Bryan Fuller’s stretched schedule made it likely one production had to give, though Star Trek fans were particularly dismayed to see Discovery suffering Fuller’s exit. The Hannibal creator remains an executive producer, but according to Fuller himself, that credit marks the full extent of his involvement.

At the time of CBS’ confirmation that Fuller would hand the reigns to executive producers Gretchen Berg and Aaron Harberts (Akiva Goldsman will also take a significant role), it was said that Fuller would still participate in breaking stories. According to Newsweek’s talk with Fuller, it was CBS’ demanding schedule that ultimately forced his exit, while American Gods will prevent him from any significant role in Trek production or post-production:

Ultimately, with my responsibilities [elsewhere], I could not do what CBS needed to have done in the time they needed it done for Star Trek. It felt like it was best for me to focus on landing the plane with American Gods and making sure that was delivered in as elegant and sophisticated a fashion as I could possibly do. […]

I’m not involved in production, or postproduction, so I can only give them the material I’ve given them and hope that it is helpful for them. I’m curious to see what they do with it.

At the very least, Fuller wrote the first two Discovery episodes, as well as the overall arc of the first season, while a potential second season could enable him to return. “They have my number and if they need me I will absolutely be there for them,” said Fuller.

In the meantime, Star Trek: Discovery continues casting for a May 2017 premiere, most recently adding Doug Jones, Adam Rapp and Michelle Yeoh, but will Fuller’s influence still be felt?

Check Out 100 TV Facts You May Not Know!

More From ScreenCrush