CBS Teaser for New ‘Star Trek’ Series Released Amidst Battle Over Kickstarter Film


Even as it’s embroiled in a copyright dispute with the producers of a crowd-funded “Star Trek” fan film, CBS has released a teaser that makes big promises for a new “Star Trek” series debuting in January. 

No details about characters or premise have been released. But the 50-second trailer promises, “New Crews, New Villains, New Heroes, New Worlds.” The series will premiere on CBS and then move to CBS All Access, a streaming video subscription service. 

Since “Star Trek: Enterprise” went off the air in 2005, there hasn’t been a regular TV series set in the Star Trek universe. Paramount Pictures rebooted the film series with installments in 2009 and 2013, and a third film—“Star Trek Beyond”—is scheduled for release this summer. 

The teaser release comes on the heels of a federal district court decision to allow CBS and Paramount to proceed with their copyright infringement claims against Axanar Productions, which released a 20-minute promotional film online funded by a Kickstarter. It is planning a full-length release of “Star Trek: Axanar” this year. 

The original “Star Trek” series was produced by Desilu Productions for NBC—September will be the 50th anniversary of the premiere episode. The later TV series were broadcast in syndication and on the now-defunct UPN, but many mergers and acquisitions have left the property in the hands of CBS on television, and Paramount in the movies. 

CBS and Paramount claim Axanar is infringing their copyright interest in numerous elements of the fictional setting in which Star Trek stories take place, including characters, costumes, spacecraft, alien races and species, languages, weapons, political and cultural institutions, architecture, symbols and lore.

Axanar has countered that the plaintiffs don’t have a case because they haven’t identified any specific TV episode or film that Axanar has infringed. Axanar also says that, until it has produced a completed work, CBS and Paramount can’t point to any actual infringement they can seek to halt.