Charts: ‘SpongeBob,’ ‘Star Trek’ Rule on Paramount+

The Paramount+ subscription streaming service is just 8 days old, and thus far consumers have climbed Paramount Mountain to access “SpongeBob” and “Star Trek,” according to new data from JustWatch.

The analytics company posts an international streaming guide that helps more than 20 million users monthly across 46 countries find content on Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Disney+, Hulu, Paramount+, HBO Max and Peacock, among other streaming platforms.

The most popular movies in the first week were predominantly Hollywood classics, but interestingly, new release, The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge on the Run, topped the list.

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‘Star Trek: Lower Decks’ Season 1 on Disc May 18

CBS and Paramount Home Entertainment May 18 will release Star Trek: Lower Decks — Season One on Blu-ray Disc and DVD, as well as a limited-edition Blu-ray Steelbook.

The animated comedy series, which debuted on CBS All Access last year and will continue on Paramount+, chronicles the adventures of the U.S.S. Cerritos in the year 2380, with a focus on the crew members who usually do the dirty work.

Created by two-time Emmy Award winner Mike McMahan (“Rick and Morty,” “Solar  Opposites”), “Lower Decks” features the voices of Tawny Newsome as Ensign Beckett Mariner, Jack Quaid as Ensign Brad Boimler, Eugene Cordero as Ensign Samanthan Rutherford, Noël Wells as Ensign D’Vana Tendi, Dawnn Lewis as Capt. Carol Freeman, Jerry O’Connell as Cmdr. Jack Random, Fred Tatasciore as Lt. Shaxs, and Gillian Vigman as Dr. T’Ana.

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The Blu-ray and DVD offer all 10 half-hour episodes, plus nearly two hours of exclusive special features, including:

  • “Faces of the Fleet” featurette, a deep dive into the crew of the U.S.S. Cerritos , alongside producers, writers and the cast of “Star Trek: Lower Decks,” highlighting character backstories and their behind-the-scenes development;
  • “Hiding in Plain Sight” featurette, a look at canon and hidden Easter eggs throughout the series, including freeze frame images and insightful commentary from producers, creatives and cast;
  • Trailer for Crisis Point: The Rise of Vindicta, the holodeck movie from the episode “Crisis Point”;
  • A Full-Length Animatic;
  • Deleted and extended animatics;
  • “Lower Decktionary,” a series of featurettes covering each episode, such as:

○ “Joining Starfleet” (episode 1) — Producers and crew discuss the development of season one from storyline to visual artistry;
○ “Aliens Among Us” (episode 2) — Dives into the different aliens encountered on the journey to the Tulgana 4 planet;
○ “The Animation Process” (episode 3) — A look at the efficiency and creativity needed to put together an episode of “Lower Decks”;
○ “The Main Titles” (episode 4) — A look at the graphic design and thematic music developed for the show through the lens of creating title sequence;
○ “Art Design” (episode 5) — A look at characters’ style and the sets that elevate the animated on-screen adventures of the U.S.S. Cerritos;
○ “The Holodeck” (episode 6) — The cast and creative team discuss uses for the holodeck, which can simulate nearly any environment or situation;
○ “Division 14” (episode 7) — A look at the Starfleet branch tasked with dealing with the unexpected mishaps that plague starship crews.
○ “Deck Dynamics” (episode 8) — A dive into how the relationship between the upper and lower decks an their comedic interactions contribute to the storyline  throughout season one;
○ “The Music of Lower Decks” (episode 9) — An exploration about how traditional themes have been integrated into the show and the episode’s in-story “Crisis Point” movie;
○ “All in the Family” (episode 10) —  A look at evolution of the crew and their relationships over the show’s first year, and how “Lower Decks” fits into the “Star Trek” family as a few legacy characters appear.

 

‘Star Trek: Lower Decks’ season one Steelbook

Shout! Factory Sets Feb. 16 Home Date for Doc on ‘Star Trek’ Actress Who Brought Diversity to NASA

Shout! Factory has announced the Feb. 16 release of Woman in Motion: Nichelle Nichols, Star Trek and the Remaking of NASA, a documentary on the inspiring true story of Star Trek actress Nichelle Nichols and how she pioneered the NASA recruiting program to hire people of color, and the first female astronauts, in the late 1970s.

