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Amazon Nabs International Rights to CBS’ Jean-Luc Picard ‘Star Trek’ Series

Amazon has grabbed international rights to CBS All Access’ “Star Trek”-branded series revolving around Patrick Stewart’s Jean-Luc Picard character.

Amazon has picked up the show from CBS Television Studios in more than 200 territories outside the U.S. and Canada. There’s no word yet on a premiere date for the show. Amazon will have episodes of the show within 24 hours of the U.S. debut, under a multi-year commitment.

The decision to sell the show to Amazon indicates that CBS will not hold back its premium content outside the U.S. even as it looks to build out the CBS All Access subscriber base on a global basis. CBS has wholly owned streaming platforms operating in the U.S., Canada and Australia. But with a limited international footprint at present, CBS likely couldn’t afford to down what was undoubtedly a rich offer from Amazon.

“We’re thrilled to partner with CBS to bring the newest edition of the storied ‘Star Trek’ franchise to our international Amazon Prime Video customers,” said Brad Beale, VP of worldwide content licensing for Amazon Prime Video. “With the incredible Sir Patrick Stewart returning as the beloved Jean-Luc Picard, we’re excited we can give ‘Trek’ fans both old and new the opportunity to see him back in action.”

CBS’ first began mining the “Star Trek” vault for CBS All Access in 2017 with the launch of “Star Trek: Discovery.” International rights on that show went to Netflix in a deal that covered the virtually the cost of the first season, CBS noted at the time.

“For 50 years, the ‘Star Trek’ series have been a global sensation, spanning generations and audiences of all ages,” said Armando Nuñez, president-CEO of CBS Global Distribution Group. “We look forward to working with the team at Amazon Prime Video to bring this next chapter of the incredible ‘Star Trek’ franchise to its passionate international fan base.”

Stewart became an international star in his role as the new-model Starfleet captain in “Star Trek: The Next Generation,” which had a seven-season run in first-run syndication starting in 1987. The new series, part of CBS’ plan to super-charge the “Star Trek” universe, will follow the Picard character in his “next chapter,” CBS TV Studios said.

“There’s only one word that can begin to describe Sir Patrick Stewart as Starship Commander Jean-Luc Picard, and that’s ‘legendary,’” said series executive producer Alex Kurtzman. “We are thrilled beyond measure to have him back in command, bringing the optimistic messages of ‘Star Trek’ to audiences around the world.”

Kurtzman, Michael Chabon, Akiva Goldsman, James Duff, Patrick Stewart, Heather Kadin, Rod Roddenberry and Trevor Roth are executive producers of the series.

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