10Star Trek: The Original Series
Broadcast run: 1966-1969Number of seasons: 3
The very first foray into creator Gene Roddenberry’s world was originally titled just Star Trek and followed the crew of the USS Enterprise on its five-year mission to seek out new life and new civilizations and, of course, to boldly go where
no one has gone before; when it’s the 23rd century and all social ills, from racism to poverty to drug abuse to war, have been vanquished, there is little else to do but engage in a healthy dose of scientific exploration and ethical self-improvement (and in Roddenberry’s worldview, both are intrinsically linked).
The captain of the Enterprise is James T. Kirk, with First Officer/Science Officer Spock and Chief Medical Officer Leonard “Bones” McCoy rounding out the rest of the main cast. Their adventures would go on to become the stuff of legend, both within the fictitious timeline of Trek and within our own history.
Despite being one of the first color television shows and one of the first to engage in a little something called continuity – the very idea of backstory, which the United Federation of Planets, with its Prime Directive and Starfleet Command, trailblazed – the show was canceled due to poor ratings… or so NBC thought. Shortly thereafter, Nielsen ratings were applied to specific demographics (such as the lucrative male 18- to 34-year-old category), and the channel realized it had a ratings hit on its hands.