CBS announced Tuesday that it will expand the “Star Trek” franchise with a new series, launching in 2017.
One of the most interesting aspects about the announcement is that while the series will debut on CBS, the premiere and subsequent episodes will then be available exclusively on the network’s streaming platform, CBS All Access (read: online only).
It’s a pretty significant move for the network, which cites rapid growth of its streaming service in the statement. The platform, which costs subscribers $5.99 per month, launched just last year. As noted in a Post article about the service, CBS was late to the video-on-demand party, declining to join fellow broadcast networks in creating Hulu in 2007.
Alex Kurtzman, who co-wrote and produced the J.J. Abrams-directed “Star Trek” in 2009 and 2013’s “Star Trek into Darkness” will be the show’s executive producer.
“The brand-new “Star Trek” will introduce new characters seeking imaginative new worlds and new civilizations, while exploring the dramatic contemporary themes that have been a signature of the franchise since its inception in 1966,” the network said in a statement.
The franchise, which celebrates its 50th anniversary next year, has a rich television legacy.
The original series, which ended in 1969, broke ground with its diverse cast and gave way to multiple installments, including an animated version that aired on NBC in the ’70s. Later series included “Star Trek: The Next Generation” (1987-94), “Star Trek: Deep Space Nine” (1993-99) “Star Trek: Voyager” (1995-2001) and the most recent — “Star Trek: Enterprise,” which ended in 2005.
“Star Trek” will also expand on the big screen soon — “Star Trek: Beyond” is slated to be released next July.
This post has been updated since it was first published.