With the ever expanding Star Trek universe, today CBS Television Studios has created a global franchise to oversee the Star Trek brand, this news was inevitable and not that unexpected, with the recent promotion of Jon Van Citters and job advertisements all focused on the Star Trek brand it was a signal that something big was heading our way beyond the ever-increasing number of shows being greenlit by CBS.
The franchise group will be lead by Veronica Hart, Executive Vice President, “Star Trek” Global Franchise Management, Hart will manage the “Star Trek” global brand strategy to support the content development plans being developed within CBS and under the stewardship of Alex Kurtzman. This new business unit reports to David Stapf, President of CBS Television Studios.
As per the press release the goal of this new brand group is:
“to invigorate and 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 endeavours to further grow the brand is 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.”
Along with Hart the new team will include Trek expert 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 in order to present a cohesive online brand; 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.
Everyone involved is incredibly knowledgeable about the “Star Trek” universe, including legacy, current and future iterations of the series, Van Citters himself has worked for CBS on the Star Trek brand for well over decade.
When discussing the new team, David Stapf is quoted in saying:
“Veronica and her team are not only gifted brand strategists and veteran consumer products executives, but they are also experts on the ‘Star Trek’ canon,”
With Alex Kurtzman adding:
“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,”
In the last year, the Star Trek universe has expanded to include 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, these series are presented on CBS’ streaming service, CBS All Access, in the U.S.”
Alex Kurtzman’s involvement will continue with the new franchise group being based out of Kurtzman’s Secret Hideout Productions in Santa Monica, Calif. Kurtzman, who is under an overall deal at the Studio, is the executive producer of the various “Star Trek” series.