Today the Hollywood trades, including THR, Variety, and Deadline, are reporting that the previously announced youth-focused Star Trek cartoon series in development has found a potential home in Viacom’s Nickelodeon cable network. According to reports, CBS and Nickelodeon are currently in negotiations, with a final deal close to completion.
Variety reports that plot details on the potential new series are being kept quiet. However, it has been revealed that the show is being developed by Kevin and Dan Hageman. The Hageman brothers are known for popular cartoons Ninjago: Masters of Spinjitzu and Trollhunters. The pair won an Emmy for their work on the Netflix animated series Trollhunters in 2016.
This potential new animated Star Trek series would be considered a tentpole for new Nickelodeon president Brian Robbins, who was recently brought in to get the Nickelodeon brand back up to speed with the competition from Disney and Cartoon Network.
The overseer of the Trek on TV franchise, Alex Kurtzman, spoke with The Hollywood Reporter about the need for a youth-focused Trek cartoon:
I go back to my childhood and Luke Skywalker, the [Star Wars] farm boy who looks out at the twin suns of Tatooine and imagines his future. Trek never gave me that, Trek was always fully formed adults, already in Starfleet and people who have decided who they are. And it never was aspirational that way. It’s important to me to find a way to go back and reach younger kids in a way that Trek should and never really has.
While the expansion of Star Trek on TV is a key component for the CBS All Access streaming service, cutting a deal with Nickelodeon makes sense for this new animated show. Nickelodeon is the number one network for children, and the logical home for the new cartoon as CBS has no network for children’s programming. This deal also shows some synergy between the former (and possibly future) corporate siblings, who were both under the Viacom roof until the CBS split in 2006.
CBS All Access is adult-focused and the demographics of the subscriber base skews middle-aged, so it was pretty clear they would find a different outlet for this cartoon. The adult animated series Star Trek: Lower Decks being developed by Rick and Morty‘s Mike McMahan, which picked up a two-season order last October, is set to premiere on All Access. Kurtzman has stated that Lower Decks will be an adult-targeted series, which fits with the All Access demographic. There are also plans for two animated Short Treks coming to All Access later this year.
Keep up with all the news on the upcoming Star Trek TV shows here at TrekMovie.com.