Star Trek is an American science fiction media franchise created by Gene Roddenberry, which began with the eponymous 1960s television series and became a worldwide pop-culture phenomenon. Since its creation, the franchise has expanded into various films, television series, video games, novels, and comic books, and it has become one of the most recognizable and highest-grossing media franchises of all time. The franchise began with Star Trek: The Original Series, which debuted in the US on September 1966, and aired for three seasons on NBC. It was first broadcast in September 1966, on Canada's CTV network. The series followed the voyages of the crew of the starship USS Enterprise, a space exploration vessel built by the United Federation of Planets in the 23rd century, on a mission "to explore strange new worlds, to seek out new life and new civilizations, to boldly go where no man has gone before".

The Star Trek canon includes the Original Series, 11 spin-off television series, and a film franchise; further adaptations also exist in several media. After the conclusion of the Original Series, the adventures of its characters continued in the 22-episode Star Trek: The Animated Series and six feature films. A television revival beginning in the 1980s saw three sequel series and a prequel: The Next Generation, following the crew of a new starship Enterprise a century after the original series; Deep Space Nine and Voyager, set in the same era as the Next Generation; and Enterprise, set before the original series in the early days of human interstellar travel. The adventures of the Next Generation crew continued in four additional feature films. In 2009, the film franchise underwent a reboot, creating an alternate continuity known as the Kelvin timeline; three films have been set in this continuity. The newest Star Trek television revival, beginning in 2017, includes the series Discovery, Picard, Short Treks, Lower Decks, Prodigy, and Strange New Worlds, streaming exclusively on digital platforms.

Star Trek has been a cult phenomenon for decades. Fans of the franchise are called "Trekkies" or "Trekkers". The franchise spans a wide range of spin-offs including games, figurines, novels, toys, and comics. Star Trek is noted for its cultural influence beyond works of science fiction. The franchise is also notable for its progressive civil-rights stances. The Original Series included one of the first multiracial casts on US television. While the show initially enjoyed high ratings, the average rating of the show at the end of its first season dropped to 52nd out of 94 programs. Unhappy with the show's ratings, NBC threatened to cancel the show during its second season. The show's fan base conducted an unprecedented letter-writing campaign, petitioning the network to keep the show on the air. NBC renewed the show, but moved it from primetime to the Friday night death slot, and substantially reduced its budget. In protest, Roddenberry resigned as producer and reduced his direct involvement in Star Trek, which led to Fred Freiberger becoming producer for the show's third and final season. Despite another letter-writing campaign, NBC canceled the series after three seasons and 79 episodes.

After the original series was canceled, Desilu, which by then had been renamed Paramount Television, licensed the broadcast syndication rights to help recoup the production losses. Reruns began in late 1969, and by the late 1970s the series aired in over 150 domestic and 60 international markets. This helped Star Trek develop a cult following greater than its popularity during its original run. The series' newfound success led to the idea of reviving the franchise. Filmation with Paramount Television produced the first post–original series show, Star Trek: The Animated Series, featuring the cast of the original series reprising their roles. It ran on NBC for 22 half-hour episodes over two seasons on Saturday mornings from 1973 to 1974. Although short-lived, typical for animated productions in that time slot during that period, the series garnered the franchise's only Emmy Award in a "Best Series" category specifically Outstanding Entertainment Children's Series; later Emmy awards for the franchise would be in technical categories. Paramount Pictures and Roddenberry began developing a new series, Star Trek: Phase II, in May 1975 in response to the franchise's newfound popularity. Work on the series ended when the proposed Paramount Television Service folded.

Following the success of the science fiction movies, Paramount adapted the planned pilot episode of Phase II into the feature film Star Trek: The Motion Picture. The film opened in North America in December 1979, with mixed reviews from critics. The film earned $139 million worldwide, below expectations but enough for Paramount to create a sequel. The studio forced Roddenberry to relinquish creative control of future sequels. The success of the sequel, Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan, reversed the fortunes of the franchise. While the sequel grossed less than the first movie, The Wrath of Khan's lower production costs made it net more profit. Paramount produced six Star Trek feature films between 1979 and 1991, each featuring the Original Series cast in their original roles. In 1987, Paramount responded to the popularity of Star Trek feature films by bringing the franchise back to television with Star Trek: The Next Generation. Paramount chose to distribute the new series as a first-run syndication show rather than a network program. The series was set a century after the original, following the adventures of a new Starship Enterprise with a new crew.

