One of the best things about the upcoming Star Trek: Discovery series coming out from CBS was having Bryan Fuller as the showrunner. As the man behind shows like Pushing Daisies, Hannibal, and Wonderfalls, it was a given that he would be bringing a new approach to the classic franchise.
Last night, it was announced that Fuller is leaving the show as showrunner, leaving the job to executive producers Gretchen Berg and Aaron Harberts. Fuller will still stay on as an executive producer and will have a hand in story development, but he will no longer be in charge of the whole shebang.
Why is this happening? Reportedly, it has to do with strain between Fuller and CBS on the slow progress of the show’s development. One major example of this was the need to push the show’s premier back from January of 2017 until May. Also, there’s the fact that Fuller may have been suffering from split attention. In addition to his Trek duties, he is the co-showrunner on the Starz series adaptation of Neil Gaiman’s American Gods, and he’s working on NBC’s reboot of the classic Steven Spielberg series, Amazing Stories.
CBS has a lot pinned on this new Star Trek series. It is going to be the flagship of their new subscription service, CBS All Access. Personally, I think that’s adorable. Mainstream Networks running their own subscription services have little chance of success. They’d be far better off partnering with Netflix or Hulu. The reality is that they are setting up the new Star Trek series to be one of the most pirated in TV history.
When Star Trek Discovery starts production next month in Toronto, CBS will have to consider the reality of that problem. Bryan Fuller, however, may have just dodged a bullet.