Roberto Orci Meeting With CBS For New ‘Star Trek’ TV Show [Updated]

Published 2 years ago by , Updated October 12th, 2013 at 5:23 am,

Star Trek The Next Generation Enterprise D Roberto Orci Meeting With CBS For New Star Trek TV Show [Updated]

With this summer’s Star Trek Into Darkness now available on home video, and director J.J. Abrams hopping the asteroid fields to take on Star Wars: Episode VII, there remains a bit of uncertainty for the future viewing pleasure of Trekkies. The 50th anniversary of the iconic Star Trek franchise approaches in 2016 and what better way to celebrate boldly going where no one has gone before than a three-quel to the film trilogy about young Captain Kirk (Chris Pine) and crew beginning their adventures on the U.S.S. Enterprise?

A new television series, of course! And that’s exactly what could happen.

In a potentially wondrously joyous tweet for Star Trek fans, Sky News reporter Joe Michalczuk shared word that Bob Orci told him he’s met with CBS to talk about bringing Star Trek back to the small screen.

With Orci taking meetings – or as we’re told, inquiring about the rights - that would suggest that a new Star Trek TV series – if greenlit – would be in the same timeline as the film franchise, when the Enterprise begins its 5-year mission. A series in the quasi-rebooted Trek universe (thank you, time travel paradox) would allow CBS to pull a Disney and have a television show based in the same cinematic universe as the films, a la Marvel’s Agents of SHIELD on ABC.

Then again, Orci is loyal to his brands, evidenced by his work on the Transformers Prime animated series which is not in the same universe as Michael Bay’s movies – which he and writing partner Alex Kurtzman left after two installments. Orci and Kurtzman are busy producers/writers, with Sleepy Hollow starting strong on Fox, Ender’s Game preparing for its theatrical release, and development beginning on a new Van Helsing and a Mummy reboot, not to mention work on the Amazing Spider-Man sequels.

Talk of a Star Trek TV series hasn’t settled since Enterprise concluded its final season in 2005, marking the first time in two decades where there wasn’t a Trek series on the air. The movies thankfully reinvigorated the brand in 2009, making it “cool” again, but talk of a TV show hasn’t far gone beyond The Next Generation/Deep Space 9 star Michael Dorn expressing desire to making a series centered around his character of Worf, a show that would take place in the “old” universe.

star trek into darkness jj abrams official 570x378 Roberto Orci Meeting With CBS For New Star Trek TV Show [Updated]

There were also attempts to create a new Star Trek show by Bryan Singer (X-Men) and Bryan Fuller (Hannibal) but as of late, word on the street is that any such project would need to get the J.J. Abrams go-ahead. Then came a report that claimed rights issues between Paramount (on the film side) and CBS (on the TV side) prevented such a show from developing and in turn, helped in Abrams’ decision to take on the Star Wars franchise, effectively ending his directorial responsibilities in the Trek series.

Update: To be clear, Star Trek is not currently in development for TV and this is a case where the potential is there and inquiries are being made about the rights.

Would the series follow the traditional formula of following a crew of new characters? Would it need to tie-in with the film franchise? Is the timing right for Star Trek on TV?

Follow Rob on Twitter @rob_keyes.

Enterprise-D art by The Light Works.

Follow Rob Keyes on Twitter @rob_keyes
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  1. “To boldly go where no nerd has gone before ” lol

  2. I’ve always thought that with the right actor they could do a great ST: Stargazer series with a young Picard. Otherwise I would much rather see a series set several centuries after TNG/Voy/DS9 with new characters, new ships, new technology, new conflicts with new species and no real continuity issues to worry about. If they really wanted to tie it to the past they could even make a future Dax as the main character. It could be fantastic, provided it had good scripts, which was always the most important part of what made the show great, not effects, battles or looking cool. They need great scripts that focus on interesting characters in situations that explore moral/ethical decisions, race relations, socio-politics etc. Timeless stories that resonate, AMC has incredible writing for comparably small shows like Mad Men & Breaking Bad, are there no writers left to make a decent ST show? Give me a break! IMO this constant milking of past show ideas is just diluting the ST franchise.

    • Righteous!

  3. “Star Trek” should not return to television for at least another ten to twenty years. When it does finally come back, the next version of “Star Trek” should take place two hundred years after Voyager.

    • Mostly it should not be done as long as J.J. Abrams, Roberto Orci or Alex Kurtzman have anything to do with it.