Following Star Trek: The Motion Picture, Roddenberry's role was changed from producer to creative consultant, with minimal input to the films, while being heavily involved with the creation of The Next Generation. Roddenberry died in October 1991, giving executive producer Rick Berman control of the franchise. The Next Generation had the highest ratings of any Star Trek series and became the most syndicated show during the last years of its original seven-season run. In response to the Next Generation's success, Paramount released a spin-off series, Deep Space Nine, in 1993. While never as popular as the Next Generation, the series had sufficient ratings for it to last seven seasons. In January 1995, a few months after the Next Generation ended, Paramount released a fourth television series, Voyager. Star Trek production reached a peak in the mid-1990s with Deep Space Nine and Voyager airing concurrently and three of the four Next Generation-based feature films released in 1994, 1996, and 1998. By 1998, Star Trek was Paramount's most important property and the profits of "the franchise" funded a significant portion of the studio's operations. Voyager became the flagship show of the new United Paramount Network and thus the first major network Star Trek series since the original.

After Voyager ended, UPN produced Enterprise, a prequel series. Enterprise did not enjoy the high ratings of its predecessors and UPN threatened to cancel it after the series' third season. Fans launched a campaign reminiscent of the one that saved the third season of the Original Series. Paramount renewed Enterprise for a fourth season, but moved it to the Friday night death slot. Like the Original Series, Enterprise's ratings dropped during this time slot, and UPN canceled Enterprise at the end of its fourth season. Enterprise aired its final episode in May 2005. A fan group, "Save Enterprise", attempted to save the series and tried to raise $30 million to privately finance a fifth season of Enterprise. Though the effort garnered considerable press, the fan drive failed to save the series. The cancellation of Enterprise ended an eighteen-year continuous production run of Star Trek programming on television. The poor box office performance in 2002 of the film Nemesis cast an uncertain light upon the future of the franchise. Paramount relieved Berman, the franchise producer, of control of Star Trek.

In 2007, Paramount hired a new creative team to reinvigorate the franchise on the big screen. Writers Roberto Orci and Alex Kurtzman and producer JJ Abrams had the freedom to reinvent the feel of the franchise. The team created the franchise's eleventh film, Star Trek, releasing it in May 2009. The film featured a new cast portraying the crew of the original show. Star Trek was a prequel of the original series set in an alternate timeline, later named the Kelvin Timeline. This gave the film and sequels freedom from the need to conform to the franchise's canonical timeline and minimized the impact these films would have on CBS's portion of the franchise. The eleventh Star Trek film's marketing campaign targeted non-fans, stating in the film's advertisements that "this is not your father's Star Trek". The film earned considerable critical and financial success, grossing more box office sales than any previous Star Trek film. The plaudits include the franchise's first Academy Award. Two sequels were released. The first sequel, Star Trek Into Darkness, premiered in the spring of 2013. While the film did not earn as much in the North American box office as its predecessor, internationally, in terms of box office receipts, Into Darkness is the most successful of the franchise. The thirteenth film, Star Trek Beyond, was released in July 2016. The film had many pre-production problems and its script went through several rewrites.

CBS turned down several proposals in the mid-2000s to restart the franchise on the small screen. Proposals included pitches from film director Bryan Singer, Babylon 5 creator J Michael Straczynski, and Trek actors Jonathan Frakes and William Shatner. While CBS was not creating new Star Trek for network television, the ease of access to Star Trek content on new streaming services such as Netflix and Amazon Prime Video introduced a new set of fans to the franchise. CBS eventually sought to capitalize on this trend, and brought the franchise back to the small screen with the series Star Trek: Discovery to help launch and draw subscribers to its streaming service CBS All Access. Discovery's first season premiered in September 2017. While Discovery is shown in the United States exclusively on Paramount+ (formerly CBS All Access), for its first three seasons, Netflix, in exchange for funding the production costs of the show, owned the international screening rights for the show. This Netflix distribution and production deal ended right before the fourth season premiere of Discovery in November 2021. Discovery has since been exclusive to Paramount Global owned platforms. In June 2018, after becoming sole showrunner of Discovery, Kurtzman signed a five-year overall deal with CBS Television Studios to expand the Star Trek franchise beyond Discovery to several new series, miniseries, and animated series. Kurtzman wanted to "open this world up" and create multiple series set in the same universe but with their own "unique storytelling and distinct cinematic feel", an approach that he compared to the Marvel Cinematic Universe. However, the franchise would not tell a single story across multiple series, allowing audiences to watch each series without having to see all of the others. CBS and Kurtzman refer to this expanded franchise as the Star Trek Universe. The Star Trek: Picard series finale aired in April 2023. Discovery's final season will air early 2024.

Twelve television series make up the Star Trek franchise: The Original Series, The Animated Series, The Next Generation, Deep Space Nine, Voyager, Enterprise, Discovery, Short Treks, Picard, Lower Decks, Prodigy, and Strange New Worlds. All series in total amount to 900 episodes across 46 seasons of television. The Star Trek media franchise is boldly go where no franchise has gone before. The future is unknown, but looks very good for Star Trek.

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