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‘Rick and Morty’ writer hired for new Star Trek animated series

Morty! Morty! There’s going to be a new Star Trek animated series!

CBS has given a two-season order for Star Trek: Lower Decks, an animated series from Rick and Morty writer and executive producer Mike McMahan that will focus on the support crew serving on one of Starfleet’s “least important” ships. The series will feature half-hour episodes airing on the CBS All Access streaming platform.

The series gets its name from a 1994 episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation that chronicled a mission from the perspectives of several junior officers working in less prominent roles aboard the USS Enterprise.

“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.'” said Star Trek: Discovery executive producer Alex Kurtzman, who will also executive produce Lower Decks, in a statement. Kurtzman currently oversees the expansion of the Star Trek franchise for CBS.

“[McMahan’s] cat’s name is Riker. His son’s name is Sagan. The man is committed,” continued Kurtzman. “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.”

Star Trek: Lower Decks will be the first original animated series for CBS Eye Animation Productions, the recently launched animation studio for CBS Television. It joins several Star Trek projects currently in the works, including the ongoing, live-action series Star Trek: Discovery — which returns for its second season in January 2019 — and an upcoming live-action series featuring Patrick Stewart’s iconic starship captain Jean-Luc Picard from Star Trek: The Next Generation.

“As a life-long Trekkie, it’s a surreal and wonderful dream come true to be a part of this new era of Star Trek,” McMahan said in a statement. “While Star Trek: Lower Decks is a half-hour, animated show at its core, it’s undeniably Trek — and I promise not to add an episode at the very end that reveals the whole thing took place in a training program.”

Lower Decks will be the second animated series based on the Star Trek franchise, following 1973’s short-lived (but appropriately titled) Star Trek: The Animated Series.

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