First Season Of ‘Star Trek: Discovery’ To Be Broadcast On CBS Network This Fall

Today the September and October 2020 premiere dates for the CBS Television Network were announced, and one surprise was the inclusion of the first season of Star Trek: Discovery, which will make its broadcast debut in the USA.

Disco over the air

The first season of Star Trek: Discovery will air on Thursdays on CBS at 10:00 PM ET/PT, starting with episode one (“The Vulcan Hello”) on Thursday, Sept. 24. Technically, this won’t be the first time this episode aired on CBS: Also on September 24, but back in 2017, CBS broadcast “The Vulcan Hello” as a way to promote the CBS All Access Original. The second part of the series premiere (“The Battle of the Binary Stars”) was made available the same night exclusively on the All Access subscription service.

All fifteen episodes of Discovery season one will be broadcast. If there are no breaks, then the finale (“Will You Take My Hand?”) would be broadcast on Thursday, December 31st, 2020.

You can see Discovery listed in this promotional tweet from CBS.

They’re describing the inclusion of Discovery on the broadcast schedule as a “special limited promotional run prior to its third season return on CBS All Access.” Season three of Discovery arrives on All Access on Thursday, October 15th, one week after the season one finale of Star Trek: Lower Decks. In addition to promoting the All Access streaming service, Discovery also helps CBS fill out its broadcast schedule in an era in which the pandemic is hampering the production of new content.

“This is hardly a traditional fall season, but we are prepared with a strong slate of original content while our regular scripted series begin production,” said Kelly Kahl, President, CBS Entertainment. “Based on our current timeline, we hope to start rolling out our previously announced fall series as they become available in November.”

Co-creator and executive producer Alex Kurtzman shared the news on Twitter:

ICYMI: 2017 Trailer for season one

Here is the trailer released at Comic-Con 2017 for season one of Star Trek: Discovery.

Keep up with all the Star Trek: Discovery news and analysis here at

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After Discovery S1 was released for broadcast in the UK, there was some musing about it running as a summer replacement on the main CBS broadcast channel in the US.

However, Primetime in the fall is another thing altogether, especially with limited new content on all networks due to Covid. I don’t know the schedule well enough to say what the usual show would be in that slot or what the competition is. Can anyone say?

For all its unevenness, I do hope that Discovery will attract a new audience this way.

CBS had a series called “Evil” in that timeslot last fall. I know it was renewed for a 2nd season, presumably in that same timeslot, but obviously they’ve been delayed due to the pandemic. “Tommy” aired in that slot this spring, but that show was cancelled after 13 episodes. Since then, CBS has just been airing reruns of “SWAT” or one of the ubiquitous “NCIS” shows.

I’ve been expecting this for quite some time. In summer 2018, CBS aired season 1 of “The Good Fight” (a CBS All Access original series), which was a spin-off of “The Good Wife”, which aired on CBS for many years before that. Also, The CW has been airing “Tell Me A Story” (also a CBS All Access original) for a few weeks now. And yet, with the exception of that first episode of Disco, no US broadcaster has aired any of the new Trek series.

It will be interesting to see how much CBS actually ends up airing. First, as others have pointed out, the swearing and nudity will need to be toned down. Some of the violence might be toned down too, but CBS wisely chose the 10pm slot to air this in, so they can get away with a bit more. Expect most of the cuts to be related to the show’s uneven length. I think only “Vaulting Ambition” is broadcast length. The other episodes will need to be cut down so CBS can add in more commercials, otherwise the network would be taking a loss in ad revenue (not gonna happen). The only other option would be to let the episodes run a few minutes long, but most stations will want to start their newscasts at 11pm. So that’s not gonna happen either.

The other issue would be the ratings. I wouldn’t be surprised if CBS pulls the plug halfway through the season if the ratings are not stellar. Sad to say, but the truth is if CBS can get better ratings with reruns of NCIS than they can with Discovery, they will air reruns of NCIS. If that happens, CBS could always move Disco to a less-desirable timeslot like Saturdays.

At any rate, it is the first time an American broadcast network has aired Star Trek on Thursdays since August 1967! So that’s a big deal

I honestly do not see this as a big deal. CBS is trying to fill space. The episodes were already in the lower end of the 40 minute range for the most part so most episodes will not have many edits.

