Unknown Stories of WNY: Lucy Goes "Where No Man Has Gone Before"

Daybreak's Pete Gallivan explores the unknown story of Lucille Ball and her ties to Star Trek.

JAMESTOWN, NY - As you stroll through the Lucy Desi Museum & National Comedy Hall of Fame in Jamestown, you get an understanding of what made Lucille Ball so popular, and you also get a hint of what made her so powerful.

In fact if it hadn't been for the Celoron native throwing her considerable clout around, the television classic Star Trek may never had seen its first start date.

Lucy was the CEO of DesiLu Productions at the time Gene Roddenberry brought forth an idea for a new television show. Most thought the show was too out there and too expensive and would never work. Lucille Ball saw potential and overruled her board of directors and had the first Star Trek pilot made. It was turned down by the networks. She was not about to give up. Ball again overruled her board and had a second pilot made, this one introducing William Shatner as Captain Kirk. It was ultimately picked up by NBC and the rest is television and motion picture history.

Lucy saw the potential of shows, not only first run, but more importantly, in syndication. I Love Lucy has been a favorite through generations in syndication, and Star Trek has seen the same success. That success despite the fact that it only ran for 3 seasons and 79 episodes. 51 years and 13 motion pictures later, Star Trek is still producing Trekkies.


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