Television: The Final Frontier
Star Trek: Discovery showrunners Aaron Harberts and Gretchen Berg departed the series ahead of its second season. Screenwriter Alex Kurtzman is replacing the duo. He is the show’s third showrunner.
Star Trek: Discovery’s Budget Trouble
Star Trek is an institution. The series (and all its iterations) boasts a diverse fan base across the globe. There are Star Trek conventions, and fans pay top dollar for autographs, photo ops, and merchandise. However, in the 21st century, Star Trek is an expensive endeavor. It’s an effects-heavy show. Furthermore, the various creatures require hours in a makeup chair. Also, the show is on a streaming service, which means marketing is non-existent. Finally, the first season received positive reactions. This means the expectations for season two are through the roof.
Unfortunately, the pair ran over budget on season two’s first five episodes. This led CBS to fire them and replace them with series co-creator Alex Kurtzman. Kurtzman is the co-creator of Discovery, and screenwriter/producer of several Star Trek films. He is expected to shepherd the rest of the season over the line. Sadly, the rest of the season’s budget is smaller due to the first episode’s budget troubles.
Kurtzman is also in charge of the writer’s room for Star Trek: Discovery. Rumors swirled that Harberts became abusive in the writer’s room. Several writers documented Harberts screaming at members of the writing team and intimidating staff members after they filed complaints. Furthermore, producer Akiva Goldsman is no longer Discovery‘s executive producer. The show is halting production following episode five in order to give Kurtzman and company time to re-adjust the sophomore season of the show.
Wow, that is… a lot. It’s not uncommon for prestige television to experience behind-the-scenes shake-ups. In its early seasons, The Walking Dead switched hands several times. Certainly, this does not mean Star Trek: Discovery is doomed. But it does mean season two might stumble a bit in the middle. Regardless, the show is well-liked, and hopefully the new leadership team provides a much-needed morale boost to its staff.