CBS, the current rights holder of the Star Trek franchise, is once again launching a new TV series just in time for the franchise’s 50th anniversary. This is in hopes that bringing the sixth voyage to the small screen will continue what J.J. Abrams has done to revitalize the series for today’s audiences.
But sadly, the new show will not be available to Canadians in its initial offering. CBS is trying to accomplish what has been tried many times before: anchor Star Trek to a new network. Paramount first contemplated this in the late 70s with plans to anchor a new US TV network around Star Trek Phase II. Star Trek Phase II would have seen a Leonard Nimoy-less Star Trek with William Shatner again as Captain Kirk. These plans, in the end, would be shelved.
Start Trek Phase II became Star Trek: The Motion Picture, launching the original 1966 crew into a highly successful 6 film movie franchise while the TV network aspirations would again be revived in 1995. This second attempt would take flight and it successfully launched UPN (United Paramount Network) with Star Trek Voyager as the new network’s first anchor show.
Star Trek: Voyager the fourth on the small screen would go on to great success with over 172 episodes over 7 seasons.
The still-unnamed new Star Trek series: The 6 on the small screen will be available first on the still fledgling CBS All Access internet based streaming network. Much like Netflix and even more like Sony’s Crackle, CBS’s All Access brings viewers streaming access to a wide variety of CBS’ properties including the back catalogue of Star Trek titles.
Even though few details of the new Star Trek series have been announced, the company is currently looking for a new writer to helm the network’s first original TV show.
Fans of the original 1966 series take note that the new Star Trek TV series is currently being produced by Alex Kurtzman, who penned Star Trek Into Darkness and the 2009 franchise reboot. We can expect the new alternate timeline introduced in these films to continue with the new series. One thing we do know is the producers are looking to introduce new characters much like the previous five Star Trek series have done over the last 40 years.
We can only hope that this new Star Trek TV series will quickly be available to Star Trek fans here in Canada and the rest of the world.