All I can tell you is my DVR will not be recording it.

They’ll have to cut out a lot of sex and violence and swearing to meet legal broadcast standards, but maybe the season plays better over 8 episodes than 13.

CBS is not HBO.

Really? There’s like 30 seconds of that stuff. And you ever see a movie edited for tv? They barely edit violence. 99 percent of discovery is perfectly fine for tv.

About a few seconds every episode should do it.

The bigger issue might be hitting the 42 minute episode length, because some were 48 minutes or so. Unless they are going to go with the limited commercial interruptions like The Orville did.

That’s true Jeff just looking at the run times there were more episodes in season 1 that went beyond the standard 42 minutes than I realised. It’s worth noting that some or all of these episodes may have included a ‘Previously on Star Trek Discovery…’ that could easily be removed. Perhaps as you say they could limit commercial interruptions although I suspect they’ll want to monetise the broadcasts as much as possible. Being British I’m far from an expert in the workings of American network television. I do watch a lot of American TV though and I notice particularly with output coming from cable channels they don’t always conform to the standard 42 mins/1 hour time slot format. Might it be possible to do something similar with Discovery and have it overrun the traditional 1 hour slot? Even if it’s not normal practice it might be a viable option given the lack of new content available to media companies.

It has happened on very rare occasions. But generally networks have always preferred to cut to fit time rather than have things run over.

Other than Tilly’s F-bomb and maybe a couple seconds of Klingon nookie, what do you see them having to cut?

There were 2 episodes that got an 18+ rating in Canada and got warnings from the regulator for being broadcast in a PG timeslot.

The issues were the gore/torture/surgery flashbacks and the adult s*xual content.

So, both of those would need editing. It’s not a lot of time though.

Frankly, I suspect more cutting would be needed to fit in the 45 minute run time per episode to accommodate advertising.

I would guess that every episode that is TV-MA would have content cut to get it down to TV-14.

I hope they keep the Klingon nookie :)

If they knew there was a shot at being broadcast, they shot alternate scenes for the TVMA content.

I think this is probable for scenes like Tilly’s F-bomb. Maybe they’ll trim some of the violence by a second or so and I imagine that brief flash of Klingon nipple will end up on the cutting room floor. I’ve always maintained that these shows would inevitably end up on network television as even before COVID it made commercial sense to air them if only to promote their streaming service. The more mature elements always felt tacked on as if to say ‘this isn’t network, we can do whatever we want’ when in fact it would literally only be a few seconds in each episode that would need altering in order to broadcast them in the traditional medium.

You can say the F word on broadcast TV. Is no big deal.

In the UK the F word can be used liberally on broadcast television so long as it’s after the 9pm watershed, likewise I know it’s no big deal on premium cable channels but I’d always been under the impression that the traditional networks in America were a little more conservative in regards to their attitude to strong language.

In the US after 10pm they can get away with more adult language, but most networks just don’t have the guts to do it.

Cut or not cut, over broadcast, streaming or even torrent, I won’t watch this violent politically hostile drivel ever again! One would have to handcuff me to a cinema chair Alex-style, eyes forced open with iron clamps, to suffer through the holy journey of St. Mary Sue Michael again. As for the Discovery original reels, I say: Burn ’em! ;)

Fear not, no one is forcing you to do anything….

Enough already. We get it. You hate the series. You’ve long gone past the point of having anything coherent to add. At this point you are simply trolling for the sake of it. And its pretty damn sad to see.

Sure, sure. I bet you’ve seen every episode of Disco more than once.

Star Trek: Discovery season 3 should broadcast on CBS.

I don’t want to pay for another streaming service.

The streaming market is oversaturated with too much unnecessary streaming services.

Wish everything was on one big streaming service similar to Netflix.

HBO Max is enough for me.

“similar to Netflix.”

“HBO Max is enough for me.”

Captain Clarity strikes again.

Wait a minute….you’ve been commenting on how great/awful the Trek content is on CBSAA, now you’re saying you only have HBO Max? So, have you seen any of this at all?

Oh Mary Sue how much I’ve missed you!

Still not going to watch it.

No worries.
Many others WILL!

