J.J. Abrams Talks ‘Almost Human’; Says CBS Not Interested in ‘Star Trek’ TV Show 

Published 1 year ago by , Updated November 21st, 2013 at 6:49 am,

jj abrams star trek 3 director J.J. Abrams Talks Almost Human; Says CBS Not Interested in Star Trek TV Show 

Ever since Abrams pumped new life into Star Trek with his alternate-timeline films, talk of some kind of return of the franchise to it’s television roots has persisted. Star Trek: The Next Generation star Michael Dorn once floated the idea of a Captain Worf series, Hannibal creator Bryan Fuller wanted to bring Trek back as a series, and most recently Into Darkness co-writer Roberto Orci was reportedly meeting with Paramount for a Trek show, but nothing conclusive came from it. The difficulty in making this happen – which is something that many, many longtime Star Trek fans would love to see – may have contributed to Abrams jumping to a the other landmark sci-fi universe with Star Wars.

Is there ever going to be a return of Star Trek to television? Abrams gives a tersely diplomatic reply:

I have been hearing for as long as I can remember that CBS, who has the rights to the series, has just been saying they’re not interested. That’s the word I’ve been told. 

Given the noted lack of hard science fiction on that network’s various procedurals, sitcoms, and dramas – none of which venture into the out-there realms of, say, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. on ABC, NBC’s Dracula reboot, the CW’s Arrow or FOX’s Sleepy Hollow – CBS may feel that the built-in fan-base of a Star Trek show is not enough to possibly displace their established audience.

For the record, CBS apparently responded to Abrams’ comment: “We love the Star Trek franchise, its fan base and the many possibilities for its future when the time is right.”

J.J. Abrams on the U.S.S. Enterprise J.J. Abrams Talks Almost Human; Says CBS Not Interested in Star Trek TV Show 

As for Abrams, he’s one of those A-listers who can theoretically have his pick of projects. When asked what the future may hold for him – and if there are any other existing franchises he’d like to explore – Abrams hinted that he’d like to get back to telling original stories:

There are a few stories I can’t wait to tell. And there are new things we’re developing in-house that are not existing properties. I feel I have inadvertently worked on a number of shows and movies that existed long before my involvement. I couldn’t feel luckier to have gotten a chance to do that. I would say I look forward most to the stories that are to come, that are not based on pre-existing [properties].

So far, Almost Human has been a rare example of the actual product meeting – and then exceeding – expectations. There is no way to tell just yet how much or how little Abrams’ influence will be felt on the show as his other duties inevitably vie for his attention. Abrams has a lot on his plate, along with that little movie set in a galaxy far, far away on the horizon, so our culture won’t be starved for his voice anytime soon.  Still, an episodic approach to Star Trek would be most welcome, even if it sounds as if Abrams won’t be involved.


Almost Human airs Mondays @8pm on Fox.

Source: Entertainment Weekly

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  1. As much as I do like Abram’s Star Trek reboot on the “big screen” I feel that the premise of the ORIGINAL characters (Kirk, Spock, Bone’s ect, all ) and the beginning of their five year mission aboard the NC17 would have been much better suited to television.

    JJ Abram’s re imagined crew just now began their 5 year mission (at the end of “Into Darkness).

    Instead of being able to follow the continuing (EPISODIC) mission on television, we’ll have to wait almost 5 more years just to get the last film in this re boot that began almost 5 years ago!

  2. First two episodes have been decent enough. I am sure we all play count the references, but that either goes the familiarity way of an eye rolling sigh or a mini smirk nod. Seems to be the latter with this show.

    But what was that narration on episode 2 about? If there was a narrative point to it, it lost me every time the narrator was drowned out by actual dialogue/SFX.

    • i don’t recall hearing any narration, only the intro i believe

      • Really? Lasted throughout the entire episode for me. Distracting to the point I almost stopped. Weird.

        • might be a stupid question but was your hearing impaired option on your tv on?

          • I actually live in the UK and tend to watch these shows online (simply a complete lack of patience on my part). I don’t know what is more stupid. The fact I accepted the narration as a purposeful thing or the fact I didn’t check until now whether it was actually intended to be a purposeful thing.

            Turns out it wasn’t. Turns out I watched the version for the visually impaired online. The equivalent on walking into the ladies restroom is this…

            • haha i actually meant to say visually impaired sorry….walks out the ladies washroom

            • I downloaded this episode and also got the visually impaired version, at first I thought it was some elaborate plot device so I kept on watching lol

  3. I just watched the first 2 episodes of almost human and i loved it. While the 2nd episode didnt add to the overaching story of the plot, it added more to michael ealys bot character. The whole theme of being remembered and how it effects a bot like dorian was incredible. I have trouble watching freak of the week shows like this but i think ill stick to this one.

  4. I love Almost Human. My favorite show of the season by far. Karl Urban is amazing. You can put that guy in the sh*ttiest movie or show and he’ll make it worthwhile. I’ll go back and watch Priest or Doom again just for him.

    • There was talk once of a TV show or a second movie for Priest. Wonder what happened to those ideas?

    • Urban is definitely one of the most underrated actors active right now. I’m curious why he isn’t one of these so-called “big name” stars like Tom Cruise, Brad Pitt, Ryan Gosling, and whoever else is well-known by everyone…

  5. I have a funny feeling that CBS is waiting, so that they can bring the prime series back. I bet it will happen after “JJ Trek” is over.

