The expansion of CBS All Access’ Star Trek universe continues with a two-season order to Star Trek: Lower Decks, a half-hour adult animated comedy series from Rick and Morty head writer and executive producer Mike McMahan, a long-time Star Trek fan. Star Trek: Lower Decks, which will focus on the support crew serving on one of Starfleet’s least important ships, marks CBS All Access’ first original animated series and the first project to be produced by CBS Eye Animation Productions, a newly launched animation arm of CBS Television Studios.
It hails from Alex Kurtzman’s CBS TV Studios-based Secret Hideout, which had been spearheading the Star Trek franchise expansion, and Roddenberry Entertainment. Secret Hideout’s Alex Kurtzman and Heather Kadin, Roddenberry Entertainment’s Rod Roddenberry and Trevor Roth as well as former Cartoon Network executive Katie Krentz will executive produce alongside McMahan. Aaron Baiers, who brought McMahan to the project, will serve as a co-executive producer.
“Mike won our hearts with his first sentence: ‘I want to do a show about the people who put the yellow cartridge in the food replicator so a banana can come out the other end.’ His cat’s name is Riker. His son’s name is Sagan. The man is committed,” Kurtzman said. “He’s brilliantly funny and knows every inch of every Trek episode, and that’s his secret sauce: he writes with the pure, joyful heart of a true fan. As we broaden the world of ‘Trek’ to fans of all ages, we’re so excited to include Mike’s extraordinary voice.”
In 2011 McMahan started a Twitter account where he posted episode plots to a fake season of Star Trek: The Next Generation. They were such a hit that Simon & Schuster hired him to write a readers’ guide to a fictitious eighth season of TNG titled Star Trek: The Next Generation: Warped: An Engaging Guide to the Never-Aired 8th Season. At All Access/CBS TV Studios, he also is a writer on the Start Trek: Short Treks series of shorts.
“As a life-long Trekkie, it’s a surreal and wonderful dream come true to be a part of this new era of Star Trek,” said McMahan. “While Star Trek: Lower Decks is a half-hour, animated show at its core, it’s undeniably Trek – and I promise not to add an episode at the very end that reveals the whole thing took place in a training program.”
McMahan is head writer and executive producer on Adult Swim’s hit animated series Rick and Morty, sharing in the show’s Animated Program Emmy win last month. He also co-created and executive produces with Rick and Morty co-creator/executive producer Justin Roiland alien animated comedy series Solar Opposites, which has a two-season order at Hulu via 20th TV.
“We couldn’t have imagined a better creative team to work with on CBS All Access’ first original animated series than Mike McMahan, Secret Hideout and Roddenberry Entertainment,” said Julie McNamara, EVP, Original Content, CBS All Access. Star Trek: Lower Decks is a fantastic complement to our growing lineup of original series and our ongoing expansion of the Star Trek universe on CBS All Access.”
Star Trek: Lower Decks joins CBS All Access/CBS TV Studios’ Star Trek: Discovery, returning for Season 2 in January, Star Trek: Short Treks, a series of four short stories tied to Discovery and the overall Star Trek universe, as well as an upcoming untitled Star Trek series featuring Sir Patrick Stewart reprising his iconic role as Jean-Luc Picard.
This is return to the animated space for Star Trek following the 1973 Star Trek: The Animated Series.
Overseeing CBS Eye Animation Productions via her 219 Productions is Krentz who signed an overall deal with CBS TV Studios in early 2018 following five years at Cartoon Network. This is CBS TV Studios’ second animated series overall, following Our Cartoon President for Showtime, which is an extension of the animated segments on Late Show with Stephen Colbert.
McMahan is repped by ICM Partners, Mosaic and Morris Yorn.