To what extent did the business model of network television enable Star Trek: The Original Series to appeal to such a wide range of audiences? In ways did that same model constrain it?
In the 1960s, television networks wanted programmes that would engage families, and keep them watching that particular channel – with no reason to change to a different station – so that they would still be watching while the adverts that provided an income for the networks were on. It was more that Star Trek had to appeal to a wide range of audience, rather than it was enabled to! We’ve seen how there was a second pilot made, because the first was too clever for audiences and wouldn’t have wide appeal if people didn’t understand it.
In a similar way, episodes couldn’t be too edgy – for fear of turning audience members off.