CBS All Access Beams up ‘Star Trek’ Animated Series ‘Lower Decks’ for 2 Seasons

Show from “Rick & Morty” head writer Mike McMahan centers on one of Starfleet’s least important ships

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CBS All Access is boldly going into animation for its next “Star Trek” series, handing out a two-season order to “Star Trek: Lower Decks,” a half-hour cartoon from “Rick & Morty” head writer Mike McMahan.

The series will focus on the support crew serving on one of Starfleet’s least important ships and will be the first production by CBS Eye Animation Productions, CBS Television Studios’ new animation arm. Alex Kurtzman, who serves as the showrunner for “Star Trek: Discovery” and captains the “Trek” universe for CBS All Access, is on board under his Secret Hideout banner, as is Roddenberry Entertainment.

“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,” said executive producer Alex Kurtzman. “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.”

Kurtzman, Heather Kadin, Rod Roddenberry, Trevor Roth and Katie Krentz will serve as executive producers alongside McMahan. Aaron Baiers, who brought McMahan to the project, will serve as a co-executive producer.

Along with his work on “Rick & Morty,” and the upcoming Hulu animated series, “Solar Opposites,” which is co-created, McMahan is behind the 2011 Twitter account, “TNG Season 8,” which posted episode plots of a fictitious eighth season of “Star Trek: The Next Generation,” (the show ended after 7 seasons). They were such a hit that Simon & Schuster hired him to write a readers’ guide based his on tweets: “Star Trek: The Next Generation: Warped: An Engaging Guide to the Never-Aired 8th Season.”

In fact, the name “Lower Decks” is the title of an episode during the 7th season of “TNG” which focused on four junior Starfleet officers.

“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 executive producer 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.”

“Star Trek: Lower Decks” is the latest expansion of CBS All Access’ growing “Trek” universe. This already includes “Star Trek: Discovery,” which returns for season 2 on Jan. 17, 2019, and an upcoming series following Patrick Stewart’s Jean-Luc Picard from “TNG.”