

For the first time since the 1970s, Star Trek is getting animated. This morning CBS announced they have given a two-season order for Star Trek: Lower Decks, which is being developed by Mike McMahan, who recently won an Emmy for his work on the popular animated series Rick and Morty.

Star Trek: Lower Decks will be the first animated series for CBS All Access, and will be a half-hour comedy focused on the support crew serving on one of Starfleet’s least important ships. There are no details yet on what Star Trek era the show will be set in.

Mike McMahan also wrote the upcoming Harry Mudd-centric Star Trek: Short Treks. A longtime fan, back in 2015 he published the officially licensed Warped: An Engaging Guide to the Never-Aired 8th Season, which arose from @tng_s8 his popular parody Twitter account about an imagined eighth season of Star Trek: The Next Generation.

“As a life-long Trekkie, it’s a surreal and wonderful dream come true to be a part of this new era of ‘Star Trek,’” said executive producer Mike McMahan. “While Star Trek: Lower Decks is a half-hour, animated show at its core, it’s undeniably ‘Trek’ – and I promise not to add an episode at the very end that reveals the whole thing took place in a training program.”

“Mike won our hearts with his first sentence: ‘I want to do a show about the people who put the yellow cartridge in the food replicator so a banana can come out the other end.’ His cat’s name is Riker. His son’s name is Sagan. The man is committed,” said executive producer Alex Kurtzman. “He’s brilliantly funny and knows every inch of every ‘Trek’ episode, and that’s his secret sauce: he writes with the pure, joyful heart of a true fan. As we broaden the world of ‘Trek’ to fans of all ages, we’re so excited to include Mike’s extraordinary voice.”

The new series will be produced by CBS Eye Animation Productions (CBS Television Studios’ new animation arm), Secret Hideout, and Roddenberry Entertainment. Secret Hideout’s Alex Kurtzman and Heather Kadin and Roddenberry Entertainment’s Rod Roddenberry and Trevor Roth and Katie Krentz will serve as executive producers alongside McMahan. Aaron Baiers, who brought McMahan to the project, will serve as a co-executive producer.

“We couldn’t have imagined a better creative team to work with on CBS All Access’ first original animated series than Mike McMahan, Secret Hideout and Roddenberry Entertainment,” said Julie McNamara, Executive Vice President, Original Content, CBS All Access. “Star Trek: Lower Decks is a fantastic complement to our growing lineup of original series and our ongoing expansion of the ‘Star Trek’ universe on CBS All Access.”

No launch date for the series has been announced.

Mike McMahan (far right) with team from Rick and Morty at Creative Arts Emmy Awards, September 8, 2018 (WireImage)

Expanding Star Trek Television Universe

CBS is making good on its plans to expand Star Trek on television. Star Trek: Lower Decks is the third new Star Trek TV project announced this year, following the Discovery spin-off Star Trek: Short Treks which debuted earlier this month and the untitled Jean-Luc Picard series, which is currently in development and starts shooting in April 2019.

Other shows reportedly have been in development or discussion, including one set at Starfleet Academy from creators Stephanie Savage and Josh Schwartz, as well as a limited series focusing on Khan Noonien Singh from Star Trek II writer/director Nicholas Meyer. The status of those potential projects is currently unknown.

Patrick Stewart and the Picard show writers room in September (Photo: Twitter/Patrick Stewart)

Star Trek: Lower Decks will be the first animated show since Star Trek: The Animated Series, which ran for two seasons in 1973 and 1974, generating 22 episodes. While that show did include serious sci-fi elements and included some writers from Star Trek: The Original Series, it was primarily targeted for a children’s audience and was broadcast with other Saturday morning cartoons. The Star Trek franchise has always included humor in its various TV series and films, however, Lower Decks will be the first Star Trek TV show specifically defined as a comedy.

From the TAS episode “More Tribbles, More Troubles”

At New York Comic Con earlier this month, executive producer Heather Kadin spoke to TrekMovie about how the plans for the expanded universe of Star Trek will incorporate different formats and tones, saying “it’s been a real conscious effort that every project we do have its own voice and occupy its own space. I don’t mean its own space in canon, I mean its own tonal vision. Because you shouldn’t tune in to Discovery and wonder if you flipped the channel, that it was Picard. They should feel different, they should have different messages coming from different people.”

Keep up with all the upcoming Star Trek TV projects here at


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Yes, this could be cool and I will definitely watch it. But I am a little disappointed that the target audience is just adults. I have nothing against Rick and Morty and I enjoy the heck out of that show, but Star Trek to me should be accessible by kids as well as adults. And since Discovery is definitely geared towards adults, I was hoping that the long-rumored animated Trek to be a back to basics approach so that kids could watch it, something like Star Wars Rebels. Well, I guess that’s what the re-runs are for. Bummer.
That all said, I am looking forward to this show and I know it will be good for what it is: a comedy focused on the non-Kirks and non-Spocks of Starfleet. But I am still hopeful for a Star Trek animated show like Star Wars Rebel, maybe.

Everything doesn’t have to be for everyone.

Hey, just think, if the comedy series goes well, animated adventure and drama will surely follow

Where does it say that this will be targeted at adults? If anything they talk about “broaden[ing] the world of ‘Trek’ to fans of all ages”

I agree. Just because he came up with Rick and Morty (Which I only know by reputation), doesn’t mean he’s not capable of doing a family friendly or even a children’s show. Ralph Bakshi did the 60s Spider-Man cartoon and Mighty Mouse: The New Adventures (among other things), in addition to Fritz the Car and The Lord of the Rings.

He actually didn’t create Rick and Morty. He’s just a writer/producer on the show.

They’re definitely positioning this as all-ages. I think the real question is “Will this be in continuity with the other shows ala the Star Wars animated shows, or will this be more of a Robot Chicken/Teen Titans Go! parody sort of thing.” I’m not necessarily opposed to either, if done well, but I suspect that others will have… opinions.

This is Star Trek. Everybody has … opinions :^)

Trek is very accessible to children in general, but I don’t have a problem if they decide to make something Trek related that isn’t when they are trying to expand the audience and interest

While I agree with you to a degree, I also think about the backlash Star Wars fans presented when Resistance was announced. They lost their minds over how kid-friendly it was. I don;t think it’s unreasonable to think you’ll see something like that in the future (I feel they’re going to test the waters with the YA crowd with the Academy show that’s come up).

Oh yeah I forgot about the Starfleet Academy show. That could be a good Trek show for kids. I used to collect the Starfleet Academy comic back in the 90s and always thought it would make for a great animated show.

Anyway, I stongly feel there should be a Star Trek show for every level, kind of like how other IPs do it such as Star Wars, DC, Marvel, Transformers, etc. It could be done with the same level of story telling as the original animated series from the 70s, just updated for today’s audiences.

There’s an adult aimed Trasformers out there somewhere?

Yeah, all the Michael Bay movies. They are not exactly high-brow, but they are not aimed at kids for sure.

Certainly felt like it was aimed at teenagers at best.

Hopefully like Rebels or Clone Wars and not like Resistance. The worst star wars animated show created by Filoni.

Rebels and Clone Wars seemed to work for both kids and adults. Resistance totally feels like it is aimed only at the tykes.

“I promise not to add an episode at the very end that reveals the whole thing took place in a training program.”

That’s a funny statement, yes… but it indicates McMahon is mis-recalling Enterprise’s final episode. That’s NOT what the episode revealed.

I think that’s more of joke about the “it was all a dream” trope started by Dallas than a dig at the last epsiode of Enterprise.

Come on dude, I think that given that he was announcing his new Star Trek show that it’s more likely that he was talking about arguably the most derided episode in the history of the franchise and not Bobby Ewing’s comeback! Especially since it happened to be the final episode and it featured a plot involving a training problem! It was just a joke though, it doesn’t mean that the whole thing happened in the holodeck or that McMahon disliked Enterprise.

Er…. no, he wasn’t talking about Dallas. He was clearly talking about Enterprise’s finale.

Clearly he wasn’t because in “These are the Voyages” Riker was not in a training program. He was making a jokey overall statement to everything that ever used that type of gag. From Dallas to Trek.

That’s a little bit of a stretch. I don’t think he was really trying to recall Enterprise’s finale. He’s just saying he’s not going to give some twist at the end.

@Land O’Calrissian — no but it implies that the entire series was a Holo-recreation rather than actual events as they transpired.

No it does not.

@Brainulo — whether it implies or I infer, it still creates unnecessary ambiguity.

Dude come on. There is no ambiguity. Riker simply recreated one of Enterprise’s last missions like a historical document. I never assumed anything other than that even when I first watched it. You’re clearly reading waaaaay too far into it.

There’s no ambiguity whatsoever, unless someone is watching the episode after taking LSD. The episode is VERY clear on what’s going on.

It was CLEARLY shown a holo-look-back in just that ONE episode….

