April 25 2024

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Kurtzman: Taking Over Discovery After Showrunner Departures

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In a new interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Alex Kurtzman spoke about signing his twenty-five million, five-year CBS deal, as well as taking over as showrunner after the departure of Aaron Harberts and Gretchen J. Berg from Star Trek: Discovery.

Kurtzman explained that he went to “CBS and said, ‘Let’s open this world up and see what else there is — and make sure that each show has its own identity.’ My job is to run Discovery and, in the case of other shows, remain at thirty-thousand feet so I can weigh in meaningfully and significantly at all the critical junctures of the development.”

Then came the firing of Harberts and Gretchen, who left due to accusations of harassment of the writing staff and going over budget. Kurtzman, who had already lost a showrunner once before, had to make a decision.

“Gretchen and Aaron were put in a tough spot,” said Kurtzman, “because we were inches from production when we lost a showrunner [Bryan Fuller]. They were there to pick up the pieces. When the writers weren’t happy, I couldn’t hand the show off to someone else again. I couldn’t stay at thirty-thousand feet. It was my responsibility to get into that room and make sure the show was working. I created it, and I didn’t want to stand back and be removed from that process. I wasn’t planning on showrunning Discovery. It was difficult.”

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