By Nellie Andreeva
CBS All Access, CBS’ SVOD and live streaming service, is making a change in the rollout schedule for its first two original scripted series. The highly anticipated new Star Trek drama, Star Trek: Discovery, originally slated to debut in January, will bow in May, while The Good Wife followup series, which had been slotted for spring, will now open in February.
As previously announced, the 13-episode Star Trek: Discovery will premiere on the CBS linear network, presumably during the May sweep, after which all episodes will be made available on CBS All Access exclusively in the U.S. (Netflix has international rights in 188 country, Bell Media in Canada)
The same release pattern will be used for the 10-episode The Good Wife spinoff, which also will premiere on CBS — its original network — presumably during the February sweep before its episodes are released on CBS All Access. Additionally, The Good Wife creators/showrunners Robert and Michelle King, who co-wrote the opening episode of the spinoff with Phil Alden Robinson, are boarding the series as full-time showrunners/executive producers. They had been tied up on their summer CBS series BrainDead, which is not likely to return for a second season. Even if that happens, the Kings would be able to handle both shows. Meanwhile, Robinson, who had been announced in May as an executive producer on the series, will serve in that capacity on the first episode only, with no further involvement.
The scheduling shift was driven by a request from the creative team of Star Trek: Discovery. Created/executive produced by Bryan Fuller and Alex Kurtzman, the new Star Trek series has three completed scripts and the first season mapped out. Sources say the show, which is now casting, was moving along according to its production schedule but its producers proactively asked the studio for more time to use in pre-production, filming and post.
“Bringing Star Trek’\ back to television carries a responsibility and mission: to connect fans and newcomers alike to the series that has fed our imaginations since childhood,” Kurtzman and Fuller said in a statement. “We aim to dream big and deliver, and that means making sure the demands of physical and post-production for a show that takes place entirely in space, and the need to meet an air date, don’t result in compromised quality. Before heading into production, we evaluated these realities with our partners at CBS and they agreed: Star Trek deserves the very best, and these extra few months will help us achieve a vision we can all be proud of.”
Fuller serves as showrunner on the series, produced by CBS TV Studios, with Gretchen J. Berg, and Aaron Harberts working alongside him as executive producers.
“The series template and episodic scripts that Alex and Bryan have delivered are incredibly vivid and compelling,” said David Stapf, President, CBS Television Studios. “They are building a new, very ambitious Star Trek world for television, and everyone involved supports their vision for the best timing to bring to life what we all love on the page.”
As previously announced, the Good Wife spinoff will pick up one year after the events of the final episode of The Good Wife (aka the slap that divided the show’s fans). The new series star Christine Baranski, who will reprise her role as Diane Lockhart, joined by Cush Jumbo as Lucca Quinn.
Only the first script for the series has been completed but the Kings, who shepherded seven 22-episode seasons of The Good Wife, should not have a problem delivering 10 episodes by January. In fact, it will be financially more advantageous for studio CBS TV Studios to go into production sooner as the new show will be using the Good Wife sets which are now sitting empty.
CBS All Access remains on track for releasing a new original series every quarter. The first is the Big Brother offshoot, Big Brother: Over the Top, which debuts on Sept. 28.
The Good Wife is executive produced by Robert and Michelle King, Ridley Scott, David Zucker, Liz Glotzer and Brooke Kennedy
Star Trek: Discovery is additionally executive produced by Heather Kadin, Rod Roddenberry and Trevor Roth.