'Star Trek' Franchise Expands With Dedicated CBS Studios Group

Star Trek Discovery AND INSET OF Veronica Hart-Publicity-H 2019
Courtesy of CBS; Michele Crowe/CBS

CBS TV Studios is expanding the Star Trek universe even more.

The studio, which has multiple Trek TV series running or in the works, is launching a new business unit to expand the Star Trek brand beyond TV and streaming. The new group will be headed by CBS Studios executive Veronica Hart, who will now have the title of executive vp Star Trek global franchise management.

Hart will work with Star Trek franchise captain Alex Kurtzman, who's in charge of the creative side of the Trek TV galaxy.

The group will explore ways to grow the Star Trek fan community via additional branding opportunities, including podcasts, a revamped StarTrek.com, new digital spaces, consumer products (including video games) and live events.

"Veronica and her team are not only gifted brand strategists and veteran consumer products executives, they are also experts on the Star Trek canon," said CBS TV Studios president David Stapf. "We are excited to launch this new business unit because the brand has an enormously rabid fan base, and we look forward to expanding its reach even further."

Hart's team includes John Van Citters, vp Star Trek brand development; Yasmin Elachi, director of Star Trek content; and Gabrielle Oliff, director of global franchise management operations. They will be based at the Santa Monica offices of Kurtzman's production company, Secret Hideout.

"As we expand the Trekverse, Veronica's team and Secret Hideout are dedicated to broadening Star Trek's brand reach by amplifying its core values globally: empowerment, inclusion, imagination and above all, the exceptional storytelling that's inspired generations of fans," said Kurtzman.

CBS Studios already has Star Trek: Discovery and short-form spinoff Short Treks on streamer CBS All Access, and has greenlit a series centered on Patrick Stewart's Capt. Jean-Luc Picard and an adult animated series, Lower Decks, from Rick and Morty writer-producer Mike McMahan.  

An animated series aimed at kids is headed to Nickelodeon, and a second animated show for adults, a Discovery spinoff centered on Michelle Yeoh's character and a Starfleet Academy series are in development at CBS All Access.