Actor Michael Dorn, who plays Lt. Worf
Movies - TV
Why Star Trek: TNG Was Stuck In Development For Almost 20 Years
To EW in 2007, producer Robert H. Justman said that syndication reruns of "Star Trek: The Original Series" were why the suits were interested in a new "Star Trek" series.
"[The reruns] just gathered up a whole slew of people who had never seen the show," Justman recalled. That new "Trek" show ultimately became "The Next Generation."
The sequel show was actually conceived in the late 1970s as “Star Trek: Phase II” with most of the original cast returning. However, it failed to get off the ground because of "Star Wars."
As “Star Trek” writer D.C. Fontana told EW, scripts for "Phase II" were written, including the pilot of "TNG,""Encounter At Farpoint" then Paramount opted for a "Star Trek" movie instead.
As George Lucas' epic film proved viewers would line up to see starships and space battles onscreen, Paramount reunited the cast in "Star Trek: The Motion Picture."
It was only after "Star Trek" proved to be a viable film franchise that a new TV show was produced, which morphed from "Phase II" to "The Next Generation."
The title shift reflects the redone premise; the new series was a new generation of characters, with a new starship Enterprise, who followed in the originals' footsteps.