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CBS Takes On Dragon-Con With Anniversary Convention

Star Trek: Mission New York is slated for Labor Day weekend, not far from the site of the first Trek convention

As if there aren't enough major conventions to go to each year, it looks like CBS is going to do something it may have never done before: host a Star Trek convention.

CBS Corp., the owner of the television and primary license rights to the Star Trek franchise, says its New York City convention in March will mark the 50th anniversary of the science-fiction phenomenon. Star Trek: Mission New York is set for the weekend of Sept. 2 at the Javits Center in New York City.

The convention is described as a "completely unique fan event unlike anything seen before," according to a statement released to The Hollywood Reporter. It will give fans a chance to "go beyond panels and autographs," instead allowing them to immerse themselves in the Star Trek universe. How that will happen, however, was not detailed in the announcement.

CBS has partnered with ReedPop, the company behind New York Comic Con, to put on this convention. The Javits Center is in Manhattan's Hell's Kitchen area on 11th Avenue between 34th and 40th streets, and boasts nearly 850,000 square feet of exhibit hall space. It's less than two miles from Hotel Pennsylvania, which in 1972 was the site of the first Star Trek convention, when it was known as the Statler Hotel.

That original convention included both Gene Roddenberry and Isaac Asimov as guests. One of the attendees, however, was none other than young filmmaker George Lucas, not long before he would start generating the idea that would become the Star Wars franchise.

The convention could detract a bit from the annual "official" convention that takes place in Las Vegas every summer, hosted by Creation Entertainment. For the past year or so, the 2016 event was being billed as a 50th anniversary celebration and was seen by many fans as the closest they would come to having an official party for Star Trek.

While the New York convention likely won't compete with Creation's Las Vegas event (that takes place a full month earlier), it could make for some tight scheduling for Creation's "50 Year Tour," which will make a big stop in Chicago the weekend of Sept. 9. That tour is headlined by William Shatner, although it's unlikely it would prevent him from attending the New York event the weekend before.

One major convention it will go up against, however, is Dragon-Con in Atlanta. That convention has been called the San Diego Comic-Con of the east, and has usually been the Labor Day weekend mecca for science-fiction fans of all types, and from around the country. It's not clear how much of an impact Dragon-Con could have on CBS' plans to launch its own convention.

Also not clear is whether CBS is planning this as a one-off, or if it's a pilot program to possibly programming its own conventions in the future, similar to what Lucasfilm does with its Star Wars Celebration events. That could force Creation to downplay its "official" conventions in the future, that is, if CBS does indeed jump into the convention game.

No ticket prices or other details have been released, but the official site is live at StarTrekMissions.com.

Source: The Hollywood Reporter


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