New 'Star Trek: Discovery' Premiere Window Announced, Netflix Key To CBS Plans

The Discovery, designation NCC-1031.
The Discovery, designation NCC-1031. CBS Television Studios

Star Trek: Discovery is no longer in a state of complete release date limbo. After several delays pushed the DSC release window back from the beginning of 2017, the head of CBS Interactive Marc DeBevoise said they’d no longer even attempt a guess at a premiere window, telling Vulture simply “we’re not stating.”

Now, as documents, they’re stating.

CBS CEO Les Moonves brought up Star Trek: Discovery while speaking at a think tank conference founded by a financial criminal who helped build the junk bond market that eventually decimated the world economy. Could there be a more inappropriate place for Star Trek news than at a meeting of financial elite who’d be repulsed by Star Trek ’s socialist politics?

Anyway, Moonves, cursed be his name, spoke on a panel with Netflix’s Chief Content Officer Ted Sarandos and told all the attending ghouls and chuds, “we have Star Trek coming in the beginning of the fall. It’s going extremely well.”

Moving beyond a loose premiere date, Moonves explained to his fellow vampire squids why Star Trek: Discovery will premiere on CBS All Access, instead of a streaming service anyone actually wants. Unfortunately, it’s Netflix’s fault. “It’s obviously a very valuable property,” Moonves said. “We also learned from Netflix. We put the other Trek series [on Netflix] and they did very well. They don’t share the information, but… we knew Star Trek did extremely well. They have a very loyal audience.”

The apparent cultural stickiness of Star Trek reruns on Netflix convinced CBS they had a very valuable hostage indeed. “We said ‘if we give them a good product, that they will come and they will pay for it. It will be special.’ And that’s how we look at CBS All Access,” Moonves said.

That Netflix paid what Moonves described as “a very nice fee” for Star Trek: Discovery everywhere else in the world gave CBS cover to gamble on their own streaming service. “We couldn’t afford to do Star Trek, or the quality of the show, without Netflix’s help,” Moonves said.

Sarandos even indicated that Netflix’s massive investment in Discovery may have given them some input into the show itself. “Coming in as production partners, we have been great partners together on making a show that could have been smaller, bigger. It is a net gain for everybody,” Sarandos said.

So while it’s Netflix money that gave CBS the guts to air the new Star Trek exclusively on an NCIS rerun website, it also may mean a bigger budget for the show. As galling as it may be to buy Star Trek from a company lead by a man who says things like “you can’t live without” The Big Bang Theory because it’s “content to die for,” we may find some consolation in watching capitalism’s boosters pay for utopian socialist propaganda.

Fall starts Sept. 22 this year, giving us all a little less than five months to pray to the Q Continuum that Star Trek: Discovery is all we hope it can be.

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