@Rick Gold — sorry to disagree, but it really isn’t. It casts doubt over the entire series. Prior to that, did we ever know that such detailed holo-records of missions were recorded for review? That was “Menagerie” level reproduction, where Kirk even exclaimed that no vessel kept recordings of that detail and quality. For all we know, every episode was simply a look at the holo-missions of the NX-01. I understand the rational justification for why it isn’t, but then again, this is Star Trek. TNG showed us that such detailed accounts of events were almost always programed with a bias of some sort. And now that we have one episode which was shown to be a halo representation, the rest can be viewed that way to. Whether you accept it or not, treating any episode of the series this way, much less the finale, undermines the entire credibility of the whole.

How can the rest be ‘viewed that way to’?? I like you but this is just over thinking something that is pretty simple and straight forward. You know the writers never remotely intended for Enterprise to be viewed as one big holodeck simulation. You took one episode and concluded the entire show was made in that context. It’s bizarre.

It actually doesn’t make sense to view the entire series as a holodeck recreation. I’m paraphrasing here but Riker says something to the effect that Troi recommended that he runs the holodeck simulation of Archer’s final mission to help him make his decision. It’s implausible to suggest that Riker would have had the time during that one episode to run through 4 seasons of content, arguably 10 seasons if you consider that there is a time jump of 6 years between the penultimate episode and the finale. If we really are to assume that the writers wanted us to think that the whole series was a holodeck recreation then they wouldn’t have had the time jump because let’s face it, nobody is going to develop all those hours of Enterprise simulations and then miss out the Romulan War! Then there’s the Mirror Universe two parter. There’s no plausible way that Starfleet had those records and it doesn’t make sense that the programmer would slavishly recreate all those years of presumably historically accurate missions and then randomly throw in a fictional mirror universe romp into the middle of it all.

Yes, it’s pretty clear as day in the episode that they were running a specific program and as you said Archer’s last mission on the NX-01, which I imagine was made because of its historical value.

And yes who would create ALL those missions as a holodeck program??? Then you would have to just assume there is a decade full of programs lol. For love of god, who is making programs for incidents like A Night in Sickbay lol. Most fans want that erased as an episode, no one is creating a holodeck program for it.
And GREAT point about the Mirror Universe episodes as that literally had nothing to do with PU Enterprise, we only viewed it from MU POV.

Also, what about all the time travel episodes? Like when Archer meets Daniel in the 29th century (and imagine VERY top secret even in the 24th century) or in the 26th century on the Enterprise J? How would anyone recreate things only Archer was privy to? Twilight is another good example because that timeline was erased at the end of the episode which means no one LITERALLY remembers their future alternate timeline, so who is recounting that? There is nothing to recount.

It loses all sense of logic when you try to work it all in.

Exactly Tiger, all the examples you’ve listed are solid examples of why the holodeck simulation theory simply does not hold up.

@COrinthian7 — Anything for which there would have been no recorded record is easily fabricated by accounts of the events by programmers. There are numerous moments in the finale which would have been known by anyone but the people in those scenes. It’s unreasonable to think anyone would have specifically programmed them as well, yet there they are in an episode specifically stated to be a hologram. As for who would do all these things … just take a look at all the WWII simulations out there. Imagine a world where all anyone has to do to embrace their obsession is to sit in a chair and tell the computer what to do. What would a Trek fan do? All it takes is one person obsessed with Archer and the NX-01.

I dunno. The conceit could be that the entire four years was as interpreted by the Holodeck, and filled in that blanks in respect of the things you mention. Not unlike how The Bible, Koran, etc, retell any historical events, but with a fantastical, supernatural spin.

Having said that, Berman and Braga made it clear the holodeck idea was confined to this episode, and to my mind it is the intention of the writers that matters, not a fan’s headcanon.

The idea that Picard never REALLY left the Nexus makes more sense than all of the show Enterprise was a holodeck recreation.

@ML31 or the notion that Benny Russell imagined it all!

@Corinthian7 — that’s not at all what I’m suggesting. The fictional Mirror Universe episode doesn’t even share the same Main Titles, so technically it’s not even part of the same series. It’s just a fictional episode. On the other hand, who is to say those events weren’t recovered and depicted by Riker’s time? Jumping back and forth between the Mirror Universe seems to have become a common event during TNG.

Again this is really over thinking it. And how do you deal with the time travel episodes I mentioned? None of it makes sense, especially episodes like Twilight where everything was erased and no one even remembers experiencing that future.

@Curious Cadet The thing is those events have been made canon by Discovery so in universe you can’t class it as fictional. Also it was clearly part of Star Trek Enterprise, not some separate production and if you’re arguing that the whole show was a holodeck recreation then it has to work for every episode including the Mirror Universe two parter, the moment you start making exemptions for certain episodes the whole theory falls apart. Sure you could argue that those events were recorded, it’s a huge leap for the audience to take and seems extremely implausible but then you would have to ask why would it be included in a holodeck series about the NX-01?

And why would we be shown the ‘fake’ stories of Enterprise but yet the ‘real’ story of the MU?

I know fans have their theories, I have mines too, but this is just one makes absolutely no sense. Especially if you have qualify it a dozen different ways for it to even make sense.

@Corinthian7 — I stated that was but one possible explanation. Clearly I gave a much better reason that all of this would have been known by TNG’s time via information gathered from all the traipsing around the MU during DS9 … and who knows how many other people were routinely crossing over we didn’t see in DS9 considering how easy it was to do? Terrible idea that was …

@Curious Cadet The thing is though if Star Trek Enterprise was supposed to be set in the holodeck you wouldn’t have to make up brand new off screen canon to support it. If you’re saying that Enterprise could be retconned to have been all set on a holodeck program then sure, you could do that but nothing presented onscreen or reported off it suggests that this is what we were supposed to have believed.

I’m saying, because the last episode was presented as a regular episode, until the twist was revealed, casts doubt onto what we had been previously seeing during the first four seasons — with nothing to suggest it was necessarily one way or the other.

1. TSFS showed a “flight data recorder” that just happened to focus on exactly the spot where Kirk and Spock had their farewell in TWOK.

2. TNG “Relics” reproduced the TOS bridge exactly. And note that the holodeck in TATV simulation may NOT have reproduced the ENT bridge so well. It had odd columns in the background, and the uniforms had name badges and epaulettes. These might have been changes introduced in the years following Terra Prime, but they may also be inaccuracies.

No. Just… no. No rational person can view Enterprise as all taking place in a holosuite. That’s not the intention of the episode, it’s not even hinted at, and no one can rationally come to that conclusion from watching it.

@Land O’Calrissian — intent or not, rational or not, there it is. Prove it’s not. I’m not saying I can prove it is, but there’s nothing to prove or disprove either perception, whether I believe it or not. What you think is reasonable is irrelevant, that has been disputed throughout the ages. At one point, it no reasonable person would have believed the Earth wasn’t flat, doesn’t mean it is. If ENT aired the last episode first, and then proceeded to air them with no further explanation, one could easily assume everything that followed were merely holodeck representations too. Just because that conceit was revealed at the end doesn’t mean it’s invalid as a way to understand everything that came before. And that’s a pretty common literary device. In the end, all you have to ask yourself is whether you were watching an episode of ENT or TNG. It had the ENT Main Title, but everything took place in the reality of TNG. Not once were we expected to believe we were in the reality of ENT. Based on that, why would any other episode of ENT be any different?

C’mon man. Seriously. Nothing suggests it was anything more than Riker recreating that one event. Your theory makes no sense for lots of reasons, the biggest being that in a holodeck program A. We’re told its a program and B. That we see people directly interact in the program as we saw Riker did. Who exactly were running these programs then? Where were they?

You don’t have to ‘ask’ yourself anything, the title of the show is Enterprise, not TNG. This is just over thinking something that was never even suggested in the first place. That’s why no one agrees with this.

Um….. no. No, it doesn’t. That’s not at all what the final episode was saying. Riker didn’t stay in the holodeck for four years. Only the final episode was a holo-recreation.

I don’t think that’s what he was getting at. If anything I was thinking it was a reference to maybe St. Elsewhere or perhaps Ira Behr’s own comments about the ending he had in mind for DS9 where it was all just a tv show or whatever

Saying the Enterprise finale meant the entire show was a holoprogram is a common line I’ve heard from fans, usually ones who are having a laugh. That’s probably what Mike McMahan was doing. Having a laugh.

I’ve heard the ENT finale described that way ever since it was first leaked on AICN by rumor-gatherers who were justifiably disinclined towards the Berman era: described as establishing the whole series to have been a holographic program.

That’s the way I’ve always remembered the episode, it’s how I’ve always chosen to remember it, and it’s how I briefly described it to friends who had missed it. (It saved me the trouble of going into what was really wrong with the episode, yet still created a believable enough picture for people who had diminished expectations of ST by that point and saw this as something the the franchise ‘would’ do.) And in all this time, I’ve never been corrected nor called out by anyone apparently willing to defend the episode.

