Wed, 9 May, 2018
The little-known true story of how Lucille Ball saved Star Trek
Iconic actress Lucille Ball was one of the most powerful people in television during the peak of her career.
Besides from starring in one of the most successful shows of all time, I Love Lucy, she also owned one of the largest independent production companies in Hollywood, Desilu Productions.
When Star Trek creator Gene Roddenberry pitched his idea for the sci-fi series in 1964, many executives thought the idea was ridiculous. However, Ball liked the concept, although she might have misunderstood what it was about.
Herbet Solow, who worked for the studio, claimed she thought the show was about travelling USO performers.
Despite the big cost of the project, Ball ordered the studio to produce the pilot, but unfortunately the network rejected it.
Determined to make the show a reality, Ball ordered Desilu Productions to create the second pilot episode anyway.
The move was extremely risky at the time, but the studio needed new content. The network then picked up the show and it has become loved by millions of fans.
"If it were not for Lucy," said former studio executive Ed Holly, "there would be no Star Trek today."