Amazon takes CBS All Access’ ‘Star Trek’ spin-off for global

Amazon Prime Video has picked up CBS All Access’ Star Trek spin-off on Captain Jean-Luc Picard for international. 

The streaming giant has swooped in to buy global rights to the Patrick Stewart-fronted series for more than 200 countries and territories outside of the US and Canada.

TBI understands that Amazon will also have streaming rights in Australia, where CBS All Access launched in December.

The streaming giant is believed to have aggressively outbid rivals such as Netflix, which previously picked up Star Trek: Discovery for international in a deal that reportedly covered a large portion of the first series budget.

Under the multi-year agreement struck with CBS Studios International, each episode of the drama will be made available on Amazon within 24 hours of its US premiere on All Access.

Headed by Julie McNamara, EVP of original content for All Access, the platform serves as both a catch-up service and SVOD platform — the first successful streaming play by a US broadcaster. It is also available Stateside on Amazon Prime Video Channels and Fire TV. 

McNamara told TBI earlier this year that the platform, which launched with high-profile offering Star Trek: Discovery, will look to branch out from the franchise as it grows its original content slate. “We know we need to put some things out there that are original originals that really just break out – things that are a little bit more of a swing and experiment,” she said at the time.

The new Picard series, which is still untitled, features Stewart reprising his role as Captain Picard, which he played for seven series on Star Trek: Next Generation. The series will follow the character in the next chapter of his life.

The show will be produced by CBS Television Studios in association with Secret Hideout and Roddenberry Entertainment. Alex Kurtzman, Michael Chabon, Akiva Goldsman, James Duff, Patrick Stewart, Heather Kadin, Rod Roddenberry and Trevor Roth will serve as executive producers and Aaron Baiers will serve as co-executive producer, while Kirsten Beyer will serve as supervising producer.

Alex Kurtzman, series executive producer, said: “There’s only one word that can begin to describe Sir Patrick Stewart as Starship Commander Jean-Luc Picard, and that’s ‘legendary’. We are thrilled beyond measure to have him back in command, bringing the optimistic messages of Star Trek to audiences around the world.”

Brad Beale, VP of worldwide content licensing for Amazon Prime Video, added: “With the incredible Sir Patrick Stewart returning as the beloved Jean-Luc Picard, we’re excited we can give ‘Trek’ fans both old and new the opportunity to see him back in action. It’s a terrific addition to our already robust catalog of exclusive Amazon Prime Video content.”

Armando Nuñez, president and chief executive officer for CBS Global Distribution Group, added: “For 50 years, the Star Trek series have been a global sensation, spanning generations and audiences of all ages. It’s an honour to welcome Sir Patrick Stewart back for what is sure to be another world-class extension of the historic franchise.”