An all-new Star Trek television series is set to debut on CBS in January of 2017. The series will be developed and produced by Alex Kurtzman, with Heather Kadin serving as executive producer. Kurtzman is still seeking writers.
CBS Television Studios made the announcement earlier today, saying:
There is no better time to give Star Trek fans a new series than on the heels of the original show's 50th anniversary celebration. Everyone here has great respect for this storied franchise, and we're excited to launch its next television chapter in the creative mind and skilled hands of Alex Kurtzman, someone who knows this world and its audience intimately.
Kurtzman is one of the producers of the current film franchise, and co-wrote both Star Trek (2009) and Star Trek Into Darkness (2013). The CBS series will not tie into or be related to the upcoming movie Star Trek Beyond, penned by Doug Jung and Simon Pegg.
CBS will air the first-run of each episode on television, and will then make the series available exclusively on CBS' All Access subscription service. CBS All Access is a streaming service similar to Netflix, and already has every episode from all prior Star Trek series available. Star Trek is currently show in close to 200 countries around the world, and generates upwards of a billion social media impressions each month.
Star Trek debuted in September of 1966, with a diverse (for the time) cast lead by William Shatner. The original series ran for three seasons on NBC, but, like most forms of geeky entertainment, found incredibly popularity in syndication. The franchise made its way to the big screen in 1979 through a series of movies. Star Trek: The Next Generation followed, running from 1987 through 1994. More spinoffs followed, including Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, Star Trek: Voyager, and Star Trek: Enterprise. The new series will "introduce new characters seeking imaginative new worlds and new civilizations, while exploring the dramatic contemporary themes that have been a signature of the franchise since its inception". Indeed, the series has not shied away from exploring the very human themes of race relations, politics, and environmental destruction throughout its run, bringing real world parallels to a show ostensibly about futuristic space travel.
The announcement is exciting for Star Trek fans, who have long maintained that it is well suited for the small screen as well as feature film. It marks the first time the franchise has returned to television screens since Enterprise was cancelled in 2005.