Writing Team For Nickelodeon Star Trek Cartoon Revealed

With the expanding Star Trek Universe, there are actually two animated Trek series in development. At SDCC we learned a lot about Star Trek: Lower Decks, the adult animated comedy coming to CBS All Access. As for the untitled kid-focused Star Trek cartoon set to premiere on Nickelodeon, we don’t know much, but we now know who is writing it.

Nick Trek ‘toon creators introduce their staff

The untitled CG Star Trek cartoon targeted for younger audiences and set for Nickelodeon was announced in April, and is being developed by the Emmy-winning duo of Dan and Kevin Hageman, creators of the popular animated shows Trollhunters and Ninjago (and co-screenwriters of the upcoming movie Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark). Now the Hageman brothers introduced the writers’ room for the show on Twitter:

Writers share their excitement, already at work on the show

The team is a mix of seasoned vets of both animation and live-action, along with some younger writers and newcomers to Hollywood. Unsurprisingly, many on the team worked with the Hageman brothers on Trollhunters and other projects. Some on the team are Star Trek fans as well.

It wasn’t specified, but the likely showrunner for the new toon is animation veteran Aaron Waltke, who has worked as showrunner for the Hageman brothers on Trollhunters. Waltke took to Twitter after the announcement to share his first memory, watching Star Trek: The Next Generation with his father. He also expressed excitement to “explore strange new worlds” with the new show.

Chad Quant, another Trolhunters vet and former host of the Emmy-winning educational kids show The Friday Zone, shared how “stoked” he was to be on the show:

Also jumping in to share their excitement about being part of the show are sisters and TV and DC Comics writers, Julie and Shawna Benson who are jumping over from live-action, recently working on The 100. The pair talked up how the writers’ room has already been hard at work.

Other writers expressed giddiness to finally share how they have been given the opportunity to work on Star Trek.


Keep up with all the news on upcoming Star Trek shows here at TrekMovie.com.

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Mattman8907

That’s great but how about a title and premise? Maybe even casting announcement?

DataMat

Probably a style similar to that of Star Wars Resistance show I’d speculate.
Probably Kirk era seen as that area is now vacant now that Discovery has moved forward. Maybe it will be more akin to Star Ware The Clone Wars, which would actually be something I’d probably be interested in myself.

Corinthian7

I thought they’d announced that this series focused on a group of lawless teens that find themselves in control of a derelict Starfleet vessel? This to me suggests a post Federation setting so my guess would be that they’ll pick a period in the vast amount of time between Picard and season 3 of Discovery.

Patrick Gerard

Season 3 of Discovery may still have the Federation intact.

Chabon’s short trek would have to be set in the 44rd century at least since Discovery has been abandoned for 1000 years. And I think he confirmed that “Vdraysh” mentioned in the short as enemies of the refugee that the Discovery takes in is the Federation.

So we have an intact Federation through the 43rd century.

Corinthian7

Not necessarily Patrick. You are of correct when you state that there may indeed be a Federation but Chabon’s short Trek would not have to be set in the 44th Century. My own theory is that the story will require the crew to send the Discovery back in time. Possibly due to a combination of encountering a threat that technologically outclasses them and also to allow the emerging AI on the ship adequate time to mature and develop defences that allow them to compete with said new threat. Obviously this would provide a means of getting Georgiou back to the 23rd Century and potentially allows the Enterprise to play a small role in the season. I haven’t seen that talk of the Vdraysh being the Federation but narratively speaking that would serve a similar purpose as having the organisation no longer exist. If Burnham and co arrive in the 33rd Century and Starfleet exists then it seems unlikely that they would all continue to serve together on Discovery. Surely the ship would be obsolete, maybe the crew could be retrained but would it be credible to have them all reassigned to the same vessel? I think therefore that it’s fairly safe to assume that the Federation and Starfleet as we’ve previously known them at least no longer exists. So going back to my original point I still think that if the “lawless teen” reports were accurate then it almost certainly will be set post Nemesis in a world in which the Federation has either fallen or been subverted into something unrecognisable.

Afterburn

Don’t worry, the show won’t air without a title, premise or cast.

