How Long Will Alex Kurtzman Control the ‘Star Trek’ Franchise?

Alex Kurtzman poses for the photo during New York Comic Con 2019 Day 3 at the Hulu Theater at Madison Square Garden on October 05, 2019 in New York City.

Ilya S. Savenok/Getty Images Alex Kurtzman poses for the photo during New York Comic Con 2019 Day 3 at the Hulu Theater at Madison Square Garden on October 05, 2019 in New York City.

Alex Kurtzman has been the showrunner of the modern “Star Trek” universe since 2015. Under his leadership, the franchise returned to television in 2017. Since then, four new Trek shows have premiered, two more started production, and one more has been greenlit. Whether fans like his brand of Trek or not, Kurtzman has breathed new life into the franchise.

On July 30, 2021, CBS announced that Kurtzman had signed a new overall contract with the studio. Here’s what the new contract means for the modern Trekverse.

Kurtzman Trek is Here to Stay

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In 2018, Kurtzman signed a five-year overall contract with CBS Studios. That contract put him in control of the “Star Trek” franchise until 2023. However, Kurtzman has made it clear that content for the Paramount+ Trek universe is planned well beyond 2023.

Kurtzman’s newest contract extends his relationship with CBS Studios through 2026. The contract grants him creative control over all the Paramount+ “Star Trek” shows, and control over the direction of the franchise’s future. So, Kurtzman will remain at the helm of the Trek franchise for another five years, at least.

In the press release, David Stapf, CBS Studios’ president, gushed about Kurtzman’s accomplishments with the Trekverse.

Alex’s vision and breadth of interest is unmatched as he and his team have re-ignited the Star Trek franchise with five (and counting) brilliantly unique series, while at the same time creating long-running hit series for both the Network and premium spaces. As an artist, Alex does it all. Not only is he a visionary who creates worlds, he has that rare skill of being able to write, direct, produce and inspire those who work with him to be the best version of themselves. We are so grateful to be extending our relationship together.”

Kurtzman expressed how happy he is to partner with the studio.

“As Secret Hideout expands its footprint across ViacomCBS, I can imagine no greater partners, and I’m so excited to tell more stories together for years to come.”

So, Kurtzman Trek has a long future ahead of it.

Trekverse Details From the Press Release

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CBS Studio’s press release about the new deal with Kurtzman also revealed a few details about where the Trekverse is headed.

First, it confirmed that “Star Trek: Strange New Worlds” will release in 2022. Though this timeframe has been common knowledge for quite some time, it’s the first official announcement from the studio about the timing of the release.

Second, the press release confirmed that “Secret Hideout is in development on a “Star Trek” project based on ‘Section 31,’ with Michelle Yeoh attached to star.”

The fate of the Section 31 series was up in the air for a while, mainly because the pandemic disrupted the Trekverse production schedule. Earlier in 2021, Kurtzman indicated that the show was on the back burner and likely wouldn’t premiere until one of the current shows on the air wrapped up. However, in July 2021, Kurtzman revealed that the writers were already working on scripts for the show. This is the first time the Section 31 show has been mentioned in a CBS press release since the fall of 2020.

So, the Trekverse will have one new show in 2021 (Star Trek: Prodigy), and another new show in 2022. There may even be two shows in 2022, depending on how quickly the Section 31 show moves into production.

And for the next five years, Kurtzman is in charge of it all.

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