"Star Trek," the most successful and influential series in TV history, is about to travel to a new frontier (hint -- it's not space). CBS just announced that yet another iteration of the show will appear in 2017. If the idea of a new "Star Trek" TV series wasn't quite exciting enough, the network added just a little more pop to this surprise: It will launch first on the network, then move to All Access, as its streaming service's first original production.
The show will be produced by Alex Kurtzman -- of "Alias," "Fringe" and so many more small-screen successes, but as far as Trekkies are concerned, one of the big names behind the movie reboot, too, 2013's "Star Trek Into Darkness." (Meanwhile, there is another movie apparently also in the works -- with Kurtzman, Bryan Burk and J.J. Abrams at the helm, starring Chris Pine and Zachary Quinto -- with a 2019 launch date.)
Per CBS, "The brand-new 'Star Trek' will introduce new characters seeking imaginative new worlds and new civilizations, while exploring the dramatic contemporary themes that have been a signature of the franchise since its inception in 1966."
As a cultural force, "Star Trek" has been reimagined dozens of times -- mostly as videogames -- but as a TV series, the rootstock arrived in 1966: Gene Roddenberry's glorious vision lasted just under 80 episodes on NBC before cancellation. CBS's own production arm produced the original "Trek" -- which went onto syndication immortality, and was reborn four times as classic syndication series in their own right.
However, this is entirely different -- a classic brand that will land on the Internet. CBS's All Access, which launched earlier this year, was initially seen as a service that would give subscribers a quick link back to the episode they may have missed on the air the night before. But quite obviously, that role was considered self-limiting, especially as Amazon Prime and Hulu (not to mention other streaming services) drive hard into the homegrown production world.
“There is no better time to give ‘Star Trek’ fans a new series than on the heels of the original show’s 50th anniversary celebration,” said David Stapf, president of CBS Television Studios, in a statement. “Everyone here has great respect for this storied franchise, and we’re excited to launch its next television chapter in the creative mind and skilled hands of Alex Kurtzman, someone who knows this world and its audience intimately.”