Rumours about Star Trek making its way back to the small screen have been circulating for many years, but now it's been made official with confirmation that a new TV series is in development.

CBS Television Studios is so confident that the project will get off the ground that it has even mentioned an air date ... so you Trekkies had better set your phasers to stun come January 2017.

The series will reportedly introduce new characters seeking imaginative new worlds and new civilisations, while exploring the dramatic contemporary themes that have been a signature of the franchise since its inception in 1966.

Producer Alex Kurtzman – the man behind movies such as Transformers, The Amazing Spider-Man 2 and the 2009 Star Trek reboot – is leading the series. Kurtzman's frequent collaborator Roberto Orci, who worked with him on both Star Trek and Star Trek Into Darkness, will have no involvement with the new series, claims Screen Crush.

Orci most recently worked on upcoming sequel Star Trek Beyond, set for release in July 2016. It has been said that the new TV show will have nothing to do with the latest films.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, the search is already well under way to find a writer for the new series, which will be available on both ordinary cable and subscription streaming service, CBS All Access in the US. A network has not yet been attached to the project.

The last rumoured name to be associated with writing the series was X-Men scribe-turned-producer-turned-director Bryan Singer.

The news indicates that the Paramount-Viacom rights dispute that was previously preventing any non-cinematic Star Trek ventures from coming to fruition has finally been resolved.

The planned new series will coincide with the original show's 50th anniversary and will be Star Trek's first TV venture following Star Trek: Enterprise's cancellation in 2005. Enterprise was just one of the four spin-off shows that aired after the original Star Trek finished its run in 1969. The others were The Next Generation, Deep Space Nine and Voyager.

There is no word yet as to who will star in the new show, but fans will undoubtedly hope to see some familiar faces crop up.

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