“Star Trek” is going to live long and prosper.
The Governors Award, which debuted in 1978, honors an individual or organizational achievement in the television arts and sciences that is exceptional and universal in nature and goes beyond the scope of annual Emmy Awards recognition. Previous recipients include ITVS, “American Idol,” A+E Networks, “Masterpiece Theater,” and “Comic Relief.”
“Star Trek is the first television program I can remember watching as a child, and has always been ahead of its time,” said Mark Spatny, chair of the Governors Award committee in a statement. “Not only have all the franchises promoted inclusiveness and acceptance of all people, and inspired creative thought about space exploration and our future, but the technical innovations sparked by the franchise are incredibly significant to the evolution of television production, and also to the communication and computer tools we use in our daily life.”
Created in 1966 by Gene Roddenberry, the original “Star Trek” series sparked a cultural phenomenon which has extended over 50 years, with more than 700 episodes, 13 movie franchises and 30 Emmy Awards. From casting decisions to plot points, the series has consciously pursued diversity and equality, actively casting actors of various ethnicities in roles of respect, including Nichelle Nichols as Lieutenant Uhura.
“For over 50 years, ‘Star Trek’ has captivated and connected fans from around the world,” said David Stapf, President of CBS Television Studios. “What the series always brilliantly illustrated is that, despite our greatest differences, we as people are more alike than we realize, and coming together in hopes of a better tomorrow is not just a possibility, but a necessity.”
The award will be presented to CBS Television Studios during the Creative Arts Emmy Awards ceremony on Sept. 8.