Patrick Stewart Returning to Star Trek Franchise in New CBS All Access Series

It is officially so: Sir Patrick Stewart will reprise his iconic role as Jean-Luc Picard in a new, as-yet-untitled Star Trek series for CBS All Access, TVLine has learned. Stewart made the announcement himself on Saturday during a surprise appearance on stage at a Las Vegas Star Trek convention.

The new series will be spearheaded by Star Trek: Discovery showrunner Alex Kurtzman, and “tell the story of the next chapter of Picard’s life.” No further details, such as a timetable for release, have been announced.

“With overwhelming joy, it’s a privilege to welcome Sir Patrick Stewart back to the Star Trek fold,” Kurtzman said in a statement. “For over 20 years, fans have hoped for the return of Captain Jean-Luc Picard and that day is finally here. We can’t wait to forge new ground, surprise people, and honor generations both new and old.”

Stewart, meanwhile, released the following statement of his own:

I will always be very proud to have been a part of Star Trek: The Next Generation, but when we wrapped that final movie in the spring of 2002, I truly felt my time with Star Trek had run its natural course. It is, therefore, an unexpected but delightful surprise to find myself excited and invigorated to be returning to Jean-Luc Picard and to explore new dimensions within him. Seeking out new life for him, when I thought that life was over.

During these past years, it has been humbling to hear many stories about how The Next Generation brought people comfort, saw them through difficult periods in their lives or how the example of Jean-Luc inspired so many to follow in his footsteps, pursuing science, exploration and leadership.  I feel I’m ready to return to him for the same reason – to research and experience what comforting and reforming light he might shine on these often very dark times. I look forward to working with our brilliant creative team as we endeavor to bring a fresh, unexpected and pertinent story to life once more.

Stewart’s return to Star Trek was first rumored back in June, when Kurtzman signed a five-year pact with CBS Television Studios that would include an expansion of the Star Trek universe. The new series will join Discovery on the CBS All Access platform.

Additionally, ahead of Discovery‘s Season 2 launch in “early 2019,” All Access will release a series of shorts entitled Star Trek: Short Treks. The four-part series will roll out monthly beginning this fall (premiere date TBA), and will be stand-alone stories, each running 10 to 15 minutes.

Are you excited for Stewart’s return to the Star Trek franchise? Watch the big announcement below: