“Star Trek” returns – for a price

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The legendary series returns to the airwaves – but on CBS’ SVOD service

The Starship Enterprise is back in business. But if want you get on board, it’s going to cost you.

CBS announced Monday it was rebooting Star Trek, which would be the seventh television incarnation of the franchise.

But there is a catch.

It you want to see Star Trek, you would have to subscribe to CBS’ All Access subscription video on-demand service, which is $5.99 a month excluding taxes (which would apply in Chicago.)

All Access streams CBS’ large library of TV product, including your local CBS affiliate in some areas.

The premiere would air on CBS in January 2017 before heading to All Access exclusively. CBS already streams all other Star Trek television shows on All Access and on other platforms.

The new Star Trek series is also being distributed on multiple platforms and television internationally.

Using a new Star Trek show to bolster a platform isn’t new: Paramount used the premiere of Star Trek: Voyager to launch UPN in 1995. UPN was also home to Star Trek: Enterprise.

The decision to move the new Star Trek to a digital platform continues a trend of premium content heading to streaming services, rather than the traditional broadcast or cable route. It’s not known if the new Star Trek would be offered to broadcasters or cable networks in the States, though today’s announcement doesn’t seem to indicate that.

According to a statement released by CBS, the new Star Trek “will introduce new characters seeking imaginative new worlds and new civilizations, while exploring the dramatic contemporary themes that have been a signature of the franchise since its inception in 1966.”

Alex Kurtman has been named Executive Producer of the project. He co-wrote the 2009 Star Trek movie and 2013 sequel Into Darkness with Roberto Orci, who is not part of the revival.

Star Trek celebrates its 50th anniversary next year, premiering on September 8, 1966 on NBC. The reruns’ popularity helped spawn several motion pictures, an animated series, and several TV sequels, including Star Trek: The Next Generation and Star Trek: Deep Space Nine.

The new Star Trek is not related to the new theatrical scheduled for release in the summer of 2016, Star Trek: Beyond. Since CBS and Viacom split from each other in 2005, Viacom’s Paramount Pictures has the rights to produce and distribute the Star Trek theatrical product; CBS and CBS Television Distribution own the rights to all Star Trek TV series. Viacom acquired Paramount in 1994 and CBS in 2000; CBS spun off Viacom in 1971 due to newly minted fin-syn rules at the time.

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