      • Agreed

    • If Star Trek doesn’t come back for another ten to twenty years, how would that benefit us, those who are alive today? Do you suggest that because it would take that long for the mindset of the “masses” to catch up with the ideals of Star Trek? We’ve (ST Universe) always been lightyears ahead of common thinking. The time for a new show is now, today :)

      • I think it would be a benefit to the art of filmmaking and screenwriting if J.J. Abrams and Kurtzman & Orci were kept away from computer keyboards and movie cameras for a while…

  4. Yes please do another Star Trek TV series.

  5. Well would love a new Star Trek Series. But I really want it in Prime rather than Abramsverse. With as much as people hated the last movie I would hope they would be smart and leave the show alone despite the bizarre ramblings of the movie series… The fan base for the show wants a STAR TREK show. And despite the fact that I didn’t hate the 1st new movie, I can’t see me tuning in to a show in Abramsverse…

    • Akai: You also have to take into account that the Abrams movies may not have been as popular as the REPORTED (by Paramount) Box-Office figures may have led you to believe.

      Paramount reports that all its movies are super-hits, yet does not pay its investors back (see the lawsuit by “Melrose Investors” to recover their investment in a string of supposed mega-hits including the first Abrams ST) and is currently shrinking the company rapidly (hardly what a company experiencing an unprecedented string of mega-hits would do).

      Similarly Avengers was hyped as a super-mega-success but the millions of supposedly dedicated fans of Joss Whedon didn’t materialize when his show premiered and the few that did are elbowing each other on the way to the exits.

    • I agree. No Abrams. I don’t like what he did with (or to, or didn’t do with) Fringe. At first, it was one of the best shows to hit the small screen. Then, it looks like they couldn’t decide what to do with the show. We need someone who understand Star Trek, and is capable of taking it forward, wit new characters, new ships and new species/planets.

  6. I would just follow TNG, maybe have Data or one of the TNG crew do cameos and keep going like TNG had cameos from the original ST.

    It’s far enough removed from ST and ST-JJReboot that you don’t have to worry about continuity and at least the fans have some small tie to the past.

    Looking forward to more Borg… resistance if futile.

  7. I’d like to see a show taking place around the time the Abrams from the original. It would have the TNG cast in the advanced stages of their careers. They could deal with the fallout of the Romulan planet getting destroyed.

  8. this is good news!

    …but if it involves BobOrci or the JJ-verse,

    it will suck, BIGTIME =(

  9. Give Star Trek back to some REAL writers / designers / director / producers!

    • Couldn’t agree more I am not Herbert.

      Personally I think we live in a Dark Age of TV and especially a Dark Age of SF TV and movies.

      When was the last SF show or movie that was actually good? I guess I’d have to say the first season of Eureka before Siffy killed it creatively in Season 2. And before that, I don’t know…

  10. I don’t care what kind of show this will ultimately turn out to be BUT do NOT copy the recent movies’ style and feel. And most importantly, don’t locate it inside the Abramsverse. Other than that, everything’s okay with me.

    • The Walking Dude: The problem is that what J.J. Abrams does when he directs is not a “style”. It is just incompetence. But since he’s J.J. Abrams and has the press in his pocket, incompetence is considered a “style”…

      The same goes for his and Orci’s “writing”.


      • I agree with both you guys. These recent movies have done more to ruin ST than anything that happened of any of the series. Just plain awful. Shiny, but awful. People that don’t know anything about ST don’t realize how insulted they should be. I think they (Abrams and the ilk) are counting on ignorance to give them a pass to create mediocrity with the ST name attached. Get rid of those guys. I say we bring back Rick Berman and Brannon Braga. If they’re not interested, I’ll bet they can suggest someone who would be up to the task.

        • @not Herbert: Thanks

          @byfrexia: My take on it is very glum: I think Abrams & Co. are so in love with their own “creativity” that they couldn’t have cared less about what they were destroying since they thought they were creating more of the greatness that was Felicity… (OK I tried to make it a little light)

          I really do think they don’t think the public cares and they are so surrounded by yes-men they really think they’re brilliant and they created masterpieces (like Felicity!)

    • I actually like the visual style of JJ abrams. It looked good and felt like star trek without feeling crufty and old like some of the old series can. At the very least perhaps the look of Enterprise.

      The problems with Abrams (And to a degree the Enterprise series before him) was the script writing.

      Heres my suggestion. Give it to JMS (The guy who wrote babylon 5) to lead up the script team, cos that dude writes AMAZING scripts, use JJ’s team for SFX and general visuals, and get Rick Berman in there to supervise and produce the whole thing. Forget the whole original series reboot, and set it after the events of DS9, possibly involving the Gamma Quadrant in the wake of the power vacuum following the fall of the dominion, possibly set on the Defiant. THAT would be a killer show.

  11. As long they don’t put on Sunday and opposite of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D./Arrow then I’m happy.

  12. Don’t.

  13. Unfortunately, it seems to me that any new TV series will most certainly be set in the alternative-reality, as it will be fans of the Abrams films that they are trying to draw. (Don’t get me wrong, I love the new movies just as much as I did the ‘Prime’ films.)