I think it says something that a person like Mike McMahan can make such an offhand comment and everyone will immediately know what he’s referring to (even if a few of them try to suggest otherwise). Not unlike tricking a person into acknowledging his unfavorable nickname.

For what it’s worth though, I don’t see that it makes a difference if the entire series was set on a holodeck. What would that even mean? It wouldn’t mean anything. Your DVDs (and mine) would still be there.

I think its because it can justify people who hate the show and write it off as not truly being canon the way they say the Kelvin movies aren’t canon.

I’ve never really heard that. Besides I think almost anybody who has dismissed ENT dismissed VOY as well. Mostly I was of the impression fans of ENT preferred to dismiss the final episode.

I thought there was a shuttlepod-cast re the various series finalies, only now I can’t find it. I’m almost positive I’ve listened to them talk about TATV though. I want to say Matt was in the group.

Believe me I have. I’m not saying its rampant or anything but anytime people try to say Enterprise or the Kelvin movies aren’t really canon they use the Riker holodeck as an excuse and of course Kelvin being in another universe. People have even suggested the Spock we saw in the first movie wasn’t actually Prime Spock.

I wish some of these people can simply say they don’t like something without trying to wipe it out of existence. It gets ridiculous.

Maybe he is referencing a tactic from online Trek roleplaying games. I have heard of some storylines that get out of control having a deus ex machina scene of it being revealed as a training exercise on the holodeck.

There was a very cool and funny digital fan comic on Tumblr with the same premise. It was like they were all the rejects of the Federation serving on a ship that never saw any action or was used for anything worthwhile but they came together to have some pretty fun adventures. I can totally see this working. All I ask is that they serve on a Miranda class ship because…obviously…

Call it the Saratoga! That thing is always being crapped on…

I will be interested, of course. I will sample all the Trek stuff CBS opts to throw at us. Because I’m a fan. Was hoping for a live action comedy but this I guess is worth a try. Nice to see, as the article pointed out, some results of the promise to expand the ST universe.

And… I’ve never seen Rick & Morty. So I have no idea what this guys style or humor is like. Hope it’s good….

Jesus tappdancing Christ! Download the Adult swim app or something and watch a couple of episodes! Why would you deny yourself such a gloriously simple joy?

A good friend who’s a R&M fan told me about it some time ago. Just never got around to checking it out. Chill out. It’s just a ‘toon.

You chill out! And fr go watch you’ll be glad you did

OK. I saw the pilot episode last night. Had a couple of laughs. The double edge sword there is that while the banter between them could be amusing at times, Rick and Morty themselves are just hard to watch. Especially Rick. Will I watch the rest of the show? Probably. Over time. There was nothing in it that made me feel like I wanted to keep watching. There are other, funnier, animated things out there that are able to do that.

With all due respect, it’s not just a run of the mill toon. Quite possibly my favorite animated show ever. Seriously please check it out if you get the chance.

The first episode of R&M I ever saw was “Pickle Rick”. I’m still not entirely sure I didnt accidentally ingest some LSD (or should that be LDS?)

So, basically an animated version of The Orville?

@Phil — yup. Maybe they’ll even hire Seth MacFarlane to do voices.

Probably more like a Star Trek version of Rick & Morty.

Yeah that’s my take Gary. Rick & Morty’s comedy is far superior to MacFarlane comes up with (no offense Seth)

So is it going to be both comedy…and canon?!

Good question. It seems unclear in the case of animation which for TAS has been canon; rescinded; parts reinstated … I’m not sure where it actually stands now. In this case, there’s no reason why it couldn’t be. In TAS there’s a reasonable caution about making it all canon — nobody working on it seemed to really be trying all that hard, and were likely just having a good time doing things they could never do on a live action TV show at the time. But this could be a different story. As long as they adhere to established canon, there’s no reason they can’t tell lower-deck stories that wouldn’t necessarily be canon — especially since it doesn’t focus on principal characters we might see later.

I think they worked very hard to make TAS the legitimate continuation of TOS. It’s a pretty legit show.

It’s really too bad the animation wasn’t better, and that the music was so repetitive. It was nice that they got the original actors for many of the parts, but too bad they didn’t get more “guest” actors to do “guest” characters. Jimmy Doohan, Nichelle Nichols and Majel Barrett did them all, I believe [except for Roger C. Carmel appearing as Mudd]!

It was watchable for a fan starving for Star Trek in 1974, and a few of the stories were pretty good.

Marja, Mark Lenard also came onboard for Sarek, as did Stanley Adams for Cyrano Jones. And the animation, as stilted as it was forced to be, still has better likenesses…with just a few lines…than much of the overworked art in many comics. Add to that, many original series writers…DC Fontana as story editor…Good stuff! Way better than Saturday mornings a right to be!

You think that they didn’t work hard on TAS??

Yesteryear was among the greatest episodes…not just of TAS, but of the entire franchise!!

Memory Alpha says its’ canon. The CBS DVD release called it canon…DC Fontana and David Gerrold said it was canon.

I see no reason why we shouldn’t assume it’s canon. Sure, we have to pretend they’re real and not drawings but I still say it’s canon.

I like to think of it as canon as well. TAS is the where we got T is for Tiberious.

@Marc Henson — “Yesteryear” is an exception to the usual storytelling. And no, I don’t think they worked very hard on the series in general. Rodenberry was barely involved, and it was cheap animation for a morning kids show at a time when animation was considered quite low-brow. Most of the episodes were fantastical, to the point where I can’t imagine ever seeing a live action episode made of most of the stories. There were concepts presented in TAS which were never really seen again in Trek. That’s pretty telling to me.

As with all new Trek, I’ll give it a go although I do have concerns about an animated comedy series being part of the canon. Obviously I’ve not seen an episode so it’s too early to judge but my initial thoughts are that it should sit outside of canon or that they should at least be vague about it.

Star Trek and comedy do not have to be mutually exclusive. Not everyone in the Trekverse is going to be a Kirk or Picard. I could imagine characters from comedy series such as Red Dwarf finding a place in the Trek universe – there has to be the little guy, the loser, the one who keeps trying yet failing, indeed, I could imagine both series being in the same universe, were it not for RD’s aversion to extraterrestrials.

“Animated comedy”? Pass.

Would have been willing to give it a shot if it was a more serious show like TAS. But the comedy element reminds me of that trailer for Star Wars Detours, which still gives me nightmares.

Well, “comedy” doesn’t have to mean bad comedy.

Exactly, like Futurama is light-years away from Family Guy, in terms of level of humor, character development, and emotional storytelling. Just because it’s an animated comedy, it doesn’t mean it’s one specific thing that is automatically bad.

Thank you for this. My first thought was “hell no” but your comment has really reassured me!

Look, I hope it works. But given modern humour, especially modern American adult humour, I think the adds are seriously stacked against it. It’s tone will likely look to capitalise on the current output for the adult animation genre.

Futurama is so good, and I love their Star Trek in-jokes!

AB! SO! LUTELY! Futurama in particular is a fine example of animated comedy that doesn’t just rely on quick jabs and gross-out humour. Matt Groening just knew how to create cartoon characters that are instantly likeable, even though it’s still a lot of fun to watch them suffer (a bit). Also, Futurama’s greatest plus was the fact that the show would usually place character interaction before cheap parody (even though the show obviously boasted loads and loads of pop-culture references – but just as with The Simpsons during their “Golden Age”, those references were usually delivered with a clever spin on them).
As far as contemporary animation is concerned, I guess that “Rick&Morty” might be the only thing that’s anywhere near Futurama, but please note that “anywhere near” is a very wide area. I enjoy the show, but I’d say that it’s not really about character. Yet that doesn’t mean that the humour is “cheap” – if anything, the show as a whole is quite imaginative! But before I pass (pre-)judgement of any kind, I’d have to take a closer look at which R&M episodes were written by McMahan – maybe they were the standouts in terms of character interaction…

It doesn’t “have” to, I suppose, but too often it does.

I just find Trek is something that really lends itself to comedy on its own.

Don’t get me wrong, some lighthearted episodes to break up the more dramatic stories has been great in the past, but a comedy every week suggests to me a series without any of the substance that overall makes good Trek.

Plus, when I head “adult comedy” I start thinking of the usual sex, fart and pop jokes synonyms with the genre. I can’t image Gene being cool with a show that essentially will mock the concept (which I think is inevitable given who is making it).

Even the lighter episodes still had some good dramatic stuff. The Ferengi episodes of DS9 tended to be comedic, but “Business As Usual” and “The Magnificent Ferengi” among others, were still dramatic and entertaining aside from their lighthearted nature.

The more comedic episodes of Voyager fell completely flat, though.

