'Star Trek' to stream on Netflix globally: A new normal for TV?

The upcoming 'Trek' show from CBS will be available on Netflix for viewers outside the US and Canada. The plans for the TV program, which also involve CBS's CBS All Access service, shows how release plans for shows are changing.

Kevin Lamarque/Reuters
Visitors to the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum see the fully restored original USS Enterprise model from the 1960s "Star Trek" TV series in Washington.

Netflix will air the upcoming CBS “Star Trek” series outside the US and Canada as the plans for the show continue to reflect the contemporary model for releasing a TV program. 

The plan for the upcoming “Trek” series continues to show that watching a TV program involves far more today than just turning on your TV set. CBS will air the first episode of the new “Trek” show, which will debut in early 2017, on the network. But then after that, all new episodes will debut on CBS All Access, the network’s subscription on demand and streaming platform.

For viewers outside the US, Netflix will be the place to find these new episodes. “The launch of the new ‘Star Trek’ will truly be a global television event,” Armando Nuñez, president and chief executive officer of CBS Studios International, said of “Trek” episodes finding a home on Netflix. “ ‘Star Trek’ is already a worldwide phenomenon and this international partnership will provide fans around the world, who have been craving a new series for more than a decade, the opportunity to see every episode virtually at the same time as viewers in the U.S.”

The move comes as the big networks appear to be in some ways attempting to follow the Netflix model. Along with CBS’s All Access service, NBC recently debuted a streaming service, Seeso, for original comedy content. ABC’s ABCd streaming service also hosts new programming, though unlike CBS All Access and Seeso, ABC’s service is free.

Meanwhile, as networks are imitating Netflix, Netflix is looking outside the United States, showing that international viewers are a consideration for TV content being produced as well. The streaming service, which has already released such Emmy-winning shows as “House of Cards,” became available in more than 130 additional countries at the beginning of this year. The service has also announced a new original series to be created in India and has already created a French production, “Marseille.”

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