Bryan Singer hasn’t been doing much original material lately, with rehashes of “Battlestar Galactica” for the big screen and “The Munsters” for television on his plate. So why stop when it comes to one of the largest television franchises of all time, Star Trek?
Singer and former “Star Trek: Voyager” writer Bryan Fuller say they want to bring Star Trek back to television, and have already been kicking around an idea that they would love to bring to CBS Television, the holder of the Enterprise keys. But if fans want to see a new Star Trek, they probably better start lining up to see “Mockingbird Lane” on NBC next season.
That’s because it will likely take a successful reboot of “The Munsters,” a dramatic version of the 1960s comedy that has since been renamed “Mockingbird Lane,” in order to get networks to listen to the duo about rebooting Star Trek.
The idea of either Fuller or Singer taking on Star Trek is not new. It’s just that they’ve never actually thought about it together. And that is becoming a real possibility, especially now that the two are working together on “Mockingbird Lane,” according to Ain’t It Cool News.
AICN, however, suggests that such a move would not just be up to CBS Television, but also “Star Trek” film director J.J. Abrams, which shingles the films through his Bad Robot productions at Paramount Pictures. It’s not clear exactly what kind of sign-off Abrams would have to make, and how such an agreement would cross studios.
Star Trek is essentially split up, in the business sense. When Viacom split up its company, Paramount Pictures took control of the movie side of Star Trek, while CBS Television retained rights to the small screen version. Any pitches about a new Star Trek would have to go to CBS Television, but that does not necessarily mean CBS would have to air the show. CBS Television could offer Star Trek to other networks — including NBC, which aired the original “Star Trek” series — and see who might bite on it.
NBC could use a big hit right now. While past Star Trek incarnations like “Voyager” and “Star Trek: Enterprise” ended up on the netlet UPN, with the success of Star Trek at the box office in recent years, it could gain the attention of the major networks.
But what would a Fuller and Singer version of the show look like? Most likely, it will try and bring Star Trek back in a way that inspired and enthralled fans of the original. Both producers are interested in the past, and what made things work, and it will be those elements the two would look for to reviving Star Trek on television, which went off the air in 2005 after 18 years of continuous television.
“I told my agent, and told the people of J.J. Abrams’ team I want to create another Star Trek series and have an idea that I’m kicking around,” Fuller said three years ago, according to What Culture. “I would love to return to the spirit of the old series with the colors and attitude. I loved ‘Voyager’ and [‘Star Trek: Deep Space Nine’], but they seem to have lost the ’60s fun, and I would love to take it back to its origin.”
Fuller wrote two episodes of “Star Trek: Deep Space Nine” — “Empok Nor” and “The Darkness and the Light” in 1997 — as well as 21 episodes of “Star Trek: Voyager,” where he was a co-producer late in that series’ run. He went on to create “Dead Like Me,” “Wonderfalls” and “Pushing Daisies,” each with critical acclaim but not a lot of mainstream success.
He was also a producer for NBC’s quick-to-burn-out “Heroes,” writing four episodes of that series, including the very popular “Company Man.”
Outside of a cameo in “Star Trek: Nemesis,” Singer is a self-proclaimed Star Trek fan, but has never been involved in the franchise. He, of course, is the man behind the revival of The X-Men comic book series on the big screen, and tried to bring back the Man of Steel in “Superman Returns” in 2006. His television work includes “Dirty Sexy Money” and “House M.D.”
Could Singer actually direct a Star Trek pilot? Singer is doing just that for “Mockingbird Lane,” although he hasn’t directed television since “House.” But since he likes to take the reins of projects he’s involved in, the idea of having Singer’s name in the director’s chair for the pilot would make perfect sense in a pitch to studios.
The idea of doing Star Trek is not what would have to convince studios to move forward. Instead, can Star Trek survive on the boob tube some seven or eight years after over-saturation and poor showrunning pushed the franchise off in “Star Trek: Enterprise”? Can the success of the films spill over to television?