Star Trek fans who are hoping to get a chance to see William Shatner back on television as Captain Kirk are probably out of luck since CBS has no intention of bringing the actor back into the world of Trek. The network states it hasn’t completely ruled out Shatner, but Shatner is not part of its current plans.
Shatner made a name for himself on the Star Trek original series as Captain James T. Kirk. That series didn’t last long on television, but is still popular over 50 years after its debut. After Star Trek’s cancellation in 1969, Shatner continued to portray the character in a series of seven movies that covered both the original series and Star Trek: The Next Generation. Although Shatner has starred in other television shows, he will always be Captain Kirk to Star Trek fans. That’s why many would like to see him return to the Trek universe on television.
The chances of that happening, though, are slim. In an interview with Deadline, CBS TV Studios president David Stapf confirmed the network has no plans of bringing Shatner back into the Trek fold. When asked about CBS entertaining ideas about other former Trek franchises, Stapf replied with a solid “No.” When asked specifically about Shatner, he said with a laugh, “I would say, never say never.”
Although Shatner won’t get to return to Star Trek, Patrick Stewart is getting a series based on his Star Trek: The Next Generation character, Jean-Luc Picard. The new show will not act as a reboot, but will be an original idea that offers “an exploration of the next chapter of Picard’s life.” CBS has remained tight-lipped about what that might entail, but many fans are ready to see what happened to Picard after the movie Star Trek: Nemesis. Shatner congratulated Stewart on the new series on Twitter.
CBS does have a lot more in store for Star Trek, though, and wants to bring back the franchise in a big way. There are other potential Star Trek shows in the works, although nothing that Stapf could discuss just yet. The network did state that it wants shows related to Star Trek on All Access all the time.
Although Shatner is still a favorite with Star Trek fans, it is not surprising that CBS doesn’t have plans to bring Kirk back to Trek on television. Most of Kirk’s story has already played out in the movies, and with a younger rebooted Kirk (Chris Pine) starring in the new Trek movies, there’s no need to bring back an older version of the character.