Star Trek: Picard already renewed for season 2!

Star Trek: Picard will make its debut at the end of this month, but CBS All Access isn’t waiting to see if it’s a hit, as exec Julie McNamara announced on the Television Critics Association press tour that the show has already been renewed for a second season, according to StarTrek.com.

“The energy and excitement around the premiere of Star Trek: Picard has reached a magnitude greater than all of us at CBS All Access could have hoped for,” McNamara said. “We’re thrilled to announce plans for a second season before the series’ debut, and we are confident that Star Trek fans and new viewers alike will be captured by the stellar cast and creative team’s meticulously crafted story when it premieres on Jan. 23.”

Star Trek: Picard begins roughly 20 years after Star Trek: Nemesis with Jean-Luc Picard (Patrick Stewart) living in retirement on his family vineyard, having left Starfleet under unclear circumstances. But when a mysterious girl finds him and asks for his help, he jets off on a new adventure aboard a new ship piloted by a new crew, although there will be plenty of visits from old friends.

Speaking of, there’s also a bunch of new photos from the first season, starting with Picard and his loyal pup:

The bestest boy in the Federation is named Number One, the moniker that previously belonged to Jean-Luc Picard’s second in command aboard the Enterprise, William Riker (Jonathan Frakes), who will also show up.

Pictured (l-r): Patrick Stewart as Picard; Jonathan Frakes as Riker of the the CBS All Access series STAR TREK: PICARD. Photo Cr: Trae Patton/CBS ©2019 CBS Interactive, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Among the new characters is Isa Briones as Dahj:

Pictured: Isa Briones as Dahj of the CBS All Access series STAR TREK: PICARD. Photo Cr: Matt Kennedy/CBS ©2019 CBS Interactive, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Pictured: Isa Briones of the CBS All Access series STAR TREK: PICARD. Photo Cr: James Dimmock/CBS ©2019 CBS Interactive, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

We’ve also got Harry Treadaway as Narek…

Pictured (l-r): Harry Treadaway as Narek; Isa Briones of the CBS All Access series STAR TREK: PICARD. Photo Cr: Trae Patton/CBS ©2019 CBS Interactive, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Pictured: Harry Treadaway as Narek of the CBS All Access series STAR TREK: PICARD. Photo Cr: James Dimmock/CBS ©2019 CBS Interactive, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

…Santiago Cabrera as Rios…

Pictured: Santiago Cabrera as Rios of the CBS All Access series STAR TREK: PICARD. Photo Cr: James Dimmock/CBS ©2019 CBS Interactive, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

…Michelle Hurd as Raffi, Picard’s new first officer…

Pictured: Michelle Hurd as Raffi of the CBS All Access series STAR TREK: PICARD. Photo Cr: James Dimmock/CBS ©2019 CBS Interactive, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

…and Alison Pill as Jurati, who’s giving me some Gwendoline Christie vibes:

Pictured: Alison Pill as Jurati of the CBS All Access series STAR TREK: PICARD. Photo Cr: James Dimmock/CBS ©2019 CBS Interactive, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Pictured (l-r): Alison Pill as Jurati; Sir Patrick Stewart as Jean-Luc Picard; of the CBS All Access series STAR TREK: PICARD. Photo Cr: Trae Patton/CBS ©2019 CBS Interactive, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Rounding out the new characters is Evan Evagora as Elnor, who looks ready to cut someone:

Pictured: Evan Evagora as Elnor of the CBS All Access series STAR TREK: PICARD. Photo Cr: James Dimmock/CBS ©2019 CBS Interactive, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Pictured: Evan Evagora as Elnor of the CBS All Access series STAR TREK: PICARD. Photo Cr: Trae Patton/CBS ©2019 CBS Interactive, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Returning characters include Jeri Ryan as Seven of Nine…

Pictured: Jeri Ryan as Seven of Nine of the CBS All Access series STAR TREK: PICARD. Photo Cr: James Dimmock/CBS ©2019 CBS Interactive, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

…and Jonathan Del Arco as Hugh.

Pictured: Jonathan Del Arco as Hugh of the CBS All Access series STAR TREK: PICARD. Photo Cr: James Dimmock/CBS ©2019 CBS Interactive, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Don’t worry: other familiar faces will also be showing up, including Brent Spiner, who played Data. In fact, speaking at the TCAs, Stewart said he hopes “we will have encountered all of the principal actors from TNG” by the time Picard wraps.

“Picard has never left me,” Stewart said. “It’s a relationship I’m happy to continue, absolutely thrilled to continue.”

Stewart also has a more creative role on Picard than he did on The Next Generation. “I have never been a co-EP on any show I have been on before,” he said. “I was welcomed into the writer’s room so generously. And I have never been in a writer’s room before. Listening to them pitching, and pitching and becoming excited and then becoming gloomy. I mostly kept quiet because I couldn’t compare.”

Still, that doesn’t mean he didn’t mix it up. “We talked for days about the backstory,” he said. “And little snippets will creep into the series. It’s important that the audience know why we are living in the world we are in the show.”

And I only appear briefly in my uniform, another one of [the] presumptuous requirements. I wanted a lot of distance between TNG. Not ignore it, but halfway through Season 3 of TNG, I no longer knew where Jean-Luc started and Patrick ended.

Stewart also talked about how he felt being so closely associated with the Picard character over the past few decades. “It doesn’t bother me,” he said. “Partly because there are some people, with the initials Bill Shatner, who might take a little offense. But I am very content to stand in Bill’s shadow.”

But it has at times been a burden. I found soon after we wrapped Nemesis, I had hung an albatross around my neck. I interviewed with a director to play a small role in his film, and he said, ‘Why would I want Jean-Luc Picard in my movie?’ So, I went about finding as many diverse roles as possible. It has taken awhile for me to truly absorb the impact of this work. Being with a new and brilliant ensemble, in a sense, I am a symbol and I am content about being that because it’s all about the quality of the work.

Star Trek: Picard will hit CBS All Access on January 23. We’ll be watching!

And just to add to the fun, CBS All Access also announced that Wil Wheaton (Wesley Crusher from The Next Generation) will host a Picard after-show, The Ready Room, every Thursday night.

Eat your heart out, Chris Hardwick.

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