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With J.J. Abrams’ Bad Robot all over TV these days — including the recently premiered Fox cop drama Almost Human — added to his involvement in the Star Trek franchise, it’s a wonder we haven’t heard word that there might be a Star Trek revival headed to the small screen in some form or another. Abrams spoke briefly about that recently, and it sounds like CBS is currently responsible for the fate of the Star Trek TV franchise, and they aren’t currently interested in doing anything with the property.
EW spoke with Abrams about Almost Human, the futuristic cop drama that premiered on Fox on Sunday night, and aired its second episode last night. When the subject of Star Trek came up, Abrams told them that CBS owns the rights to the property and they’ve been saying they’re not interested in making a new series right now. CBS essentially confirmed as much when EW inquired:
Since Marvel launched Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., is there a chance of a Star Trek TV show? Or will they continue not making a new series as long as there are movies in the pipeline?
It seems like a fair assumption that this is a subject that’s been tossed around at CBS, given the box office success of the films. Star Trek (2009) grossed more than $250 million domestically, while this year’s Star Trek Into Darkness took in nearly $230 million. Half a billion dollars combined might be some indication that there’s interest in the franchise, which could translate to ratings for a network — and Abrams’ potential involvement if Bad Robot Productions were to get on board, certainly wouldn’t hurt — but apparently CBS isn’t looking to develop the property, at least not yet. And should we really be all that surprised? Looking at CBS’ current drama slate, genre isn’t exactly their bag. Taking into account the incredibly high ratings of some of their dramas (NCIS, NCIS: Los Angeles, Person of Interest), they really don't need to think outside the box... unless it’s to turn Star Trek into a crime procedural.
It’s worth considering the alternative to CBS though. Subsidiary networks The CW and Showtime wouldn’t be impractical options, though something tells me fans of the franchise wouldn’t love a CW version of Star Trek, which would likely target a younger audience. But the CW does do genre programming, so Star Trek wouldn't be completely out of place there. And then there’s Showtime, which could make use of a Star Trek series, especially since they no longer have Dexter as their flagship series. But that’s just speculation. While it seems unlikely that fans will see Star Trek returning to television anytime soon, there's still the third movie to look forward to.