Mr. Pop History – After the original TV series left the NBC-TV air in 1969, Star Trek began to build a bigger audience with syndicated reruns.
A July TV Guide tells me that Paramount Pictures planned to produce 22 episodes of an all-new Star Trek to begin appearing in April 1978. According to the article, it was part of an effort to create one night a week of prime-time programs on a proposed “fourth network” of independent and network affiliated stations. Gene Roddenberry was signed to put the new show together at a cost of $400,000 per episode.
A fourth network? Interesting. Of course, that didn’t happen until Fox-TV – the late 1980′s.
Mr. Pop History – As we all know, the original NBC run was between 1966 and 1969 – then, it was off the air. But something happened in syndication, where all 79 original episodes could be seen. The audience kept building and building. “Trekkies” loved it and began buying merchandise and Star Trek “conventions” began popping up. By 1977, the show was more popular than ever – seen on 160 stations here and 120 stations in other countries. It was about this time that Paramount began taking a second look. A Star Trek movie was being considered and (creator) Gene Roddenberry was taking feelers from the likes of ABC and CBS to continue the series.
Gary West – mrpopculture.com and www.mrpophistory.com
Mr. Pop History – Roddenberry was ticked-off at NBC for its treatment of his original “Star Trek.” But, there was so much interest in “Star Trek” that it kept on revealing itself. Take a look at this – from the Mr. Pop week of February 15, 1973:
“Gene Roddenberry says there are some 8,000-advance reservations for the next Star Trek convention. Roddenberry still gets irked at the treatment of his show by NBC, which canceled the series after 3 TV seasons in 1969. This year, NBC suggested he make a pilot for a new Star Trek. Gene told the network – ‘You’ve got 78 pilots’ (the number of old Star Trek shows). Rumors are flying that Star Trek will return to television. Gene is producing a pilot many are calling ‘son of Star Trek.’ It’s called Genesis II and it will air March 23 on CBS.”