The culture of television viewing has its range of audiences. Some tune in only when bored, some rely on the evening news each night, then there are others who follow numerous shows and television series. It is when a program develops a cult following, attracting audiences who religiously tune in each week at the same time and remain spellbound for the entire episode, that the producer knows he or she has created a success. These ten top hits followed this exact scenario.
10. Star Trek
Created by Gene Roddenberry, Star Trek was slow to start. He did not receive an offer from his first pitch to MGM, so he approached Desilu Productions, and with little success working as a producer, he discussed his original Star Trek concept with Oscar Katz, head of programming. Ultimately, it was taken on by NBC, and the rest, as they say, is history.
Credited by many Trekkies as one of the most influential science fiction television series in history, Star Trek: The Original Series aired first on NBC in 1966. Ratings were only moderate and after a near-cancellation, a large fan-driven letter writing campaign was the impetus for its renewal. Placed in an unfavorable time slot, the third season turned out to be the final.
Fans flocked to re-runs in the 1970s and another onslaught of letters encouraged NASA to name its first space ship after the television show’s starship, Enterprise (OV-101). Twelve feature films, five television series, CDs and merchandise followed, culminating in the Star Trek: Enterprise in 2005 and the announcement of the new Star Trek to premiere on television in January 2017.
The Star Trek cultural phenomenon has spread worldwide. Significant life choices have been made based on Star Trek influences. “The fact is, never in the history of any entertainment medium has there ever been a story, an idea, a situation, a set of characters, or a theme that has approached the magnitude or impact of Star Trek,” wrote Stephen Poe in his book A Vision of the Future.