CBS Television Studios has created a global franchise group that will manage and maximize the expansion of the Star Trek brand beyond the traditional boundaries of linear broadcasting and streaming. This new business unit reports to David Stapf, president of CBS Television Studios.
Leading the new team is Veronica Hart, executive vice-president, Star Trek Global Franchise Management. She 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, the franchise’s executive producer.
The unit’s goal is to invigorate and broaden the Star Trek fan community through additional branding opportunities, such as podcasts, an updated StarTrek.com destination and new digital spaces, consumer products and gaming, as well as live experiential events and global attractions. These endeavors are 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.
This includes the recently announced animated Star 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; the new untitled “Star Trek” series featuring Sir Patrick Stewart reprising his iconic role as Jean-Luc Picard; Star Trek: Lower Deck 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.
In addition to Hart, the franchise team includes: John Van Citters, vice-president of 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. A
“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.”
The new franchise group will be based out of Kurtzman’s Secret Hideout Productions in Santa Monica, Calif. Kurtzman is under an overall deal at the studio. “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 Kurtzman.