CBS CEO David Nevins recently commented on where he sees the Star Trek brand in the CBS portfolio at the Bank of America Merrill Lynch Communications & Entertainment Conference in Los Angeles.
According to Deadline, Nevins made it clear they are still working on building Star Trek’s brand, “What we’re trying to do right now with Star Trek is build that brand.” Nevins would then make it clear who he is targeting to grow the brand:
“We want it to get younger and more relevant to people.”
He would add that with Viacom and CBS merging they could create a “virtuous eco-system.” He added, “If you’re smart about it, you can create a lot of value.” Nevins is also excited about the upcoming streaming wars that appear to see Apple, Amazon, Netflix, HBOMax, and Disney Plus face off, “There’s going to be a lot of rebuilding going on. … There’s going to be lots of interesting possibilities for bundling and distribution as these mega-platforms evolve over time.”Nevins added, “Our game is to maximize the value and the revenue we can generate out of our content, be that on our platforms or others.”
Nevins isn’t the only CBS executive discussing their long-term plans for Star Trek. Alex Kurtzman also told Deadline back in June that they were planning to target a younger audience. (Related: Alex Kurtzman Reveals 5 Year Plan for Star Trek Franchise)
“Part of it was, kind of, premised on the idea that it was going to take time. What I said was, “Don’t expect us to put the first thing out, and suddenly, you know, you’re have 100 million new fans. That’s not gonna happen.” ‘Trek’ has been around for too long for that to happen — but but what we do have is new generations, and what I can tell you is that ‘Trek,’ in general, finds people when they’re about between nine and twelve.
It’s never reached younger than that; it’s never tried to, and to me that’s a hugely missed opportunity, especially because what you’re really trying to do is influence hearts and minds with really positive messages — messages about who we can be as a species and as people and what our future is. So why not start young, you know? And not for a cynical reason. Not because you know, hey, let some more toys, but because if you really want ‘Star Trek’ to reach people, then you’ve got to start young.”
In order to reach this new audience CBS and Kurtzman have teamed up with the Hageman brothers and Nickelodeon for an untitled Star Trek show. Kurtzman described the show:
“That’s a show that’s for kids, younger. Full CG animation. It’s going to be incredibly cinematic. We just started seeing [storyboards] this week. It looks like, wow. It’s on par with Love, Death, and Robots in terms of beauty and lighting and cinema, so it’s a a really different feel, and Nickelodeon has been wildly supportive and I think very excited to bring a new energy to TV, you know, in animation.”
The series will reportedly follow a group of rebellious teens who happen upon a derelict Starfleet ship. After they take control of the vessel they set off for adventures across the cosmos.
They also have Star Trek: Lower Decks from the brain of Rick & Morty Executive Producer Mike McMahon. The series will stream on CBS All Access and has reportedly already been greenlighted for two seasons and a half. (Related: New Animated Star Trek Comedy Series Announced!)
Co-executive producer Aaron Baiers described the show:
“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.”
Kurtzman described that the series is for anyone over the age of 11, “The spirit of each of these shows has to feel very different… Mike’s show [for CBS All Access] is really for kids, I would say, from 11 to 70. [Laughs]”
Though the idea of Nickelodeon involved might give some fans a sign that things are moving in the right direction, my concern is that we’ll get less Avatar: The Last Airbender, and more Steven Universe.
What do you think of this news? Is a focus towards younger audiences a good idea, like Star Trek: The Animated Series, which many fans still enjoy today?