Kurtzman’s Secret Hideout banner will expand under the new agreement to add an executive to help manage its growing slate of series. Longtime Kurtzman partner Heather Kadin remains the head of content for Secret Hideout, which is shepherding five Star Trek-branded series for CBS Studios and Paramount Plus, along with drama and limited series such as Showtime’s “The Comey Rule” and the upcoming “The Man Who Fell to Earth.” The company has become a reliable supplier of high-end shows for CBS, Showtime and Paramount Plus.
Kurtzman is known for his agility in balancing multiple roles as creator, writer, producer, director and showrunner. Secret Hideout has planted its flag at CBS Studios since 2016, although Kurtzman has worked with the studio for more than a decade on such series as “Hawaii Five-0,” “Scorpion” and “Salvation.”
Keeping Kurtzman in the ViacomCBS family was important to the conglomerate at a moment of skyrocketing competition for top creative talent. Kurtzman is the creative steward who plots out the storylines and distribution strategies for Star Trek content for years to come. At present the Trek tote board encompasses Paramount Plus’ “Star Trek: Discovery,” “Star Trek: Picard,” “Star Trek: Lower Decks” and the upcoming animated series “Star Trek: Prodigy” for Nickelodeon aimed at introducing the “Star Trek” world to a new generation. And on tap for next year is another origins story series, “Star Trek: Strange New Worlds,” which will follow the early space-trotting adventures of Capt. Christopher Pike as well as Spock and Number One.
“Alex’s vision and leadership of the Star Trek franchise and his ability to create artistic and commercial series across all platforms put him in a special class of creative talent,” said George Cheeks, president and CEO of CBS. “His substantial accomplishments at CBS and the spirit of collaboration we enjoy with his team are greatly valued and we are excited to build on his already impressive slate far into the future.”
Kurtzman also guides all of the Star Trek universe’s digital content, social media, podcasts and games as well as merchandising and collectibles. Secret Hideout will recruit a franchise manager to help oversee the Star Trek frontier. Secret Hideout noted that it remains in development on another Trek series “Section 31,” with Michelle Yeoh (an alum of “Star Trek: Discovery”) attached to star. Also working with Kadin at Secret Hideout are Aaron Baiers, senior vice president, and Robyn Johnson, director of development.
“Alex’s vision and breadth of interest is unmatched as he and his team have re-ignited the Star Trek franchise with five (and counting) brilliantly unique series, while at the same time creating long-running hit series for both the (CBS) network and premium spaces,” said CBS Studios president David Stapf. “As an artist, Alex does it all. Not only is he a visionary who creates worlds, he has that rare skill of being able to write, direct, produce and inspire those who work with him to be the best version of themselves.”
Kurtzman has stayed busy outside of Star Trek content with a range of other shows and as a hands-on creator, showrunner and director. Upcoming projects include an adaptation of the cult-fave Walter Tevis novel “The Man Who Fell to Earth,” which Kurtzman is steering with executive producer Jenny Lumet. Lumet and Kurtzman are also teaming on a Lena Horne biopic series for Showtime (Horne is Lumet’s grandmother). Secret Hideout is also developing a project about FBI stalwart Eliot Ness’ long pursuit of mob boss Al Capone.
Other projects in the works at Secret Hideout include “New York Times at Special Bargain Rates,” based on a Stephen King short story, adapted by Jessica Mecklenberg, and it has a number of book options including “The Girl Who Could Move Sh*t with Her Mind” by Jackson Ford.
Kurtzman praised CBS Studios as having been a nurturing home for his TV efforts for mroe than 10 years.
“CBS Studios has been my home for over a decade because the incomparable David Stapf always finds a way to demonstrate his decency and creative passion, not just for the work we do, but for the many people who do it,” he said.
Kurtzman credited David Nevins, Showtime chief and Paramount Plus scripted chief, as being “a rare breed executive with auteur taste and the guts to take chances, who’s encouraged us to create premium streaming and cable that pushes boundaries.” And he credited Cheeks with helping to guide Secret Hideout and himself “with thoughtful care and strategic brilliance, as the rules of our business grow and change daily. As Secret Hideout expands its footprint across ViacomCBS, I can imagine no greater partners, and I’m so excited to tell more stories together for years to come.”
Kurtzman is repped by CAA and attorney Michael Gendler of Gendler & Kelly.