Star Trek is coming back to television—real television—this fall. The network announced that it’ll be airing Star Trek: Discovery on its main network starting in September as the network deals with the fallout of the COVID-19 pandemic impacting its traditional filming season.
Star Trek: Discovery debuted as a lead title for CBS’s streaming service CBS All Access back in 2017 (its pilot also aired on CBS), but has otherwise remained exclusive to All Access. The network will air the entire first season of Discovery starting on September 24th.
The first season will come just before the show’s third season debuts on All Access on October 15th. Undoubtedly, the move is aimed at raising awareness of the series for CBS’s larger viewing audience, but recycling the show does help the network with a more pressing problem—going into the fall TV season without a lot of shows.
CBS Entertainment president Kelly Kahl explained that the move has a simple reason: COVID-19, which interrupted the typical annual filming schedule. “This is hardly a traditional fall season, but we are prepared with a strong slate of original content while our regular scripted series begin production.”
While productions are starting to resume around the world, many networks would have been well into the production of their regular programming, but Hollywood’s been shut down. All Access’s pool of original content comes in handy here—it has a smaller viewership than its regular network cousin, and thus a larger pool of potential viewers, who’ll now have something to watch this fall.