Star Trek creator, producer and writer Gene Roddenberry
In 1964, Roddenberry made a proposal for the original Star Trek TV series, to Desilu Studios as a "Wagon Train to the stars.
The show's first pilot, "The Cage," starring Jeffrey Hunter as Christopher Pike was rejected by the network; however, Desilu executives were still impressed with the concept and made the unusual decision to commission a second pilot: "Where No Man Has Gone Before". The first regular episode of Star Trek aired on Thursday, September 8, 1966. While the show initially enjoyed high ratings, the average rating of the show at the end its first season was 52nd (out of 94 programs).
The threat of cancellation loomed during the show's second season. The show's Fan base, led by Bjo Trimble, conducted an unprecedented letter-writing campaign, petitioning NBC 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. Roddenberry reduced his direct involvement in Star Trek before the start of the season to protest the changed timeslot, and was replaced by Fred Freiberger.
The series was canceled in its third season, despite the protests of a renewed letter-writing campaign. Marketing personnel of the network complained to management that the series' cancellation was premature. New techniques for profiling demographics of the viewing audience later showed that Star Trek had been highly profitable for advertisers, though this news came too late to resume production of the series.
When the show was canceled, owner Paramount Studios hoped to recoup its production losses by selling the Broadcast syndication rights to the show. The series went into reruns in the fall of 1969, and by the late 1970s had been sold in over 150 domestic and 60 international markets. The reruns helped the show to develop a cult following greater than its popularity during its original run, and rumors of reviving the franchise began.
The first new Star Trek was Star Trek: The Animated Series. The series was produced by Filmation in association with Paramount Television and ran for two seasons on Saturday mornings from 1973 to 1974 on NBC, airing a total of twenty-two half-hour episodes. Although short lived, as is typical for animated productions in that timeslot during the period, the series garnered the franchise's only "Best Series" Emmy Award, as opposed to its later technical ones. The popularity of the syndicated Star Trek led Paramount Pictures and Roddenberry to begin developing a new Star Trek: Phase II series in May 1975. Work on the series came to an end when the proposed Paramount Television Service folded.
Following the success of the science fiction movies Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope and Close Encounters of the Third Kind, the planned pilot episode of Phase II was adapted into the feature film, Star Trek: The Motion Picture. The film was released in North America on December 7, 1979, with mixed reviews from critics. The film earned $139 million worldwide, which fell short of studio expectations but was enough for Paramount to propose a sequel. The studio forced Roddenberry to relinquish creative control of future sequels.
The success of the critically acclaimed sequel to The Motion Picture, Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan, would reverse the fortunes of the franchise. While the total gross of the sequel was lower than that of the first movie, The Wrath of Khan's lower production costs would make it more profitable. In total, six Star Trek feature films were produced between 1979 and 1991. In response to Star Trek's popularity in the movie theater, the franchise returned to television with Star Trek: The Next Generation (TNG) in 1987. The show was broadcast as Broadcast syndication rather than on a major network with Paramount and the local stations splitting advertising time.
Roddenberry died on October 24, 1991, leaving Executive Producer Rick Berman in control of what those within Paramount now called "the franchise", due to its great success and recurring role as a Tent-pole programming for the studio when other projects failed.TNG had the highest ratings of any of the Star Trek series and was the #1 syndicated show during the last few years of its original seven-season run. In response to TNG's success, Paramount began production of a Spin-off series Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, which was released in 1993. While never as popular as TNG, its ratings were sufficiently steady for it to last seven seasons.
In January 1995, a few months after TNG ended, a fourth TV series, Star Trek: Voyager was released. Star Trek saturation reached a peak in the mid-1990s with DS9 and Voyager airing concurrently and three of the four TNG-based feature films being released in 1994, 1996 and 1998. By 1998 Star Trek was Paramount's single most-important property; "the franchise"'s enormous profits funded much of the rest of the studio's operations Voyager was the flagship show of the new United Paramount Network (UPN) and thus, the first Star Trek series since the original that was shown on a major network. The show also ran for seven seasons until 2001, making it the longest running show in UPN's history.
A new prequel TV series, Star Trek: Enterprise, set before the original series, was produced after Voyager ended. Enterprise did not enjoy the high ratings of its predecessors and by the series' third season, UPN threatened to cancel it. Fans launched a campaign reminiscent of the one that saved the third season of the Original Series. Paramount reacted by renewing Enterprise for a fourth season, but moving it to the "Friday night death slot". Like the Original Series, Enterprise ratings dropped during this time slot and UPN announced the cancellation of Enterprise at the end of its fourth season. Enterprise aired its final episode on May 13, 2005. Fan groups, such as "Save Enterprise", again attempted to save the series and even announced a drive to raise $30 million to privately finance a fifth season of Enterprise. Though the effort garnered considerable press, the fan drive was unsuccessful in saving the series. The cancellation of Enterprise ended an eighteen-year production run of Star Trek programming on television. This, along with the poor box office performance in 2002 of the film Star Trek Nemesis, cast an uncertain light upon the future of the Star Trek franchise in general. Berman, who had been responsible for many of the franchise's commercial successes, was relieved of control of the Star Trek franchise upon the cancellation of Enterprise.
In the mid-2000s there were several proposals brought to the attention of Paramount pictures for rebooting the franchise with new actors in old roles. These included proposals by film director Bryan Singer Babylon 5 creator J. Michael Straczynski, and Trek actors Jonathan Frakes and William Shatner. All of these and a proposal for an animated web series were rejected by Paramount.
In 2007, Paramount hired a new creative team to 'reboot' the franchise. Writers Roberto Orci and Alex Kurtzman, and Lost (TV series) producer, J. J. Abrams, were given the freedom to reinvent the feel of Trek and alter the canonical timeline. An eleventh film, titled simply Star Trek (film), was released in May 2009. The eleventh Star Trek film's marketing campaign targeted non-fans, even using the phrase "this is not your father's Star Trek" in the film's advertisements. The film has earned considerable critical and financial success, grossing in inflation-adjusted dollars the most box office sales of any Star Trek film. The plaudits include the franchise's first Academy Award (for Academy Award for Best Makeup). The film's major cast members are contracted for two sequels. Paramount is planning to release a sequel to the reboot on June 29, 2012.
There were a lot of spin offs, such as the animated series, Voyager etc.
I have created a page for them here