Star Trek, the science-fiction show about the crew of the starship Enterprise, premiered 50 years ago today on NBC, spawning a cult following and decades of spin-offs. Here are some milestones from the franchise’s 50-year history:

1966

Star Trek premieres on NBC, a low-stakes gamble that executives hope will pay off by bolstering the show with its juggernaut, ace-in-the-hole lead-in, Tarzan

Advertisement

1967

Nickname “Starries” briefly taken for a spin

1969

Massive letter-writing campaign by thousands of fans imploring NBC to cancel the show so it can achieve cult status before being brought back as a movie franchise

Advertisement

1970-75

Syndicated daytime reruns help Star Trek grow in popularity among the kind of people who are inside watching TV at two in the afternoon

Advertisement

1977

Star Wars premieres

1986

Television producers watching a West End performance of Henry V conclude Patrick Stewart just might be a worthy heir to William Shatner’s legacy

Advertisement

1993

Debut of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine provides viewers the first hint that this could actually go on forever

Advertisement

2015

Comic-Con attendees patiently sit through George Takei’s gut-wrenching account of his years in a WWII internment camp before asking him whether he’d been formally trained in fencing prior to filming the 1966 episode “The Naked Time”

Advertisement

September 8, 2016

Fans nationwide celebrate 50th anniversary of the Tarzan premiere

Advertisement