Call a spade a spade. The Ferengi episodes were awful. I fear we’re now getting a series of nothing but.

I love DS9 but yeah most of the Ferengi episodes sucked! There are a few good gems like Little Green Men but overall I can hardly rewatch them today.

Yeah… They treated the Ferengi episodes as light hearted but I never really cared for them too much. I never found them all that amusing when that was what they were obviously going for. But as always, YMMV.

There is a vocal contingent of fans who actively want Trek comedy. Who new? I am okay with a drama that has comedic elements but a full comedy? Ehhhh….

I must confess I am surprised at the amount who seem open to a full on comedy.

Meh. You’ll watch it just like everyone else will.

I think that is naive to assume. I think 90% of Trekkies will watch the first episode, but many like me will need a lot to be swayed to continue watching. If it’s Futurama levels of entertaining, perhaps, but I may even be turned off just by the fact that its Star Trek.

As an example, there are MANY fans like myself for whom comedic sci-fi is not our cup of tea. Outside of Futurama, only Red Dwarf ever did it for me, and even then it was very hit or miss. I am not a fan of Galaxy Quest, The Orville, Farscape, Rick & Morty, even Firefly (blech).

Again, if it defies the odds and is exceptionally entertaining like Futurama, I will likely not continue past the first episode or two.

I am the same, in fact your list of likes and dislikes in the sci-fi comedy genre pretty much matches mine.

I have seen every minute of Trek ever made. So it will be hard for me to turn a show down. But right now I genuinely can’t think of anything appealing about the fundamental concept that would make me want to tune in.

El Chup, accept my apologies for getting you wrong. Anyone who shares their likes and dislikes with me is aces in my book. It’s rare I ever find someone who aligns even remotely with my tastes.

I think you’re struggling to grasp the word “pass”.

Not… sure… if… want…

Oh Gawd no… Starfleet cartoon characters making fart jokes… I was hoping for a new TAS and we get Family Guy on The Orville. Yuck!

Yeah… not really interested. Will check it out if only to see how it goes, but it will take a LOT for me to keep watching.

I’d say a more apt comparison is Rick & Morty, since it’s both a smart sci fi comedy AND this guy writes for that show too.

Yeah, you have to have a very high IQ to understand Rick and Morty. A lot of people can’t grasp it which is very sad. They’re just not intelligent enough. See: the Szechuan sauce incident.

Oh please. It’s a cartoon (an excellent one but still). None of this is rocket science.

Star Trek should be meant for all audiences, and this new animated chapter in the Star Trek universe is ‘just what the doctor ordered.’
‘Lower Decks’ will connect the youth of the world to an ever-expanding universe that always seemed like a ‘For Adult Nerds Only’ franchise. The average Trek fan isn’t getting any younger, and we could use some new blood for a change.
This is great news. Hopefully it’s done well. My only concern is that it won’t get the exposure it needs if it remains exclusively an All Access property. Unless the animated series is designed for adults in the fashion of American Dad, etc. or Family Guy. If that’s the case then I take back my advanced praise, and will reserve it for the finished project.

@MTMD — or it could undermine the legitimacy of the entire franchise and make it the butt of a joke. Hard to take it seriously after it hangs a lantern on all the Trek fan nitpicks which are baked into the realities of its canon and format.

If it does poke fun at Star Trek itself, so what? I think it’s great that Star Trek can laugh at itself. If it’s not your cup of tea, no biggie. The concept of creating shows with different tones feels like it might be a good idea. And the animated comedy is a part of that. No one says everyone will like every version. Just watch the ones that speak to you.

“Star Trek should be meant for all audiences”

Um, why? Should THE WEST WING be reborn as “Cheers at the Old Ebbitt Grill” for those class clowns who hate politics?

No, but there could have been spin-offs.
Points for mentioning The Old Ebbitt Grill

It’s also been referenced in HOUSE OF CARDS and now DESIGNATED SURVIVOR! They’re DC-based shows; how could you not reference the Old Ebbitt Grill? You know what they say about DC as “Hollywood for the ugly people.: :)

While I agree there is room for all kinds, i’d hardly say it’s “just what the doctor ordered.” In that sense, I’d say what Star Trek could use is a PG rated, light-hearted sci-fi adventure show– perhaps in a half hour format– akin to Land of the Lost, geared more towards attracting families and the under 16 crowd.

Land of the Lost was more towards the under 8 crowd.

I am specifically referencing the 1990s version, which was more 6-12. But nothing wrong with a Trek show that is aimed at kids of any age, as long as it takes itself more seriously than a comedic animated series, which was more my point.

@Afterburn — except LOTL tanked. I was a huge fan of the show as a kid, and was disappointing beyond belief at the movie’s attempt to marginalize that nostalgia for me for the sake of a cheap joke. In the end, despite its star power, that filmdidn’t appeal to anyone.

My first reaction: I think this is a textbook case of what CBS should NOT do with the Trek franchise.

First off, it’s too much Trek at once. We have DISCO, the Picard series, “Short Treks” (the first of which was not that well received; I haven’t watched it), and now some kind of animated comedy. Who has time for all of these? Who’s going to maintain quality control?

Second, it risks turning Trek into a parody of itself. Remember how AIRPLANE spelled the end of the AIRPORT franchise? Or how the Austin Powers and Johnny English very nearly spelled the end of the Bond franchise in between LICENCE TO KILL and GOLDENEYE? Parodies can very easily spoil the genuine article.

An independent comic doing a parody of TNG at Catch a Rising Star, or Wil Wheaton appearing on THE BIG BANG THEORY (which I think has overstayed its welcome), is one thing. This is another. It dilutes the brand. Star Trek is never going to be all things to all people.

If CBS wants Trek fans to stay tuned in year round, including when DISCO is on hiatus, how about producing some compelling non-Trek content? Why didn’t CBS look into picking up DESIGNATED SURVIVOR instead of letting Netflix grab it? I love Trek, but it’s not the whole world; I’d be much more interested in something like that than an insipid, sitcommy animated series of little conseqeuence.

I don’t disagree with everything you are saying, but some things aren’t quite accurate.

While I do worry about franchise fatigue, the “Short Treks” aren’t going to overdo it anymore than comics or novels do. And, from what I’ve read/listened to, the first one WAS well received. Personally, I thought it was like a good short story–though that formal is one of my favorite types of literature.

Also, I’m not real familiar with the Airplane/Airport franchise, but your Bond example is backward I think. There was a big gap in the Bond series, but Austin Powers and Johnny English didn’t release until Brosnan had kickstarted the Bond films after Goldeneye. Those parodies were riding the popularity of the “new” Bond.

I’m curious to see how comedy works in Trek, but the lower decks idea isn’t a bad one. The hosts of the Mission Log podcast routinely reference a thought about guys in food service getting important life-threatening announcements via email. I think there is a lot of humorous potential…I do wonder about cannon though.

Yeah, I also don’t think the Short Treks, at least at this point, will lead to fatigue. Right now the four shorts are tied to Discovery, and are similar to the Marvel One-Shots that they used to do for the cinematic universe.

I think that The River Temerec might have had a point about Bond but got mixed up as the franchise had to reinvent itself after Brosnan.

True, but I think if anything lead to a reinvention of Bond it was Jason Bourne, not the parodies. Bourne, by comparison, made the Brosnan Bonds (especially Die Another Day) look sort of cartoonish.

Youre right about Bourne, these movies definitely provided the blueprint for Casino Royale however, I would agree with the original poster that the parodies did play a part in the change of direction. That’s not to say that I believe an animated show will have the same effect on Star Trek. For starters Trek has effectively been reinvented at least 4 times now and for the record I really liked Casino Royale!

Bond *was* pretty cartoonish. Raider of the night who gambles f—s and fights. The Craig iteration was a bit better story-wise. But for spy drama, I’ll take “The Americans” any day, not the over-amped, ridiculous Bourne and Bond. As always, YMMV

“Or how the Austin Powers and Johnny English very nearly spelled the end of the Bond franchise in between LICENCE TO KILL and GOLDENEYE?”

Huh? Both Austin Powers and Johnny English came out well after GoldenEye and the Bond franchise has been going stronger than ever since the Brosnan years.

Actually, the AIRPORT series did it to itself with 79’s THE CONCORDE, a year before AIRPLANE!

There actually was a script written for AIRPORT:UFO a couple years later, but I think that was paying off an existing commitment to Larry Cohen, as I don’t believe any production ever began on that one, yet another bad notion. (On the subject of parodies, I actually read the script for ‘JAWS 3, People Nothing’ a long while back, and while it wasn’t great — not a TOP SECRET! level of madness, which I think is the top of the parody game — it would have been better than the JAWS 3 that actually got made.)

And now I’m seeing everybody else already jumped all over your wrong info about Bond (and I remember that the Bond people jumped all over tha AP films trying to keep the sequels from happening, but legally were unable to do so.)