    I suspect, if this ever gets off the ground, it will simply be a TV series based around a different vessel, with an Enterprise crew cameo every now and then.

  14. If they do reboot the series then they genuinely need to explore why it failed. As a loyal watcher of all of the series, I always noticed a common thread, I that it always seemed like the show(s) bent over backwards to not give the audience what they wanted.

    They finally had a show setup in the era of the fabled Romulan Wars, Enterprise, but rather than explore that story arc they went off on some wild timeline Xindi (?) story line that fell flat and dominated the entire series.

    Don’t try to feed the core audience with nuggets of Star Trek lore or follow the formula of the original series we a few neat little twists to try to lure in the Trekkies. Do what JJ did, recreate within the scope of the universe created, with new and original ideas.

    Ratings matter, so pander to what today’s audiences want to see. The new TV show should be about Section 31, the CIA/Navy Seals of the Star Trek universe. It’s an open enough plot to allow for plenty of great episodes with enough freedom to explore all elements of the universe from the deep space exploration , the politics, and the otherwise large scope the rest of the series essentially ignored to take us aboard the journey of the enterprise, ds9, Voyager, etc. lose the ship, keep the universe.

    • The problem is that a lot of the writers of Enterprise etc… are not very good writers and also resent being given an established universe, so they try and force bad ideas into “their” show…

      A great example of that were the dreadful and dreaded Irish Village Voyager episodes, which were the worst thing that happened to Trek until Enterprise. And then J.J. Abrams used a flame thrower to incinerate what was left.

  15. I don’t really understand why everyone seems to hate the last 2 movies so much. I loved the Star Trek reboot, it was much better than most of the previous ST movies, in fact the last one I liked that much was First Contact.
    Granted “into Darkness” was not a brilliant movie, it was a bit lazy to rehash the old Kahn story if you ask me, but still it was not a bad movie. the alternate universe is a brilliant way to start from scratch without having to worry continuity with previous series and every ST nut pointing out every error, and would be a great way to reboot a new series.
    It would be great to re-do the kirk/spock era but the film actors wont do that, or at least wouldn’t stick around long enough, and another different kirk/spock would be too much.
    So a new series would really need to be far far in the future so they can go way OTT with the technology and effects and do stuff we have never even dreamed of before.

    • The problem I had with the first Star Trek were the glaring errors in physics; and I’m not just talking about Trek-physics (which they did get some of that wrong too), I’m talking about basic physics. A star going super nova would not destroy an entire galaxy; when an object is entering a planet’s atmosphere, you see friction because that object is scraping the atmospheric layers. Vulcan has no moon, so how was Spock able to see Vulcan’s destruction from Delta Vega? And I still have no clue what red matter is. The movies were entertaining but as Trek films, they fall very short.

      • Kahless and Snake: All those flaws come from one thing: J.J. Abrams. The man loves plot holes and implausibilities with a wild passion.

  16. I would love a new ST series. But i would like to see it continue where Voyager left off with the current timeline, not the alternate universe

  17. We saw that time travel was something achieved in the future Trek universe. I don’t want to see a show set so far in the future as to be unreconizable though. It has to be Trek.

  18. No a tv show alone won’t work, don’t forget who your core audience is, here is what they should do

    Ok Syfy might try and sue, but that would be like the WRGB or the BBC trying to sue every other channel for stealing its idea…

    Star Trek fans are geeks, this isn’t a bad thing maybe if everyone on the planet was a Star Trek fan the world would be a better place, so aim the show at geeks, have each show have its own story but the overarching storyline be based on a computer game, Star Trek online already has brilliant stories that progress TNG DS9 and Voyager series.

    Ignore the films leave them as they are, but just as Star Trek online has done make the introduction to the Star Trek movie cannon. The rest can change from season to season, you can have cameos galore.

    So for me the best new Star Trek series would be one based on Star Trek online and makes the show as interactive as possible, like defiance.

    • Glen: Defiance is a flop. Why would they want to copy it? Oh, wait we’re in 21st Century Hollywood, they may think it’s a great idea… :(

      • From my experience kids don’t really watch tv anymore, everything needs to be I tear time, computer games are replacing television, I swear that’s the reason the number of people watching tv drops every year… Same goes for agents of shield and dr who, shows will have to evolve, I agree it’s not a good thing, but that’s cause I’m old and grew up watching telly.

        • Sorry, but no sale. I grew up spending evenings playing computer games too and I watched TV plenty. IF there’s less viewership it’s because the quality isn’t there. When you make a compelling product, people watch it (as long as they know about it!)

  19. With several of the “old” star trek actors working on ST: Renegades I’m really hoping that they do end up with a tv series. If not a web series looks like that other alternative.

