After resurrecting Trek on TV and launching a new generation of sci-fi content, 'Discovery' will have its final voyage next year.
Star Trek: Discovery is coming to end.
The Paramount+ sci-fi drama will embark on its final voyage with its upcoming fifth season.
Sources say principal filming of the season is mostly complete. But with this move to end the show, there will be additional filming to help craft a conclusion for the series. The fifth and final season will premiere in early 2024.
Launched in 2017, Discovery is credited with successfully launching a new era of Trek TV. The series, starring Sonequa Martin-Green, was heralded as the first Trek show headed by a Black female lead, plus marked other firsts along the way in LGBTQIA+ representation, as well as pioneered a more serialized storytelling format for the 50-year-old franchise. Discovery also helped launch CBS’ streaming service (then called CBS All Access) and currently stands as Paramount+’s longest-running drama. The success of Discovery led to a multitude of other Trek projects being developed, including animated shows Lower Decks and Prodigy.
“When we first started talking about the return of Star Trek eight years ago, we never could have imagined the indelible impact Star Trek: Discovery would have,” said David Stapf, president of CBS Studios. “The series brought back a beloved global franchise, and just like its predecessors Discovery honored Star Trek’s legacy of ‘infinite diversity in infinite combinations,’ representing the best of what we could be as humans when we celebrate our differences.”
The move comes on the heels of Paramount+ announcing that another member of its Trek team, Star Trek: Picard, will wrap with its current third season.
The Discovery team issued statements about the decision. Executive producers and co-showrunners Alex Kurtzman and Michelle Paradise wrote: “As lifelong fans of Star Trek, it has been an immense honor and privilege to help bring Star Trek: Discovery to the world. The Trek universe means so much to so many — including us — and we couldn’t be prouder of everything Discovery has contributed to its legacy, particularly with representation. If just one person sees themselves, or the possibilities for their future, in a new way because of Discovery, then we think we’d have made Gene Roddenberry very proud. Of course, there would be no Discovery without Sonequa Martin-Green and the extraordinary team of artists, both in front of and behind the camera, who have brought this show to life. Their passion and determination to make every episode special has been deeply inspiring; so too has their love and support for one another and their genuine love for Star Trek. Discovery has truly become a family over the years — and we couldn’t be more grateful to be part of it. To the fans around the world, thank you for joining us on this incredible journey. Your love for these characters and your excitement for every episode, every season, has meant the world to us. We can’t wait for you to see what we’ve been working on for this final season; we appreciate your patience in the meantime and trust us when we say it’ll be worth the wait. We love you all! LLAP”
Martin-Green wrote: “I can hardly believe that this mind-blowing journey with Discovery is ending. I’m astoundingly blessed by God to have played Captain Michael Burnham and to have taken part in a legacy alongside an extraordinary cast, phenomenal crew and remarkable writing team. To our most supportive partners at CBS Studios and Paramount+, who insisted on making television history, I’m deeply grateful. I’m also deeply grateful for the creative collaboration with our showrunners Michelle Paradise and Alex Kurtzman, as well as Olatunde Osunsanmi and the incomparable team of executive producers. I will never forget how it felt to stand together as a show family, cradling the heirloom of Trek with all those from the franchise at large and with the fans. The fans welcomed us into their hearts as we launched a new iteration of Trek and an entire entertainment platform, and we’ll never forget it…65 episodes later, here’s to the entire company of Star Trek: Discovery, to the show and its fifth and final season, to its beloved fans and to all those who envision a better future. Let’s fly….”
And Tanya Giles, chief programming officer at Paramount Streaming, added: “Star Trek: Discovery is a perennial favorite on the service, near and dear to the hearts of legions of ‘Star Trek’ fans as well as all of us here at Paramount+. The series and its incredible cast and creatives ushered in a new era for Star Trek when it debuted over six years ago, embracing the future of streaming with serialized storytelling, bringing to life deep and complex characters that honor Gene Roddenberry’s legacy of representing diversity and inclusion, and pushing the envelope with award-winning world-building. This final season will see our beloved crew take on a new adventure and we can’t wait to celebrate the series’ impact on the franchise leading up to its final season early next year.”
The decision follows Paramount Global CFO Naveen Chopra telling an investor conference on Feb. 28 that the company might spend less on streaming content in 2024 than previously forecast due to the integration of Paramount+ and Showtime.
The departure of Discovery secures its spinoff Star Trek: Strange New Worlds the undisputed new captain of Paramount+’s Star Trek series fleet. Strange New Worlds embraced the more planet-of-the-week style of The Original Series and launched last May to a 99 percent positive score on Rotten Tomatoes. Paramount+ said Strange New Worlds was the most-watched new Trek series on the services over its first 90 days and the company touted the series in a Super Bowl ad last month. The show returns for Season 2 sometime this year.
Kurtzman has also teased the development of another potential spinoff, Star Trek: Academy, which would focus on a new generation of young cadets. Nothing has been officially announced yet on that front, however. Kurtzman is one of Paramount Global’s most important producers and has delivered hits outside of the Trek franchise for Paramount+ through his deal with CBS Studios. He inked his second nine-figure overall deal with the David Stapf-led CBS Studios in 2021.