'Star Trek: Discovery' debut led to record sign-ups for CBS's streaming service

2/6Vulcan

2/6Vulcan

Both Star Trek fans and media-industry watchers were incredulous when first laid out its plans for Star Trek: Discovery, which premieres Sunday night.

As Deadline reported earlier, the premiere on CBS All Access drove a record number of single-day signups at CBS' digital streaming subscription service.

With advancements in special effects and bigger television budgets, the Star Trek series has evolved with the times to create a show that is fitting for every era. That's because CBS likely has an exclusivity deal for the streaming rights to the series.

Alas, Star Trek Discovery is opportistic and plucky, if still also brooding and bleak.

"Discovery" had a hard gestation process, and so there are a number of narrative hiccups, likely resulting from the departure of original showrunner Bryan Fuller while Season One was still being mapped out. It stars Sonequa Martin-Green as Commander Michael Burnham, a human raised by Vulcans who follows a tumultuous career path within the United Federation of Planets' Starfleet as a war with the Klingons looms. As Burnham frequently negotiates dark corridors and murky settings, one thing becomes clear: "Discovery" is trying, with some success, to convey that this is not your father's "Star Trek". Gene Roddenberry's original vision of inclusion, hope, acceptance and prosperity is one that feels antiquated and tragically lost amidst today's dour headlines, and a new take on the legendary sci-fi franchise seems deeply necessary.

Tonight the Turner household is going legit, celebrating Gadgets on the Go's tenth anniversary by watching Star Trek: Discovery on Netflix and happily cutting Channel Nine out of the picture.

Future episodes will be available on-demand weekly after 8:30 PM ET on Sundays on CBS All Access in the US, following the live stream.

One flashback shows us young Michael struggling to be educated at the high-tech Vulcan Learning Centre, an institution with individual viewscreen classrooms that played a part in the rebooted 2009 Star Trek film. Discovery's opening episode, meanwhile, sees the Shenzou investigate a damaged Federation array only to come across a hidden Klingon vessel - though the end results there were slightly more violent...

Discovery is set roughly 10 years before the start of the original 1960s TV series starring William Shatner and Leonard Nimoy.

It's unclear for now how the "Star Trek" bump translated to actual subscriber numbers, as the network didn't release any updated figures.

Executive producer Akiva Goldsman called "Star Trek: Discovery" "by far the most serialized version of "Star Trek" that has ever existed, and as such, it's long-form character storytelling".

Latest News