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While some fans have been critical about the new Star Trek films, their overall success has helped revitalize the franchise. This led to rumors about Star Trek making a return to television after a decade-long absence. Last month, it was reported that CBS was working on a Star Trek series with X-Men: Apocalypse director Bryan Singer, but apparently that isn’t true. In fact, according to actor Jonathan Frakes, it’s unlikely we’ll see Star Trek return to the small screen at all in the coming years.
As described by Leader-Post, Frakes, who played Commander William Riker on Star Trek: The Next Generation and its subsequent films, told fans at Fan Expo Regina 2015 that he pitched a concept for a new Star Trek series to CBS, the owners of the franchise. Unfortunately for him, the network wasn’t interested in moving forward with the idea. The primary reason is because they felt the brand had been diluted in the late 1990s-early 2000s, which eventually culminated in the failure of the feature film, Star Trek: Nemesis. Since the reboot films have been so successful, their goal now is to keep the Star Trek world “as focused and concentrated as possible,” which means there’s no room to add a TV series to the mix.
Last year, Star Trek Into Darkness director J.J. Abrams mentioned that CBS had no interest in making another Star Trek TV series, so Frakes’ narrative is hardly surprising. After Star Trek: The Original Series aired from 1966-1969, the franchise returned to television in 1987 with Star Trek: The Next Generation. That was followed by Star Trek: Deep Space Nine in 1993, Star Trek: Voyager in 1995 and Star Trek: Enterprise in 2001, giving TV viewers an uninterupted 18-year run of Star Trek shows until Enterprise was cancelled in 2005.
In the late ‘90s-early 2000s time period Frakes mentioned, there were often at least two shows on, not to mention the Next Generation films. Four years later, the franchise headed back to theaters with 2009's Star Trek, which focused on the crew from the Original Series meeting for the first time in an altered timeline. All of this isn’t to say that Star Trek will never return to TV, but it’s likely it won't be until the new films have either run their course or until a point is reached where CBS believes that a TV series would fit with their vision for the franchise.
While a Star Trek TV series may not be in the cards for the near future, the movies will still be flying our way. Fans can look forward to the next film, rumored to be titled Star Trek Beyond, landing in theaters on July 8, 2016.