You’re not quite sure how shows get made, are you?

ML31

I thought there was a premise out there. Perhaps it was speculation but I recall reading something about a ragtag group of teenagers finding some old ship and having their joyride that leads to learning something along the way.

Firebrand

Wish we’d could have a animation style similar to Thundercats.

Afterburn

Good lord, why?

PEB

You mean classic Thundercats, not the reboot right? Oh! The animation style from the 2000 relaunch of the show would be even better. Honestly, I’d love it if it looked like the same art style as Voltron but cgi.

Vulcan Soul

Whenever they are talking about “the kid-focused Star Trek series”, I can’t help thinking they are talking about The Burnham Chronicles. My bad :)

Afterburn

Boy some people complain about the idiocy and vitriol on this website, and here it is…

Danpaine

I took that as good-natured sarcasm as opposed to vitriol, but to each their own –

ML31

I took it as good natured sarcasm as well. Vitriol is usually focused towards individual people. For example, if he outright called a poster a “tool” for saying something he disagreed with or didn’t like….

Afterburn

Read his other comments. He doesn’t like DSC and here implies it’s for children. I’m glad you and ML31 agree though! Be careful: ML31 is an antagonizer.

ML31

I enjoyed that comment. :)

Russell Meyers

Can’t wait to share this with my son. Been advocating for new Trek for kids for over 20 years!

Danpaine

“Get them while they’re young and bend their minds.” – Spencer Dryden.

Good luck to this crew. Hope the kids like the show.

TG47

Don’t think it will appeal to who they say they are targeting.

See my post below.

That doesn’t mean it won’t make money. I just don’t think they know the target audience.

Danpaine

Thoughtful post, TG47. The world would certainly be a better place with more parents with ‘parent hats’ on. My daughter is 24 and has no interest in Trek whatsoever, so I have no skin in this game. I look forward to reading your thoughts on the show when it arrives (if you choose to get it), however.

ML31

My son is 17 and never showed an interest in Trek like his old man. He didn’t NOT like it. But it just wasn’t his thing. At least we can both relate to sports!

TG47

Ok.

I have to answer this with my parent hat on.

Please don’t all jump on me. I have some serious reservations about the ability of this writing crew to create a product for kids under 12 years.

Regulars on this board know that I’m enthusiastic in principle about the strategy of having different Trek offerings for different market niches and age groups.

However, as a parent of middle graders, I have to be concerned that I don’t see information that any of these writers have any education or expertise in child development – even if were talking teen or grade school age kids.

This makes a big difference in the choices that informed parents of grade school kids make about what their kids watch and what cable and streaming shows they will pay for.

The new show could be much more successful if they could mix the aspirational values of Trek, with adventure, STEM learning, and social learning.

There are shows out there – e.g. Hasbro’s My Little Pony : Friendship is Magic – that are successfully on brand, rated as educational (social-emotional learning), AND have a huge following among adults as well as kids.

Others like Odd Squad are STEM shows that actually reference Star Trek (try the classic ‘The Trouble with Centigurps’ episode) and are hugely popular.

Nickelodeon has a lot of shows our kids don’t and have never watched.

They are written for entertainment by people who don’t actually understand kids.

As we are in Canada, we have all the American channels, commercial and PBS, plus the Canadian ones.

Nickelodeon is probably at the bottom of the quality list. But it’s more that our kids haven’t wanted/asked to watch Nickelodeon shows. So, it hasn’t been worth paying for.

There are a few Nickelodeon shows that are produced in Canada that our kids watched, but Nickelodeon US productions accessible on Canadian kids channels like YTV or Warehouse haven’t ever been favourites.

Our eldest is just beginning to find a couple of the Nickelodeon shows amusing. Meanwhile, our kids have been watching TAS and the 90s Trek series for years.

The kicker is that our kids have absolutely no interest when I try to talk to them about this new show (because it might mean adding Nickelodeon to our cable package). Not sure I can justify the extra expense for myself.

Bottom line : doesn’t make much sense to me.

