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Credit: CBS All Access

Star Trek TV franchise to expand as Alex Kurtzman locks down $25 million deal with CBS

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Jun 19, 2018

The Star Trek TV universe is about to get a whole lot bigger. 

CBS recently announced that newly appointed Star Trek: Discovery showrunner Alex Kurtzman just inked a five-year, $25 million deal with CBS Networks to expand the franchise for the small screen.

The news arrives just after it was announced that Kurtzman would be taking over as showrunner for Discovery. The series, set roughly a decade before the original Star Trek, became the flagship program for the network's streaming service, CBS All Access. Discovery's previous showrunners, Aaron Harberts and Gretchen Berg, were recently fired during production of its sophomore season over a mixture of budgetary concerns and alleged mistreatment of the staff.

While nothing's been confirmed at this point, this will almost certainly include developing multiple new Trek shows.

Variety has reported on a list of possible projects in the works. Some that may be on the table include a series set within Starfleet Academy courtesy of Stephanie Savage and Josh Schwartz, the creative team behind Marvel's Runaways. There's also a possible limited series about franchise mainstay Kahn. There's no word, though, if this has anything to do with writer-director Nicholas Meyer's Khan-centric movie trilogy — which was last reported to be in development limbo. 

Perhaps the most noteworthy rumor comes from The Hollywood Reporter, which has mentioned talk of Patrick Stewart reviving his role of Captain Jean-Luc Picard from Star Trek: The Next Generation.

One thing we do know is that, in addition to helming Discovery, Kurtzman will also be directing the Season 2 premiere, which is set to resume from where Season 1 left off — with the crew of the U.S.S. Discovery picking up a distress call from Captain Pike (Anson Mount), who preceded James T. Kirk as captain of the U.S.S. Enterprise. 

Kurtzman has a considerable history with Star Trek on both the big and small screen. In addition to co-creating the prequel series with Hannibal showrunner Bryan Fuller, he wrote and produced 2009's Star Trek and its sequel, Star Trek: Into Darkness. So it seems like the franchise is in the best possible hands. 

David Stapf, president of CBS Television Studios agreed, saying that "There is a very short list of writer-producer-directors that every film and television studio wants to be associated with, and Alex and his Secret Hideout team are always at the top."

Any Star Trek projects you'd like to see on the small screen? Let us know in the comments.

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