January of 2017 will see the return of an original Star Trek series to TV airwaves according to a release from CBS Television. The last new episode of Star Trek on TV was from Enterprise in May of 2005. The network will release the first episode on CBS, and then the pilot and all first-run episodes after that on CBS All Access. It’s unclear yet what this will mean for viewers who do not subscribe to CBS All Access, whether the new episodes will release on CBS at a later time or become available as a DVD release the next year like most TV programs. Best guess based the information we currently have it appears that if you want to watch the series, after seeing the pilot, you’ll have to pay $5.99 a month for the premium streaming service, but with the way the release is phrased it’s hard to tell. The press release does say, “The next chapter of the Star Trek franchise will also be distributed concurrently for television and multiple platforms around the world by CBS Studios International.”, which could mean U.S. audiences may see it without paying the premiums.
Alex Kurtzman and Heather Kadin will serve as executive producers on the project. Kurtzman co-wrote Star Trek (2009) and Star Trek: Into Darkness as well as being executive producer on Limitless and Scorpion. Kadin is also executive producer on Limitless and Scorpion, as well as Sleepy Hollow. There is no writer, director, or cast announced yet, and CBS has confirmed that the new series is not related to the upcoming Star Trek Beyond feature film from Paramount. According to CBS the new series will feature all new characters exploring original worlds and civilizations with the same themes that have been the staple of the Star Trek franchise since its inception.
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. 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. ~David Stapf, President, CBS Television Studios.
Gene Roddenberry’s creation hit the airwaves in 1966, marking next year the 50th anniversary, and has spawned 12 feature films and 5 television series. Despite studio hesitations, mixed reception from series to series, and controversy in the original series, it’s impossible to deny that Star Trek has had a far ranging impact on everything from science to entertainment and may continue to do so.