Star Trek Is Abandoning New Series In Favor Of Something Much Different?

According to a new interview with Alex Kurtzman, the Star Trek head honcho suggests we could see more trek miniseries and one-off events in the future.

By Sean Thiessen | Updated

Star Trek may be about to go where it has never gone before – to the miniseries. An article from Fansided revealed that lead Star Trek executive Alex Kurtzman has big plans for expanding the franchise with miniseries and Paramount+ event films. The revelation comes at a time of uncertainty for Trek fans as Paramount slashes spending to combat financial difficulties.

Kurtzman outlined his ambition for Star Trek miniseries in an interview with SFX Magazine:

“I think we could absolutely continue to tell stories about individual characters that are set up on the show in other contexts. That’s the beauty of having a universe now is that, in a perfect world, we’re not just doing seasons of television, we’re doing event series, we’re doing single events that could be two, three hours long.” 

-Alex Kurtzman

Kurtzman sounds enthusiastic about the future of Star Trek, but fans can only be cautiously optimistic about his events and miniseries plan. Paramount+ started as CBS All Access in 2014, and the streaming service has yet to turn a profit. It followed suit with its competition with massive spending on original content in recent years, but seismic shifts in the industry have seen every streaming service cutting costs.

Star Trek: Picard and Discovery are both coming to a close, which will free up some money for the franchise. But as Kurtzman talks about expanding, Paramount’s accounting department is telling a different story. The Star Trek franchise may be able to find a happy medium by embracing the miniseries format.

star trek legacy

The Star Trek lore is well-established, and has a multitude of characters, places, time periods, and events to explore within the canon. Star Trek could expand by exploring legacy characters and worlds, or introducing new ones, in the miniseries format without committing to multiple seasons. This strategy could allow the franchise to diversify its catalog at a higher rate for a lower cost.

In addition to financial challenges, Star Trek has a divided fandom. Some love new Trek, while others long for the days of old. Star Trek shifting to the miniseries format could also appease a larger audience by experimenting with different types of storytelling with lower stakes.

The miniseries may make sense for upcoming projects like Michell Yeoh’s Discovery spin-off, Section 31; no news has officially suggested a format change for the upcoming show.

Even Kurtzman’s own pitch for Star Trek: Legacy, which would combine the older and younger generations represented in Picard, could retain its spirit in a diverse set of miniseries. Star Trek has been composed of traditional television series and movies for decades, but as the franchise evolves to stay alive in a changing market, the miniseries may offer a new lease on life.

Based on what the company has shared, the current model at Paramount+ is not sustainable. Reduced spending is the only real solution the streamer has, but less money does not have to mean worse content for Star Trek. Exploring new formats and lower budgets could yield storytelling benefits Trekkies have never seen before, and could be the path to satisfying fans of the classics while evolving in a modern market.

The entire world is feeling economic pressure, and the entertainment industry is no different. As studio strategies shift, franchises will have to adapt to survive. Star Trek is a beloved property, and its loyal fans and creators will do whatever it takes for the franchise to live long and prosper.

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