The documentary will be released through digital retailers and VOD. Fans who preorder form Apple also have access to exclusive bonus features, including an extended “The Story Behind the Story” featurette, deleted scenes, trailers and teasers.

Woman in Motion: Nichelle Nichols, Star Trek and the Remaking of NASA will also be screened in select movies theaters on Feb. 6. Information on participating cinemas, and how to get tickets, can be found here.

Nichols transformed her sci-fi television stardom into a real-life science career when, in 1977, she embarked on a campaign to bring diversity to NASA. Nichols formed the company Women In Motion, Inc. and recruited more than 8,000 African-American, Asian and Latino women and men for the agency. Her program continues to influence the younger generation of astronauts as well, including Mae Jemison, the first female African-American astronaut in space. Despite an uphill battle against a bureaucracy that was hesitant to let her get involved, Nichols persevered and is credited by NASA for turning it into one of the most diverse independent agencies in the United States Federal Government.

In addition to Nichols, Woman In Motion features notable celebrities, activists, scientists and astronauts including Neil deGrasse Tyson, George Takei, Pharrell Williams, Martin Luther King III, Al Sharpton, Vivica A. Fox, Walter Koenig, Rod Roddenberry, Michael Dorn, Guy Bluford, Charles Bolden, Ivor Dawson, Frederik Gregory and Benjamin Crump.

Shout! Factory Bringing William Shatner’s ‘Captains Collection’ to Blu-ray

Shout! Factory Oct. 20 will release The Captains Collection, bringing together for the first time on Blu-ray four documentaries by William Shatner that take fans behind the scenes of the “Star Trek” franchise. The documentaries will also be available for digital purchase.

The documentaries, which were previously released on DVD, include 2011’s The Captains, 2012’s Get a Life!, 2013’s The Captains Close Up, and 2014’s Chaos on the Bridge: The Untold Story Behind Trek’s Next Generation.

In The Captains, Shatner, who famously starred as Capt. James T. Kirk on the original “Star Trek,” interviews five other performers who played the headlining captains on various “Star Trek” shows and movies up to that point: Patrick Stewart of “Star Trek: The Next Generation,” Avery Brooks of “Star Trek: Deep Space Nine,” Kate Mulgrew of “Star Trek: Voyager,” Scott Bakula of “Star Trek: Enterprise,” and Chris Pine, who plays a younger alternate reality Kirk in the 2009 Star Trek movie and its sequels.

The Captains Close Up is a five-episode miniseries featuring expanded interviews from The Captains.

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In Get a Life!, Shatner explores “Star Trek” fandom and his own influence on it. The title is based on a famous “Saturday Night Live” sketch in which Shatner jokingly implores the crowd at a “Star Trek” convention to stop bothering him with mundane questions about the series and “get a life.”

Chaos on the Bridge recounts the story of making “Star Trek: The Next Generation,” featuring interviews with several of its creators and producers.

The Captains Collection will be widely as a standard four-disc set. Extras include trailers, additional stories, “The Making of the Captains” featurette, and a “Ponder The Mystery” music video.

The ShoutFactory.com store is also offering an exclusive special-edition version with a fifth disc containing the 2009 documentary William Shatner’s Gonzo Ballet for the first time on home video.

William Shatner’s Gonzo Ballet chronicles a ballet called “Common People” that was set to the music of a 2004 album called Has Been by William Shatner and Ben Folds. “Common People” was one of the songs on the album and is a cover of a song from the 1995 Different Class album by the band Pulp.

The Shout! Exclusive bonus disc also offers an additional hour-and-a-half of interviews, including bonus episode “Still Kicking: A Conversation Between William Shatner and Christopher Plummer.” Extended interviews from The Captains include Walter Koenig, Grace Lee Whitney, Gary Lockwood and Sally Kellerman from the original series. The disc also includes extended interviews from Chaos on the Bridge, including former CBS president Les Moonves.

The special-edition Blu-ray is limited to a run of 2,000 copies.

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The ShoutFactory.com store also has an exclusive bundle, limited to 1,000 units, pairing the special-edition Blu-ray with the Has Been album on vinyl — a  variant featuring a green, yellow and black splatter design.

