Paramount+ Keeps Pushing ‘Star Trek’ into Animation With ‘Prodigy’

Paramount+ is attempting to expand the fanbase demographic for 'Star Trek.'

Paramount+ Star Trek Prodigy
Paramount+ is home to the expanding Star Trek universe. Paramount+

The Star Trek franchise encompasses at least a dozen television series and 13 movies. That’s a lot of programming for one fan to keep up with. The task becomes even more daunting when you remember that the slate of Star Trek originals is only growing.

As of right now, ViacomCBS’ Paramount (PARA)+ houses all of the current Star Trek television series (deep breath): Star Trek (The Original Series), Star Trek: The Animated SeriesStar Trek: The Next GenerationStar Trek: Deep Space NineStar Trek: VoyagerStar Trek: EnterpriseStar Trek: Discovery, Star Trek; Short Treks, Star Trek: Picard and Star Trek: Lower Decks. Overall, the Star Trek Universe on Paramount+ includes all 726 episodes from the six classic Star Trek series. The streaming service is also home to 10 of the 13 movies, with the three Kelvinverse films not yet available.

Looking ahead, the vast library of originals will continue pushing into animation. Today, Paramount+ debuted the official teaser trailer for the all-new animated kids’ series Star Trek: Prodigy during the show’s Comic-Con@Home virtual panel. Produced by the Nickelodeon Animation Studio and CBS Studios’ Animation Studios, Prodigy will premiere on Paramount+ in the U.S. this Fall.

Developed by Emmy Award winners Kevin and Dan Hageman (Trollhunters and Ninjago), the CG-animated series Star Trek: Prodigy is the first Star Trek series aimed at younger audiences and will follow a motley crew of young aliens who must figure out how to work together while navigating a greater galaxy, in search for a better future. These six young outcasts know nothing about the ship they have commandeered – a first in the history of the Star Trek franchise – but over the course of their adventures together, they will each be introduced to Starfleet and the ideals it represents.

Animation has become a key battleground in the streaming wars and family-friendly kids content is particularly valuable for fledgling platforms. Star Trek: Lower Decks is also animated, but its sense of humor isn’t exactly suitable for young children (but is most certainly a blast for older audiences). Star Trek is a 54-year-old franchise and the goal is for Prodigy is to help expand the demographic of fans to younger audiences. Once in, Paramount+ has a massive library of Trek content to keep new fans engaged.

And it’s not as if Star Trek is abandoning its core audience. Aside from upcoming new seasons of Discovery and Picard, Paramount+ will also play host to new series Star Trek: Strange New Worlds, which follows Captain Pike, Science Officer Spock and Number One as they explore new regions of the galaxy on the U.S.S. Enterprise.

ViacomCBS may not boast the same war chest of blockbuster franchise IP such as Disney and Warner Bros. But it is leaning into one of its most recognizable domestic brands by building an interconnected world of new Star Trek series. Now, if only Paramount Pictures could get that next film off the ground…

Paramount+ Keeps Pushing ‘Star Trek’ into Animation With ‘Prodigy’