While Star Trek has been a fixture of our popular culture for decades now, its prominence in the world of television has hit a fever pitch in the past few years. Multiple shows set in the franchise are debuting or preparing to debut on Paramount+, with tones and settings that vary wildly. With many of those series already finding success with audiences and critics alike, some have wondered what the long-term future of the Trek franchise could be — and if there's a hypothetical bubble that's bound to burst. In a recent interview with The Hollywood Reporter, franchise producer Akiva Goldsman addressed that question, and compared the way the franchise is building out on television to the way the Marvel Cinematic Universe is doing the same on Disney+.
"I can't speak for CBS. Look, we all do the same thing, which is to look at the example that really works – like you cannot have enough Marvel shows," Goldsman explained. "I'm waiting for Falcon and Winter Solider tomorrow, and I watched the Loki trailer 19,000 times. So with that as the example, you can never have enough Star Trek shows, but we've all seen the other side where it doesn't work. Star Trek has that heart-space for some people, especially now, after the world was revealed for being worse than we thought it was, I'm a big believer in hard-won happy endings. It doesn't mean it's not hard getting there, but I'm just going to choose to believe that there can be good outcomes."
That line of thinking is already making itself apparently clear in both live-action and animated television, between the existing series Star Trek: Discovery, Star Trek: Picard, and Star Trek: Lower Decks, and the upcoming series Star Trek: Brave New Worlds and Star Trek: Prodigy. And according to an interview last year with fellow producer Alex Kurtzman, the plans for the franchise are stretching even further, as ar as 2027.
"Heather Kaden and Aaron Baiers, who work with me at Secret Hideout — we literally just got off a call with the network mapping out with us through 2027," Kurtzman said in an interview last October. "Now when I say that, it's not like it's set in stone. It's just, 'Here's a plan. Here's what we're looking at. Here's how the different shows are going to drop.' Consider the fact that it takes a year from inception — from starting production — to airing, you have to plan way, way, way in advance to get these things done, and you have to stay on top of the zeitgeists and make sure that what you're doing is relevant. So you have to plan so far in advance now in different kinds of ways [like safety and budget] to seem loose and improvisational, but there's nothing loose and improvisational about it."