    I really didn’t care for the two new movies. It was to much action and no real presence of what made star trek something more than just a tv show.

    If a series based on the new timeline was created I think that it would more than likely flop. While the younger generation would probably tune in weekly. The veteran fans would view it as a diseased limb that needs to be removed.

  20. As popular as scifi is now and the fact there are so networks and the fact that the franchise has such a history and brand recognition it is unbelieveable to me there is not a Star Trek show on the air now. My 2 cents? It’s has to be orginal time line, not this current ‘apple store’ enterprise crap we are dealing with. It needs to take place after ST NG. Needs to be ST 3G. Another time jump like between TOS and NG. Riker/Troi son assigned to Enterprise. Maybe a 20 year jump. Just enough time that some of the characters from NG could make appearances. Enterprise with some Borg Tech? Come on- someone make this happen. :)

  21. I always thought a Trek series centerred around the future Federation time travellers would be intriguing. It could follow their time-hopping exploits to maintain the prime directive at the same time preventing potential paradoxes. This would also create great potential for overlaps into the preceding character and story arcs. Eventually, though, it would end with the time travelling crew charged with the ultimate sacrifice to prevent a future man-made apocalypse: go back to the time of first contact between Vulcans and humans and prevent the Federation from ever being created. Of course, in the final end of the series it is revealed that a communicator badge is unknowingly (or knowingly?) left behind, creating the mother of all paradoxes that would lead to the creation of and overlap into the new “alternate” movie timeline.

  22. New Universe Star Trek wouldn’t be Star Trek. Old Universe or nothing at all. Character names do not Star Trek on televiaion make. I concede that the movies are different but we are talking television.

  23. They should make a new Star Trek series about a new colonization process that went wrong. A small group of Starfleet ships and colonist were to evacuate but somehow gets transported to another galaxy and have to settle and colonizw. They would face other species and empire with what they have.

  24. i hate the idea of worf being captain. cause every episode would be 5 minutes long as his solution to every problem is fire immediately. enemy ship? fire! medical emergency? fire everything! scientific discovery? blow it to hell!

  25. After watching the fan produces first episode of ‘Star Trek Continues’ I ask with deepest hope, that CBS just fund the continued production of this excellent recreation. At first the new faces were, odd… But within 5 minutes it felt like Kirk and gang were all back together. THIS is entertainment, THIS is Trek.

  26. are the DS9 writers still alive?

  27. I had the idea at one point to have a show that starts just after the last voyager episode. It would be about the Federation and the Klingon empire coming together to create a defensive ship to protect themselves from dangers like the Borg or the Dominian. A very advanced ship would be created and would have a Klingon as captain. The Klingon captain would be very personable, the kind of personality that believes in fighting together, but would also be very tough. This Klingon captain is plagued by a vision that a malevolent vulcan figurehead seeks to destroy most humanoid life within the galaxy. No one believes the captain so he gains the support of a spattering of his crew and convinces them to steal the ship. The show would be about a a half Klingon, half human crew forced to work together traveling the galaxy hiding from both the Federation and the Klingon empire who seek to bring them to justice. The show would span 7 seasons, all the while the ship gets torn apart, some of which is not able to be repaired and the damage would continue from episode to episode (much like in the Enterprise series). The climax, does he find his Vulcan? This question is left for the writers till the last season.

    I think a show with a Klingon captain would be very interesting, and a rogue crew would add depth. It would be something new in the Star Trek universe.

  28. I… I was incredibly thrilled to hear the prospect of a new Star Trek series

    But then I find out it’s going to be in the new time line? The new time line that spat over the old one?

    Screw that! I want a new series that takes place after Voyager, that isn’t as BAD as Voyager.

    Or a new series that takes places between TOS and TNG, that follows the Enterprise B or C. ANYTHING but the new timeline…

    The Abrams timeline works better in a movie format. Having it come to an episodic format would be unbelievably expensive. Please please please don’t consider the old timeline dead. That was the best one

  29. I would prefer any new series to be in the original “Prime” universe. The movies were all action based and though it has very nice effects/props on a movie budget, on a tv show budget, it could only depend on its storytelling which when you look at the story lines in the movies, they are pretty bad.

    A good kick off would be simply placing in the star trek:destiny trilogy into a suitable time period (possibly changing the ending regarding the borg).

    With the federation shattered, it would be a look at idealism vs pragmatism and the war between selfishness and selflessness when you’vs no food, water and shelter as well as the “us (humans) vs them (aliens)” mentality on who received access to the available supplies.

    These were negated simply by star trek being a post scarcity society. This along with enemies looking on, moral conundrums and covert attacks could abound. How strong would be convictions in following the prime directive when want and need abounded in the high density federation worlds could be reduced by simply taking what you wanted from low tech or no tech civilizations?