CBS All Access is really giving Star Trek fans a lot of new things to be excited about as of late, and it's not done yet. The streaming service has announced yet another show within the Star Trek universe called Star Trek: Lower Decks. The franchise will "boldly go" into the territory of adult-animated comedies with a series headed up by Rick and Morty head writer and executive producer Mike McMahan.
Star Trek: Lower Decks is said to center on a support crew serving on one of Starfleet's least important ships. Deadline reports CBS All Access has given the half-hour comedy a two-season order. It will also be the first project produced by the recently launched CBS Eye Animation Productions. The show is the latest installment in what has been a massive expansion of the Star Trek television universe, which started with Star Trek: Discovery.
Alex Kurtzman's Secret Hideout studios is also involved in Star Trek: Lower Decks, as is Roddenberry Entertainment. Kurtzman and Rod Roddenberry are on board alongside others to executive produce the series alongside Mike McMahan. Aaron Baiers, who brought McMahan into the project, will be listed as a co-executive producer.
Mike McMahan is a big get for CBS All Access, and not just because he's one of the minds behind Rick and Morty. McMahan's love of Star Trek runs deep and was first captured on the web with a 2011 Twitter account dedicated to fake Star Trek: The Next Generation plots. His work led to an official book deal based on that, and years later McMahan would serve as a writer on the Short Treks series on CBS All Access.
So what territory will Star Trek: Lower Decks explore? That's not immediately clear, although Alex Kurtzman may have offered a clue by reciting the opening sentence of Mike McMahan's pitch that secured his gig. McMahan stated he wished to do a series on the people "who put a yellow cartridge in the food replicator so a banana can come out the other end."
It sounds like Star Trek: Lower Decks will focus on the nuances of living on a Starfleet ship and the regular crew members who keep it operational. If so, it's a departure from the typical Star Trek formula that focuses on the top crew members and their adventures, but also a setting where comedy may happen more organically. That's not to say Star Trek shows are humorless, but it's possible more laughs happen outside of a starship's Bridge than within.
Star Trek: Lower Decks is not the first animated adventure for the Star Trek franchise. Star Trek: The Animated Series ran for two seasons on NBC and was the first Star Trek program to win an Emmy. That's a high bar to set for Star Trek: Lower Decks right out of the gate, and time will tell if the show can attain that same honor and level of acclaim or falter.
Star Trek: Lower Decks is headed to CBS All Access with no release date scheduled at this time. There's plenty of television to watch in the meantime, so be sure to head over to our fall premiere guide and see what new shows are on the way.