With production on the second season of Star Trek: Discovery well underway, CBS All Access has announced that it has parted ways with showrunners Gretchen Berg and Aaron Harberts, with executive producer Alex Kurtzman set to take over for the remainder of the season.
“We’ve made some producer changes at Star Trek: Discovery,” read a statement from CBS provided to The Hollywood Reporter. “The series continues under the creative vision and leadership of executive producer and co-creator Alex Kurtzman. Discovery remains on course for season two in 2019 with new and continuing stories that build on its successful premiere season.”
According to THR’s source, Berg and Harberts – who themselves replaced original showrunner Bryan Fuller for the first season – were let go due to “leadership and operational issues.” Apparently the budget for the season two premiere had ballooned, impacting the finances for the subsequent episodes, and that the duo had allegedly been increasingly abusive to the writers room, resulting in complaints to Human Resources.
Five episodes of the show’s second season are said to be close to completion, after which there will be a planned production hiatus, allowing Kurtzman time to regroup and settle the show’s writing staff. However, the showrunner change is not expected to impact the remaining production schedule, or the planned 2019 premiere date.
In addition to serving as executive producer on season one, Kurtzman is well versed in the Star Trek franchise, having co-written and produced 2009’s Star Trek and its 2013 sequel Star Trek Into Darkness. He is also attached to the as-yet-untitled Star Trek 4 as a producer.