Monday, January 13, 2020

Nickelodeon Assembles Writing Team for New Animated 'Star Trek' Series

Originally published: Wednesday, July 31, 2019.

Producers Dan and Kevin Hageman have revealed the writers joining Nickelodeon's upcoming animated Star Trek series!

On Twitter, the Hageman’s tweeted, “Every ship needs a crew. Welcome aboard! We are proud to announce our very talented Writers’ Room for @Nickelodeon‘s untitled @StarTrek animated show.”

The show’s writers’ room includes Julie and Shawna Benson, former writers of Green Arrow and Batgirl & the Birds of Prey for DC Comics, and executive story editors on The 100; Chad Quandt and Aaron Waltke, whose credits include Trollhunters, Unikitty and Teen Titans Go!; Erin McNamara; Keith Sweet; Lisa Boyd (The Last Airbender); Diandra Pendle-Thompson; and Nikhil Jayaram.

The team assembled for a group photo at Nickelodeon. Take a look below.

It wasn’t specified, but the likely showrunner for the new toon is animation veteran Aaron Waltke, who has worked as showrunner for the Hageman brothers on Trollhunters. Waltke took to Twitter after the announcement to share his first memory, watching Star Trek: The Next Generation with his father. He also expressed excitement to “explore strange new worlds” with the new show.

Chad Quant, another Trolhunters veteran and former host of the Emmy-winning educational kids show The Friday Zone, shared how “stoked” he was to be on the show:

Also jumping in to share their excitement about being part of the show are sisters and TV and DC Comics writers, Julie and Shawna Benson who are jumping over from live-action, recently working on The 100. The pair talked up how the writers’ room has already been hard at work.

Other writers expressed giddiness to finally share how they have been given the opportunity to work on Star Trek.

Debuting exclusively on Nickelodeon, the series expands the “Star Trek” universe for a new generation of fans. The new original CG-animated series follows a group of lawless teens who discover a derelict Starfleet ship and use it to search for adventure, meaning and salvation.

The series will be from CBS’ Eye Animation Productions, CBS Television Studios’ new animation arm; Secret Hideout; and Roddenberry Entertainment. Alex Kurtzman, Heather Kadin, Katie Krentz, Rod Roddenberry and Trevor Roth will serve as executive producers alongside Kevin and Dan Hageman. Aaron Baiers will serve as a co-executive producer.

Star Trek producer Alex Kurtzman recently offered an update on the upcoming animated series. "The Hageman brothers are doing [an animated] show for Nickelodeon, and that will be entirely different from Lower Decks," Kurtzman said. "I won’t announce the name of the Nickelodeon show, but that’s a really different show. That’s a show that’s for kids, younger. Full CG animation. It’s going to be incredibly cinematic. We just started seeing [storyboards] this week. It looks like, wow. It’s on par with Love, Death, and Robots in terms of beauty and lighting and cinema, so it’s a really different feel, and Nickelodeon has been wildly supportive and I think very excited to bring a new energy to TV, you know, in animation.

"Animation is in an incredible, glorious renaissance right now." Kurtzman continued. "Between [Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse] which just blew everything open and everything Pixar’s been doing for so very long, I think what I’m excited about in the world of animation is to try all these different things to see what feels Trek."

Star Trek, Nickelodeon, and the state of animation are doing incredibly ambitious things as of late. We couldn’t be more excited to jump aboard,” the Hagemans said in a statement when the series was greenlit.

Star Trek’s mission is to inspire generations of dreamers to build a brighter future. Dan and Kevin have crafted a story that honors its exploratory spirit in a way that’s never been done before, while the Nickelodeon team blew us away with their excitement at bringing Trek to a younger generation around the world.”

The series is being developed Emmy Award-winning brothers the Hagemans, who have written and produced some of the biggest animated franchises in film and television. They served as co-executive producers on the Emmy Award-winning series Trollhunters, co-created the hit The LEGO Movie, wrote and executive produced LEGO Ninjago: Masters of Spinjitzu and developed the theatrical The Lego Ninjago Movie. Additional credits include Hotel Transylvania (story creators) and The Croods 2 (writers), along with the upcoming live-action feature Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark (writers). Studios involved include CBS’ new animation arm Eye Animation Productions, Alex Kurtzman’s Secret Hideout, and Roddenberry Entertainment. The series is being overseen by Ramsey Naito, Nickelodeon’s Executive Vice President (EVP) of Production and Development. Claudia Spinelli, VP Animation Development, Nickelodeon, is the executive in charge of the new animated Star Trek series for Nickelodeon.

