CBS’ streaming plans have become even more Trek-centric with the announcement of a two-season order for a half-hour animated series called “Star Trek: Lower Decks.”
Many Star Trek fans will probably recognize “Lower Decks” as the title of a popular “Next Generation” episode about four junior officers on the Enterprise, and it sounds like the new series will take that approach even further — CBS says it will “focus on the support crew serving on one of Starfleet’s least important ships.”
The network says the series was developed by “Rick and Morty” writer and executive producer Mike McMahan. As you can probably tell from tongue-in-cheek plot description, “Lower Decks” is meant be a comedy. At the same time, McMahan insisted that it will be “undeniably ‘Trek.’”
Apparently he’s a serious fan himself, having started a “Next Generation”-related Twitter account about a fictitious eighth season, then turning that account into a book.
“Mike won our hearts with his first sentence: ‘I want to do a show about the people who put the yellow cartridge in the food replicator so a banana can come out the other end,’” said executive producer Alex Kurtzman in a statement. “His cat’s name is Riker. His son’s name is Sagan. The man is committed.”
Kurtzman, who co-wrote two of the recent “Star Trek” big-screen blockbusters and co-created “Star Trek: Discovery,” has been spearheading efforts to launch several Star Trek spinoffs on the CBS All Access streaming service, including the return of Patrick Stewart as Jean-Luc Picard. (To be clear, All Access has some non-Trek shows too, including “The Good Fight” and the upcoming “Twilight Zone” reboot from Jordan Peele.)
In addition to being the first original animated series on CBS All Access, “Lower Decks” is the first production from the new CBS Eye Animation Productions. And while the announcement doesn’t include a release date for the animated series, “Star Trek: Discovery” returns for its second season on January 17.