Paramount+ Content Chief Talks Up Star Trek Expansion, Reveals ‘Strange New Worlds’ Release Timing

With the recent launch of Star Trek: Prodigy, Paramount+ now has four active original Star Trek shows, with another on the way next year. Now David Nevins, the Chief Content Officer for Scripted Originals, is talking up what’s in store for Paramount+, including the Trek franchise.

Paramount+ “building out” Star Trek franchise

In a new interview with Deadline, David Nevins brought Star Trek up when asked about his upcoming programming strategy for the streaming service, and what differentiates Paramount+:

You’re going to see quite a lot of stuff rolling out over the next three or four months. We’re finally coming out of our Covid hangover, and you’re seeing the first of the Taylor Sheridan stuff, you’re seeing expansion of Star Trek and adult animation.

I’d point to a few different things that I think will wind up distinguishing Paramount+ over time. Definitely franchise first. We’re building out the Star Trek franchise, we’re building on the strength of franchises that we own. You’ve seen what the Nickelodeon strategy has been, very much about franchises. We are trying to build off what Taylor Sheridan has done; Grease is going to be an important show in the new year; Fatal Attraction is going to be an important show in the new year; and The Offer, which touches the history of Paramount and The Godfather, one of the great franchises in Paramount history, you’ll see that.

Nevins comments about the future of the Trek television franchise on Paramount+ come just two weeks after the new head of Paramount Pictures talked up plans to develop multiple Star Trek feature films, with the first (currently) slated for 2023.

Strange New Worlds coming Spring 2022

When asked directly about the continued expansion of the Star Trek Universe on Paramount+ Nevins didn’t provide any details beyond the five known current shows, but he did give a hint about when we can expect Strange New Worlds:

I’ve been involved with Star Trek now for the last couple of years because I was overseeing CBS Studios for a while. So, I’ve been pretty deeply involved with David Stapf and Alex Kurtzman in it. You’ve seen this expand into animation with Lower Decks, and then computer-generated animation with Prodigy, and then Strange New Worlds will be on the air next spring. Strange New Worlds is a return to Star Trek as adventure film, just sort of space exploration; it has a lot of the values in the original Star Trek, and I think that’s going to be really fun. Each new Star Trek has taken it to another level and has a different tone, but in a way, that’s been, I think, really satisfying.

Previously Strange New Worlds had only been confirmed for a 2022 release, but this indicates it is coming sooner, rather than later. The second season of Star Trek: Picard is arriving in February, so a good guess for the debut of the next Star Trek series would be around May 2022. This also fits with the recent report that Paramount+ has already ordered a second season of Strange New Worlds, with a production start set for February. Also previously confirmed to be coming in 2022, likely later in the year, is the third season of Lower Decks and the 10-episode second half of the first season of Prodigy.

There are no details about 2023, but we are likely to see the third season of Picard (currently in production), the second season of Strange New Worlds (reportedly starting production in early 2022), and the (just announced) second season of Prodigy. There is no word yet on if there will be a fifth season of Discovery or a fourth season of Lower Decks. Executive producer Alex Kurtzman has also recently talked up development of a Starfleet Academy show. Paramount Pictures also has a Star Trek feature film set for June 2023. If that project isn’t delayed, it could join the other Star Trek films on Paramount+ later that summer.

Anson Mount as Captain Pike in Star Trek: Strange New Worlds

Showtime bundle and free Paramount+ with T-Mobile deal

Nevins also hyped the new Showtime/Paramount+ bundle which offers both services for 25% off ($11.99/month). He also indicated they will likely roll out a three-way bundle that includes BET+ in the future.

And T-Mobile has announced a new perk for customers, with a free year of Paramount+.

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Just read the next film has been delayed to December 2023

No details on the Section 31 show. Wonder if now will be the December 2023 film.

I’m guessing they can no longer afford Michelle Yeoh as her stock has been rising sharply…

I’m guessing it’s because the show had little to no traction and has absolutely nothing to do with being able to afford Yeoh.

At least they aren’t talking about that dumb Section 31 show…

I would really prefer the Section 31 show. I’m sure SNW will be fine, but I’d prefer something more original than the Enterprise exploring strange new worlds. We’ve had four shows with that premise already. Plus, I want to see more Georgiou.

I agree. I loved Pike in DSC, but I would really prefer something more original too. It would be interesting to see how Section 31 fits into the Federation, I mean, I personally want to see more about the inner workings of the Federation.
I also want to see more of Georgiou – she was a nice contrast to the Discovery crew – and I think she would be an interesting character to be in Section 31. In a way, Georgiou’s very suitable for Section 31, but at the end of the day, Section 31 serves the Federation and she might not.

In all honesty, I was actually interested in the Section 31 show when it was originally announced. But then after I saw how they did it in Discovery, I became less interested. If they ever make it, of course I will be curious how they do it and it did sound like it was going to be a lot more interesting than just a spy thriller show. It sounded like it was going to be either time or multiverse based. If that’s true, then I’m more up for it even if it’s being lead by Space Hitler.