Good for them, but if by that statement you’re trying to be subtle to tell me some stupidity like “if you don’t care to watch then why are you here commenting about it?”, I will be preemptive and answer you: I may be totally disinterested in Discovery (and I did watch the first year and a half until I determined that it was garbage), but I am very interested in ST in general and in what others have to say about it, even you Gary 8.5. To further qualify my post, I will remind you that people can post not only to say how much they like something, but also how much they dislike something. It’s called freedom of expression. So if you Gary find this annoying, why don’t YOU abstain from commenting on my post? It’s not like I need your goddamned permission to express my opinion, got it?

No one:


Agreed. You don’t need anyone’s permission or blessing to express your like or dislike of something. What I don’t understand is why anyone burns daylight saying how much they dislike something. I don’t care for reality TV shows. I’m not on their message boards expressing my views about why I think Big Brother might be garbage. This isn’t a shot at you or anyone else who voices their distaste for DSC or LDS. I just don’t understand why you or anyone go to such effort to do so?

What do you mean “go to such effort”? My post is one sentence. And why should one spend less time expressing dislike? If people have something to say, it’s going to take the time it takes. Maybe they have a gripe or feel cheated or are disappointed… for whatever reason they’re writing something negative, it’s as valid as anything positive. If it’s their opinion then that’s justification enough. This being said, those that complain or criticize just to get a reaction, now that’s different. And I did say I’m here because I like to read what people say and I like ST in general. I’m not going to go out of my way on a reality show site as you say just to tell everyone I don’t like reality TV… To your point, that makes no sense.

Thanks for saying it dennycranium.

Well… Fans of Big Brother might want to take to social media and express how bad their show has become. Just like a Trek fan will want to watch new Trek and then determine how bad it’s gotten. Just like fans of a ball club will still tune in or show up and complain about how terrible the team has been.

It’s called being a fan.

The only true fans are the ones who accept everything no matter what because of the name associated with it! Go local sports team! /s

That’s good to know. I’m not watching Discovery season one again. Seen it, done that.

Same. But I’m happy to rewatch Season Two!

This is a good move. The new fall season is upon us and networks may be short on material.
I hope a new audience discovers DSC and enjoys it as much as some of us do.
DSC just might SURPRISE everyone and be a ratings hit for CBS in that time slot. Please note I said a RATINGS hit, not necessarily a critical hit.
I enjoyed DSC season 1. I enjoyed season 2 more but I hope people who are Trek fans who don’t have AA can enjoy it.

Season 1? Where’s 3?

On CBS All Access, starting on October 15, a week after Season 1 of Lower Decks finishes.

Thanks guys :)

On CBS All Access.

This will be viewed by about 0.47 million people per episode.

You and your crystal ball.

I wondered how the shutdown was going to affect the fall programming. I guess this is how.

Translation: We don’t have enough original content because of the coronavirus so we need to get programs from streaming into our broadcast schedules. I guess this was inevitable and kind of understandable. I am kinda curious how it is gonna do in the ratings.

Not surprising with the lack of programming due to COVID restrictions that began last March.

I have noticed that Tell Me a Story has already been airing on the CW.

I heard CW was also gonna air that cancelled Swamp Thing show as well. Well they got to fill in the schedules.

That is about the most idiotic decision they could have made! Who is gonna watch SEASON ONE of Discovery? The show has already run on CBS All Access, Seasons One and Two are already on Blu Ray and DVD. And that isn’t enough, there are number of Pirated Websites where you can download the series for free. CBS is clearly hurting for programming.

A lot of people don’t have CBS All Access subscriptions, casual or potential new fans won’t have purchased the discs, and a lot of people have an aversion to stealing pirated content. If this brings even a few more fans to the franchise, that’s a great thing.

To be honest i would just as much prefer if BBC America buys the rights to show Enterprise in its entirety. They have shown TOS remastered, TNG remastered. The original broadcast low res versions of Deep Space Nine and Voyager. I’ve seen all of Disco. I missed a lot of Enterprise and i never got around to seeing the rest of it on DVD or blu ray.

But will it be censored and cut for content to allow for advertisement? I’m glad i have the show uncut and in HD.

Milking this dud one more time, I see. Can’t blame them, it’s smart business. Paid for by Netflix, paid for by All Access subscribers, paid for by DVD sales…and now paid for by network advertising. Good thing it’s on CBS, if this abysmal series wasn’t playing in its own sandbox, it wouldn’t even be on the air.