Could Star Trek Be Planning a Return to Television?

With the debut of Star Trek: Discovery on CBS All Access, it seemed like Star Trek's future was moving more and more into the streaming realm. That may not be the case.

Star Trek: Discovery is about to enter its second season on CBS All Access. A new series featuring Patrick Stewart's return as Jean-Luc Picard from Star Trek: The Next Generation is also set for the streaming service. The animated comedy Star Trek: Lower Decks is also in development at CBS All Access.

While CBS All Access may be the flagship home of Star Trek, the franchise may still spread elsewhere. There was always expected that the movies would continue taking Star Trek into theaters, though the future of Star Trek 4 now seems to be dimmer than ever. But could Star Trek find its way back onto network or cable television?

It seems that is a possibility. News broke yesterday that a second Star Trek animated series is being developed. The report from The Hollywood Reporter suggests that the new series may not land at CBS All Access.

What that means, exactly, isn't clear. The report doesn't rule out the possibility of the second animated series coming to CBS All Access but does imply that CBS may shop it around elsewhere.

This makes a certain sense. Star Trek television head Alex Kurtzman confirmed the series is aiming at a younger audience. It is part of his attempt to make Star Trek appeal to children the way Star Wars has for years. That means the new animated series may be comparable to a show like Star Wars Rebels. But putting the series on CBS All Access, which offers little else in the way of children's entertainment, could prevent the show reaching its intended audience.

Another consideration is that CBS put Star Trek on CBS All Access to lure in new subscribers. Children don't have expendable income and so a children's cartoon may not do as much to draw in new subscribers. Putting the show on television where it can better reach children may be more valuable for brand building.

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This is just one of several Star Trek projects in the works. Star Trek: Discovery returns to CBS All Access on January 17th. The new Picard series is expected to debut late in 2019. Star Trek: Lower Decks has already received a two-season pickup. A Starfleet Academy series is also in development. Two more Short Treks, both animated, are also on the way.

Do you think Star Trek could return to television? Let us know in the comments!