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Sounds Like CBS And Paramount+ Could Have Lots Of Diverse Sci-Fi And Horror Shows On The Way

Michael Burnham on the Discovery bridge
(Image credit: Paramount+)

CBS committed to more diversity in its reality genre in the past year, and it appears there could be a lot more diversity in its genres like sci-fi and horror going forward. The speculation comes with the launch of a new production company under the CBS Studios umbrella, 25 Voices. The company is led by two names in Hollywood well-known at CBS, Paramount+, and to fans: Jenny Lumet and Alex Kurtzman. 25 Voices has a goal of promoting the voices of people of color. 

25 Voices will be a company promoting the ideas of people of color and also help guide these content creators on the paths they need to find success in Hollywood. Jenny Lumet spoke to Variety about the origin of the company, which started back in 2017 with a unique experience.

25 Stories began in my kitchen in 2017 during a marathon screenwriting weekend for about 25 women of color, all extraordinary writers. I knew I wanted to bring prestige television by writers of color to the marketplace, and I began to think about how to create a space where marginalized voices are centered. A space where both seasoned and newer voices have room to breathe. I thought a lot about scale: intimate stories, family stories, positive stories. I wanted people to emerge from their experience with 25 Stories with the tools to start their own companies. Ultimately, a space that will launch creators. Those 25 writers in my kitchen led me right here.

Alex Kurtzman is a partner in 25 Stories, but the announcement noted that he will continue to work at his primary studio under CBS Studios, Secret Hideout. The production company is responsible for the new era of Star Trek television, which has already taken steps to further diversify the franchise and expand opportunities to women and people of color. Jenny Lumet was already under an overall deal with CBS, and collaborated with Kurtzman on projects like Clarice, and is a co-creator on the upcoming Star Trek: Strange New Worlds

Given the resumes of Alex Kurtzman and Jenny Lumet, it’s possible 25 Voices could seek to bring a lot more diverse sci-fi and horror projects created by or starring people of color. Some of these projects could even happen through well-known franchises like Star Trek, which has long been a franchise unafraid to cast BIPOC starring roles. It will be interesting to see what projects come from the start of this new company and how the landscape of CBS and Paramount+ will change as a result. 

The television landscape is changing each and every day, and slowly but surely, progress is being made, and more people of color are being cast for key roles in shows every day. Hopefully, 25 Stories will help further benefit that trend and give audiences a few shows unlike things they’ve seen in the past.

Mick Joest

Mick likes good television, but also reality television. He grew up on Star Wars, DC, Marvel, and pro wrestling and loves to discuss and dissect most of it. He’s been writing online for over a decade and never dreamed he’d be in the position he is today.