CBS has pushed back the premiere of its highly anticipated “Star Trek: Discovery” series from a planned early 2017 debut to May. The spinoff of “The Good Wife” will move into the “Star Trek” slot, bowing in February. Both series are set for the CBS All Access SVOD and live streaming service.
CBS executives stressed that the delay was driven by the need to give the “Star Trek” creative team more time to meet expectations for the series, particularly with special effects. They said executive producers Alex Kurtzman and Bryan Fuller raised the issue of the need for more time last week, which triggered discussions about what would ultimately be best for the series. “Star Trek” is set to start shooting in Toronto in November.
“Bringing ‘Star Trek’ back to television carries a responsibility and mission: to connect fans and newcomers alike to the series that has fed our imaginations since childhood,” said Kurtzman and Fuller. “We aim to dream big and deliver, and that means making sure the demands of physical and post-production for a show that takes place entirely in space, and the need to meet an air date, don’t result in compromised quality. Before heading into production, we evaluated these realities with our partners at CBS and they agreed: ‘Star Trek’ deserves the very best, and these extra few months will help us achieve a vision we can all be proud of.”
CBS is betting heavily on “Star Trek” to drive more viewers to the service, which currently has about 1 million subscribers. The Eye recently announced an commercial-free version, which will cost $9.99 a month, compared to $5.99 a month for the ad-supported service.
“The series template and episodic scripts that Alex and Bryan have delivered are incredibly vivid and compelling,” said CBS TV Studios president David Stapf. “They are building a new, very ambitious ‘Star Trek’ world for television, and everyone involved supports their vision for the best timing to bring to life what we all love on the page.”
“Star Trek” is still in the process of casting a female lead, potentially a woman of color. Fuller revealed during the show’s panel at the recent Television Critics Assn. press tour that he wanted to continue the show’s tradition of inclusivity in its casting. Although the role still hasn’t been cast, execs said that didn’t factor into the delay.
“Star Trek: Discovery” will premiere first on CBS, and then all episodes will follow exclusively in the U.S. on CBS All Access. The new “Good Wife” series will follow a similar rollout strategy. Given that “The Good Wife” was already in the works, moving up its release date to give “Star Trek” breathing room was a seamless solution.
“We have an amazing inaugural slate of originals for CBS All Access and world-class creative teams behind each of our shows,” said CBS Interactive president Marc DeBevoise. “This lineup and release schedule will ensure we deliver the highest quality, premium series that are sure to appeal to both existing subscribers and new audiences alike, throughout the year.”
The “Good Wife” spinoff, which stars Christine Baranski and Cush Jumbo, will pick up one year after the finale of the CBS drama. Robert and Michelle King, creators and executive producers of “The Good Wife,” who are finishing up their run on this summer’s “BrainDead,” are now set to return as the showrunners in addition to exec producing. The Kings initially had not planned to serve as showrunners on the spinoff. The decision is an indication that “BrainDead” is unlikely to be renewed for a second season.
Phil Alden Robinson co-wrote and will executive produce the premiere “Good Wife” episode. Ridley Scott, David Zucker, Liz Glotzer and Brooke Kennedy are also exec producers for CBS Television Studios, Scott Free Productions and King Size Productions.
“Star Trek: Discovery” is produced by CBS Television Studios in association with Kurtzman’s Secret Hideout, Fuller’s Living Dead Guy Productions and Roddenberry Entertainment. Kurtzman, Fuller, Heather Kadin, Gretchen J. Berg, Aaron Harberts, Rod Roddenberry and Trevor Roth are exec producers.