With an eye toward broadening the Star Trek fan community, CBS Television Studios has launched a new global franchise group that will manage and maximize the expansion of the iconic brand. Headed by Veronica Hart, EVP, Star Trek Global Franchise Management, the group will be based out of Alex Kurtzman’s Secret Hideout Productions in Santa Monica, and will be tasked with expanding the brand beyond linear broadcasting and streaming. Kurtzman is shepherding the Star Trek franchise and executive produces several Star Trek series as part of his overall deal at the Studio. The unit reports to David Stapf, President of CBS TV Studios.
Hart will manage the Star Trek global brand strategy to support the content development plans being developed within CBS and under the stewardship of Kurtzman.
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The unit’s goal is to broaden the Star Trek fan community through additional branding opportunities, such as podcasts, a reinvigorated StarTrek.com and new digital spaces, consumer products and gaming, as well as live experiential events and global attractions. These are all designed to complement the Studio’s expansion of the Star Trek universe, which now includes two live-action series, two animated projects and multiple “shorts.”
The growing Star Trek universe for television includes a new animated Trek series from writers Kevin and Dan Hageman for Nickelodeon; Star Trek: Discovery and Star Trek: Short Treks, a series of short stories tied to Discovery and the overall Star Trek universe; the new untitled Star Trek series featuring Sir Patrick Stewart reprising his iconic role as Jean-Luc Picard; Star Trek: Lower Decks from Mike McMahan (Rick and Morty), an animated series targeted at mature audiences; and a new Star Trek project based on “Section 31,” which is in development with Michelle Yeoh attached to star. With the exception of the new Nickelodeon edition, the series are presented on CBS’ streaming service, CBS All Access, in the U.S.
In addition to Hart, the franchise team includes: John Van Citters, VP, Star Trek Brand Development, who will work within CBS and across the industry as brand experts while leading the implementation of initiatives and programs; Yasmin Elachi, Director of Star Trek Content, in charge of creating, relaunching and maintaining the new StarTrek.com along with overseeing all aspects of Star Trek social media; and Gabrielle Oliff, Director of Global Franchise Management Operations, who will focus on executing franchise initiatives and managing the review analytics and preparing presentations for cross-company communication.
“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 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.”
“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 Alex Kurtzman.
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