×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

‘Star Trek: Discovery’: Alex Kurtzman Talks Delays, Bryan Fuller’s Exit

Star Trek: Discovery” is set to premiere in September — nine months after the series was originally slated to debut on CBS All Access. According to executive producer Alex Kurtzman, the delays were necessary to execute a series that is larger in scale than any previous iteration of “Star Trek.”

“In order to justify being on a premium service, it had to be huge,” Kurtzman said Tuesday at the Television Critics Association press tour. He added that when he and fellow EP Bryan Fuller realized that the demands of production would require the premiere of the show to be delayed, they approached CBS CEO Leslie Moonves.

“He was 100% supportive,” Kurtzman said. “He totally got it. So we set about building this massive show.”

The “Discovery” premiere ended up being pushed twice — from January to May, then from May to September. With the first delay, Fuller stepped away from his role as showrunner and from day-to-day involvement in the series.

Kurtzman said that much of the original vision that Fuller — a fan favorite who began his writing career on “Star Trek: The Next Generation” — brought to “Discovery” has been preserved.

“I’m a tremendous fan of Bryan’s,” Kurtzman said. “He’s so deeply, deeply, supernaturally gifted.” After Fuller’s departure, Kurtzman and fellow executive producers Gretchen J. Berg and Aaron Harberts “set about to protect and preserve as much of the vision that he had. Gretchen and Aaron, who worked with Bryan for a long, long time, are here because we all respect Bryan’s vision and because we felt it was the best way to preserve that.”

Harberts pointed to multiple details — such as the design of the Klingon makeup and ships — that came straight from Fuller.

“Bryan’s a friend from 2003 on,” Harberts said. “He brought Gretchen and myself to ‘Star Trek.’ Carrying the torch as best we can for him, but we can never carry it the way Bryan would carry it, has been extremely important to us, and we take it very seriously.” Of the Klingons, Harberts added, “One of the things [Fuller] really, really wanted to do was shake up the design of the Klingons.”

Harberts also talked about the revelation, made at Comic-Con, that lead character Michael Burnham, played by Sonequa Martin-Green, was raised by Sarek and Amanda Grayson, Spock’s parents.

“Much in the way that they did with Spock and Sarek in the films and on the show, we’re able to tell father-daughter stories and particularly to drill down on a Vulcan raising a human and how that affects her,” Harberts said.

Star Trek: Discoverywill launch Sunday, Sept. 24 at 8:30 p.m./7:30c on CBS, though that time is approximate due to NFL football and “60 Minutes” also airing that night. The series premiere will also be available on-demand on CBS All Access and the second episode of the series will be available on the service that same night immediately following the broadcast premiere.

More TV

  • Wendy Williams Sober Living House

    Wendy Williams Reveals She's Been Staying in a Sober-Living House

    Wendy Williams, during an emotional monologue on her talk show on Tuesday, revealed through tears that she has been staying at a sober-living house. “So you know me for being a very open and truthful person,” she began the segment on “The Wendy Williams Show,” fighting through tears. “And I’ve got more to the story [...]

  • Hong Kong Industry Executives Seek Clarity

    FilMart: Hong Kong Industry Executives Plead for Clarity on Mainland Chinese Tax Policies

    At a time of heightened scrutiny of tax affairs in China’s entertainment sector, even industry veterans in Hong Kong are struggling to figure out how to operate in the new financial environment and pleading for more clarity from the Chinese government. Hong Kong produces about 60 films a year, three-quarters of which are typically co-productions [...]

  • Michael Jackson R Kelly

    'Leaving Neverland,' 'Surviving R. Kelly' Composers on How They Scored Sexual Abuse Docs

    How do you put music to child sexual abuse — especially if the accused predators are musical icons? That’s the challenge composers Chad Hobson and Nathan Matthew David faced as they scored HBO’s “Leaving Neverland” and Lifetime’s “Surviving R. Kelly,” respectively. The documentaries are built around interviews with the alleged victims of Michael Jackson (two [...]

  • Canadian Animation Shop Guru Studio Makes

    Canadian Animation Shop Guru Studio Makes Moves in China

    Guru Studio, an award-winning Canadian animation studio, is exploring the possibility of opening an office in Hong Kong or mainland China. The Toronto-based company is keen to get a slice of China’s animation market, which has been growing quickly. Louise Jones, Guru vice president of finance and business affairs, said at a FilMart panel discussion [...]

  • Viacom HQ LA

    Viacom Goes to War With AT&T Over DirecTV Carriage Deal

    Viacom has declared war against AT&T, blasting the telco giant on several fronts as the companies wrestle over a carriage renewal deal that is vital to Viacom’s long-term financial health. As of today, Viacom has begun running crawls and promo spots on its channels warning viewers that Nickelodeon, Comedy Central, BET, MTV and other channels [...]

  • Maureen FitzPatrick Rob Silverstein

    Rob Silverstein Out as 'Access Hollywood' Executive Producer After 20 Years

    Rob Silverstein, exec producer of NBC’s entertainment newsmagazine “Access Hollywood” and its spinoffs, is leaving the syndication franchise after 20 years at the helm. He’ll be replaced by “Hot Bench” alumnus Maureen FitzPatrick. Silverstein’s departure was announced Tuesday morning at a staff meeting for “Access” producers. Silverstein was also exec producer of the hourlong talk [...]

  • '9-1-1' Billboard Vandalized With Anti-Beto O'Rourke

    '9-1-1' Billboard Vandalized With Anti-Beto O'Rourke Message

    A billboard for the Fox procedural “9-1-1” on Pico Blvd., adjacent to the studio lot, has been vandalized with an anti-Beto O’Rourke message, Variety has learned. The imagery was put up by a politically conservative man who goes by ‘Sabo.’ The promotional art for the series featured on the billboard shows a car wreck sticking out [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content