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New “Star Trek” series to premiere in January 2017

CBS announced on Monday that it will produce a new television series of the science fiction franchise "Star Trek," more than a decade after the sixth TV series came to an end.

CBS Television Studios said the new series, which has not yet been named, will debut in January 2017 on the CBS Television Network in the United States, but will be distributed concurrently for TV and other platforms around the world.

Alex Kurtzman, who co-wrote and produced the 2009 film "Star Trek" and the 2013 film "Star Trek Into Darkness," will serve as executive producer for the new series. The show will introduce "new characters seeking imaginative new worlds and new civilizations, while exploring the dramatic contemporary themes that have been a signature of the franchise since its inception in 1966," CBS said in a press release.

The new series is not related to "Star Trek Beyond," which is scheduled to be released in the summer of 2016.

"There is no better time to give ‘Star Trek’ fans a new series than on the heels of the original show’s 50th anniversary celebration," said CBS Television Studios President David Stapf. "Everyone here has great respect for this storied franchise, and we’re excited to launch its next television chapter in the creative mind and skilled hands of Alex Kurtzman, someone who knows this world and its audience intimately."

The "Star Trek" franchise got its start in 1966 with the release of what is today known as "Star Trek: The Original Series," and which featured actor William Shatner as Captain James T. Kirk of the starship USS Enterprise. The show's success spawned six spinoffs, including "Star Trek: The Next Generation", "Star Trek: Deep Space Nine," and "Star Trek: Voyager."

The new series will be the first series since "Star Trek: Enterprise," which served as a prequel to the original series and aired from September 2001 until May 2005.

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