No phasers, transporters in next project, Biller says

HOLLYWOOD — “Star Trek: Voyager” scribe Ken Biller has been upped to exec producer of the UPN sci-fi staple as part of a new overall development deal with Paramount Network Television.

Multiyear pact calls for Biller to develop and produce drama series for the studio while remaining on “Voyager” for its seventh and final season. Biller, who had been co-exec producer, continues to report to “Voyager” co-creator and exec producer Rick Berman.

“Ken is an extremely talented writer-producer who has grown into a terrific showrunner,” said Par Network Television topper Garry Hart. “His expanded creative role on ‘Star Trek: Voyager’ is well deserved, and we look forward to developing new projects with him in the future.”

Biller has been part of the “Voyager” universe since the show’s first season, starting as an executive story editor. He was upped to co-producer status in 1996; a year later he was named producer.

As much as he’s enjoyed working on “Voyager,” Biller said his development will likely avoid the sci-fi genre.

“After six years of doing this, I’m looking forward to doing something more contemporary … something that doesn’t have phasers and transporters, as much as I love phasers and transporters,” he said.

“Voyager” wraps on April 9, making it unlikely Biller will develop anything for fall 2001; midseason is considered a better bet, barring a writers strike.

“Paramount has really been a terrific home for me,” he said. “I’m excited to keep working at the studio that’s kept me employed longer than anything else I’ve worked on.”

Under a previous development deal with Par, Biller developed a Fox drama pilot that didn’t get picked up for series and the UPN telepic “The Last Man On Planet Earth.”

Prior to “Voyager,” Biller had worked as a scribe on “The X-Files” and on “Beverly Hills, 90210.

Deal was brokered by Scott Arnovitz at ICM. Biller is repped by Paul Haas at AMG.

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