Sully

As a fellow parent (and Physics Teacher), I totally agree that a conscious effort to deliver some quality STEM education within this production would be such a laudable goal. There’s a market for this for sure, as Stephen & Lucy Hawking’s children’s books prove. Scientifically-accurate concepts contained within well-written stories would make unrealistic plot devices (galaxy-threatening supernovae anyone?!) a thing of the past for future generations of Star Trek writers.

PEB

I would suggest checking out Trollhunters on Netflix.

TG47

The Hawking books (George’s Key to the Universe etc.) are fantastic.

They are so readable too. Our kids started chewing through them in primary.

They’re advanced readers, but even so the rated Lexile reading level is well into the middle grades and the books are thick. So, we didn’t expect them to get through them so young.

TG47

Ok PEB.

I’ve checked out Trollhunters Common Sense Media review:

https://www.commonsensemedia.org/tv-reviews/trollhunters

Unlike much Nickelodeon stuff, it actually rates 4/5 dots on positive social modelling.

So, some social-emotional learning benefits are there.

But a Trek show should also have some STEM.

As an aside, we’ve basically had Common Sense Media as our ‘go to’ to check out any tv, movies, games, apps etc since our kids were in junior kindergarten.

It’s helped us make better choices and to keep our kids safe.

Kurtzman would do well to look at Common Sense Media’s criteria and rating boxes.

What they should be targeting is to get Common Sense Medias ‘Family Approved’ seal, and an age rating of 6+.

TG47

Argh… predictive speller again.

The Canadian kids commercial channels are YTV and Treehouse. Public channels are TVO (Ontario) and Knowledge Kids (BC).

For those who ask how we can see and try out Nick show without subscribing: 1) several Nick shows run on YTV and Treehouse; 2) Bell Fibe allows us to try shows using ‘On Demand’. This was enough to sell us on Disney, but not Nick.

So, we’ve definitely given Nick shows a chance, but there are many better things out there.

Legate Damar

Different families are different though. When I was a kid, I just watched whatever was on Nickelodeon. I’m sure that there are other kids who will do the same.

TG47

Legate Demar I think this was an American market thing of its time, especially as you didn’t have competing offerings for kids. Your public broadcaster doesn’t have dedicated kids time from 6 am to 4 pm the way Canadian provincial ones do.

In Canada, we’ve always had more choice because we get both Canadian and American border channels. Cable and satellite coverage arrived much earlier. I really felt deprived when I move to the US to study.

While as noted by Afterburn, kids can now stream to tablets or download episodes to watch offline, our kids had the typical Canadian choice of channels from preschool and they would ask to change the channel.

The Nick Jr shows (other than old Blues Clues) just didn’t hold their attention any more than the Nick shows for older kids do.

Meanwhile they found shows designed by folks who understand childhood development riveting. They would stick to TVO and Knowledge Kids the entire day if we let them, with Treehouse as a backup.

Legate Damar

Well, we also had Cartoon Network, PBS Kids, and Disney Channel. I don’t know how much streaming has changed the game, but I would imagine that their are still kids who will tune into watch Spongebob, and then stick around when Star Trek comes on next.

Afterburn

I have a friend with a 10 year old and a 5 year old and almost all the content they watch is streaming or on youtube. Almost ALL OF IT. I remember thinking how amazing that is, and what a good thing it is for kids, and parents. You can more easily control what your kids can access this way, and they have far more choice than ever before.

Eric Cheung

I know that Nickelodeon was founded by people who worked for PBS back in 1977. The period I watched Nickelodeon was from 1989 to 1993, from when I was 7-11. This was a period right around when they launched Nick, Jr., which was designed to be educational programming targeted to younger children. I remember that’s where I saw Mr. Wizard. The voice of the channel seemed to me to be about childhood irreverence, typified by shows like You Can’t Do that on Television and The Adventures of Pete & Pete, which seemed to me to teach some degree of independence and questioning authority. It also seemed to me to contrast with Disney, sort of a Looney Tunes counterpoint. They also curated older programs like Lassie and Dennis the Menace during the day, and Nick at Nite during the night, so I got quite an education of sitcoms of the 1950s-1970s. The reasoning was that what passed even for adult sitcoms at the time would be pretty family-friendly to kids of the 80s and 90s.