As for the Pike show, I was never really pining for it. I knew they were going to do something with them, but I thought maybe a mini-series or TV movies if they didn’t want to have six shows on at once. But it was a no-brainer to replace it with Section 31. I agree, I would prefer something more original too but it’s no way they can pass this up. It’s every TOS fans dream to be back on the original Enterprise. I’m excited just to be back on that ship again alone.

But I do hope whatever show they have planned after that one, that will be something dramatically different. And I want it to be a post-Picard show. It doesn’t have to go to the 33rd century or anything but a 25th or 26th century show could be fun!

I think Picard, LDS and PRO has the post-Nemesis era covered although I know we will get more shows in this era again because this is what a lot of fans are pining for and they have so many legacy characters they can keep using.

The future of NEM should belong to an epic Starfleet Academy show slowly transforming into a space adventure…

Focusing on our famous offspring generation such as Miral Paris, Kirayoshi O’Brien and Kestra Riker-Troi, it could start out at the Academy… a bit Potterish, with lots of mysteries in those ancient halls of Starfleet Academy: subspace serpents, Katric spooks and hidden chambers of Iconian Gateways … and lots of legacy characters as teachers!

Then slowly head into space around season 3-4… with Worf captaining the Enterprise E as a TWOK-ish training ship… getting field promotions and becoming a legendary new crew…

Miral Paris and the Ambassador’s Stone
Miral Paris and the Chamber of Gateways
Miral Paris and the Prisoner of Rura Penthe
Miral Paris and the Bat’leth of Fire
Miral Paris and the Order of the Katra
Miral Paris and the Half-Blood Vulcan
Miral Paris and the Deathly Quantums

Miral, Yoshi and Kestra… Those three names just sound so neat…

A secret protected by a three-headed Targ, living 3D chess, Boothby living with his Tardigrade Fred on academy grounds, Spock having created a secret chamber some 150 years ago, a holographic memory cube, time stones, mind-probing Ba’ul watchdogs, cetecean recreations, a mirror leading to the MU… all of that makes so much sense :-)

I’m glad. I’ve got no interest in that show. If they wanted to do a Captain Georgiou prequel, I’d happily watch that, but Section 31 just does not seem like a good idea to me.

That show may have been put on the extreme back burner if not scrapped altogether. Personally I’m not interested in Section 31 but I wouldn’t mind a show about Star Fleet Intelligence instead. Just leave Space Stalin out of it.

Star Fleet Intelligence could be a cool premise, or even a Temporal Investigations show

I’m getting the sense that Nevins is indicating that Paramount+ is more directly involved in the development and creative direction of Star Trek than when it was initially relaunched on CBS All Access. When you’re writing the checks and providing the platform, you get a voice and that may not be a bad thing.

Intriguing to see the content chief describe classic Star Trek as “adventure film.” Not the phrase I would put at the top of the list to describe most of the most revered episodes of TOS and TNG.

According to Wikipedia, all of the TOS and TNG films are ‘adventure films’, except Insurrection. Ok, just kidding, including Insurrection.

Star Trek films have always been classified as being in the adventure genre. They’re also sci-fi, but they’re undeniably adventure.

Exploration is kind of an adventure so I don’t think it is “wrong” to classify it as such. But of course the best thing about Trek was always that it could be any genre it wanted to be within the perimeters of science-fiction.

Nevins is the poster child for the “Hollywood never does anything original” crowd.

“Original” would mean they stop making new iterations of Star Trek. Is that what you would like? Also, using the phrase “poster child” and complaining about how “Hollywood never does anything original” is something that is so unoriginal that it’s cliche. Just saying.

You can something very original within a pre-established franchise and you can basically do something rather unoriginal as a “new” brand. Plus I DO believe that being part of a decade.spanning franchise elevates a product’s scope and importance.

For example, I’ve recently watched Locke & Key on Netflix. It’s nice little show with some fresh aspects but overall it feels like something that could easily happen within the world of Buffy or Harry Potter. And that would make it A LOT more exciting and relevant to me.

If you start something new, you have to build an entire new world from scratch and very often that world is either not very diverse and exciting because your product is limited to a certain special idea OR you’ll eventually have to copy-paste elements from other franchises in order to widen your scope…

Look at Stargate for example… the stargate was a fresh idea back then, but after a couple of seasons they couldn’t help themselves not shoe-horning a fleet of Earth ships into the show because the show would have been too limited without that.

If Trek had been bold enough to turn the Iconian Gateway idea into its own TNG spin-off back in the early 90s, it would have been a very fresh comcept within Trek but with a much wider scope and potential than the SG franchise achieved a few years later.

