I’m still processing today’s announcement that “Star Trek” is returning to television in January 2017. It’s big news. I have been a “Star Trek” fan as long as I can remember, and the franchise is at its best on television. It’s been a decade since the last “Star Trek” spinoff, Enterprise, went off the air. I’m glad it’s coming back.
But… the details! It’s all in the details. All we know now is that CBS will be producing the new show, under producer Alex Kurtzman’s production company, which produces several series for CBS. (Kurtzman co-wrote the two J.J. Abrams-directed “Star Trek” films.) But news reports suggest that Kurtzman is interviewing writers for the project, which suggests he’s seeking a showrunner who isn’t him. “Star Trek” could really use what “Doctor Who” got with Russell T Davies, someone who is a lifelong fan of the franchise while also being a talented, top-flight modern TV writer.
Even without a writer, though, this new “Star Trek” has a direct-to-series order for an unknown number of episodes. And in a peculiar twist, CBS has announced that the premiere episode will air on CBS, but all subsequent episodes will appear only on CBS All Access, the network’s pay-streaming service.
Streaming services are big right now. Amazon and Netflix just cleaned up at the Emmy Awards. Putting a show on streaming isn’t weird anymore. But… CBS also happens to have several linear TV networks at its disposal. So developing this show for streaming seems like an odd choice.
But hey, we can sweat the details later. New “Star Trek” is coming, and for that I’m grateful.