I don’t really know much about the state of the network after the mid-90s, so I can’t say to what degree the network is still like. I do know that Nick at Nite’s programming is definitely significantly different, since they’ve tended to stay with sitcoms that are about 20-30 years older than current sitcoms. Looking it up, current programming is Friends, Full House, The King of Queens, and Mom. That’s new, that there’s a show that’s still on the air playing on Nick at Nite. The lag time does seem to be getting shorter and shorter.

Perhaps more crew will be announced as the show gets into production, perhaps even including educational consultants.

VZX

Cool, I just hope I can watch it on some kind of streaming source. I don’t have cable or satellite.

ML31

I still have Nick. But it hasn’t been tuned into for years. The good news is I can check this out when it arrives quite easily. Assuming CBS doesn’t pull Nick from Dirct TV or AT&T in an attempt to force people to buy CBSAA.

Afterburn

Most of us living in 2019 under the age of 65 don’t have cable or satellite, or won’t within the next 5 years.

Cable subscriber rates boomed to 16 Million in 1975, up to to 65 Million in 1990. It topped out at nearly 100M in 2014, and has seen steady drops since. According to one poll, US customers keep cutting the cord, with just 74M households having pay cable in Q1 of this year, and the percentage of subscriber drops over the past 5 years has been exponential. From 2.3% in 2015, to 3.9% the following year, and so on.

One study suggests that we may see a drop to as low as 50% as early as 2022. A more doom-like scenario predicts that Cable TV as we know it will be all but dead by 2030. Personally, I think it will hang on a little longer than that, before those who really love Cable TV like you, simply and literally die off.

ML31

That is not true. You exaggerate because it fits your extreme narrative. People are cutting cords but not to the extreme you claim it is. I am not “in love” with cable as you claim. I just find it to still be where I get the most bang for my buck when one considers what we get at how much of a hassle at what quality and at what price. When all those factors are considered at this moment cable is still the superior option. For someone who doesn’t want to watch sports it very well could no longer be worth it. And I get that there could be other subjective reasons for others. But for now, cable is in no danger of evaporating. It will evolve and change, for sure. And when the time comes in the future when something else gives me what I get from cable for a decent price with minimal fuss… Then I will happily change.

For the record, 7 years ago many predicted CD’s would be gone withing 4 years. There was even one record company who claimed they would stop using cd’s for albums. Hasn’t happened yet.

Afterburn

I cite studies and do research. You are just willfully in denial and make claims based on your own personal feelings (and before you angrily claim that I do the same, note the qualifier “just”– yes i do make claims that are emotionally motivated, but I also do more than that).

Nobody has ever claimed books, CD’s or even cable will be “gone”. Most have predicted that they would become a more niche product, and that’s exactly what they’ve become. The people who made those claims were correct.

Also, if you bothered to learn your reading comprehension skills in the 3rd grade, you’d not have missed the part where I said “cable TV as we know it” with the emphasis on “as we know it.”

But thanks for playing.

ML31

Fine. But you don’t cite them. We are just supposed to take your word for something that has not been widely or commonly reported. Therefore, you have to forgive someone when it looks like you just pulled numbers out of thin air to support your personal preference.

CD’s have hardly become a niche product. Vinyl, it could be argued, has become a niche product. CD’s are still very very much a thing. Don’t mistake the lack of record stores with the lack of CD’s. That’s just the result of what has happened to the traditional brick & mortar business.

I did indeed catch that little bit. It just didn’t line up with the underlying theme of the point you were trying to make.

And you dishing out your little childish insult only serves to undermine your comments. It also shows it is likely you have no interest in having an actual discussion.

Take care, sir. Go ahead and get your much wanted last word. I will pay it no mind.

Tiger2

Dude, just be thankful you will no longer have to do this on practically every board anymore. Seriously, be (very) thankful!