James Cameron’s Story of Science-Fiction

DVD REVIEW: 

Street Date 7/28/20;
RLJ;
Documentary;
$34.97 DVD or Blu-ray;
Not Rated.
Featuring James Cameron, George Lucas, Steven Spielberg, Christopher Nolan, Ridley Scott.

This six-episode documentary series hosted by filmmaker James Cameron should prove a fascinating viewing experience for any fan of the title genre, primarily due to the high-caliber talent on display sharing their insights on the topic.

The series is structured with each episode taking on a different topic within the genre: “Alien Life,” “Space Exploration,” “Monsters,” “Dark Futures,” “Intelligent Machines” and “Time Travel.” They run a shade over 40 minutes each on disc, long enough to fill an hour-long time slot when commercials are added in (the series originally aired on AMC in 2018).

Much of the series follows a typical documentary format tracing the history of the episode’s topic, with analysis from various talking heads in the form of critics, authors, actors and filmmakers. Particular emphasis is placed on the various social, political and philosophical underpinnings of various sci-fi stories throughout history. One primary thesis that arises is the notion that science-fiction isn’t about predicting the future, it’s about choosing our future — an observation that demonstrates why there’s still considerable value to older sci-fi tales that might otherwise seem outdated.

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But the heart of the program involves Cameron sitting for a series of one-on-one interviews with other high-profile directors as they discuss each others work (with no shortage of praise for one another, as could be expected). The stories the directors tell range from the oft-repeated tales that every fan knows, to interesting insights into what guided certain filmmaking decisions, such as how Steven Spielberg adapted much of his childhood into Close Encounters and E.T.

The discussion with George Lucas raises some eyebrows during the A.I. episode, when Cameron says so many movies depict the machines as bad guys, leading to Lucas stating that’s why he decided to depict robots as the good guys in “Star Wars” — the pair apparently sidestepping the fact that Lucas made three “Star Wars” films in which the good guys fought entire armies of evil robots.

Still, the conversations are fun to watch and the various TV and movie clips offer enough nostalgia that any viewer should find something to like.

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The bonus section includes extended interviews with Spielberg, Lucas, Ridley Scott, Christopher Nolan, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Will Smith and Sigourney Weaver. These run about three to four minutes each.

New ‘Star Trek: Prodigy’ Animated Series Announced for Nickelodeon

Nickelodeon and CBS Television Studios July 23 announced a new animated series called “Star Trek: Prodigy” to debut in 2021. The title and logo were revealed during an online Comic-Con@Home panel.

The CG-animated series will air exclusively on Nickelodeon and follows a group of lawless teens who discover a derelict Starfleet ship and use it to search for adventure, meaning and salvation.

The series is being developed by Emmy winners Kevin and Dan Hageman (“Trollhunters” and “Ninjago”) and overseen for Nickelodeon by Ramsey Naito, EVP of animation production and development at Nickelodeon.

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The series will be from CBS’s Eye Animation Productions, CBS Television Studios’ new animation arm; production company Secret Hideout, which oversees the “Trek” franchise; and Roddenberry Entertainment. Alex Kurtzman, Heather Kadin, Katie Krentz, Rod Roddenberry and Trevor Roth will serve as executive producers alongside Kevin and Dan Hageman. Aaron Baiers will serve as a co-executive producer.

“Star Trek: Prodigy” is being billed as the first “Trek” series aimed at younger audiences for Nickelodeon. It will be the third animated “Star Trek” series, following the 1973-74 FIlmation series featuring the cast of the original series, and “Star Trek: Lower Decks,” which arrives on the CBS All Access Streaming Service Aug. 6.

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Current CBS All Access live-action series include “Star Trek: Discovery” and “Star Trek: Picard.” Series in development for the streaming service include the Capt. Pike spinoff “Star Trek: Strange New Worlds,” as well as a series based on Section 31, the enigmatic Starfleet intelligence service.

First Season of ‘Star Trek: Picard’ on Disc Oct. 6

CBS and Paramount Home Entertainment will release Star Trek: Picard — Season One on Blu-ray and DVD Oct. 6.

Patrick Stewart reprises his role as Capt. Jean-Luc Picard from “Star Trek: The Next Generation” on the CBS All Access original series. Set 30 years after “Next Generation,” the new show finds Picard’s retirement disturbed by a young woman (Isa Briones) who seeks his help after being attacked by Romulans as part of a conspiracy involving androids and artificial intelligence.