Maybe next time you can suggest TFF did badly because SPACEBALLS came out 2 years before? At least the chronology would be accurate.

Scoff again, internet! I dare you! Scoff at the might and glory of the latest regeneration of Star Trek!


I think an animated series could be wonderfully cool, if it were used to show us alien people or alien planets and technology that would be too difficult to portray in a live-action show.

A humorous series about the lower decks, though, sounds as if it has the potential to be rather stupid and to undermine Star Trek.

I haven’t seen any of Mike McMahon’s work. Those of you who have — what’s his work like? Genuinely funny, stupid and juvenile, or something in between?

McMahan’s only work for TV available so far is writing for an established cartoon TV show (Rick & Morty), he didn’t develop those characters, so it’s harder to judge his talents just from that.

He is also co-creator of a new cartoon for Hulu called Solar Opposites but that’s in early production right now and won’t be ready until 2020.

If you haven’t read his (somewhat old) Twitter account of a goofy/parodic hypothetical season 8 of TNG, you should check it out.

I think the real Trek test of McMahan will be his Short Treks episode in a couple of months.

Maybe if it does well we could get a epic mini-series animated event featuring ALL incarnations of Trek (TOS, TNG, DS9, Voy, Ent and Discovery)

That’d be cool, and I think it’d be awesome to see an animated adaptation of IDW’s STAR TREK VS. TRANSFORMERS…with the voices of William Shatner and Peter Cullen of course!!

A big “NO” to the crossovers please. As once-in-a-blue-moon events I dont mind them as comics, but even there they’ve become far too frequent, and I really don’t want Star Trek to become little more than a gimmick.

Gimmick? The only gimmick would be drawing in fans from both franchises, which would only serve it by adding to the fanbase. I’m a huge Transformers and Doctor Who fan as well so I think either of those would be fine for a crossover. And I mean why not? There’s never actually been an official crossover in Star Trek anyway…unless you count the cringeworthy “Team Knight Rider” episode that tied into TOS’s “The Changeling.” Even Memory Alpha refused to acknowledge that!! Heck, even later “Knight Rider” material basically ignored that whole series!!!

Crossovers of that nature are always a gimmick, even when they’re organic (“Birthright” for example, or the many Law & Order shows that have crossed over with each other).

Transformers and Trek? Limit that sort of thing to the books, comics, and fan films.

Exactly. They’re yet another example of franchise fatigue. GENERATIONS was not exactly a series high point. Neither was TATV. I actually liked VOY’s Sulu episode, but most people pan it. The DS9 crossover about Tribbles was mildly fun at the time, but it’s ultimately not too memorable. Julian Bashir on TNG (“Birthright”) was forgettable, as was Tuvok on DS9’s mirror episodes.

The only crossover that’s *really* worked out well was TNG “Relics” and TNG “Unification,” both of which had something to *say* about the TOS characters beyond “hey, we’re doing a crossover!” And that’s not decidedly NOT what “putting everyone together on an animated series” is about.

I’m not against all crossovers. Filming the DESTINY trilogy would be amazing.

He’s got the little butter passing robot from Rick and Morty as a pin on his hoodie. I assume McMahan wrote that episode in which case I have high hopes for this show.

It’ll probably include an animated version of the Star Fleet training area guy – you know, the guy with the cleaning tool in the lobby area when Spock gives Kirk a copy of “A Tale of Two Cities.”

“Man… today was awesome. There I was doing my normal s_t job cleaning floors, and two icons of Starfleet walked by!”

LOL but I’m expecting something a bit more satirical like The Office…

“Man, Q ordered 10 chocolate sundaes but then didn’t want them, now I gotta stuff them all into the recycler.”

“Man, Data’s cat pissed on the carpet again…”

“So Mr. Mot came by today and asked me if I could get him something called a ‘barber pole,’ whatever that is.”

“Sickbay, here. The following Vulcan crew members have pon farr scheduled this week, avoid them at all costs.”

“Man, Lwaxana Troi is coming aboard, I’m calling out sick today.”

“Starfleet Security: ___ days without a redshirt death!” :)

Another poster and I were literally just talking about a comedy Trek series like last week. This is huge and welcome news! Rick and Morty is one of the most inventive sci-fi shows ever made, the animation stunning, the imagination boundless and the jokes raucous. Anyone who’s a Trek fan, Rick and Morty fan or sci-fi fan should be stoked about this.

This is a smart way to differentiate the shows, although tbh I think the animation format alone would’ve been enough of a difference. With discovery being heavy drama, the animated series a comedy, that makes the Picard show, what, a romance?

Oh God, not a romance, please!!! (My views are tainted by Twilight, yuck…) Besides, Picard’s TNG romances never worked out: Vash ends up with Q, Nella Darren transfers off the ship, Anij from Insurrection is 300 years old, and Guinan is strictly friendzone.

As for Lower Decks, I’m sort of hoping that it riffs a little bit from The Office, a little bit from Futurama, and a little bit from Chief O’Brien at Work. :)

I think it’s great, at least conceptually. Mix it up, explore different aspects of the universe while appealing to different parts of the fanbase. It’s the best way to keep Trek relevant at this point IMO. Just make it good, whatever it is. My only regret is that due to his Orville commitments David Goodman won’t be able to participate; he’d be a natural fit for something like this otherwise.

A Star Trek comedy — are they being influenced by The Orville?

No. A comedy is not a parody. The Trouble With Tribbles was a comedy. The Orville is a parody (or a rip-off, depending on from what angle you look at it).

It’s a rip off if it is bad. If it’s good, then it’s an homage. lol

It never ceases to amaze, all the wordy & strident opinions on a new show… that hasn’t even put out a teaser yet. They’re making a comedy so it doesn’t step on the toes of the Picard show and the one about the mushrooms (if that continues). Doing a straightforward, all-ages adventures like Star Wars Rebels could have the potential to be bland, so going with McMahan’s pitch seems sensible. But I will wait until there is a promotional image or logo before I rant.

Technically this could be considered both an opinion on the new show as well as a rant against other posters.

‘Technically’ that would be incorrect. He expressed no opinions about the show itself, other than to speculate on CBS’ motives for going in that direction.

Technically you’re correct, but he did express an endorsement of this particular concept over and above a ‘bland all ages adventure’ like Star Wars Rebels. Nobody has seen an episode of the show yet so any naysayers are only expressing opinions on the concept so in the context of the Vice Admiral comment I would personally classify said endorsement of the concept as much of an opinion as anybody who doesn’t provisionally approve of the direction they’ve taken. For my part I’m open to seeing it, potentially this could be great. I’ve never watched Rick and Morty but if we got another Futurama I’d be more than happy. My one provisional concern would be whether or not it should be canon. At the moment my preference would be for it to be able to draw upon canon but sit outside the main continuity.

The best outcome for this is that its relationship to the TV shows becomes something like Deadpool’s relationship to X-Men. I’m decidedly pessimistic.

I wouldn’t go so far as saying I’m pessimistic but I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t a little nervous. I think a large part of that is that it’s natural to make assumptions about the style and tone of the show based on the fact he writes for Rick and Morty but I guess it doesn’t necessarily follow that he can’t right something that fits with canon,

Wow this is absolutely nothing I thought it would be lol, but in a good way. I really did expect an updated version of TAS but to go such a different way with humor shows they are willing to try different things. I don’t personally care too much about animated shows so no matter what my interest in it was going to be pretty low. That said of course I’m curious to see what they do with it. Will be interesting to see what era they put it in but I think any era is fine.

But man, they are keeping their word about making new Star Trek. Now the second show officially announced. The Academy show and Khan (ugh) might be around the corner too. Hopefully they go a different way on those projects completely though.

Seriously? This isn’t something I want from Star Trek.

Well, at least the prdoducers know where you stand for next time at least.

Luckily it’s nothing you have to take from Star Trek. Watch or not; the choice is yours.

The choice is also his to present his opinion. Maybe he should have checked with you first?

I don’t really like Rick and Morty. Some of the jokes are funny, but I’ve never really enjoyed an episode. Hopefully I will enjoy Lower Decks more.

I hope the character designs don’t look like Rick and Morty…I don’t know if I want it to be that cartoony.

I might be okay with it though…if the characters are interesting enough.

Here is the question… will it be canon… and how many people will hate it before giving it a chance

Hopefully the art work will be better. Seriously, this is a gutsy move and I hope it works.

This is exciting especially if it’s as good or better than the Original Animated Series (which if you haven’t seen check out, it’s more than worth it). I was hoping for this. Animation is so freeing in that you can produce pretty much anything your imagination can come up with without needing a giant budget.

Not a fucking comedy.

An animated comedy will NOT make me keep my All Access subscription in between Discovery seasons. They need to do WAY better than that!