The animated series is the newest addition to the expanding Star Trek television universe. It joins Star Trek: Discovery and Star Trek: Short Treks, a series of short stories tied to Discovery; the new Star Trek: Picard series featuring Sir Patrick Stewart (American Dad) reprising his iconic role as Jean-Luc Picard; Star Trek: Lower Decks from Mike McMahan (Rick and Morty), an animated series targeted at mature audiences; and a new Star Trek project based on Section 31, which is in development with Michelle Yeoh attached to star. All these projects, except the new Nickelodeon edition, are on the CBS streaming platform CBS All Access in the U.S.

The new Star Trek series is the third animated series from CBS Television Studios, following Star Trek: Lower Decks for CBS All Access and Our Cartoon President for SHOWTIME.

Are you excited about the new animated Star Trek show? Let us know in the comments.

Update (8/12): Star Trek is seeing a renaissance thanks to CBS All Access but fans have been wondering how they’re keeping everything straight between the shows and existing canon. While some might argue that Star Trek: Discovery didn’t do a great job at keeping canon with the previous series, co-showrunner Michelle Paradise has opened up as to how they’re keeping things straight with the upcoming shows.

It isn’t just Star Trek: Discovery that they have to factor in as they also are juggling Star Trek: Picard, Star Trek: Lower Decks, the Short Treks, as well as the Nickelodeon animated series, and recently announced untitled Section 31 show.

As to how Paradise, Alex Kurtzman, and the rest of the creatives are keeping things organized, she shared that:

“I would say every iteration of Star Trek we want to be aware of and we want to honor. It’s important to us to do that. Alex [Kurtzman], as he works on that and works on our show, he lets us know if there’s anything that we need to be aware of in terms of history… We’re also aware that all of the iterations of Star Trek, so we really want to make sure that we’re not doing anything in [Discovery] that directly contradicts something that we’ve seen established or that is being established on another spin-off.”

It seems that there is open communication as to what the franchise has planned moving forward. This may mean that we can see events from each of these shows be partially reflected in one another or, at the very least, mentioned in between the shows.

Are you glad that the creative branches of the Star Trek franchise are communicating for the upcoming shows which they have in production? Do you feel that they’ll do a better job moving forward at keeping with canon and hopefully not have to do any other retcons or playing around with time travel or mirror universes to make their stories work? Share your thoughts in the comments below!


Update (8/15) - Julie Benson, a co-producer on the Untitled Star Trek Animated Series for Nickelodeon, will be a panelist at the 26th annual Austin Film Festival & Writers Conference in October.

From Stevivor:

Two more live-action Star Trek TV shows in production

"There are two more live action shows that haven’t been announced yet."
Two unannounced live-action Star Trek TV shows are in production, franchise head Alex Kurtzman has confirmed.

“There are two more live action shows that haven’t been announced yet,” Kurtzman told assembled reporters on the press junket for Star Trek: Picard, as reported by Trek Core.

The two shows are in addition to those already airing or announced, including Star Trek: Discovery, Star Trek: Picard and a Section 31 show starring Michelle Yeoh. Those shows are in addition to two animated series, Star Trek: Lower Decks and an unnamed show being made for Nickelodeon.

“We’ve started working on Season 2 [of Picard], and we have a really excellent story, I think — and a very surprising one. But I think it’s really important for us to take it piece by piece. Part of this, too, is getting reactions from people,” Kurtzman said ahead of Star Trek: Picard‘s debut on 24 January.

“Before we lock things, down it’s terribly important to listen to fans, and hear what they like — and what they didn’t respond to — or what wasn’t clear, and make sure we’re tacking accordingly. I learned when I started working in the ‘Star Trek’ world that that’s a really essential part of making these shows.”

“[Section 31 is] in active development. So that’s obviously a huge priority; Michelle [Yeoh’s] character [Georgiou] is so unique, and you’ve never seen that before. Again, it has to fall under the guise of, ‘is this [show] a unique space we haven’t explored yet?’,” Secret Hideout’s Heather Kadin added.

“And then also, the animated shows [Lower Decks and the untitled Nickelodeon project] are also really going to provide that too. For someone like me, who gets to work on these shows — and then two nights a week, go watch a cut of Lower Decks — it’s a blast.”

While it’s unclear what the two new live-action shows could be, we’re willing to be one of them will star Anson Mount as Enterprise Captain, Christopher Pike. Do you have any guesses to what Secret Hideout and CBS are cooking up?

Star Trek: Picard heads to CBS All Access on 23 January, followed by Amazon Prime Video on 24 January. Star Trek: Discovery returns for its third season later this year and airs on CBS All Access and Netflix.


More Nick: Nickelodeon and Imagine Kids+Family Developing Original Live-Action Space Series!

Originally published: Wednesday, July 31, 2019.

Original source: ComicBook; Additional sources: Bleeding Cool, IMDb, (II), Science Fiction, Gizmodo UK.
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