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‘Star Trek’ Beaming to Comic-Con@Home

CBS All Access and CBS Television Studios have announced a “Star Trek” Universe block of panel programming during Comic-Con@Home to take place at 10 a.m. Thursday, July 23.

Deadline senior editor Dominic Patten will moderate the panels with an introduction and discussion with Secret Hideout executive producers Alex Kurtzman and Heather Kadin.

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Back-to-back sessions will feature the cast of “Star Trek: Discovery” performing a table read of the second-season finale. Cast members slated to appear include Sonequa Martin-Green (Commander Michael Burnham), Michelle Yeoh (Philippa Georgiou), Doug Jones (Commander Saru), Anthony Rapp (Lt. Commander Paul Stamets), Mary Wiseman (Ensign Sylvia Tilly), Wilson Cruz (Dr. Hugh Culber), Mary Chieffo (L’Rell), Tig Notaro (Commander Jett Reno), Alan Van Sprang (Captain Leland), Jayne Brook (Admiral Katrina Cornwall), and the Discovery Bridge crew Emily Coutts (Lt. Detmer), Oyin Oladejo (Lt. J.G. Owosekun), Patrick Kwok-Choon (Lt. Rhys), Ronnie Rowe Jr. (Lt. J.G. Bryce), Sara Mitich (Lt. Nilsson), and upcoming “Star Trek: Strange New Worlds” stars Anson Mount (Captain Christopher Pike), Rebecca Romijn (Number One) and Ethan Peck (Spock), alongside “Discovery” executive producer and co-showrunner Michelle Paradise and executive producer Olatunde Osunsanmi, who also directed the season-two finale. Act one of the table read will be shown at Comic-Con@Home followed by a brief cast Q&A.

Mike McMahan, creator, showrunner and executive producer of the upcoming animated series “Star Trek: Lower Decks,” which premieres on CBS All Access Thursday, Aug. 6, will debut an exclusive extended first look from the premiere episode. McMahan also moderates a discussion with the Starfleet crew residing in the “lower decks” of the U.S.S. Cerritos, including Ensign Beckett Mariner, voiced by Tawny Newsome, Ensign Brad Boimler, voiced by Jack Quaid, Ensign Tendi, voiced by Noël Wells, and Ensign Rutherford, voiced by Eugene Cordero, as well as the ship’s bridge crew including Captain Carol Freeman, voiced by Dawnn Lewis, Commander Jack Ransom, voiced by Jerry O’Connell, Lieutenant Shaxs, voiced by Fred Tatasciore, and Doctor T’Ana, voiced by Gillian Vigman.

Finally, Patrick Stewart and the cast of “Star Trek: Picard” will discuss the show’s first season. Among those also slated to appear are Alison Pill (Dr. Agnes Jurati), Isa Briones (Dahj/Soji), Evan Evagora (Elnor), Michelle Hurd (Raffi Musiker), Santiago Cabrera (Cristobal Rios), Brent Spiner (Data/Dr. Soong), Jonathan Del Arco (Hugh), Jonathan Frakes (William Riker), Jeri Ryan (Seven of Nine) and Marina Sirtis (Deanna Troi).

CBS All Access Orders ‘Star Trek’ Spinoff Focused on Capt. Pike’s Enterprise

The CBS All Access streaming service May 15 announced it has ordered “Star Trek: Strange New Worlds,” a new series focused on Capt. Pike’s tenure as commander of the starship Enterprise 10 years before Capt. Kirk.

The series will star Anson Mount as Pike, Rebecca Romijn as first officer Number One, and Ethan Peck as science officer Lt. Spock. The trio first played the characters in the second season of CBS All Access’ “Star Trek: Discovery” and reprised the roles in a number of “Short Treks” episodes.

Though fan reaction to “Discovery” has been mixed, the performances of Mount, Romijn and Peck as the legacy characters has been widely praised, leading to calls for them to receive their own show.

“When we said we heard the fans’ outpouring of love for Pike, Number One and Spock when they boarded ‘Star Trek: Discovery’ last season, we meant it,” executive producer Alex Kurtzman said in a statement. “These iconic characters have a deep history in Star Trek canon, yet so much of their stories have yet to be told.”

