Star Trek series Section 31 is officially in development with Michelle Yeoh attached.
ViacomCBS released a press announcement confirming the new deal with Secret Hideout and Alex Kurtzman to continue the current era of Star Trek series under his guidance. This was news when it broke a few days ago but something that many glossed over was the announcement that the long-rumored Section 31 is finally in development with Michelle Yeoh attached to star.
"Secret Hideout is in development on a ‘Star Trek’ project based on ‘Section 31,’ with Michelle Yeoh attached to star."
It’s in the same part of the press release that says Star Trek: Strange New Worlds is getting a 2022 release date, and as it’s mentioned in the same breath as that announcement, one can allude that Section 31 is also getting a 2022 release date.
Strange New Worlds will likely debut in the winter around January or February, while Section 31 could be out as late as November or December of 2022. That said, shows have been known to have their premieres pushed back due to one reason or another, so 2023 is also possible for it to release.
Section 31’s arrival might herald the end to one or two current Star Trek shows
Julie McNamara, former executive vice president of original content for CBS All-Access once said that shows might have to end before they ever got around to doing Section 31. That was a different company, and a different time but that doesn’t mean things have changed. If anything, after a merger, companies are far more likely to pinch the purse pockets than ever before. So the thought that a show currently airing would have to end in order for Section 31 to start filming isn’t a wild thought.
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McNamara was quoted by the Wrap in 2019 saying;
"Some of these (shows) can be considered as replacements as opposed to additions."
Even Kurtzman said something similar to back McNamara in February of 2021 to the Hollywood Reporter.
"Despite all appearances, we’re not interested in being in the quantity business. I don’t think that serves the Star Trek universe. We are interested in being in the quality business."
So it looks quite possible that Section 31 will mark the end of Discovery, Picard, or Lower Decks, all of whom have had rumors about them ending once their latest seasons end. For Discovery it would be the current season, their fourth, and for Picard and Lower Decks, it’d be after their next season, the third for both shows.
We do know that ViacomCBS and Paramount+ are in a cost-saving mode, as Discovery’s fifth season is now in limbo after it was supposed to be part of a back-to-back production with the fourth season, and Picard and Lower Decks shot their next two seasons back-to-back to cut down on production costs.
That may be a sign they’re ending due to budgetary issues or that the COVID-19 pandemic hurt Paramount+’s resources and finances more than anyone realizes.