NBC (ended 1969)
"Space...The Final Frontier. These are the voyages of the Starship, Enterprise. Its 5-year mission: to explore strange new worlds, to seek out new life and new civilizations, to boldly go where no man has gone before!"
The series is set in the 23rd century where Earth has survived World War III then moved on to explore the stars. Humanity has allied with other alien races and formed the United Federation of Planets, and Starfleet serves as its exploratory and military branch. Captain James T. Kirk of the starship Enterprise explores the galaxy with a crew of 430 men and women, contacting new life forms, conducting diplomat missions, and exploring the unknown.
Star Trek premiered on NBC after executive producer and creator Gene Roddenberry produced not one but two pilots to convince them of the quality of his show. The series ran two years but never achieved good ratings despite building a small but solid fan following. A letter-writing campaign convinced NBC to run a third season, but Roddenberry left in protest and the network buried the show in a late Friday night time slot.
After its three-year run Star Trek began running syndication where it was discovered by legion of new fans and became a phenomenon. This led to an animated series, six movies, and four spin-off television shows. Despite its short network run, Star Trek has become one of the most successful shows in television history.
Aside from its three main stars, Star Trek featured a large cast of reoccurring guest stars that includes James Doohan, Nichelle Nichols, George Takei, Walter Koenig, Majel Barrett, and Grace Lee Whitney. Other notable guest stars include Diana Muldaur, Gary Lockwood, Ricardo Montalban, Sally Kellerman, Julie Newmar, Frank Gorshin, John Colicos, Roger C. Carmel, William Campbell, Ted Cassidy, Michael Ansara and Elisha Cook, Jr. Notable writers for the series include Gene Roddenberry, Gene L. Coon, George Clayton Johnson, Jerry Sohl, Jerome Bixby, Robert Bloch, Theodore Sturgeon, Harlan Ellison, David Gerrold, and D.C. Fontana.moreless