CBS All Access today announced a two-season order for Star Trek: Lower Decks, a new half-hour animated comedy series developed by Emmy Award-winner Mike McMahan (Rick and Morty). The series will focus on the support crew serving on one of Starfleet’s least important ships and will be produced by CBS Eye Animation Productions, CBS Television Studios’ new animation arm; Secret Hideout; and Roddenberry Entertainment. Secret Hideout’s Alex Kurtzman and Heather Kadin and Roddenberry Entertainment’s Rod Roddenberry and Trevor Roth and Katie Krentz will serve as executive producers alongside McMahan. Aaron Baiers, who brought McMahan to the project, will serve as a co-executive producer.
“Mike won our hearts with his first sentence: ‘I want to do a show about the people who put the yellow cartridge in the food replicator so a banana can come out the other end.’ His cat’s name is Riker. His son’s name is Sagan. The man is committed,” said executive producer Kurtzman. “He’s brilliantly funny and knows every inch of every ‘Trek’ episode, and that’s his secret sauce: he writes with the pure, joyful heart of a true fan. As we broaden the world of ‘Trek’ to fans of all ages, we’re so excited to include Mike’s extraordinary voice.”
“As a life-long Trekkie, it’s a surreal and wonderful dream come true to be a part of this new era of ‘Star Trek,’” said executive producer McMahan. “While Star Trek: Lower Decks is a half-hour, animated show at its core, it’s undeniably ‘Trek’ – and I promise not to add an episode at the very end that reveals the whole thing took place in a training program.”
Star Trek: Lower Decks is not McMahan’s first Star Trek project. As a long-time fan of the series, in 2011 McMahan started a Twitter account where he posted episode plots to a fake season of Star Trek: The Next Generation. They were such a hit that Simon & Schuster hired him to write a readers’ guide to a fictitious eighth season of “TNG” titled “Star Trek: The Next Generation: Warped: An Engaging Guide to the Never-Aired 8th Season.” For television, McMahan recently served as head writer and executive producer on Adult Swim’s hit animated series Rick and Morty and co-created Hulu’s animated alien family show Solar Opposites.
“We couldn’t have imagined a better creative team to work with on CBS All Access’ first original animated series than Mike McMahan, Secret Hideout and Roddenberry Entertainment,” said Julie McNamara, Executive Vice President, Original Content, CBS All Access. “Star Trek: Lower Decks is a fantastic complement to our growing lineup of original series and our ongoing expansion of the ‘Star Trek’ universe on CBS All Access.”
In addition to being CBS All Access’ first animated series, Star Trek: Lower Decks is the latest expansion of the Star Trek franchise on CBS All Access. CBS All Access is currently home to the hit original series Star Trek: Discovery in the U.S., returning with season two on Thursday, January 17, 2019, and Star Trek: Short Treks, a series of four short stories tied Discovery and the overall Star Trek universe, one of which is written by McMahan. CBS All Access also announced plans for a new untitled Star Trek series featuring Sir Patrick Stewart reprising his iconic role as Jean-Luc Picard.
Star Trek: Lower Decks is the first project from CBS Eye Animation Productions and 219 Productions, run by Krentz who signed an overall deal with CBS Television Studios in early 2018 following five years at Cartoon Network. This is CBS Television Studios’ second animated series, following Our Cartoon President for SHOWTIME.