Bryan Fuller talked with Entertainment Weekly about his disappointing exit from Star Trek: Discovery, including his original plans for the series and what led to his split with CBS. As it turns out, the excitement of Fuller’s involvement and the return of Star Trek to television devolved into behind-the-scenes squabbles over budgets, casting, and other creative decisions. If anything is at fault for Fuller’s Star Trek departure, ambition from both sides would be top of the list. But it’s ambition that paid off when looking back.
According to the interview, the show was initially brought in as an anthology style show that has become popular thanks to American Horror Story. Fuller gives credit to Ryan Murphy’s FX series when discussing what he wanted to achieve with Discovery:
“The original pitch was to do for science-fiction what American Horror Story had done for horror,” Fuller says. “It would platform a universe of Star Trek shows.”
CBS countered with the plan of creating a single serialized series and then seeing how it performed.
You’d have to think that an anthology series based in different Star Trek shows would be quite difficult to take off, especially if that series were to take place within different eras of the series and “beyond” the time periods we’ve seen in the films and television series. Budget was already a question between Fuller and CBS, with a changing premise each season probably straining that even more if it were to have happened.