'Star Trek:' CBS All Access Heads Explain Where Idea for Patrick Stewart's Return Came From
Star Trek fans learned over the weekend that Star Trek: The Next Generation star Patrick Stewart [...]
Star Trek fans learned over the weekend that Star Trek: The Next Generation star Patrick Stewart will reprise his role as Jean-Luc Picard in a brand new Star Trek series on CBS All Access. But where did the idea to invite Stewart back into the Star Trek universe come from?
CBS TV Studios president David Stapf tells Deadline that fans can thank Star Trek: Discovery co-creator and showrunner Alex Kurtzman for setting Stewart on his return course.
"It came to us, as do all things Trek now, through Alex Kurtzman, with the idea of, wouldn't it be cool to do something Next Gen-oriented, and/or get Patrick Stewart and/or any of those iconic Next Gen characters," Stapf said at the TCA press tour. "As Patrick himself has said, he was of the opinion that 'I've done that character,' but he got a meeting with Alex and some of the other guys and they won him over. The deal didn't take that long once he decided to do it.
Star Trek's presence on CBS All Access won't stop with Star Trek: Discovery and Picard's return. Stapf stated that he wants fresh Star Trek content for CBS All Access subscribers year-round.
"My goal is that there should be a Star Trek something on all the time on All Access," Stapf said. "We know it draws an audience, and Discovery has done quite well."
As Stapf alluded to, Kurtzman is in charge of expanding the Star Trek television franchise. Star Trek: Discovery Season Two is expected to premiere in January 2019 and the Picard series is expected to follow sometime later the same year. A series of short films title Star Trek: Short Treks will debut this fall and run monthly leading into the return of Star Trek: Discovery. In addition, there are rumored to be at least four additional Star Trek projects being considered for development.
"Heather [Kadin], Aaron [Baiers] and I are thrilled to continue Secret Hideout's amazing partnership with CBS Television Studios," Kurtzman said when the new deal between CBS and his production company was announced.. "Since our first collaboration with Hawaii Five-0 almost a decade ago, Les, David and the full team at CBS Studios have been our foremost collaborators and champions, treating each project with integrity, supporting the creative visions and working breathlessly to make each episode of every show the best it can be. CBS has also allowed us the great pleasure of reintroducing the world of Star Trek audiences new and old, and we are very excited to keep working alongside them to expand that world."
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