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CBS Hit the Final Frontier of Dream Crushing: Bryan Fuller Is Out As Showrunner On That New 'Star Trek' Show

By Vivian Kane | Industry | October 26, 2016 |

By Vivian Kane | Industry | October 26, 2016 |

Well, damn. All the way back in February, we learned that Bryan Fuller would helm CBS’ new Star Trek: Discovery show. The fact that it wasn’t even going to air until next year, or even the news that it would only be airing on CBS’ digital platform (like they don’t even WANT us to watch it)— all of this barely put a dent in our excitement. That’s how invested we were in this pairing.

And then they found a way to kill our joy entirely. Just remove Bryan Fuller as showrunner. In a statement to The Hollywood Reporter, CBS Television Studios explained why they crushed our dreams.

We are extremely happy with the creative direction of Star Trek: Discovery and the strong foundation that Bryan Fuller has helped us create for the series. Due to Bryan’s other projects, he is no longer able to oversee the day-to- day of Star Trek, but he remains an executive producer, and will continue to map out the story arc for the entire season.

Yeah, I don’t buy it. There are generally two reasons given for a split like this: “scheduling” and “creative differences.” In my experience, “creative differences” usually means some middle fingers got thrown, while “scheduling” can mean actual civil differences.

And Fuller is busy. Like, REALLY busy. He’s working on American Gods and Amazing Stories (and we’re still clinging to that eternal wish for a surprise Hannibal reunion, right?). But back when his role on this Star Trek show was announced, he painted it as a dream come true.

My very first experience of Star Trek is my oldest brother turning off all the lights in the house and flying his model of a D7 Class Klingon Battle Cruiser through the darkened halls. Before seeing a frame of the television series, the Star Trek universe lit my imagination on fire. It is without exaggeration a dream come true to be crafting a brand new iteration of Star Trek with fellow franchise alum Alex Kurtzman and boldly going where no Star Trek series has gone before.

So sure, maybe this was a matter of him simply having too much on his plate. But that means that Star Trek: Discovery would have had to be low enough on his priority totem pole to be worth dropping.

There was reason to be over-the-moon about Fuller’s involvement. Not only is he one of the most talented visionaries working in television today, pushing all types of boundaries in every show he puts on the air, but, as he made clear above, he’s a FAN. Combining the love he clearly has for all his shows with that type of lifelong fandom had the potential to lead to a Star Trek made for creativity connoisseurs with geeky tastes.

Look, I’m pretty much always down for more Star Trek. I love it; I grew up on it. I dig (most of) J.J. Abrams’ and Alex Kurtzman’ (who is still the co-creator and co-EP here) movies. But with all CBS has already done to make this show inaccessible, it may be time to give in and throw in the towel.

So fine, CBS, you win. Our excitement has been terminated.

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