Bryan Fuller to Step Down as Showrunner on Star Trek: Discovery

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Star Trek: Discovery will be the first Star Trek TV series since 2005, and after seven years of movies that leaned more on action than drama, it really felt like we were going to get back to Trek’s roots. Most of that optimism was thanks to creator Bryan Fuller, who had written for Voyager and Deep Space Nine, and was responsible for the impeccable Pushing Daisies and Hannibal. Fuller has been a champion of returning to Trek’s socially conscious history by having a woman as the lead, confirming the cast would have a gay character, and saying diversity was important to the Star Trek tradition.

But when the show was delayed last month from January to May, it seemed not everything might not be so perfect behind-the-scenes, and now we know why.

According to Variety, Fuller has left his position as showrunner on the series due to his obligations on Showtime’s American Gods and NBC’s Amazing Stories reboot.

Fuller will still remain on as executive producer and oversee the show, but day-to-day duties will be passed on to Gretchen Berg and Aaron Harberts. Akiva Goldsman, screenwriter of A Beautiful Mind, is also in talks to join the show in a “top creative role” supporting Fuller, Berg, Harberts and executive producer Alex Kurtzman.

Fuller had reportedly only turned in two full scripts and had been having trouble casting the show’s lead, and CBS wanted to avoid having to delay the show again.

But it’s not all bad news. Berg and Harberts are close with Fuller, having worked with him on Pushing Daisies and Wonderfalls. Also, Variety’s sources apparently emphasized that CBS executives were happy with what Fuller had put together so far, which also included a broad story arc and mythology for the new series. The company said in a statement:

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…Bryan is a brilliant creative talent and passionate Star Trek fan, who has helped us chart an exciting course for the series. We are all committed to seeing this vision through and look forward to premiering Star Trek: Discovery this coming May 2017.

Fuller also tweeted after the news broke saying Berg and Harberts were ready to take on the “Captaincy.”

Star Trek: Discovery begins filming next month and will premiere in May 2017 on CBS’s streaming service, CBS All Access. You can see Fuller’s tweet below.

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