Veronica Hart has been appointed head of a new Star Trek global franchise group for CBS. Star Trek is one of the most enduring science fiction franchises in history but is currently in somewhat of a transition phase with an assortment of projects in the pipeline. On the big screen, a fourth Kelvin Timeline movie has been officially taken off the table but cast members remain hopeful for an eventual release. Elsewhere, a Star Trek movie directed by none other than Quentin Tarantino is also reportedly in development, with the movie icon having already written a script for his own take on Gene Roddenberry's futuristic world.
Things are looking even busier for Star Trek on television. CBS' primary series, Star Trek: Discovery, is currently gearing up for a third season after two well-received outings and looks to be heading where no series has gone before after a shocking season 2 finale. Solo ventures are lined up for both Michelle Yeoh's Philippa Georgiou and Patrick Stewart's Jean-Luc Picard, both of which will join Star Trek: Discovery on CBS' in-house streaming service. If that wasn't already enough, a comedy-based animated show called Star Trek: Lower Decks and a CG-animated Nickelodeon series have also both been confirmed.
As reported by Variety, CBS have now announced the launch of a Star Trek global franchise group that will be led by Veronica Hart. The group will aim to take the Star Trek brand in a variety of new directions and into a host of different mediums across the globe to "maximize the expansion of the brand beyond the traditional boundaries of linear broadcasting and streaming." Under the title of executive vice president, Hart will work alongside producer Alex Kurtzman in directing Star Trek's overall brand strategy. David Stapf, president of CBS Television, had the following to say:
"Veronica and her team are not only gifted brand strategists and veteran consumer products executives, they are also experts on the Star Trek canon. We are excited to launch this new business unit because the brand has an enormously rabid fan base, and we look forward to expanding its reach even further."
If the glut of Star Trek material on the way wasn't already enough of a sign, CBS' latest move makes it abundantly clear that the network are planning on turning the franchise into a worldwide multimedia juggernaut. Some might argue that Star Trek already falls under that category but while the recent movies have enjoyed some degree of wider appeal, much of the franchise's modern output is aimed at Star Trek's established legion of loyal fans. It appears that CBS are instead aiming to turn the Star Trek brand into a product that appeals to a variety of demographics, encompasses a range of genres and that has a constant mainstream presence, more along the lines of Star Wars or the MCU.
The utterance of the Star Trek name alongside a wall of corporate jargon may send shivers down the spines of long time followers. There were already concerns that the Star Trek franchise was risking an overload of content or may be venturing into areas it's fundamentally unsuited for and this latest move could compound those feelings. However, the true effects of this global franchise group won't be measurable for a while yet. The fact that the group is being led by genuine fans of the source material is also a huge relief and if their efforts result in high-quality stories that bring new fans to the Star Trek world, then any perceived over-commercialization will surely be forgiven.