Star Trek fans have had an exciting year as more and more details have leaked about the new series. One of the most promising aspects of the new production was the fact that Bryan Fuller of Hannibal and Pushing Daisies was tackling showrunner duties. Unfortunately, for those of us who were counting on him being at the helm, he stepped down from the top job back in October. Now, we know that his involvement in the project is absolutely minimal. Fuller said this about his departure from Star Trek: Discovery:
I'm not involved in production, or post-production, so I can only give them the material I've given them and hope that it is helpful for them. I'm curious to see what they do with it. They have my number and if they need me, I will absolutely be there for them [for a second season].
Bryan Fuller's reveal that he's no longer involved in production comes as a big disappointment after earlier reports indicated that he'd still be on board with Star Trek: Discovery, just with a smaller and less hands-on role. Now we know that he won't be an active executive producer or contribute creatively for at least the first season. He'll still get an executive producer credit, and his influence will still be felt in the new series as he is the person responsible for crafting the arc for the 13-episode first season. Fuller even wrote the first two episodes. He just won't contribute to anything that hasn't already been finished.
The former showrunner went on in his chat with Newsweek to explain just why he stepped all the way down from contributing to Star Trek: Discovery, saying this:
Ultimately, with my responsibilities [elsewhere], I could not do what CBS needed to have done in the time they needed it done for Star Trek. It felt like it was best for me to focus on landing the plane with American Gods and making sure that was delivered in as elegant and sophisticated a fashion as I could possibly do.
Evidently, there's a little bit of a silver lining to the bad news about Bryan Fuller leaving Star Trek: Discovery. His admission that he couldn't put all his focus on both the American Gods adaptation he's working on for Starz and the Star Trek series for CBS could mean that both projects will be better with a showrunning team that is 100% dedicated. Former Star Trek: Discovery executive producers Gretchen Berg and Aaron Harberts have taken over the job of showrunner from Fuller, and we have to hope that they're up to the task.