Captain Kirk thanks ‘Star Wars!’

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    From CNN:

    Captain Kirk thanks ‘Star Wars!’

    William Shatner veered into uncharted space on Saturday when he told fans the “Star Wars” sci-fi franchise deserves credit for the success of “Star Trek.”

    Shatner surprised thousands of fans attending his talk at the massive Star Trek convention in Las Vegas.

    “First of all, ‘Star Wars’ created ‘Star Trek.’ You know that?” he asked, as fans gasped and looked puzzled.

    Actually, the original TV series “Star Trek” aired from 1966 to 1969. “Star Wars” didn’t hit theaters until 1977.

    But Shatner clarified what he was saying: The blockbuster success of George Lucas’s “Star Wars” film brought “Star Trek” back to life.


    I like his logic.

    “We’ve never lost an American in space, we’re sure as hell not gonna lose one on my watch! Failure is not an option.” – Gene Kranz


    The success of Star Wars is what galvanized Michael Eisner – then in charge at Paramount – into pulling the struggling Star Trek Phase II TV series off of life support, euthanizing it gently, and turning its pilot into ST:TMP.

    The struggling status of Phase II had nothing to do with Star Trek, and everything to do with Paramount planning to use the show to launch Paramount Television Service (UPN for the ’70s!) in 1978; the Big Three networks ganged up against PTS, strong-arming advertisers into not buying ad time on it, and threatening to not renew Paramount-produced shows like Happy Days that already had prime-time slots on the existing networks. This basically killed PTS in the womb. Star Wars, followed a few months later by CE3K, made it easy to go ahead and abort PTS but keep Trek alive as a movie.

    The network was far enough along that a preliminary graphics package for promos and sales material had been completed.

    Steve W
    Steve W
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    Huh, I didn’t know about that, I knew Paramount wanted to create a new network in the ’70s but I didn’t know why it failed. I guess they couldn’t have attempted syndication with Phase II back then like they successfully did with The Next Generation, considering there weren’t as many UHF regional and indie stations in the ’70s.


    What’s funny is, these days, that tactic would not work. We’re starting our own network, and you’re not renewing a juggernaut like Happy Days? Fine – screw you. Hey, everyone! We’ve got Star Trek AND Happy Days!

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