In addition to Star Trek: Discovery and Short Treks, CBS has officially announced three other Trek series in development: the Picard show with Patrick Stewart, the animated comedy Lower Decks and a Discovery spin-off focused on Section 31 featuring Michelle Yeoh as Emperor-turned operative Philippa Georgiou. Today an executive from CBS gave a status update on the Section 31 show.
31 coming in ’21?
Executives from CBS held a panel on “the Power of Programming in a Multi-Platform Universe” at the Innovative TV Conference in Israel. And according to Deadline – who co-sponsored the event – the subject of Star Trek came up, and specifically the previously announced Michelle Yeoh Section 31 spin-off. CBS Television Studios president David Stapf set expectations for the show saying, “It’s a good couple of years away.”
This is more specific than previous estimates, which have noted that the show is not expected until after the third season of Star Trek: Discovery, which goes into production this summer. If CBS follows the same pattern for the first two seasons of Discovery, the third season would end up premiering in the Spring of 2020. Michelle Yeoh will also appear in the third season of Discovery.
It’s worth noting that the way Stapf is talking makes it sound like the Section 31 show is set to go, however, CBS has yet to officially confirm a full series order. When it was officially announced in January, CBS only stated the show was in development, something confirmed later at the TCA event, but it was also confirmed at the same event that showrunners Bo Yeoh Kim and Erika Lippoldt were at already at work and “breaking the story.”
Section 31 to be shot in Canada
One other bit of info provided by David Stapf at the ITV conference is that the Section 31 series is set to be shot in Toronto. While the Picard show has returned the franchise to production in California, it makes sense that the Section 31 series would use Discovery’s home at Pinewood Studios in Toronto, which already includes the Section 31 ship featured in the second season. They would almost certainly need some additional new sets, but time and money could be saved by redressing current Discovery sets.
The third season of Discovery begins production in July. Assuming production on the new season runs about the same as the second, and allowing some prep time to transition over, shooting for the Section 31 could probably start around mid-2020, which may be one of the reasons Stapf is talking about a two-year wait for the show.
More on Section 31 in Discovery season two
In case you missed it, last week CBS released a video about how the Discovery team developed Section 31 for the second season.
Keep up with all the news on the Section 31 show and other upcoming Star Trek TV shows here at TrekMovie.com.