Is ‘Star Trek: Discovery’ Canceled Or Will There Be a Season 3?

The final frontier still has plenty of places left to explore now that Star Trek: Discovery has been renewed for a third season on CBS All Access. Along with new episodes, the series will also boast a new showrunner.

Joining current showrunner Alex Kurtzman will be Michelle Paradise, who had been a co-executive producer.

“Michelle joined us midway through Season 2 and energized the room with her ferocious knowledge of Trek,” Kurtzman said in a statement. “Her grasp of character and story detail, her drive and her focus have already become essential in ensuring the Trek legacy, and her fresh perspective always keeps us looking forward. I’m proud to say Michelle and I are officially running Star Trek: Discovery together.”

This is especially good news because Star Trek has never been a sure-fire proposition on any size of screen, going back to its earliest days

How long has ‘Star Trek’ been on TV?

Sonequa Martin-Green
Sonequa Martin-Green | Gabe Ginsberg/Getty Images

Star Trek is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year, but it’s not a happy one: In 1969, the classic original series with William Shatner and Leonard Nimoy was canceled after only three seasons. The show’s cult following did not’ truly take root for a few years until fan conventions and syndication raised awareness of the show.

After an animated series, Star Trek set out on the big screen in 1979, with Star Wars having proved that sci-could rake in big money in movie theaters. But StarTrek didn’t return to television until 1987 when the Next Generation hit. It ran for seven years, while Deep Space Nine followed from 1993 to 1999. Voyager ran concurrently with Deep Space Nine, from 1995 to 2001, while the prequel series Enterprise made less of a dent from 2001 to 2005.

By the time Enterprise started, the movies had hit the skids, and Star Trek didn’t return to TV until Discovery in 2017.

Kurtzman said Season 3 will take off in a new direction following the Season 2 conclusion that sent the series far into the future. “Now that we’re free from canon, we get to ask ourselves some incredibly bold, complicated questions,” he adds.

What happened to the ‘Star Trek’ movies?

Meanwhile, over on the big screen, the Enterprise has stalled, at least for now. From the late 70s through the early 2000s, Star Trek was a fairly regular presence in movie theaters. With the movies featuring the original crew, the joke was the even-numbered movies (Wrath of Kahn, The Voyage Home) were the good ones, and the odd-numbered ones weren’t, ranging from decent (The Search for Spock) to disastrous (The Final Frontier)

Eventually, the old crew segued over to the Next Generation crew in cinemas. After starting strong with Generations and First Contact, the new crew’s movies saw diminishing returns, ending in 2002. Star Trek was absent from movie theaters for seven years until JJ Abrams rebooted with what is called the Kelvin timeline.

There have been three movies in that timeline, but the most recent one, Star Trek Beyond, didn’t perform as well as hoped, and now that series too, has stalled, and Forbes ironically blamed the recent Star Wars movies.

“Once Star Wars rode back into town, there was no reason for general audiences to get excited about another “new” Star Trek movie,” Scott Mendelson wrote.

What’s the future of ‘Star Trek’?

That left TV to pick up the Star Trek torch with Discovery.

With Discovery’s third season officially a go, there’s more Star Trek TV in the works. One is a prequel series that continues the story of Captain Picard with Patrick Stewart returning. The other follows Philippa Georgiou (Michelle Yeoh), a Discovery character who died and came back evil.

There’s even a chance the movies could be revived, with a Quentin Tarantino story still being talked about, although an R-rated take would be a gamble. Is it too much of a good thing? Time and ratings will tell.

“I think for now there’s no real danger of too much ‘Star Trek’ … There’s so much to explore, if done right, said Trek expert  Harry Doddema.