The characters themselves date back to the original “Star Trek” pilot episode, “The Cage,” that was produced in 1964. Series creator Gene Roddenberry’s first attempt to sell the science-fiction series was famously rejected by NBC executives, though they were impressed enough by the concept to ask for a second pilot, which revamped the formula by replacing almost the entire cast, keeping only the alien Spock character, played by Leonard Nimoy, and introducing Capt. Kirk as played by William Shatner. Footage from the original pilot was eventually recycled for a two-part episode of the original “Star Trek” series that introduced Pike as Spock’s former captain.

“Strange New Worlds” could thus be seen in some regards as the “Star Trek” series that Roddenberry had originally envisioned in the mid-1960s. The title comes from the famous mission creed of the U.S.S. Enterprise to “explore strange new worlds” and “seek out new life and new civilizations,” with the show’s creators promising a series that returns “Star Trek” to its roots of a starship exploring a vast unknown galaxy.

“Fans fell in love with Anson Mount, Rebecca Romijn and Ethan Peck’s portrayals of these iconic characters when they were first introduced on ‘Star Trek: Discovery’ last season,” Julie McNamara, EVP and head of programming at CBS All Access, said in a statement. “This new series will be a perfect complement to the franchise, bringing a whole new perspective and series of adventures to ‘Star Trek.’”

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The series premiere was written by Akiva Goldsman with a story by Goldsman, Kurtzman, and Jenny Lumet. Goldsman, Kurtzman, and Lumet will serve as executive producers in addition to Henry Alonso Myers, Heather Kadin, Rod Roddenberry and Trevor Roth.

“With Akiva and Henry at the helm, the Enterprise, its crew, and its fans are in for an extraordinary journey to new frontiers in the Star Trek universe,” Kurtzman said.

Pike was previously played by Jeffrey Hunter in “The Cage,” with actor Sean Kenney in heavy makeup doubling for Hunter in new sequences shot for the pilot footage’s use in the original series. Bruce Greenwood played Pike in J.J. Abrams’ 2009 reboot movie and its 2013 sequel (both co-written by Kurtzman). Number One was previously played by “Trek” mainstay (and later Gene Roddenberry’s wife) Majel Barrett in “The Cage.”

In addition to “Star Trek: Discovery,” which is expected to premiere its third season later this year, CBS All Access is also home to “Star Trek: Picard,” a “Star Trek: The Next Generation” sequel that presented its first season earlier this year, and “Short Treks,” a series of 15- to 20-minute short films based on elements from the franchise. CBS All Access will also present the animated series “Star Trek: Lower Decks.”

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“Strange New Worlds” will be the eighth live-action “Star Trek” series in the history of the franchise. The series will be produced by CBS Television Studios, Secret Hideout and Roddenberry Entertainment. Aaron Baiers, Akela Cooper, and Davy Perez will serve as co-executive producers. Goldsman will remain an executive producer and a member of the creative team on “Star Trek: Picard” as well.

A premiere date for “Strange New Worlds” was not announced.

Paramount Presenting Online Screenings of Classic Catalog With Guest Hosts

Paramount is presenting a series of virtual screenings that will be streamed online at CYA.LIVE, allowing viewers to watch and interact via text and video with other fans, as well as special guest hosts, for $1.99 per screening.

The first event will be a 25th anniversary screening of the Chris Farley comedy Tommy Boy hosted by the film’s director, Peter Segal (Get Smart50 First DatesNaked Gun 33 1/3: The Final Insult). The event will take place April 18 at 5 p.m. PST.

At the same time April 25, Paramount will screen Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan along with the hosts of the “Inglorious Treksperts” podcast, Mark A. Altman and Daren Dochterman. Altman is a television and motion picture writer/producer/director, as well as the author of the book The 50 Year Mission: The Complete Uncensored, Oral History of Star Trek. Dochterman has worked in the entertainment industry for more than 30 years and has more than 80 film and television credits. He is known for his work as visual effects supervisor on the director’s edition of Star Trek: The Motion Picture.

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The third event will feature a screening of director Blake Edwards’ classic Breakfast at Tiffany’s May 2 at 5 p.m. PST, just two days prior to Audrey Hepburn’s birthday on May 4. The screening will be hosted by Andrea Kalas, the head of the Paramount Pictures Archives.