It looks like CBS is trying to make good on its word to put out more Star Trek content, including that "secret" animated series. Not content to continue its Star Trek: Discovery show with a new season and shorts and the Picard spin-off, CBS has announced a new animated series titled Star Trek: Lower Decks.
Little was revealed about the upcoming series, though Rick and Morty head writer Mike McMahan has been announced to be running the show. The brief synopsis of the comedy show involves:
"… the support crew serving on one of Starfleet's least-important ships."
Executive producer Alex Kurtzman describes why they picked McMahan:
"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. 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."
With the yellow cartridge reference along with the Riker reference, it's a bit difficult to tell what era of Trek the show will take place in. It doesn't seem like it will be related to the 7th season Star Trek: The Next Generation episode Lower Decks, which followed the stories of four junior officers aboard the Enterprise. There was an animated series based on the original series, starring the voices of some of the original crew back in 1973. It's unclear if any of the elements from that series would be incorporated into Lower Decks.
This is not McMahan's first tour with Star Trek. He wrote a comedy book titled Star Trek: The Next Generation: Warped: An Engaging Guide to the Never-Aired 8th Season, and wrote the upcoming Harry Mudd episode of Star Trek: Short Treks titled The Escape Artist.
No start date for the CBS All Access show has been announced, but the half-hour comedy show has a commitment to two seasons already, so it seems like this crew will have at least a two year mission. The show will be produced by CBS Eye Animation Productions, the newly formed animation unit for CBS.