CBS Corp. is setting up the next highly anticipated TV-series iteration of Star Trek as a key exclusive original programming asset for its CBS All Access SVOD play.
CBS said Star Trek will return with a new TV series next year.
The company said a new Star Trek series is being written by prolific writer/producer Alex Kurtzman, who has penned everything from CBS' successful remake of Hawaii Five-0 to the two films associated with Paramount's most recent motion-picture reboot of the venerable Star Trek franchise.
In January 2017, the first episode of the new Star Trek series will debut on the CBS broadcast network. The series will then become exclusively available via streaming on the $5.99-a-month CBS All Access platform. The series will be produced by CBS Television Studios.
The exclusive availability of such a high-profile program marks a major evolution of the year-old CBS All Access service, which includes full collections of current CBS series plus thousands of episodes of archival shows. The service also includes live feeds of local CBS stations in markets where the company has obtained licensing agreements.
CBS has yet to release subscriber data for the SVOD platform. But as of July, CBS said it had brought 40 of its affiliated stations into the All Access fold. Adding these to CBS' owned and operated stations, the service is now able to deliver live streaming of local CBS stations to 75 percent of the country.
As for Star Trek, TV reboots of the Gene Roddenberry sci-fi classic haven't necessarily been huge performers in terms of the massive audiences needed to sustain broadcast TV success. The original Star Trek only survived for three seasons on NBC from 1966-69. And a 2001 reboot starring Scott Bakula was a middling performer on the now-defunct UPN network from 2001-05.
But Star Trek is one of the more enduring sci-fi properties of all time for a reason, with its timeless ability to captivate uber-devoted niche audiences, many of which will gladly add $5.99 to their monthly budgets to see the new series.
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