  6. Almost Human is a near-perfect example of how television series should start. You shouldn’t have to wait halfway through the first season for things to get good.

  7. Wait a darn second…..CBS has the rights to ST and refuses to do anything with it except sit on it and kink out an occasional movie every 3 years? Talk about missing the boat.

    • edit……kick, not kink! ><

  8. If you are looking for the reason there is no star trek on TV look no further then JJ Abrams it is because of him that there is no trek television show on the air. JJ Abrams wants to make sure that nothing gets in the way of his movies so he is preventing it from happening when he says that CBS is not interested don’t believe it.

  9. “…But as a romantic, I like to think things are going to get bigger rather than worse.”

    that’s not right is it?

  10. Seriously, aside from showcasing JJ, this story had barely anything to do with it’s title and a Star Trek series

  11. I have not watched Almost Human yet, due to work schedule keeping me occupied when it was on. I will watch it on the web-site, tho, as it looks like it might be entertaining.

  12. AM is much better than the other big new SF show on the air (SHIELD)

    Though, I wonder why there aren’t other DRNs running around, now that they know the MX units have a weakness, they should get the DRNs up and running to run security about the station house.

    • i think the DRN’s got replaced by MX units cause the DRNs where to life like with feelings etc….

      kinda like Data vs. Lore

    • They explained it in the pilot……they were replaced because the DRN’s experienced, “glitches” (which in human terms is experiencing emotional conflicts when making difficult decisions).

      The MX units are nothing but upholding the law and following their programming to eliminate conflicts.

    • Oh and the DRNs have the same “weakness”. Dorian explained he ran on a different frequency. If they broke out a bunch of DRNs, the criminals could either change or add the DRN frequency.

      • It’s a police station, if you can take out the security grid, then add a second one. DRN + MX is better than being unprotected.

  13. The people at CBS are beyond me. Even back in the 90s Star Trek used to be quite a niche product. Yeah, Next Gen was a success for a genre show like that, but the movies didn’t take off, not even making 100 $ each domestically. Now we’ve got two successful mainstream BLOCKBUSTERS at our hand, general interest in Star Trek is huge and CBS overlook that opportunity to come up with a new Star Trek show. It’s so shortsighted it HURTS!

    New Doctor Who has already proven that a well-made, but still somewhat campy SciFi show can be a HUGE success with both the fan-base and the general public after a reasonably long hiatus. What are they waiting for? With a whole avalange of new Star Wars (both cinematic and televised) upon us, main stream interest in Star Trek will slowly fade away again because of genre fatigue. Even Marvel and DC shows somewhat take away from the attention a new Star Trek show could get.

    In five years from now, we might be back at square one, the same spot Star Trek was in in 2005 when ENT got cancelled, but this time without a SINGLE Trek episode made. 3-4 movies in 15 years is certainly not enough to uphold interest in the property. Star Wars, Avatar and the two comic book universes will get all the attention and the 2009 reboot would have been in vain!

    THEY NEED TO ACT NOW! Give us a Star Trek show until 2016, right in time for the 50th, or even I will be going to a galaxy far far away…

    • P.S.: If CBS isn’t willing to act, it is time for Paramount to buy back the rights to the televised Star Trek universe ASAP. This has to be possible and they need to act NOW or they’ll lose the ultimate business opportunity. Annual Star Wars movies, a potential live-action SW TV show, three Avatar sequels / prequels, at least three Marvel-based movies a year, the upcoming DC-JLA universe…If they want “a piece of the action”, they need to do something until chances fade away into oblivion…

  14. I like the pilot enough to comeback and I really like the 2nd episode which got so much better so I’ll stay. Hope Almost Human will continue to be awesome so we’ll have 2 great shows(still ongoing) from Bad Robot, the other one being Person Of Interest.

  15. I like that the DRN is robot enough to know he’s not as vulnerable as a human, but human enough to do the bad-ass “I know you can’t hurt me so I’m just going to calmly walk up to you as you shoot at me” thing, lol.

  16. What – does Abrams now own Star Trek ? Who gives a Rat’s Butt if Abrams is not interested. There a hundreds of talented Producer/Directors out there who could do a fine job on it ,if allowed. Think of the possibilities as a Cable Show. It could finally be what it never has been yet. A Quality Adult Show ,with great ideas -Executed correctly.
    Why is he Spokesman for the future of Trek ? He didn’t exactly make them THAT much money.

    • Derp? CBS is not interested… Abrams =/= CBS.

  17. if u want a good laugh read ajenos twitter,brett faulds

    • If you want a much bigger laugh read the dreadful piece he wrote on whatculture.com entitled Hannibal a doctor for all ages. His writing is horrific but the comments rock the big one.

  18. Please, Please, Pleeze no crummy low budget Star-Trek T.V. shows like Nixed Generation,or Star-Trek “We’re Lost” or whatever they called the stupid stuff churned out in the 1990s which almost ruined Star-Trek for the next 50 years. The new movies are fantastic..This guy J.J. Abrams has really got it right, and will take the franchise to new heights in the coming decades..let’s have one every year to discourage any thoughts of reviving cheap stuff like Dork Space Nine,(horrible)…Star-Trek Voyeur(an asinine T.V.show)…and I’m sorry, The Next Generation with the Holideck, “Q” and catch-phrases like “make it so” bordered on the absurd. The Next Generation movies were awful and should be banned from ever being shown on T.V. so as not to be confused with the new movies.