Thursday, April 8, 2010

Exclusive: Paramount Green Lights New Star Trek Series!

Real TV Addict has learned that Paramount, still high off last summer’s successful relaunch of the Star Trek franchise, has been secretly working on a brand new Trek TV series. Memos have surfaced pointing to a surprise panel at this weekends Wondercon in San Francisco as being the official announcement of Star Trek: Starfleet Academy, the long rumored and hoped for by fans look at the training academy for all future Starfleet officers.

Apparently, the marketing guys down at Paramount tracked huge numbers of movie goers who pointed to the Academy scenes in J.J. Abrams Star Trek as their favorite moments. This led Abrams’ right hand man (and Lost mastermind) Damon Lindelof to rifle through the archives and pull up an old spec script for a Starfleet Academy pilot penned by former showrunner Rick Berman and none other than ST: Deep Space Nine’s Avery Brooks back during his final season as Captain Benjamin Sisco. Perhaps Brooks thought a transfer of his character to the Academy would be a good career move? Seeing him at Comic Con last year, I’d say he’d make an interesting dean.

The announcement at Wondercon makes perfect sense as San Francisco has been the home of Starfleet since the very beginning of the franchise. The memo in questions highlights a number of key moments in the presentation including “unveiling the model,” “100 slides of production artwork,” and “multiple cast members.” Bloggers and online sites are now in a mad rush to discover who could possibly be involved in the show. Being a registered member of the Wondercon press, I think it is very interesting that I received an email release two days ago announcing the appearance of Zac Effron this weekend. Why? He has nothing in the geek realm to promote unless… he’s been accepted as a new Starfleet cadet?

A fellow blogger also took note of Wil Wheaton talking at the Pax East gaming conference in Boston last week about his return to television. Seems his guest spots on The Big Bang Theory have really gotten him excited about acting again and a “perfect opportunity” has come knocking. This is all speculation at this point, but Wheaton’s Wesley Crusher has already applied for the Academy once before, could it be he has chosen the teacher’s path? Planets certainly do seem to be aligning for Star Trek’s return to our living rooms!

No word yet on where the series will land, but speculation on this mornings Twitter feeds has many devout Trekkies hoping for the Syfy network, where Battlestar Galactica recently ended a very successful run. The general theory is that Syfy would give the creative team the room to bring Trek out of the dim Enterprise days and into a new golden age. But I think a major network move is more likely. NBC needs a prime time hit, and Trek began there, but CBS holds the rights to the original and they will have a couple holes come the fall for a proven fan base to tune in. If no deal is in place, a bidding war is sure to follow.

This is huge and will obviously be the biggest news to come out of San Diego Comic Con’s northern counterpart ever. It could also be the best kept secret in the history of television. I’ll be on the ground at Wondercon and keep you posted as soon as the panel happens.