A few months back, we exclusively reported that CBS was finally set to move a new STAR TREK series into production. While that news would later be confirmed, the exact logistics have remained hazy. After all, the hurdle that CBS has faced in getting a series made is that the Film and Television rights for STAR TREK have been split up.
In a revealing speech at the Deutsche Bank Media, Internet & Telecom Conference, CBS Corporation President Les Moonves spoke a bit about how the process will work when it comes to bringing STAR TREK back to a TV near you:
“When [CBS] split from Viacom ten years ago, January 1, 2006, one of the big sticking points, as you can imagine, was ‘STAR TREK.’ You know, we both wanted it.
They said ‘It’s a movie!’ and I said, ‘No, no, no, it’s a TV show.’ Actually, we’re both right. So they kept the feature film rights, we kept the television rights; they have [STAR TREK BEYOND] coming out July 22.
Our deal with them is that we had to wait six months after their film is launched so there wouldn’t be a confusion in the marketplace.”
So right there, straight from the horse’s mouth, we’ve learned what the exact agreement between CBS and Paramount is. It makes sense, because 10 years ago Paramount was looking to launch a new film franchise, and CBS had likely seen what happened to the last STAR TREK series, ENTERPRISE, which was cancelled during its fourth season. So they had to take a wait and see approach. Then 2009’s STAR TREK, directed by J.J. Abrams, came out and reinvigorated the brand- showing there was still an appetite out there for folks who wanted to visit the universe created by Gene Roddenberry.
Then STAR TREK INTO DARKNESS came out in 2013 and improved on its predecessor’s worldwide gross by $80 million, further driving the point home that TREK was viable- while also fueling a desire for Trekkies to see the series return to its roots. So now that both sides have worked out their differences, it makes sense that it’s taken some time to iron out how they’ll navigate this.
I’d even venture to say that one of the unspoken ideas at play here is that the movies will continue to be more action-packed blockbuster fair, while the TV series will be more of the intellectual science-fiction that longtime fans crave.
What do you think of the new STAR TREK TV series coming out six months after BEYOND? Are you excited to see STAR TREK return to its TV roots? Discuss. Here, on your Facebook wall, and elsewhere. I’d love to know your thoughts.