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Star Trek: Discovery loses Bryan Fuller as showrunner

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Reports suggest there was strain between Fuller and CBS

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Just a couple of months before Star Trek: Discovery, CBS’ newest entry in the franchise, was set to debut on the network’s streaming platform, All Access, showrunner Bryan Fuller has stepped down.

Variety reports that Fuller, who’s also juggling post-production duties on Starz’s anticipated adaptation of American Gods and pre-production on a reboot of Amazing Stories for NBC, will stay on as an executive producer, but has handed showrunning duties off to Gretchen Berg and Aaron Harberts.

According to Variety, there was some strain between CBS executives and Fuller over “progress on production of the show,” which was delayed from January 2017 to May. Fuller and his team cited a need for more time to work on various aspects of the show, including visual effects, and would push back filming until November to ensure everything was ready.

“We aim to dream big and deliver, and that means making sure the demands of physical and post-production for a show that takes place entirely in space, and the need to meet an air date, don’t result in compromised quality," Fuller said in a press release at the time.

CBS was reportedly stressed over Fuller’s lack of availability to be on set every day, and the decision to split appears to be amicable. The studio is also concerned that the main role, a female lieutenant commander, has yet to be cast with filming less than a month away.

In a statement to Variety, CBS said that it was committed to standing behind Fuller’s vision for the series, adding that he “remains an executive producer, and will continue to map out the story arc for the entire season.” The studio reiterated that it was planning on having the series ready to go by next May.

Fuller gained acclaim for his work on multiple television series over the years, including the fantastical Pushing Daisies and the recently cancelled Hannibal. During the Television Critics Association press tour this past summer, Fuller revealed that Star Trek: Discovery would focus on a lieutenant commander for the first time instead of a captain, and would introduce a couple of new alien species.