Gene Roddenberry (1921-1991) In 1966, the legendary futurist Gene Roddenberry created a science fiction-based television series called "Star Trek." While it lasted three seasons on NBC-TV, the show had its most promising finish its first season -- at number 52 for the year -- after such now-lesser- known series as "Iron Horse" and "Mr. Terrific." Despite letter writing campaigns that had assured its renewals for second and third seasons, "Star Trek" was canceled in 1969 because of its disproportionately high children and teen viewership which made it unattractive to network advertisers.
However, Roddenberry's compelling vision of the future has proven to hold a timeless appeal, when now -- 25 years later -- a new version has lured fans of the original and countless more. From network to syndication, from television to motion pictures, the "Star Trek" franchise has accumulated one of the most loyal followings in entertainment history.
A 1993 study from Purdue University found that children learn more about science from Star Trek than anything else outside the home. That revelation symbolizes the public's voracity for products illuminating with the show's ideals, technology and characters that have extracted over $700 million in retail sales during the last five years.
Whatever the implementation, incarnation or success rate, viewers, fans and television experts agree that the "Star Trek" phenomenon has grown out of Gene Roddenberry's futuristic optimism, and his beliefs in human life and the human race's ability to triumph over greed, aggression and prejudice.
Gene Roddenberry is the creator of "Star Trek". Star Trek is produce by Paramount Network Television and distributed by Paramount Domestic Television. Paramount Television Group is part of the entertainment operations of Paramount Communications, Inc., which is majority owned subsidiary of Viacom Inc.
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