It’s one of the most successful sci-fi franchises of all time, spawning movies, TV series, cartoons, and more; and yet, Star Trek almost didn’t make it beyond a few seasons. A massive Trekkie letter-writing campaign saved it after the second season, but it was no use — NBC canceled the original series for good in 1969. Ironically, that was probably the best thing to ever happen to Captain Kirk, Mr. Spock and the rest: The show’s cult following grew exponentially as the series was shown in syndication and Trek-centric sprang up by the dozens, eventually helping to get Star Trek: The Motion Picture greenlit in 1979. And thanks to the success of that franchise, Star Trek: The Next Generation (starring the always-smooth Patrick Stewart as Captain Jean-Luc Picard) was back on primetime 20 years after the original was axed. A slew of sister series followed, as did a massively popular J.J. Abrams-sponsored "prequel" reboot of the films. Final frontier? Far from it.