Star Trek: Discovery could bring Patrick Stewart back to the franchise

Alex Kurtzman will oversee the future of Star Trek on TV, including development of new shows, miniseries, and more

After several years of tumult, Star Trek: Discovery — and the greater Star Trek TV empire — may finally be getting some stability: CBS Television Studios has signed Discovery’s recently promoted showrunner Alex Kurtzman to a five-year deal that will put him in charge of all TV Trek projects for the foreseeable future, via The Hollywood Reporter. (We’d make a five-year mission joke, but Verge readers deserve better.)

In addition to Discovery, CBS reportedly has multiple Star Trek shows already in development for Kutzman to oversee. Per Variety, these include a Starfleet Academy show from Stephanie Savage and Josh Schwartz (who previously created Dynasty, Gossip Girl, and Marvel’s Runaways), a limited series based on the Wrath of Khan story (sigh), as well as another limited series and an animated series. Further details are still being kept under wraps.

A rumored return of Patrick Stewart as Jean-Luc Picard

The Hollywood Reporter has another, even more intriguing rumor to add to the pile: a show from Kurtzman and former Discovery executive producer Akiva Goldsman that would see the return of Star Trek: The Next Generation’s Patrick Stewart to the franchise, as fan-favorite Captain Jean-Luc Picard. It’s unclear whether this is one of the four shows counted by Variety. But before anyone gets too excited, CBS has stressed that the deal is still in the works and may not happen at all.

The news comes just days after the long-beleaguered show’s last upheaval, when previous showrunners Aaron Harberts and Gretchen J. Berg were fired midway through production of the upcoming season 2 as a result of budget disputes and complaints of abuse from multiple writers on the series. Berg and Harberts were already the second set of showrunners for Discovery. (They took over from original showrunner Brian Fuller, who stepped down after multiple delays to focus on other projects.) In the wake of Herberts and Berg’s firing, Kurtzman was named their successor. Hopefully, Kurtzman being locked into a five-year contract will settle the dust a bit for Discovery and potentially open the door for an even brighter future for Trek on TV.

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