Bryan Fuller isn’t taking the route of some television pilots and premieres by bringing in some big-time movie director to set the pace. Instead, he has hired David Semel — a name you probably wouldn’t recognize — to help lay the groundwork for the new Star Trek television series.
Semel will direct the premiere, which is set to air on CBS in January. He’s probably best known in the genre for his work on shows like “Buffy the Vampire Slayer,” “Roswell” and “American Horror Story.”
However, Semel likely caught Fuller’s eye because he helmed the pilot of NBC’s “Heroes” in 2006, which excited an entire fanbase and actually earned him an Emmy nomination that year. He would lose to Alan Taylor from “The Sopranos,” but it turned Semel into a hot director.
Fuller is expected to release more details of the new Star Trek series, including its name and possibly some casting, at San Diego Comic-Con on Saturday. While some of the writers have been revealed, Semel is the first big name shared for the director’s chair.
Semel got his directing start on the short-lived Fox series “Open House” in 1989. He would later get regular directing stints on other shows, especially on Fox, like “Beverly Hills, 90210.”
He spent a lot of time in the genre, directing four episodes of “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” and three episodes of “Roswell,” which both appeared on the former The WB network. He also led nine episodes of “Dawson’s Creek” on the channel as well.
More recently, Semel has been brought in as a pilot specialist. He directed the pilot to the short-lived “Intelligence” for CBS in 2014, as well as “Legends” that same year. CBS also welcomed his as the pilot director for one of its current hits, “Madam Secretary,” and Amazon tapped him to bring “The Man in the High Castle” to life for its streaming service.
He’s also directed the pilot for “Code Black” as well as the upcoming Billy Bob Thornton pilot for “Goliath.”
Semel will join a list of other Star Trek premiere and pilot directors who include Robert Butler from “The Cage,” James Goldstone from “Where No Man Has Gone Before” in the original “Star Trek” series, Cory Allen from “Encounter at Farpoint” in “Star Trek: The Next Generation,” David Carson from “Emissary” in “Star Trek: Deep Space Nine,” Winrich Kolbe from “Caretaker” in “Star Trek: Voyager” and James Conway from “Broken Bow” in “Star Trek: Enterprise.”
The new Star Trek series is set to debut in January on CBS before moving to its permanent home on the premium streaming service, CBS All Access.