Earlier today, reports out of the TCA event revealed that Paramount+ was developing more Star Trek series beyond the five currently in production. A new report offers more details on what’s next for Trek on TV.
Section 31 pickup expected soon
Reports from the TCA quoted a Paramount+ executive telling the journalists that they were “still in development” on the Section 31 series led by Michelle Yeoh, adding “there will be more news on that soon.” And according to a new exclusive report in Deadline, their sources tell them the Section 31 series is “expected to get a pickup soon.”
Development of the Section 31 show was originally announced in early 2019 and a writers’ room was put together for the show, headed up by former Discovery writer/producers Bo Yeon Kim and Erika Lippoldt. Over the last three years, executive producer Alex Kurtzman and star Michelle Yeoh have talked up the potential series, but it never seemed to be able to get out of development; however, today’s announcements indicate that soon may change.
Academy series taking shape
Our earlier article also cited how Alex Kurtzman told the crowd that in addition to the Section 31 show there is another Star Trek series he is “remaining tight-lipped about.” According to Deadline’s new report, that other show is titled Star Trek: Starfleet Academy and it is “next in the Star Trek development pipeline behind [Section 31].” Deadline sources say the show is being developed by Absentia co-creator Gaia Violo, and it “will be pitched to Paramount+ shortly” with the hope to “get it going in the next year.”
Reports on a Starfleet Academy show being in development by Kurtzman actually go back to 2018 when he was first tapped by CBS to expand the Star Trek Universe for CBS All Access (now Paramount+). At that time Variety reported it was being developed by Stephanie Savage and Josh Schwartz (The O.C.). Not much was heard about the project until 2020 when Alex Kurtzman mentioned it on a couple of occasions, including Star Trek Day last September.
And more recently there has been a lot of speculation that the Academy show will be a spinoff of Star Trek: Discovery and set in the 32nd century. Season four of Discovery introduced a new Starfleet Academy and series star Mary Wiseman left the show with her character of Sylvia Tilly taking on a teaching position at the Academy. Both she and Discovery showrunner Michelle Paradise have confirmed that Tilly will return, and the character has been seen in a trailer for the second half of season four, however, they could have bigger plans for Tilly. Her Academy storyline in season four could be setting her up for an Academy series in the same way that the Georgiou/Guardian story in season three set up the Section 31 series.
Part of a long-term plan
Discussions of these potential shows should be put into the context that Paramount+ currently has five Star Trek series, including three live-action series, in active development. All the shows have multiple season orders, with enough episodes to fill up most of 2022 and 2023 with non-stop Star Trek on the streaming platform.
Alex Kurtzman talked today during the TCA about how they are thinking long-term for the franchise (via Variety):
We have to think several years out. So we’re thinking about, you know, knowing that we’re going to want new shows on the air two or three years from now we have to start putting those now. So there’s a bunch of things in development that are now starting to take shape and we’re super excited about it.
So it’s likely any new Star Trek shows will not arrive until 2024 or 2025. And by that time, it’s also likely that some of the current five Trek shows will have wrapped up.
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