Star Trek's TV Universe Is Expanding, Possibly With Patrick Stewart's Captain Picard

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Never a dull moment where the Star Trek franchise is concerned, with multiple feature film projects in varying stages of development, and a highly acclaimed TV series with a constantly evolving creative team. Now, it looks like the TV side of things will begin expanding even further, as CBS Television Studios has re-upped its contract with Discovery executive producer and now-showrunner Alex Kurtzman, and the deal includes a heavy focus on creating more Star Trek content for the small screen. What's more, rumors are flying high that Patrick Stewart's Captain Jean Luc Picard could lead one of those projects.

With the renewed overall deal, Alex Kurtzman is tied in with CBS Television Studios for another five years, earning him an estimated $5 million per year. Obviously, Kurtzman won't only be dealing with Star Trek: Discovery at this time, and the goal will be to develop new Trek-set TV series, miniseries, and other forms of shorter-form content. Animated projects are definitely in the running, too.

This deal's announcement adds fuel to the fire that Patrick Stewart could bring his iconic Star Trek: The Next Generation captain back for a major TV return. It's a fire that Stewart himself managed to stoke recently by saying he may have good cause to catch up with Star Trek: Discovery soon, which had fans thinking he could be making a cameo or more. According to THR, both Alex Kurtzman and now-former Discovery writer/producer Akiva Goldsman are attached to the project, although it has not been officially addressed by CBS. So keep those hopes buoyed for now, but don't lose sight of them.

According to Variety, there are a handful of other potential projects reportedly being discussed. One would be a younger-skewing drama set at Starfleet Academy, with Gossip Girl and Runaways creators Josh Schwartz and Stephanie Savage behind it. And aside from a limited series and animated series with subject matter being kept under wraps, the other alleged project would be based in part on The Wrath of Khan, the beloved Star Trek film sequel in which Ricardo Montalbán played the interestingly coifed villain.

When Star Trek: Discovery was first being put together, with Bryan Fuller as one of the creative heads, the idea was for the show to be an anthology series that used each season to tell a different story from a different point in space and time. So it's absolutely likely that CBS could use the miniseries format to tell more limited stories from various corners of the universe, and the narratives need not only focus on protagonist ship crews, either. (Am I weird for hoping for a Muppet Babies-esque animated show featuring young versions of the franchise's all-star characters?)

All of this should be taken with a grain of salt, of course. Alex Kurtzman getting paid to come up with new Star Trek pitches doesn't necessarily mean anything will get made. Kurtzman has been tied to several high-concept projects and franchises that failed to materialize or grow, including Universal's Dark Universe (which stalled out after The Mummy), the Amazing Spider-Man sequel, the Locke & Key adaptation and more. But CBS definitely wants more Star Trek in the world, so we're setting our phasers to "remain optimistic."

For now, Star Trek: Discovery fans are waiting patiently to find out what will come from the end of Season 1, in which the Enterprise made its grand debut, along with the voice of one Christopher Pike, to be played in Season 2 by Inhumans and Hell on Wheels' Anson Mount. Season 2 will arrive on CBS All Access at some unknown point in the future, so stay tuned for more info there. In the meantime, head to our summer premiere schedule to see what new and returning shows are on the way.

Nick Venable
Assistant Managing Editor

Nick is a Cajun Country native, and is often asked why he doesn't sound like that's the case. His love for his wife and daughters is almost equaled by his love of gasp-for-breath laughter and gasp-for-breath horror. A lifetime spent in the vicinity of a television screen led to his current dream job, as well as his knowledge of too many TV themes and ad jingles.