About six months later, something else came to an end.
Now, that in itself was not so unusual. After all, Gilligan's Island was another 1960s show that got mediocre ratings during its original run, only to go on to great success in 1970s syndication. However, the seven stranded castaways...
...never got their own convention. The first one on record for Star Trek took place in January, 1972 at the Statler Hilton Hotel in New York City. Organizers expected 500 people. 3000 showed up. Soon, there were Trek conventions everywhere.
Though he appeared at many of those conventions, Leonard Nimoy was somewhat ambivalent about the show's new found success, as witnessed by this book he came out with in the mid-'70s.
Nevertheless, Nimoy lent his voice to the Saturday morning cartoon version, as did all of the original cast members except Grace Lee Whitney (Yeoman Rand, who didn't even survive the original live-action series first season) and Walter Koenig (Chekov, cut for budgetary reasons.) This new version was produced by Gene Roddenberry and D.C. Fontana (via the Filmations animation studio) and original series writers such as David Gerrold contributed scripts. Thus, story-wise, the show was highly sophisticated for a Saturday morning cartoon (and for a few prime-time live-action series as well), which won it a Daytime Emmy but perhaps went over the heads of kids used to Scoopy Do, Where Are You? It lasted just two seasons, but--wouldn't you know?--now has a cult following all its own.
Then 20th Century Fox came along and proved, much to everyone's surprise at the time (including the studio itself) that there were an awful lot of moviegoers out there who would plunk down money for a big screen science fiction space adventure. And so rival Paramount asked itself: why limit our own science fiction space property, er, adventure, to the small screen?
Next: Lights! Camera! Existentialism!