Bottom line: I think the world of genre movies and shows would be better off with 20-30 big franchises instead of tiny little projects that eventually either lead to a dead end after 3-5 seasons or have to expand through mimicking other brands in ordere to attain the all…

I’m sorry but thinking in franchise patterns is part of my fan DNA. It doesn’t make much sense if products are original standalone items that just exist outside a greater framework. Where is the significance in its existence?I just can appreciate that the same way I appreciate franchise installments.

Firefly may have been a neat little show but wouldn’t it be infinitely greater if it was part of… ugh… the Alien franchise? Same for Riddick, Species etc…

Defiance was great, but it’s just an isolated show that does lead nowhere…

Killjoys, like it a lot… but it would be better off in a corner of the Star Wars cosmos.

I’m still talking about mostly the same shows…all original content, but linked to something that truly matters…

Sorry, I cannot think any other way. I tried to write my own sci fi / fantasy books, but eventually abandoned it because I couldn’t get past the point where I either had to limit myself significantly to very small ideas in order to stay original or where I would have to blatantly copy from established franchises in order to achieve a certain “completeness”… Eventually, I noticed that I couldn’t do it. Because those isolated, seemingly fresh ideas mean nothing outside the grander scope of universes such as Star Trek, Star Wars, the Whoniverse, Marvel or DC.

Discovery is being renewed for season five. An announcement is coming soon.

Fresh report says ViacomCBS is number 2 in overall content demand to Disney but ViacomCBS subsidiary Nikelodeon is number 1 in kids content demand with Disney at number 2.

“The figure represents the long-term appeal of the company when consolidating its original content and leveraging its IP for its own platforms.”

For ViacomCBS that number is driven by Nickelodeon, not Star Trek.

Nick as the top kids content source is a bit of a surprise, but explains why ViacomCBS accelerated the expansion of Nickelodeon properties onto P+.

Star Trek is a major franchise, and P+ seems to understand the intersection of some of its kids brands like Avatar, The Last Airbender and Trek.

What ViacomCBS isn’t doing, but should, is to take advantage of the relationships with authors of popular book series in fantasy and sci-fi and establish some new franchises.

Netflix is doing well with book series to streaming series adaptations, but is just beginning to exploit these to establish new franchises.

The antitrust cases are going to keep Simon & Schuster with ViacomCBS for some time. Smart strategy would be to get some new franchises launched from that.

So much talk of “expansion” because it’s quantity over quality with these guys. Thus is the name of the streaming game: content is king, and good or bad is less important than consistency. Just keep pumping out shows, whatever it takes to keep people subscribed.

End Picard and bring us the proper TNG/DS9/VOY sequel starfleet show we’re all waiting for. I’m hoping that Picard, Lower Decks and Prodigy are loosely world-building toward that.

November-February – Discovery
February-May – Picard
May-August – Strange New Worlds
August – Lower Decks??

Have we finally arrived at year-round Trek?

Looks like it. You also have 10 more Prodigy episodes in there somewhere.

Sadly, it looks like Prodigy will just be “filler” between seasons of everything else. Dish ’em out 5 at a time. :(

Anyone remember Short Treks?

I would love to see Short Treks back.

Also, some long form Trek made-for-streaming movies.

It seems that the issue has been licensing to other streamers. Perhaps now that P+ has priority for all Trek content, the decision to stop making the Short Treks will be revisited.

I don’t think so. I been reading in other places and people have been saying this is how a lot of Nickolodean shows work. They have these strange schedules and breaks and we have to remember they are the ones making this show, not P+. It’s also why we are getting a lot more episodes too.

I don’t think the show will be used for filler though, it just seems more like they are not finished making the season and need a bigger break to finish the second half of it. And others been theorizing we only got the first five episodes because Discovery was still not ready but they were afraid once LDS went off, people would just cancel between the two shows and so PRO was used to fill in that month’s gap. It’s complete speculation but I see Paramount doing exactly this lol. In all reality PRO first season itself is probably not completely finished either and need more time.

Once the pandemic stuff is fully over, I think everything will be more orderly.

Article didn’t mention the upcoming Star Trek:TMP HD update, which was supposed to debut on Paramount+. That’ll be a real treat for fans- hope it’s still happening.

Good that all Trek movies are available now. Paramount + needs to include the 1985 & 2002 iterations of The Twilight Zone in its library!!!

Looking forward to the “adult animation” they are talking abut. Hope it’s good.

Does anyone actually want a Section 31 series? I’m not sure how you could have a show based on those dark themes and still have it resemble Star Trek values?

Really excited for SNW. I cannot wait for a more episodic series so I can rewatch episodes again in the future at random.

The problem lies not with its theme, rather its potential execution in our day and age. A Section 31 show realized in the 90s with lots of network constraints and self-censorship in place… that is one thing I’d like to see (minus the mirror Georgiou character). But nowadays, with all the TV-MA imagery? A truly dark place I do not want to go…