Having so many possibilities of making an adult series, something that follows in the footsteps of Batman: The Animated Series or of so many Japanese animated series of science fiction, had to decide on a comedy? We’ve already seen comedy, there are thousands of Star Trek parodies. What imbeciles are, for God’s sake!

Do a basic trademark search for Star Trek on

These titles were all recently trademarked. If Lower Decks is true, I guess the others may come true also

Star Trek: Revolution
Star Trek: Destiny
Star Trek: Reliant
Star Trek: Starfleet Academy
Star Trek: Lower Decks
Star Trek: Ceti Alpha V

Wow CBS trademarked all those? Looks like we are getting a ton of Trek lol. I know it doesn’t mean they will all happen but it IS clear they are considering a lot of different shows.

I wonder which one is the Picard show? More than likely it’s Revolution or Destiny.

They’ve been quietly trademarking show names since August. Don’t read too much into them though. Companies routinely trademark stuff proactively, just in case they use them.

The titles basically map to the 4 rumored (2 now confirmed) shows we’ve heard about before.

So that means there are 2 titles extra, likely alternate titles for one of the 4 projects. But CBS could surprise me.

Yeah I was thinking the same thing. Maybe it’s a toss up between Destiny and Revolution for the Picard show, on the other hand they might go with Destiny for the Acadamy show and maybe the Lower Decks show will be set on the Reliant.

Holding out some hope that DESTINY may relate to the novel trilogy!

Reliant and Ceti Alpha sound like alternates for a Nicholas Meyer Khan project.

@Locutus Yeah I wondered that as in it’s covering the events leading up to Khan taking control of the Reliant. On the other hand it might be the the unused option for Lower Decks as for all we know that might be set on the USS Reliant.

Wow interesting info, thanks Matt!

Yeah. The rate at which Lucasfilm trademarks stuff that doesn’t come to pass is noteworthy. Plus, after the Axanar debacle, I wouldn’t mind betting if they come up with a potential title they like, project or otherwise, they’ll register it, sort of like how companies will buy website domain names up to stop others getting them.

Bingo. They may have no plans for any shows with those titles, but want to earmark them to avoid future problems.

I am kinda hoping Revolution is the Picard show.

Rumor had it that Starfleet Academy was being developed for The CW (I’m not making that up) and would be part of the Prime timeline.

That’s not quite right. The rumored Academy show is being developed by CW alumni, yes. But it is not going to be on The CW. All Trek shows are going to be on All Access, this was confirmed by Heather Kadin who runs Kurtzman’s production company.

Keep in mind some of these could be comics, video games, books, and some could just be filed as a “just in case” while they decide on a name (ie, Reliant could be the same as Ceti Alpha V).

Trademarks are not expensive to file. Lucasfilm used to file like half a dozen titles every few months and while bloggers would use them as evidence of the title of the next film, most of them were never used or became video games.

You’re absolutely correct but you know how much we all love to speculate!

Actually the trademark is filed by media type, so you can see what kind of trademark they are. All of those names are filed as TV shows, the exact phrasing is: “Entertainment services in the nature of a multimedia program series featuring drama distributed via various platforms across multiple forms of transmission media”
and there is also a second trademark registered for each of the names to cover any potential home video releases as well:
“Digital media, namely, pre-recorded digital video discs, digital versatile discs, DVDs, downloadable audio and video recordings, and high definition digital discs featuring drama”

It seem clear they were all TV show titles since they all seem to have titles related to the rumored shows. Yes Destiny and Revolution could be anything but the others clearly fall in line to the shows we’ve heard of.

Destiny sounds more like the Picard show to me. Revolution is too “insurrection” sounding. Nobody wants to be reminded of that. I could see Star Trek: Revolution being set


in the 32nd century in the universe being set up in the Star Trek short “Calypso.” I put a spoiler warning because of the “Calypso” reference. Obviously, these are just wild speculations.

I felt the same way when I read the list. If I were a betting man and these where what they were choosing from, I’d wager the Picard show is “Destiny.”

The Academy show could be about cadets who were or are destined to be Captains. Revolution could be about an insurrection led by a retired Picard. Maybe the Federation and Starfleet is overthrown by rogue Section 31 agents and Picard must lead a revolution to oust the “Deep State” section 31 officers. These section 31 officers could be using metamorphic technology to disguise themselves as prominent officials. Like the TNG episode ‘Conspiracy’.

I wouldn’t mind that idea too much but I think a lot of people would hate it IMO. I think after Discovery, they want more exploration type of story, less war, conspiracies and covert actions.

That’s interesting. I just read a Star Trek book trilogy called “Destiny” set after the events of Star Trek: Nemesis and focused on a true Borg invasion. There is of course a strong Picard thread in those books. I wonder if they would draw upon those works or borrow some story elements from them. They were the best Star Trek books I ever read!

Crazy I just saw a post about it on Reddit and everyone keeps suggesting the Picard show may adapt that story line. Just from what they said about it, it sounds epic, but it also sounds like a huge list of characters, like every major Star Trek character in that era is involved (one of the great things about writing a book vs a show or movie, you can add whoever you want and don’t have to worry about paying the actors lol).

My guess IF they are actually going that direction then they may just burrow bits and pieces and get whatever characters suitable, sort of like what MCU does when it makes movies around famous comic book stories. Then again, so far NO former Trek actor besides Stewart has confirmed to be in it so if they were going for something like that, it seem like actors would be contacted before they even set up the story.

That would be OK. They could probably ditch the whole Hirogen subplot, for instance; it was tangential in the novel, and the Hirogen weren’t that interesting in VOY to begin with.

They very well could use elements from the books but not the full story. Almost like what Bond did with their books. They got to the points where there were things in the books they used, but not the main story. Also, they very well could have ideas involving other characters. If they can’t get the actors the script can be changed to accommodate someone else or just create new characters. The whole thing is quite flexible.

I’d love a RELIANT-based show, because maybe we’d see how/why Starfleet and Federation seem to have gone all retro conservative after TMP and TOS, to the point in SFS where you can’t discuss things in public. Could tie in with unused idea for TWOK where Starfleet has abandoned its motto in favor of just holding on to what it has in territory, which triggers Kirk’s midlife crisis, with him having dedicated his life to an ideal that is no longer in vogue.

I don’t know, to me Star Trek at its core is all about nobility. There’s not going much about this that will have that.

What in the sam hill is this? Eff you, Alex Kurtzman. You talentless hack. Star Trek isn’t an animated comedy.

Trek was always rooted in things like humanistic and Enlightenment thought. The writers were steeped in classic literature, philosophy, and history.

McMahan writes characters who are slobbering idiots.

Kurtzman, To the last, I shall grapple with thee; From Hell’s heart, I stab at thee; For hate’s sake, I spit my last breath at thee

“Trek was always rooted in things like humanistic and Enlightenment thought. The writers were steeped in classic literature, philosophy, and history.”

Exactly. This is like, General Order No. 1 of marketing: don’t dilute your brand’s strengths.

Aaron Sorkin has written some comedy. But if someone said he should revive THE WEST WING as “Cheers at the Old Ebbit Grill” — well, we’d ask what he was smoking that day.

The kiddie set isn’t going to flock to Trek because of this. I’d wager that there are better Trek parodies out there, and in any case too many parodies ruin the genuine article. AIRPLANE killed the AIRPORT franchise.

No. Airport ’79 killed the Airport franchise.

No need to be rude and personally attack Alex Kurtzman, no matter how much you dislike him or his work.

And why dont you give this a chance before you insult and belittle people? Lest we forget: Infinite Diversity In Infinite Combinations.

I gotta be honest. I don’t like this animated comedy idea at all. Sadly, Kurtzman won’t be taking much notice of me, so we just have to wait and see what we end up with. A word of warning though.. We all know the humourous tropes and cliches of Trek; they’ve all been run into the ground over the last 40 years or so. I hope that this comedy is going to be more than just a collection of those. If not, then this animated show risks coming off as just the musings of a wise ass..

Why do people assume this Trek comedy will be a parody of itself? It might do some of that but my guess is that will not be the main joke everything revolves around. It really won’t work if it is just a Trek parody.

I have nothing to back this up but I’m guessing it’s going to be a 24th century set show. Only because it feels like that era is more rife for making jokes than the TOS era.

In all honesty, the best bits of Orville are when it pastiches dramatic Trek. The humour just seems to underline how ultimately ridiculous and clichéd the traditional Trek tropes can be..

Wow. We are 100% off of each other on this one. I think Orville works best when it is not taking itself seriously at all. It feels out of place to me when this group of clowns try to be serious. I wish they would lean to the comedy way more than they do.

My first Trek was TAS. If they get the humor right, and they can appeal parents and children, we might get some decent new programming AND maybe get kids hooked on intelligent programming before they grow up to be meatheads and need face-melting explosions every three seconds just to keep watching.

