Star Trek: Strange New Worlds gets early renewal, but Lower Decks is coming to an end

Star Trek: Lower Decks will end its run after its upcoming fifth season. Meanwhile, Strange New Worlds gets a season 4 order even though season 3 hasn't even aired yet.
Tawny Newsome, Jack Quaid and Anson Mount appearing in Star Trek: Strange New Worlds, streaming on Paramount+, 2023. Photo Cr: Michael Gibson/Paramount+
Tawny Newsome, Jack Quaid and Anson Mount appearing in Star Trek: Strange New Worlds, streaming on Paramount+, 2023. Photo Cr: Michael Gibson/Paramount+ /

It can be hard keeping track of all the Star Trek shows currently running on Paramount+. We're in the midst of the fifth and final season of Discovery, the third and final season of Picard not long ago, and we're between seasons of Strange New Worlds and Lower Decks. The final frontier is busy, people.

Paramount is clearing the decks a little by announcing that the upcoming fifth season of Lower Decks, an animated series that leans into comedy more than your average Star Trek, will be its last, according to Variety. “While five seasons of any series these days seems like a miracle, it’s no exaggeration to say that every second we’ve spent making this show has been a dream come true," showrunner Mike McMahon and Star Trek overboss Alex Kurtzman said in a statement.

But just because Lower Decks is ending doesn't necessarily mean that its lead characters are going anywhere. Ensigns Mariner (Tawny Newsome) and Boimler (Jack Quaid) both appeared in live-action form in a season 2 crossover episode of Strange New Worlds, and McMahon and Kurtzman hint that something like that could happen again. “We remain hopeful that even beyond Season 5, Mariner, Boimler, Tendi, Rutherford and the whole Cerritos crew will live on with new adventures,” they said.

Meanwhile, Paramount has renewed live-action series Star Trek: Strange New Worlds for a fourth season, despite the fact that the third hasn't even aired yet. “On behalf of the cast and crew of Strange New Worlds, we are thrilled and grateful to continue our voyages together,” said Kurtman and executive producers Akiva Goldsman and Henry Alonso Myers. “We can’t wait for you to join us and the crew of the Enterprise on another season of exploration and adventure."

Although there are 30,000 Star Trek shows on right now, Strange New Worlds has kind of become the standard bearer for the franchise. Eschewing the modern tendency to have season-long story arcs in favor of standalone episodes, the show harkons back to the original Star Trek series, which apparently agrees with a lot of fans.

Strange New Worlds has found the perfect blend of action, adventure and humor," said Paramount executive Jeff Grossman. "Similarly, Star Trek: Lower Decks has brought the laughs with an ample amount of heart to the franchise across its four seasons. We can’t wait for audiences to see what is in store for the crew of the U.S.S. Cerritos in this final season.”

The fifth and final season of Lower Decks is expected to air later this year, while we can expect the third season of Strange New Worlds sometime in 2025. And if you think that phasing out Lower Decks will mean less Star Trek on TV, think again; Paramount is working on a Starfleet Academy series as well as a Section 31 movie starring Michelle Yeoh, so the final frontier will remain as crowded as ever.

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