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Star Trek in its various incarnations is one of the most successful television franchises ever produced and one of the longest-running. It is also a cultural phenomenon that goes far beyond television. For this the world has NBC to thank. Yet, also thanks to NBC, it nearly did not become so. In an ironic twist of fate, the current (in 2005) franchise owners, Paramount Network Television and UPN, announced in Febru- ary 2005 that the most recent Trek series—the fifth, Star Trek: Enterprise—would be canceled that May, after four seasons, because of falling ratings

in NBC