Western New York Native Made Star Trek Happen
One of the biggest franchised in TV and movies would have never happened without one Western New York Native.
Star Trek is one of the biggest franchises in TV and movie history and has had a huge impact on pop culture all across the world.
But, Star Trek wouldn't have happened if it wasn't for one Western New York native. Legendary comedian and TV producer and Jamestown native Lucille Ball was the one who pushed for Star Trek to become a TV series.
In fact, she actually paid for the second pilot episode to be made after the first pilot was a flop and NBC passed on it. It was the second pilot episode that introduced William Shatner as Captain James T. Kirk.
According to EW.com, Lucille overruled the board of her production company to help make the second pilot episode of Star Trek.
NBC ordered a second pilot—introducing Shatner as Kirk—which Lucy agreed to help finance, again over her board’s objections. Star Trek made the fall 1966 schedule, and the pilot won its time slot (though it later suffered in the ratings). “If it were not for Lucy,” former studio executive Ed Holly told Desilu historian Coyne Steven Sanders, “there would be no Star Trek today.”
We all know Lucille Ball for her comedy and it is the reason that the National Comedy Center is located in Jamestown but most Trekkies also owe their identity to a Western New York native who took a chance on a sci-fi show that no one really wanted to make.