Bryan Fuller Musters Out Of ‘Star Trek: Discovery’

By October 27, 2016
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If CBS was looking for smooth sailing when it comes to its new series Star Trek: Discovery, they instead are now close to ordering red alert.

fullermug102716The series, already delayed several months and still without a cast, has now lost its high-profile showrunner, Pushing Daisies creator Bryan Fuller.

CBS Television Studios, which is producing the series with one-time Trek movie writer Alex Kurtzman, shared the news in a statement to The Hollywood Reporter.

“We are extremely happy with the creative direction of Star Trek: Discovery and the strong foundation that Bryan Fuller has helped us create for the series. Due to Bryan’s other projects, he is no longer able to oversee the day-to-day of (Discovery), but he remains an executive producer, and will continue to map out the story arc for the entire season.”

Fuller shared the announcement with fans on his own, channeling Jonathan Frakes’ Will Riker character from Star Trek: The Next Generation and the fact that his character kept turning down chances to captain his own starship so that he could remain aboard the USS Enterprise.

Replacing Fuller will be a writing duo that has worked with Fuller back when he created Wonderfalls for Fox in 2004: Gretchen Berg and Aaron Harberts. The two met when while at Northwestern University in Illinois, getting their writing start on Fox’s Beverly Hills, 90210 in the late 1990s. They joined Roswell on the old The WB network soon after, and then on the short-lived Fox series John Doe.

After connecting with Fuller on Wonderfalls, Berg and Harberts, they would work together again on one other project, Fuller’s critically acclaimed Pushing Daisies, a high-concept series that starred Lee Pace and Anna Friel.

They will work closely with Kurtzman, who was once part of a writing team himself with Roberto Orci. They even penned 2009’s Star Trek as well as its followup Star Trek: Into Darkness. He was one of the creators of the longtime Fox series Fringe, and is a producer on a number of shows like Hawaii Five-0 and Sleepy Hollow.

Fuller’s attachment to the new Star Trek series helped CBS sell the project to fans, many who have felt left down in the past with series like Star Trek: Voyager and Star Trek: Enterprise. Fuller had made a name for himself on shows like Dead Like Me and more recently Hannibal for NBC, but actually got his start working on both Voyager and Star Trek: Deep Space Nine.

gods102716However, Fuller’s attachment, even from the beginning, came with risk. He was deeply involved in a high-profile project from graphic novelist Neil Gaiman American Gods for Starz, and also got attached to NBC’s reboot attempt of the 1980s anthology series Amazing Stories. Taking on just one of those projects would make it difficult for Fuller to devote the time needed to give Star Trek fans their first series in more than a decade, but both was even worse.

CBS originally intended for Discovery to launch in January, first on CBS itself, and then on the streaming service CBS All Access. However, that got bumped back last September to next May in order to allow more time for Fuller to pull the series together.

Although CBS already has rented a massive studio space in Toronto where the series will be shot, no casting has been announced, and few details outside of the fact that it will be once again a prequel series, like Enterprise was in the early 2000s.

“Bryan is a brilliant creative talent and passionate Star Trek fan who has helped us chart an exciting course for the series. We are all committed to seeing this vision through, and look forward to premiering Star Trek: Discovery this coming May 2017.”

No other changes behind the scenes were announced. Besides Fuller, Harberts, Berg and Kurtzman, executive producers still include Heather Kadin, Rod Roddenberry and Trevor Roth.

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Michael Hinman

Michael Hinman

Managing Editor at GeekNation
Michael began what has become nearly 19 years of entertainment reporting as the founder of SyFy Portal, which would become Airlock Alpha after he sold the SyFy brand to NBC Universal. He's based out of New York City where he is the editor of a Pulitzer Prize-winning newspaper in the Bronx.