Star Trek: Alex Kurtzman Talks Targeting Kid Viewers

"If you really want Star Trek to reach people, then you’ve got to start young."

There’s a good reason that CBS All-Access is exploring another Star Trek animated series outside of its streaming platform and beyond Lower Decks, which is coming from Rick and Morty writer Mike McMahan.

This other Star Trek cartoon will be for Nickelodeon, targeting younger viewers, and current Trek franchise overlord Alex Kurtzman has been chatting about how he approached plans for the expansion of Gene Roddenberry’s universe for a new era of fans. These plans are set to play out over a decade, but also inspire a generation of Trekkies in the making.

“I went to CBS and I said, ‘I think you have a universe here that is very underutilized, and a fan base that I think is hungry for a lot more.'” Kurtzman told Deadline’s Crew Call podcast. “And I walked them through the plan of what I saw for the next five to ten years of Trek.”

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“Part of it,” Kurtzman continued, “was, kind of, premised on the idea that it was going to take time. What I said was, ‘Don’t expect us to put the first thing out, and suddenly, you know, you’re have 100 million new fans. That’s not gonna happen.’ Trek has been around for too long for that to happen — but but what we do have is new generations, and what I can tell you is that Trek, in general, finds people when they’re about between nine and twelve.”

Kurtzman therefore thinks it’s time that younger viewers recognised Trek in the same way they understand Star Wars, perhaps having already seen something like Clone Wars, Resistance or Rebels.

“[Trek]’s never reached younger than that; it’s never tried to, and to me that’s a hugely missed opportunity, especially because what you’re really trying to do is influence hearts and minds with really positive messages — messages about who we can be as a species and as people and what our future is So why not start young, you know? And not for a cynical reason. Not because you know, hey, let some more toys, but because if you really want Star Trek to reach people, then you’ve got to start young.”

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“And this is where I guess the Star Wars influence on me really mattered, because as a kid at four years old, I could imagine myself starting up with a twin suns of Tattooine and wondering what my life was. Trek didn’t give me that same thing — it gave me Wesley Crusher, it gave me different characters, but again, those are older characters. But we are definitely seeing just metric proof that the fan base is growing, and it’s growing younger — and yet, we’re keeping our current fans, and that’s great.”

You can read more about all the different Star Trek series in various stages of development here.