Desperation created fortune for Desilu Studio and Star Trek
Network studios can’t survive on their current round of television shows alone. They are constantly on the lookout for new talent and new series that will become wildly successful. As long as there has been television, there has been a battle to be the best and have the best airing. Things were no different back in the 1960s when Gene Roddenberry was pitching his idea for Star Trek.
According to Roddenberry’s quote in The Fifty-Year Mission The First 25 Years by Edward Gross and Mark A. Altman, Desilu was the only studio that would take the pilot. He said that the studio, run by Lucille Ball at the time, had not sold a pilot in five years, and they were desperate. So they were willing to take a chance on Star Trek.
Star Trek might have had a different look at another studio
Because Desilu was a smaller studio, started by Ball and Desi Arnaz, her husband at the time, they didn’t have the production budget to create high-tech special effects. Roddenberry admitted that producing Star Trek: The Original Series would have been easier with a bigger studio because they could have included more special effects, but the show would have been so different than the way it turned out.
As it stands, though, it was Ball and Arnaz’s idea to shoot the series on film. No sitcom had ever been shot on film before, but the couple’s idea is why Star Trek looks as amazing as it does today. It’s a lot like I Love Lucy whereas other shows that were filmed live during that time period aren’t as clear and crisp.
So our favorite series might have been very different had another studio given it a chance, but we might not have liked those differences. So Desilu’s desperation was the best thing to happen to Star Trek.