One of the most exciting things about CBS’s upcoming Star Trek Discovery was Bryan Fuller in the captain’s chair. Fuller has worked on shows like Pushing Daisies and Hannibal, and we were particularly excited to see his take on Gene Roddenberry’s universe. Now, Fuller is stepping back as the production’s showrunner, although he will remain the show’s executive producer.
Variety broke the news yesterday: Fuller will be stepping down to focus on two other shows he’s working on: Starz’s American Gods, and a reboot of Amazing Stories for NBC. Discovery’s executive producers Gretchen Berg and Aaron Harberts will take over his showrunning duties. CBS Studios said in a statement that the split was due to Fuller’s workload, and not the quality of what he was writing.
Losing a showrunner isn’t a fatal thing for a show: almost every iteration of Star Trek has at some point switched up the people driving it forward, although usually not until the series was well-established. But Discovery will still follow Fuller’s "vision for the universe," according to Variety.
Star Trek Discovery does appear to have its set of challenges moving forward
While the shakeup might not be a problem in and of itself, Star Trek Discovery does appear to have its set of challenges moving forward. The show has already been delayed from January to May 2017, and while it is set to enter production next month, the story’s lead female role has yet to be cast.
Star Trek Discovery also has the added uphill battle of launching on CBS’s All Access, rather than regular network television. While CBS’s platform does appear to be a success, there’s a far more limited audience on these platforms than on broadcast television. Furthermore, CBS blew a crucial opportunity to tie into the franchise’s 50th anniversary, which would have been a perfect opportunity to bring the franchise back to what’s traditionally been its home: the small screen.
Star Trek Discovery will premiere in May of 2017.