CBS Interactive CEO Talks Star Trek: Discovery, All Access, Bryan Fuller’s Exit

CBS Interactive CEO Jim Lanzone recently discussed CBS All Access and the upcoming Star Trek: Discovery series. Lanzone is in charge of CBS’s digital platforms and content. He was hired to take CBS “over the top,” which is industry speak for moving content to delivery over the internet rather than the traditional cable subscription.

During the interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Lanzone said that CBS is making this move to better compete with streaming services like Netflix and HBO. Like Netflix and HBO, CBS is betting on original content for the streaming service to bring more subscribers in. Star Trek: Discovery is one of those original shows. He says, “We’re making a new kind of show for CBS, one that is more similar to premium cable.” From what we’ve learned so far about Discovery, that means serialized storytelling, with each episode being a chapter in a longer arc.

RELATED: Sonequa Martin-Green Cast As Star Trek: Discovery Lead

Bryan Fuller’s exit from the new series is touched upon briefly. Lanzone is asked what was behind Fuller’s exit, and Lanzone confirms what has been said before. Fuller was committed to both Star Trek and American Gods, and “Our time frame did not wind up [lining up] with the time frame of the show that he was already committed to. The good news is we have his entire vision for the show. He’s still the show’s creator. And Alex Kurtzman is still the executive producer. It’s essentially the same team, but his full-time commitment was not something we were able to secure.”

The first episode of Star Trek: Discovery will premiere with a broadcast TV special on CBS in May. That episode and all subsequent episodes will be exclusively shown in the U.S. on the video streaming service CBS All Access.

Sonequa Martin-Green, Doug Jones, Anthony Rapp and Michelle Yeoh will star in the new series, with Chris Obi, Shazad Latif and Mary Chieffo being announced as playing Klingons.

Alex Kurtzman, Bryan Fuller and Rod Roddenberry will act as executive producers, with Nicholas Meyer (director of The Wrath of Khan and The Undiscovered Country and co-writer of The Voyage Home) and Kirsten Beyer serving as a writers and consulting producers. Stepping in for Bryan Fuller as co-showrunners are Gretchen Berg and Aaron Harberts.

Stay tuned to TrekNews.net for the latest news on Star Trek: Discovery. Follow @TrekNewsnet on Twitter, TrekNews on Facebook, TrekNews on Instagram and TrekNewsnet on YouTube.

Michelle Toven lives in northern Minnesota, where she does normal things by day and nerdy things by weekend and night. Her interests range from Star Trek, to history, archaeology, languages, fantasy and sci-fi, politics, and cats.

You can follow Michelle on Twitter @mtoven.

11 Comments Join the Conversation →


  • DS9 is King

    I hope the show will be a anthology so every season will take place in a new Time or Era for example the First and second season could take place in pre TOS Era and the third and fourth season could be set Post Nemesis, and maybe the Fifth and Sixth and Seventh Season could take place in 2450 the mid 25th Century and they could introduce a new massive threat to the Federation.

    • OlFashion

      That could be cool but I don’t think they learned their lesson with prequels yet.

  • Arron Ratcliff

    Let’s be blunt CBS all access stinks.There is very little content on there for the price you pay.You can choose to either sit through huge commercial breaks or fork over an extra five bucks for commercial free.For either price you aren’t getting your money’s worth. if you like some of their older shows you are in for a disappointment because none of them seem to have full seasons.There are episodes missing or whole chunks of seasons.I signed up for it back when Discovery was supposed to be airing this month before it got pushed back to may.

    • nerdrrage

      Wait for the episodes to all be available, subscribe for a month, then cancel for the year. Repeat next year and the next and the next. $12 for an ad-free season of any reasonably decent Star Trek series sounds like a bargain.

      You’ll be sending a message to CBS that they can’t expect you to stick around for one measly show. They’ll get it together or go under and just license Star Trek to Netflix. They need to start expanding their original streaming content, and I think they do know that. We’ll probably see multiple Star Trek series being made concurrently a la Marvel on Netflix.

      • DS9 is King

        you think so because that would be awesome and I hear that Star Trek will go down that route and have a shared universe like Marvel and DC with many different series for many different fans, For example I hear that CBS and Paramount will remerge soon plans are on the table for the companies to become one again. When they do I hear the next Star Trek movie Star Trek 4 will go back to the Original universe, when it does JJ Abrams will be able to do a Star Trek TV series set in the Original Universe set after the Destruction of Romulas.

        • David B Dornburg

          CBS wants nothing to do with Viacom unless they get it for free or at the very least a small purchase price. In actuality, CBS is only interested in reacquiring the theatrical half of Trek they lost with the split in 2005.
          Viacom is flailing in the wind, due to their lackluster income over the last couple of years. Actually, Paramount’s movie income is their only good source of revenue and as such, they are no longer interested in selling it.

  • Michael Freeman

    CBS’s biggest mistake is thinking they are in the same league of competition as Netflix. How do they expect a single, relatively unpopular TV network’s content to compete with an established and extremely popular streaming service with many times larger content portfolio from multiple networks, for a similar price? This makes zero business sense.

    • nerdrrage

      They’re not in Netflix’s league now. But CBS was a huge corporation with a longstanding track record in entertainment production and distribution when Netflix was a startup company founded by an ex-math teacher who was annoyed at a $40 late fee from Blockbuster. If the math teacher can do it, why the fuck can’t CBS, with all their resources? At the very least, they have to try. If I were a shareholder, I’d be wondering why I’m paying those clowns six figures to be aced out by a math teacher. Meanwhile, broadcast is crashing and burning. Streaming is the lifeboat and broadcast is the Titanic. CBS’s main mistake was not lowering the lifeboat long before now.

    • OlFashion

      Actually, they really don’t have much to lose. If it succeeds, great, their service takes off. If it fails, they already have a deal with Netflix to stream this show everywhere except the states. Netflix approached CBS a couple of years ago wanting to buy the rights to make a Star Trek show, so, if CBS All-Access fails they can just sell the show off to Netflix and they can keep on making it, Netflix wants a new Star Trek show.

  • Ugh

    I’m happy about this but are we really doing another NX ship? More retcon?

    • anduril

      What are you even talking about?