As CBS All Access continues production on Season 2 of Star Trek Discovery, there will now be a big change behind the scenes as the showrunners have departed. Gretchen Berg and Aaron Harberts, who were originally brought in to replace original showrunner/series creator Bryan Fuller, have stepped down as showrunners, and will be replaced by executive producer and co-creator Alex Kurtzman. Here's what CBS Television Studios had to say in a statement about the showrunner change.
"We've made some producer changes at Star Trek: Discovery. 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."
Sources claim that the decision to remove Berg and Harberts was not based on any creative direction they were taking the show, which is almost through with production on the first five episodes of Season 2. Rather, they were ousted because of "leadership and operational issues," with the budget for Season 2 ballooning substantially, with overages expected to come out of the remainder of the Season 2 episodes. Both Berg and Harberts also received several complaints about their abusive behavior towards the writing staff.
Multiple writers had either threatened to file complaints or quit the show altogether before informing Alex Kurtzman about the issues surrounding Berg and Harberts. The report claims that Harberts once leaned across the writer's room table while shouting expletives at a member of the writing staff. After hearing about some of the staff members' complaints through HR, Harberts then reportedly threatened the staff to keep their complaints with the production an internal matter. The series had already been coming up on a planned production hiatus after the completion of the fifth episode, which will be used to give Kurtzman time to "regroup the show's writing staff," and production is not expected to be affected.
This report also reveals that executive producer Akiva Goldsman also quietly left the show before Season 2 as well, after serving as Kurtzman's "right-hand man" on the first season. Goldsman's "management style and personality" was said to have clashed with the writing staff, and it is unclear if he will still retain an executive producer credit on Season 2. Original showrunner and series co-creator Bryan Fuller was essentially "forced out" as showrunner by CBS All Access since they weren't pleased he was splitting time between their show, and Starz's American Gods, which he co-created and served as co-showrunner on with Michael Green. Fuller also clashed with the network on everything from costumes to casting to the launch date. Ironically, Fuller and Green were both removed from American Gods after clashing with producers Fremantle Media and Starz over budget issues. Season 2 is still expected to premiere in 2019 on the CBS All Access streaming service. You can head over to The Hollywood Reporter for more on Star Trek Discovery Season 2.