The creator of Star Trek: Lower Decks has offered an update on the project's debut. The global coronavirus pandemic has caused a slowdown in the post-production of Star Trek: Discovery. In an interview with Inverse, Lower Decks creator Mike McMahan says the animated Star Trek series is still on track for its planned 2020 release. "I can't give you a specific answer on when that's coming out, but we’re still working on it and we're on track for when we have planned, which is this year. Animation is kind of uniquely suited for this moment. We didn't shut down production. Safely recording the cast was really our biggest challenge because we don't want them leaving their houses. So getting remote setups and stuff was something we had to solve, but it seems like we have."
McMahan was a writer on Adult Swim's Rick and Morty. He departed the show partway through its fourth season to work on Lower Decks. In an interview with ComicBook.com, he compared the two series, saying his Star Trek show has little in common with the Adult Swim series.
“It is very dissimilar to Rick and Morty,” McMahan says. “I'd say that the only thing that it has a similarity to of Rick and Morty's writing style is that the characters we're allowed to be funny people. I love how many jokes are in Rick and Morty per minute. Some people on the Internet try to count them. We're trying to fit a whole Star Trek episode into a 20-to-23-minute format that involves a whole macro sci-fi story and two emotional stories that we're tracking with our leads all throughout. So we do have the accelerated pace of a Rick and Morty. I'd say that Star Trek: Lower Decks is going to feel like the one act of another Star Trek show where everything is happening, and stuff is really moving. That's like us from the first scene until the last scene.”
According to the show's official synopsis, Star Trek: Lower Decks will focus on the support crew serving on one of Starfleet’s least important ships. The series will be produced by CBS’ Eye Animation Productions, CBS Television Studios’ new animation arm; Secret Hideout; and Roddenberry Entertainment. Secret Hideout’s Alex Kurtzman and Heather Kadin and Roddenberry Entertainment’s Rod Roddenberry and Trevor Roth and Katie Krentz will serve as executive producers alongside creator Mike McMahan. Aaron Baiers (Secret Hideout), who brought McMahan to the project, will serve as a co-executive producer. The series will air exclusively on CBS All Access in the United States and will be distributed concurrently internationally by CBS Studios International.