I would much rather they attract families and kids with a half-hour adventure ala Land of the Lost.

That wouldn’t be the route I would go but in the interest of IDIC it wouldn’t hurt to put out there I guess if CBS felt is was worth the money.

My point is that if they want to attract a younger audience, a comedy cartoon is not how it should be done; that a drama/adventure show with a “family/all ages” vibe, or aimed at younger viewers, is probably the best route.

I personally have no issues with something like that. I might watch it to see what it is like but no real investment beyond that. This current animated show just announced does not seem to be aimed at the child market. Which is also fine. There is room for all kinds of different “tones” out there.

Some things I would like to see in the new ‘Lower Decks’:

What happens when the Captain is stuck on the ‘fresher’ during a red alert…?

What’s really in a Starfleet ration pack?

Who does the housekeeping?

Is the crew allowed to celebrate national holidays like Christmas, Halloween, Ramadan, Hunnakah?

What does a 24th century electric guitar look like?

What kind of foods are still favorites? Do they still eat pizza?

What would you like to see in Lower Decks?

Why does everyone besides Lwaxana Troi wear the same clothes every day?

How do they keep the artificial gravity working even when life support gives out? (I think the TNG Tech Manual is the only reference work that’s actually tried to address this…)

Synthehol’s “intoxicating effects can be easily dismissed” how?

Law of inertia: do they ever actually get someone to go out and push? :)

Despite my dislike of Star Trek’s recent iterations,(the Kelvin Timeline and Discovery)and the stewardship of the franchise under the supervision of Alex Kurtzman in general, I admit the initial announcement of an animated series stirred up some interest with me. I watched the first run of TAS back in 1973, and thoughts of a new animated Trek run with a marriage of adventure and ideals were running through my mind. I have to say that today’s announcement evaporated whatever interest I had. I’ve just never seen life aboard starships as inherently rife with comedic opportunities. I understand that just about any situation in life can be turned into something funny if a comedy writer is talented enough, (and grant that, even though I’ve never watched Rick and Morty, the creators may be exactly that) but it just seems like such a limited premise, when the chance is here to really expand the Star Trek canvas by giving us sights that live action VFX budgets simply couldn’t. The comments about Star Wars: Detours are apt. I believe that The Orville is sufficient as far as deconstructing or spoofing Star Trek from an outside perspective. I think that Trek deconstructing itself just robs it of some of it’s own inherent power. How much is up to each individual. Anyway, this site is the place for fans of all stripes to give their opinions, and here’s mine. That’s all. Cheers, everyone!

“Spaceballs the t-shirt! Spaceballs the coloring book! Spaceballs the lunchbox! Spaceballs the breakfast cereal! Spaceballs the flame thrower!”

CBS : “Hold my beer.”

Watching CBS handle this franchise is like watching someone try to juice a rock.

Oy vey.

While I hate this announcement, I don’t think that’s really fair. They’re trying to do new and different things with the franchise. Rather than just “another Star Trek series” they’re doing “a different Star Trek series.”

I do think an animated comedy could potentially really hurt the brand (hence why I was actively against a straight comedy), I like that they’re taking swings.

Sort of ironic now, since CBS took a pass on TOS when Roddenberry first pitched it in the 60’s…

Anyone remember the short webseries Starship Icarus a few years back? Sounds like a very similar premise.

Crazy, two Star Trek shows has been announced in the span of just two months….and yet we’re still waiting to hear if they will green light the next Kelvin movie before the next Presidential election. Get it together Paramount, seriously.

This is a show nobody needed.
It’s a ridiculous idea.
Sounds damm funny, count me in!
And it is the absolute best team for such a thing…

How many episodes? Same question for the Picard series. Come on Trekmovie staff, can you find this out?

That info hasn’t been released. Trekmovie is just passing along the info released by the trades.

They are only reported what was put out by press releases. This isn’t an inside scoop. THey have gotten some news in the past but info like that is probably strategically planned to be released.

CBS: Looking for par’Mach in All the Wrong Places.

I’ll pass.

Horrible if it’s cannon. Sounds like fun if it’s not.

I can’t imagine it being canon. If it was live action, maybe. MAYBE. But a comedic cartoon from the creators of Rick and Morty? Not a chance.

Regarding the canon issue… Due to the nature of the show IMHO I honestly don’t care that much if the events of the episodes are considered canon or not. All I’d like for them to follow is the look of whatever era they set it in. Beyond that it doesn’t matter too much for me.

My thoughts exactly Luke.

All criticism of the move aside, this is further proof that DSC is a success. If it wasn’t, they wouldn’t keep announcing new Trek projects, regardless of subject matter and genre.

DSC illustrated that audiences like Star Trek.

Again, it all depends on how one defines “success”. Is it the most streamed property on CBSAA? Probably. In that sense, it’s a success. Did it bring in the total subscribers CBS was hoping it would? All reports indicate not even close. In that sense, it is a failure.

CBS has stated it brought in more than what they were hoping, subscriber-wise. Now, that could certainly be equivocation or rhetoric, but you have no evidence that it failed to bring in the subscribers they wanted.

Any statements that the show failed at ANY level is simply speculation guided by bias.

I believe CBS before the show streamed mentioned something about a goal of 4 million subscribers last year. There was a recent announcement that they had 2.5 million. If these reports are to be believed then I would say that STD did NOT bring in the numbers they were counting on.

Any statements that the show was successful beyond being the most streamed property on CBSAA is simply speculation guided by bias.

Except what are they counting? Maybe they did reach 4M, but it dropped back down to 2.5M after DSC ended (using STD just is immature and childish).


I would doubt they ever reached the 4 million total because there was no outlet anywhere that reported it. They way they crowed over the numbers when the show started would leave me to believe if they actually hit that goal they would have publicly crowed about it.

(PS… Please get over the STD abbreviation. It makes perfect sense to use the first letter of the 3 words.)

So why isn’t Star Trek: Deep Space Nine STD?

Because three letter abbreviations seem to be the standard convention. Star Trek: Deep Space Nine is a mouthful. People just call it Deep Space Nine. Therefore, DS9 works best. Seems questionable to bring up something as inane as the three letter series designation. I think it pretty clear what show is referenced when STD is written. It’s just shorthand.

I said this before if it was more than that number at one time than they would’ve just said that. It’s nothing wrong for them to report the highest number IF it was true and avoid where it is now. That’s how spin works. The fact they never said how many AA brought in more than that leads me to believe this is probably the most it got.

I’ll make it clear, it doesn’t AUTOMATICALLY mean that but yes more than likely it is if we haven’t heard anything else after almost a year.

It was my understanding that 4M was their HOPE to achieve with DSC, not their barometer for success. There is a HUGE difference in business. And considering they had just 100,000 subscribers a year before DSC (the only number I could find at any date prior to the show’s launch) I’d say 2.5M would be considered successful.

Also VERY important to remember there is a LOT more to Discovery than CBS All Access. It has reportedly been a hit for Netflix outside the US, enough that they renewed their partnership for a second season.

Also, v nice to throw my words back out at me, but it doesn’t apply. There is mountains of evidence that it has been a success for them along many lines, even if it hasn’t become the phenomenon that appears to be your measuring stick for failure.

One thing fans need to remember is that in Trek’s 50+ year history only TWICE have (non Abrams) Trek projects ever been big hits: Star Trek IV and TNG.

DS9, Voyager, and Enterprise all struggled in the ratings, all of the movies– even if they opened #1– were never huge hits.

I am so tired of hearing that DSC has been a “failure” because it’s not the hottest show of 2018, or because it didn’t bring in millions upon millions of subscribers. I don’t believe I’ve ever claimed DSC was a massive hit for CBS– or a runaway phenomenon– but you (and others) continue to insist it has failed on all levels despite mountains of evidence that says it is not.

Well CBS hasn’t been crowing about it. That should tell you a lot. They were quick to publicly stroke themselves last year at the premiere numbers. Then nothing. For quite some time. So I’d say it is a at best amazingly optimistic to consider the 2.5 million figure “successful”. CBS sure hasn’t been presenting it that way.

There is no way to know if STD has been a “hit” on the international circuit at all. Netflix has never been open with their viewership numbers. The only people I’ve seen who claim that are the Discovery-is-great crowed here. Nowhere else.

IT sure does apply to throw your words back at you. There is nothing to support your contention and the opposite could be said with just as strong a conviction. You keep saying “phenomenon” but there is zero evidence to support that. You saying it is doesn’t make it so.

” I don’t believe I’ve ever claimed DSC was a massive hit for CBS– or a runaway phenomenon–”

You kinda just did. ==> ” It has reportedly been a hit for Netflix outside the US” And ” this is further proof that DSC is a success. If it wasn’t, they wouldn’t keep announcing new Trek projects, regardless of subject matter and genre. ”

The only place I have ever claimed it has failed is in it’s ability to pull in the subscribers CBS was hoping it would. And personally it failed as I found the first season to be the worst Trek I have ever seen. I recognize there are people who liked it and defend it. Wonderful. It worked for you and I’m envious. I wish it worked for me. It doesn’t. And, you know, those pesky subscriber numbers facts…

“Well CBS hasn’t been crowing about it. That should tell you a lot.”

