Star Trek: Discovery may have just premiered last night, but fans may have to wait quite a while when it comes to season 2. According to executive producer Alex Kurtzman the most likely target for the show's second season is early 2019.
Though there has been no official offering of a second season of the ambitious CBS series yet, Kurtzman told The Hollywood Reporter that should there be a second season he wants to make sure there is plenty of time to get things right instead of rushing the show's production.
"There have been preliminary conversations about when and how [a second season could air] and we've been very consistent in our message, which is that rather than announce a date and have to push again, let's take into consideration everything we've learned from this season," Kurtzman explained. "Now we know what we can do and where the sand traps are, so let's give ourselves ample time to announce a date that makes sense to everybody — both the needs of production and CBS. Breaking story is, in some ways, the easier and faster thing; it's the ability to execute on it that's much harder. We want to take the right amount of time and don't want to rush."
Some of the lessons learned from the first season of Discovery has to do with delay. Delays have been the story for the series since its inception. Star Trek: Discovery was originally slated to premiere on CBS's All Access video on demand service in January 2017. However, the delays started right away with the show being pushed back to May, then later as showrunner Bryan Fuller exited the production. While Fuller's exit was characterized as voluntary with Fuller leaving to focus on his American Gods series for Starz, some reports have hinted that Fuller's departure may have had more to do with missed script deadlines.
While behind the scenes changes may have led to the first season of Discovery being delayed, Kurtzman also revealed that another reason he wants to take his time for the second season is the massive scope of the Stark Trek series. The show, which is heavy on rich visual effects, can take months to create — especially if it wants to live up to the expectations that shows like Game of Thrones have set for subscription services viewers.
"It's a very complicated, elaborate process," Kurtzman said. "We're not kidding around with the visual effects. It's four to five months just for the visual effects, per episode. Many people are waiting with arms crossed to see if it's going to be worth the money. The way I always think is that no one ever complains about paying for Game of Thrones. We have to deliver that level of spectacle and experience so the audience feels that this isn't something they could get on network television and it feels worth it [considering All Access comes with a monthly fee]. Then you go do the mix and that can usually go one or two days and we need four. We're mixing a movie; every episode is huge."
However, even the large-scale show not likely to debut a second season until 2019, fans hooked on Star Trek: Discovery won't have a terribly long time to wait between seasons. The series is set to air in two portions with eight episodes this year and the seven more starting January 2018.
New episodes of Star Trek: Discovery will stream on CBS All Access Sundays at 8:30 p.m. ET.