BEVERLY HILLS, Calif. • New-look Klingons. Massive, modern special effects. A theme performed by a 60-piece orchestra. "Star Trek: Discovery," due in September on CBS All Access, isn't just big. It's huge, executive producer Alex Kurtzman says.
The grand scale, less than the exit of Bryan Fuller as show runner, created the need for a delay in the premiere, from January to May to September, Kurtzman said.
Fuller and Kurtzman initially approached CBS boss Les Moonves to request time to build "this massive show," Kurtzman said. "He was 100 percent supportive." Fuller then realized his responsibilities with Starz's "American Gods" wouldn't allow him to continue on "Discovery."
Even though he stepped away, Fuller's vision for "Discovery" has been preserved as much as possible, Kurtzman told TV critics in a Q&A Tuesday at CBS Studios. The series shoots in Toronto, but producers and leads including Sonequa Martin-Green and Jason Isaacs, flew in for the afternoon.
“I’m a tremendous fan of Bryan’s,” Kurtzman said. “He’s so deeply, deeply, supernaturally gifted.” Gretchen J. Berg and Aaron Harberts, the current show runners, worked with Fuller "for a long, long time."
It was Fuller who redesigned the Klingons, making them not only different from those of old but also different from one another, the producers said.
Martin-Green plays First Officer Michael Burnham. Isaacs is Gabriel Lorca, captain of the USS Shenzhou.
"Discovery" is being billed as the first serialized "Star Trek," although "Deep Space Nine" was serialized in its last two seasons. "You will find this to be far more serialized," executive producer Akiva Goldsman said.
“Star Trek: Discovery” will premiere at 7:30 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 24, on the CBS network. (Football overruns, as always, may affect the start time.) The premiere and a second episode will be available immediately on CBS All Access. Future episodes will arrive Sundays.
"Star Trek" fans may complain about having to subscribe to another streaming service to see it. But Marc DeBevoise, president of CBS Interactive, said the service had "had an incredible run of success." In addition to "Good Wife" spinoff "The Good Fight," All Access has nearly 10,000 episodes of CBS series and movies. Every episode of this fall's CBS series, including those from third-party studios, will be available in their entirety this season.
CBS All Access costs $5.99 a month, or $9.99 commercial-free.
Gail Pennington is attending the TV Critics Association summer press tour. Follow her on Twitter (@gailpennington), Facebook (@tubetalkPD) and here at stltoday.com/tubetalk.