Thursday, October 27, 2016

Bryan Fuller Exits as STAR TREK: DISCOVERY Showrunner Just Before Filming

Well, this sure is encouraging.

Variety revealed yesterday that Star Trek: Discovery executive producer Bryan Fuller has been replaced as showrunner by executive producers Gretchen Berg and Aaron Harberts, just before filming begins in Toronto next month.  Fuller was originally announced as showrunner last February.

According to the article, Fuller will remain an executive producer, will still be involved in breaking stories, and the show will continue to follow his vision for the upcoming CBS All Access series.  They also state that writer/director Akiva Goldsman is also expected to join Discovery in a "top creative role," serving as producing support for Berg and Harberts, Fuller and executive producer Alex Kurtzman.

In addition, the article claims there "had been some strain between Star Trek producer CBS Television Studios and Fuller over the progress of production on the show, as Fuller is also juggling the final weeks of shooting and post-production duties on Starz’s upcoming drama American Gods and prepping a reboot of Amazing Stories for NBC."  Fuller has written the first two scripts for Star Trek: Discovery and worked out the broader story arc and the show's mythology.  

The article also states it "became clear that (Fuller) couldn’t devote the amount of time needed for Discovery to make its premiere date and with production scheduled to start in Toronto next month."  CBS previously pushed the Discovery premiere back from January 2017 to May to give the team more time to work out stories and for the visual effects.

In addition, "the new structure was worked out quickly over the weekend in an effort to allow Fuller to remain actively involved albeit not on the day-to-day production level as originally envisioned.  There’s also some internal stress at the studio that the lead character, described by Fuller as a female lieutenant commander, has yet to be cast."

Variety's sources also stated "CBS execs have been happy with the material that Fuller has developed to date but became increasingly concerned that he had too much on his plate and there was no willingness to delay the premiere date once more."

CBS said in a statement, "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 Star Trek, but he remains an executive producer, and will continue to map out the story arc for the entire season…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."

Star Trek: Discovery is currently scheduled to premiere on CBS in May 2017, with the next 12 episodes airing on CBS All Access.

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