It really doesn’t, because networks generally don’t crow about shows, except maybe on blurbs between shows during prime time (“Don’t miss the Number 1 New Drama… Tuesday at 8!”) which isn’t a resource available on CBS All Access.

I mean, how much crowing do you see about “This Is Us”, which is far and away the most successful drama of the last two years. Not much, except commercials on NBC itself.

Thorny, it really does. You neglected to include the rest of my opening comment. The part where I said, ” They were quick to publicly stroke themselves last year at the premiere numbers. Then nothing.” If the subscribers were there, it’s pretty obvious they would crow about it. Even Netflix, who doesn’t release viewing numbers, has released subscriber numbers. Although they have done it more matter of factly than CBS ever has.

“There is a HUGE difference in business. And considering they had just 100,000 subscribers a year before DSC (the only number I could find at any date prior to the show’s launch) I’d say 2.5M would be considered successful.”

No idea where you found that but no that’s not true. Moonves said they had 1.5 million subscribers before Discovery aired. AA has been around 4 years before DIS showed up. If they only managed to get 100 thousand subscribers in all that time I’m almost certain that site would’ve been shut down lol.

And I don’t think DIS is a ‘failure’ it just doesn’t seem to be much of a hit either. It’s probably in the OK range but this is strictly speculation.

Actually I just went and found it! First paragraph from the article:

“Showtime’s internet-only subscriber base has climbed to 1.5 million, while CBS All Access — the broadcaster’s live and on-demand paid streaming service — is nearing the same number of subs, according to CBS CEO Leslie Moonves.”

That was February of 2017. I’m not perfect but if I throw something out, I try to back it up with facts as best I can. But yes it was around 1.5 million before DIS. So if you want to be generous you can say the other million subscribers signed up strictly for DIS. Again, OK, but probably a bit on the low side of what they wanted. But pretty sure its the most watched show on that site at least but that’s speculation of course.

In reality my guess is between 1-2 million AA subscribers actually watch the show.

It’s really isn’t all that simple.

It may be that 4 million was a projected high target. But even the bosses probably saw that as optimistic.

It’s like the lower targets, or the flat expectations, were in the region of 1 to 2 million subscribers. Anything below this probably would have been deemed disappointing.
But many different factors are probably in play when in comes to deciding whether DIS us a success or a failure.

I think the fact that we are getting at least two brand new tv shows based on Star Trek, stipulated crystal clear that DIS’s performance in its first year impressed CBS enough to get moving with new projects.

Just take a look at Star Wars and what happened with SOLO. That film did disappoint Disney enough to warrant them basically cancelling further Stand alone films for the foreseeable future, indefinitely and changing strategy.

Every action has a reaction in Hollywood.

OK. Then please explain why CBS was hemming and hawing about how great their opening numbers were and then… Crickets. The fact that they doubled down so fast on the other Trek projects does not mean STD was a hit by any means. It is more likely they realized they needed something more than STD to bring in the numbers so they opted to kick start an entire STEU for their service. They may have had that in mind already but wanted to move a little slower. The failure of STD probably forced them to move fast as they had a lot invested in CBSAA. Comparing it to Star Wars does not really apply. Disney is still planning on going forward with their streaming service in spite of the performance of Solo at the box office. And they still went forward with their SW:R show on their cable station.

And they renewed it why?

Yes they discovered they needed more than DSC. Doesn’t make it a failure.

You’re far too focused on subscribers and CBS all access. Stop your yammering. You’re dead set on proving DSC sucks and failed, we get it. You’re like a religious zealot trying to use images of Jesus on toast to prove there’s a god.

It was renewed because that was pretty much as close to a given as possible before S1 even went before the cameras. In fact, it is entirely possible it was planned to have a two season order in the first place. Almost every single streaming show starts with a two season order. Sometimes that 2nd season is an option but generally speaking shows are given a fair shot. Many here felt that no matter what the result of STD it would have two or even three seasons minimum.

Discovery was a failure if they were counting on it bringing in X subscriptions and it came up 38% short of that figure.

I’m focused on subscribers because that is the bottom line. It’s how they make their money. Few subscribers makes it kinda hard to stay in business. I’m not trying to prove it sucks. That’s subjective and impossible to prove. I have, however provided strong evidence it has not done what CBS was hoping it would do. Being so defensive doesn’t change those facts.

Bingo, DataMat. Thank you for putting more clearly than I did.

Fact is, if they felt DSC was a failure we wouldn’t be getting more of the franchise.

On the contrary. The lack of subscribers is why we are getting the Picard show and the expansion of the STEU so quickly. That is the most reasonable conclusion. Unlike you, I am not presenting my conjecture as fact.

Well if your right then we all win haha.

I wasn’t a particular fan of Discovery myself for the first season and aren’t particularly rush back into it either. I’m much more excited about the Picard show. I still hope Discovery ups the game for S2 though as I am sure everyone else does, including yourself!

There is no conjecture. You seem to be miscontruing everything i’ve said. And talk about conjecture, that’s all you’ve provided.

Numerous reports from third parties (ie: not CBS) have noted it’s success, particularly on Netflix outside the US.

But I refuse to continue to talk to an obstinate wall who willfully ignores reality to boost his own inane argument. Good day.

Dude… When it comes to the actual viewership totals, conjecture is all ANY of us have. Me, you, everyone. I have provided ample evidence to counter your comments regarding the show’s popularity. You have responded with… Well… Nothing but eluding that I am guessing while you are not. So put your cards on the table. Show me the report that shows how STD is among the streaming leaders internationally on Netflix and that it has indeed brought in the subscriber totals CBS has hoped for. I’ll wait.

One way of looking at it, is that Star Trek is such a popular brand, and there was such pent-up demand for a Trek TV show, that even bad Star Trek like Discovery was bound to do pretty well. One could think of comparisons like Star Wars: The Phantom Menace. Most preexisting fans thought The Phantom Menace was rubbish, but Star Wars product kept chugging along. This isn’t an exact analogy, but the point is, it’s the underlying brand that is driving sales, not a Phantom Menace or a Discovery. If CBS had delivered a quality show, instead of Discovery, they could’ve had a genuine hit that more broke through to the culture at large, given the unprecedented popularity now of sci-fi and fantasy. But while Discovery may’ve been a success in terms of driving subscriptions to the previously obscure CBS All Access, its lack of quality made it very niche in terms of its public profile, and very divisive among longtime fans.

Your entire post falls apart when you call Discovery bad Star Trek.

You’re right, it’s simply bad television.

A sci-if comedy show about vending machine (basically-the guys who fix the replicator…) repairmen aboard a deep space vessel…Red Dwarf? I know that was a live action comedy and lower decks is an animated that may/may not be comedy, but I hope Lower Decks reaches those heights (pun definitely intended). Hope they put some nods in there, as DS9 did – a JMC office on the promenade. And have a Scouser playing a Scouser (sorry Mr Isaacs, but you could’ve, should’ve, and didn’t), and have him called Del Lister or Dan Lister, or something.

Or a Captain we never, or rarely, see called Rimmer.

Isaacs dropped the ball on accent choice for sure. He said he didn’t want to do an English accent due to Patrick Stewart doing one prior,but speaking the accent of his home town of Liverpool would of been totally different. Most Americans hear it as more Irish ot Scottish than anything else anyway. It would have helped in having Lorca break the mould a bit more as a Star Trek captain.

@FKALJ — it’ll probably be a holodeck recreation of what went on in the Lower Decks during all the major TNG episodes, just like ENT was … ;-)

With all these exciting, varied new projects coming up, I wonder if I should be pitching a “Steam Trek” tv series-?

I’m both curious and skeptical. Star Trek parodies can be fun. Comedic episodes of in generally dramatic Star Trek series can be fun. But a whole series defined as a comedy?

I can see this going three possible ways:
1. It’s grounded enough that I can accept it as canon. And it’s also funny.
2. It’s over-the-top and clearly impossible to reconcile as canon, so I can accept it as non-canon parody.
3. It’s somewhere in the middle. It tries to present itself as canon but it also really stretches at the believability of the established Star Trek universe so it becomes really hard for me to enjoy on any level.

Admittedly, I’ve been a Star Trek fan my whole life and I’m awfully protective of it and I probably need to lighten up.

Thought about this all day. Terrible idea. I LOVE Rick and Morty to death but a Trek comedy?? That’s animated??? No thanks. It cheapens the overall Trek universe of this is part of cannon. If it’s like comic books or other things that are Trek themed but NOT part of the continuity then OK.