Anyway moving on for good…

We still have satellite cable but yes with the recent purchase of a smart TV and can get so many of what we watch through the apps we are starting to wonder why we are still bothering with it? Don’t get me wrong, a lot of the apps are only accessible because we subscribe through the satellite service but its clear within the next decade a big shift will happen. I agree with you cable is the premium option for NOW, but things are going so fast now on the technology and media front, who knows. And 5G is suppose to change the game in a big way the way 3G did when it first showed up and that’s creeping up in the next year or so.

Cable is not going anywhere but my guess is like the music companies they are going to have to adjust much faster in the coming years.

Chancellor Gowron

I wonder if this will also stream on All Access, or if it will stream wherever the other Nick shows air. Either way, I’m excited for this.

Michael Hall

Hey, who knows? This may turn out to be the best show out of all of them. Not likely, I know, but stranger things have happened.

ML31

Being on Nick and not CBSAA it already has the advantage of being more easily accessed. I think that might have been part of the plan. This show they wanted people to access with minimal effort.

TG47

Wider distribution in the US, Nick but isn’t global.

As noted above, Nickelodeon is a marginal premium channel in Canada. Corus owns Nick Canada, but their own kids stations YTV and Treehouse do better.

We haven’t heard who is willing to pick it up internationally yet, and kids show distribution appeal be a completely different business.

That’s probably why Amazon is selling its kids originals like Just Add Magic through Sinking Ship (makers of Odd Squad) for global distribution.

ML31

Well… Canada already seems to be getting easier access to the other shows. So this would be a small compensation I should think.

TG47

Well, I’m hoping the Shaws think it’s promising enough to put on YTV. They seem to have very good sense about the kids and teen markets.

But you’re right that, with BellMedia making Space channel and Crave streaming one stop viewing for all things Trek, Canadians are fortunate.

BellMedia seems to play the synergy game well – CBS is booking more and more space at Pinewood Toronto Studios – of which BellMedia is unsurprisingly the majority owner.

Afterburn

Not quite true.

More and more, kids are turning to streaming services to watch content, and there’s an article (which I won’t link here but you can find by googling the title) called “Nickelodeon, Disney, and Cartoon Network Ratings are in Free Fall.”

With Disney starting their own service this winter, some analysts predict more than 70% of content consumed by children 6-12 will be viewed online/via streaming rather than on television within 5 years. Right now, Nick does not have their own app, and I wonder what their plan is to have this show aired online: will it be licensed out with other Nick shows to services like Amazon and Netflix? Or will CBS hold that option back to make it exclusively streaming on CBSAA?

TG47

Weird.

No Nickelodeon streaming or Go app in the US?

We have Bell Fibe which lets us stream tv anywhere we have access to Wi-Fi.

But all the kids channels in Canada have had Go apps for years, and Amazon Prime offers YTV and Treehouse as StackTV options.

Afterburn

I don’t believe there is a dedicated Nickelodeon app no, not one that is exclusively Nickelodeon content, ala CBS All Access, Disney Plus, or HBO Go.

ML31

I cannot confirm or deny if there is a Nick app. It doesn’t matter as my kid, who watches most not all of his TV on his tablet, is way beyond Nick. And I have had no reason to find out if there is as we get in on our TV and can stream that content to other devices whenever we want.

Afterburn

Ah, so you do have more than a television and a stone and chisel! Very good, you’ll get there yet!

ML31

Why are you trolling me? Please stop.

Tiger2

Today on that ‘other’ site that seems to be up and running again, they have an article where the creator of Lower Decks indeed confirmed the show WILL be canon! This is pretty exciting!! Never had an issue with it being canon and now we know if they bring in a character from TNG, VOY or DS9 (you totally know its happening lol) then it will all be part of their character development and not just a what if. I do think they won’t go overboard with cameos though, that’s Picard’s job lol.

Anyway I only bring it up because my guess if THAT show will be canon, I don’t see any reason why this won’t be either? I hope we get something about it at the convention this weekend. Everyone wants to know about the time period but with Lower Decks, Picard and Discovery all post Nemesis I actually wouldn’t mind seeing this one back in the 23rd century lol.

ML31

I see no reason why the Nick show won’t be canon either. Supposedly the wretched Star Wars Resistance is canon. So why wouldn’t a Trek kiddie show be?