We can’t really pick which TV shows get officially revived and which don’t. Sure, we can Kickstarter a Veronica Mars wrap-up movie into existence, but we can’t do the same for Pushing Daisies because its proposed budget would be somewhere between five and ten times what Veronica Mars needed. We can celebrate when Fox announces a 6-episode limited series revival of The X-Files with Chris Carter again producing and Duchovny and Anderson again starring, but we can also scratch our heads when NBC announces a 13-episode order for a revival of the generally inoffensive Craig T. Nelson sitcom Coach which originally ran from 1989-1997. I guess Nelson must have had some real clout coming off of Parenthood, but why is this a world in which Coach is coming back while Quantum Leap and Star Trek remain mere artifacts of the past (or simply limited to films)?
Well, no savior is on the way for Quantum Leap, but if LatinoReview is to be believed – and, frankly, they’re probably not, at least not completely – Bryan Singer might save Star Trek:
So, GREAT news, Trekkers, CBS is looking to bring Star Trek back to TV […] Bryan Singer’s name has been mentioned for the new CBS Trek as a possible Executive Producer through his Bad Hat Harry production
That’s really it in the way of any kind of concrete details on this potential new Star Trek TV show. Bryan Singer was previously connected to Star Trek right around the time JJ Abrams came along to reboot the film universe. Singer, Chris McQuarrie (Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation) and producers Robert Burnett and Geoffrey Thorne developed something they called Star Trek: Federation, which would have jumped past the timelines of Next Generation, Deep Space Nine, and Voyager much in the same way Next Gen jumped from the Original Series and seriously switched things up (There was a Klingon crew member of the Enterprise!). LR explained the specifics of it:
Federation would have seen the titular group reduced to a mere peacekeeping force as the old ways broke apart. Vulcans withdraw from the United Federation of Planets and reunify with the Romulans, the Bajorans of Deep Space Nine would have also withdrawn and become a planet full of religious monks, like a “Tibet in space.” The Klingons wouldn’t be as warrior-obsessed anymore, but would instead be warrior mystics. The Ferengi would have a female Nagus. The Cardassians would have abandoned war and become an artist/philosopher race.
That’s all presumably out the window now given the alternate timeline approach to rebooting the Star Trek universe in the Abrams films. Or not. Honestly, who the hell really knows outside of CBS and maybe Bad Hat Harry Productions, who may not have actually been contacted about any of this yet. Michael Dorn has been trying to get a Captain Worf TV show off the ground for years now, basically ignoring the Abrams films and simply picking up with the Worf character 16 years after the events of Deep Space Nine. That’s probably not what they’re going to do, but it is an indication that there was already someone out there trying to simply soldier on with Next Gen/DS9/Voyager continuity despite the Abrams films.
It was actually just around a month ago that I took a deep dive into why we didn’t have a new Star Trek TV show and the various ways it might come back. It’s slightly more complicated than you might originally guess because the rights don’t just sit in one place. Paramount has the films and CBS is responsible for any TV shows, and JJ Abrams’ Bad Robot is pretty heavily involved as well, at least through their third Star Trek movie due out next year. BadAssDigest had heard CBS was holding off from doing anything more on TV for a while, thinking that the glut of shows during the DS9/Voyager/Enterprise era saturated the market and cheapened the brand. It didn’t want to risk repeating the same perceived mistake by having both the Bad Robot movies and some kind of TV show going at the same time. Now, BadAssDigest says that if CBS truly has changed its mind it’s most likely because next year is Star Trek’s 50th anniversary and Abrams’ stranglehold on the franchise is loosening.
As for what form a new Star Trek might take, longtime superfan Mark Altman thinks they should mimic AMC and have a pitch bake-off to hear ideas from some of Hollywood’s most accomplished writers and noted Star Trek fans. Todd Vanderwerff, formerly of AVClub and now of Vox.com, wants to see whether or not Star Trek could maybe work as an anthology series, ala True Detective, American Horror Story, or Fargo, not just changing casts but also show-runners (and maybe even formats) with each new season as a way of allowing busy Star Trek alums like Bryan Fuller (Hannibal) and Ronald D. Moore (Outlander) a chance to work it into their schedule. While still improbable, that’s actually something CBS Studios could seriously consider if they are indeed actually bringing Star Trek back to TV, it’s natural habitat.
Due to corporate synergy, the most likely homes for any such new show are ones somehow financially connected to either Paramount (EPIX) or CBS (Showtime, CW), and CW President Mark Pedowitz would love a shot at a new Star Trek.
The funny thing is you don’t have to wait another minute to actually get an idea of what a Star Trek TV show could even look like today. One of the producers behind the proposed Star Trek: Federation, Robert Burnett, is actually one of the many people behind Star Trek: Axanar. I won’t pretend I’d actually heard of this before today, but LR’s report describes it as “a 90-minute fan-made feature film about ‘The Four Years War,’ as mentioned in the TOS episode ‘Whom Gods Destroy.’ The film has scraped up and impressive cast and released Prelude to Axanar last year to show how this great venture can be pulled off on a fan-donated budget”:
That’s something superfans made, and it looks great. So, if that’s what can be accomplished by fans on a mission what might happen if CBS Studios partners up with someone like Bryan Singer to make something official? I can’t wait to find out.
What about you? Do you want to see a new series that picks up the Next Gen/DS9/Voyager continuity? Or would you rather whatever they do be connected to the JJ Abrams films somehow? Or maybe something totally new? Or are you just wondering why I would bum you out in my first paragraph by prefacing the news about a new Star Trek with a reminder that there’s still no new Quantum Leap? Yeah, sorry about that.