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CBS to Launch New New Star Trek Series as First Original Show for CBS All Access

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It’s been ten years since the end of Enterprise – before that, Star Trek had been on TV in one form or another for almost 20 years – and since then there’s been a Trek-shaped hole in my TV-loving heart. But today, CBS announced that there’s a new Star Trek show on the horizon, and the announcement comes just in time for the franchise’s 50th Anniversary! However, the show will only be available to those who subscribe to CBS’ streaming service, CBS All Access. Um, thanks?

Alex Kurtzman, who co-wrote the J.J. Abrams reboot films Star Trek and Star Trek Into Darkness will be executive producing the new show under his production company, Secret Hideout, along with Heather Kadin for the new platform. The series will be produced by them and CBS Television Studios.

There’s no information on what the show is about yet, but according to a statement from CBS:

The brand-new Star Trek will introduce new characters seeking imaginative new worlds and new civilizations, while exploring the dramatic contemporary themes that have been a signature of the franchise since its inception in 1966.

This makes me happy. I actually really liked the 2009 Star Trek film, and while I thought that Into Darkness was less successful (and a white Khan? COME ON. Although they didn’t exactly cast correctly with Montalban either, ethnicity-wise. Not all brown folks are the same, people!), I also enjoyed that. So, I have faith in what Kurtzman could do with a completely new Trek show free from the shackles of canon and familiar characters.

What makes me less happy is the fact that the show will be available in the U.S. exclusively on CBS All Access. While the series will premiere with a special preview broadcast on the CBS television network, that episode and subsequent first-run episodes will be available exclusively on the streaming service, which is:

[A] cross-platform streaming service that brings viewers thousands of episodes from CBS’s current and past seasons on demand, plus the ability to stream their local CBS Television station live for $5.99 per month. CBS All Access already offers every episode of all previous Star Trek television series.

I understand the decision. Having one of your longest-running and most successful sci-fi franchises be your flagship (get it?) show as you venture into original streaming programming makes sense. You want people to come to the service by luring them with a familiar franchise. The thing is – TV needs that franchise.

What I love most about Star Trek is that, no matter what wars are going on, or how dark the stories get, at their core, the shows are all about being idealistic about humanity. Individuals are never perfect, but Star Trek is always hopeful about how we will evolve as a species, and that’s an important thing to see, especially in a world overrun with negativity on the internet, Us vs Them politics, and an environment that’s deteriorating around us. So, it’s a shame that the next incarnation of this hopeful story about humanity will only be available to those who can afford to add yet another streaming service to their subscription roster. Because these days, we could all use Star Trek‘s optimism.

In any case, we’ll have to wait until after Star Trek‘s 50th Anniversary to enjoy the new show. The next chapter of the Star Trek TV franchise is set to launch in January 2017.

(Image courtesy of CBS Television Studios)

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