CBS All Access had several big announcements prepared for the platform’s TCA presentation. Fans are getting another season of “Star Trek: Picard” and “The Twilight Zone,” and two animated series are on the way in 2020.
One of the platform’s first announcements was a season renewal for “Star Trek: Picard.” The announcement was made by Julie McNamara, Executive Vice President of Original Content for CBS All Access, during the service’s biannual Television Critics Association presentation.
“The energy and excitement around the premiere of Star Trek: Picard has reached a magnitude greater than all of us at CBS All Access could have hoped for,” said Julie McNamara, Executive Vice President, Original Content, CBS All Access. “We’re thrilled to announce plans for a second season before the series’ debut, and we are confident that ‘Star Trek’ fans and new viewers alike will be captured by the stellar cast and creative team’s meticulously crafted story when it premieres on Jan. 23.”
If you want to set a reminder, “Star Trek: Picard Season 1” premieres on CBS All Access on January 23rd. Following the premiere, new episodes of the 10-episode first season will be available weekly on Thursdays, exclusively for CBS All Access subscribers in the U.S. The series features Sir Patrick Stewart reprising his iconic role as Jean-Luc Picard, which he played for seven seasons on “Star Trek: The Next Generation.” The new series follows this iconic character into the next chapter of his life. The season one cast members include Sir Patrick Stewart (Jean-Luc Picard), Alison Pill (Dr. Agnes Jurati), Isa Briones (Dahj), Evan Evagora (Elnor), Michelle Hurd (Raffi Musiker), Santiago Cabrera (Cristobal Rios) and Harry Treadaway (Narek) along with special guest stars Brent Spiner (Data), Jonathan Del Arco (Hugh), Jonathan Frakes (William Riker), Jeri Ryan (Seven of Nine) and Marina Sirtis (Deanna Troi).
CBS also announced that “The Twilight Zone” will be returning with new episodes. The platform confirmed the first round of casting for season two, which includes Morena Baccarin, Colman Domingo, Ethan Embry, Jenna Elfman, Tavi Gevinson, Tony Hale, Abbie Hern, Gillian Jacobs, Sophia Macy, Joel McHale, Chris Meloni, Billy Porter, Jimmi Simpson. and Daniel Sunjata. Each will appear in an episode of the upcoming 10-episode second season, slated to premiere exclusively on CBS All Access in 2020. Jordan Peele has written an episode for the second season titled “Downtime.” The other episodes are “The Who of You,” “A Human Face,” “8,” “Among The Untrodden,” and “Meet in the Middle.”
The announcements weren’t all about renewals, CBS All Access is also launching the animated comedy “The Harper House” from Brad Neely, who will also serve as executive producer alongside Katie Krentz. The series will follow an overconfident female head-of-a-household as she struggles to regain a higher status for herself, and for her family of oddballs, after losing her job and moving from the rich side to the poor side of an Arkansas small town. To save money, they’ve moved into their inherited Victorian fixer-upper, the historic Harper House.
“It’s the big animated family show for the 21st century with a fun fallible lady up front and a neurotic husband at home,” said Brad Neely. “Katie Krentz and I have been talking about this for years, and we know the folks at CBS Television Studios and CBS All Access get it. This will be crazy fun.”
“Brad is an exceptional talent, who has translated his affection for his hometown into a rich, animated universe, with a family at the center that you instantly want to be a part of,” said Julie McNamara. “We are thrilled to be bringing the Harpers to our subscribers as we continue to expand our animated original programming.”
The other animated-series announced at the event was “Tooning Out the News,” which is executive produced by Stephen Colbert. The animated series will provide short daily segments leading up to a weekly full episodes featuring a cast of animated characters mocking news of the day, and interviewing real-world guests and newsmakers.
“The minute the imaginators at Tooning Out the News decked their bleeding edge ideation bizmeth, I knew that the news jackers were ripe for our freemium growth hack pivot,” said Colbert. “Let’s go Omnichannel for UTTR! I also couldn’t be prouder to be working with my old friend, James Smartwood. Go get ‘em, Jimbo!”
“This brilliant creative team is truly breaking new ground, marrying daily headline events with animation, to create their own unique spin on today’s news coverage,” said McNamara. “Whether you come for your daily dose or the full-length episode at the end of the week, CBS All Access is the perfect destination for this innovative, comedic look at our culture of ‘breaking news’ overload, and we are thrilled to be in business with these phenomenal creative minds from within the ViacomCBS family.”
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