Last week CBS All Access rolled out a big update, adding thousands of hours of content from Viacom cable channels. And this is just the first step towards an early 2021 rebranding and relaunch of the service as a “super streamer” as ViacomCBS takes on competition from other media companies like Disney, Warner Brothers, and NBC Universal. Now a key ViacomCBS executive is offering a bit of a preview of what is to come for the streaming service, including plans for Star Trek.
Season 2 of Picard coming to new All Access next year, but maybe not Nickelodeon’s Prodigy (yet)
In a detailed interview with Decider, ViacomCBS chief digital officer Marc Debevoise previewed the relaunch of CBS All Access. One of the subjects that came up was the Star Trek franchise, which has been a key component of All Access since the launch of Star Trek: Discovery in 2017.
How far off are you from having Star Trek as a churn-proof, year-round franchise?
We will have 23 straight weeks of original episodes starting Thursday with Star Trek: Lower Decks, which is an animated comedy from one of the writers on Rick and Morty. There’s huge interest in the show. It’s the most trailer views we’ve ever gotten for an original series. That runs for 10 weeks, and then Discovery will start the week after and run for 13 weeks. Star Trek: Picard Season 2 will be ready sometime in 2021.
The bit of news there is with regards to Star Trek: Picard. CBS has not previously set a release target for the second season of the show. It was was to go into production in June, but the pandemic has put the production start on hold with the latest estimates being some time this fall. By giving Picard season 2 a 2021 release date, Debevoise is showing a level of confidence that the show could go into production in Southern Californa sometime this year.
There was no mention of Star Trek: Strange New Worlds in the interview, which may not mean anything. The latest news from the Star Trek Universe Comic-Con panel is that the writers’ room has broken stories for 10 episodes. There is no word on when Strange New Worlds will go into production, and it’s plausible the first season will not be on the new All Access until 2022. Debevoise also didn’t mention the second season of Lower Decks which is already in production and could quite plausibly arrive in 2021.
The Comic-Con@Home Star Trek Universe panel also revealed that CG-animated kids series Star Trek: Prodigy is set to premiere on Nickelodeon in 2021. Even though last week’s update to All Access included content from Nickelodeon, and there is a new original SpongeBob series coming to the new All Access in 2021, it appears that new shows that air on the Nickelodeon network (like Prodigy) will take some time to appear on the streamer. According to Decider:
Episodes of CBS shows will continue to be available the next day on the relaunched service, but episodes from shows on BET, Comedy Central, MTV and other ViacomCBS cable networks will not become available on the streamer until a year or more after those seasons end.
So for fans who want to catch Star Trek: Prodigy as it airs in 2021, you will likely have to have a cable, satellite or streaming bundle that includes Nickelodeon.
There may be more info about the future of Star Trek on the new All Access coming later this week at the ViacomCBS quarterly earnings call. TrekMovie will provide an update if there is anything to report.
Keep up with everything going on with the Star Trek Universe on TV at TrekMovie.com.