Creator: Star Trek

Science-fiction television existed before Gene Roddenberry—he was the first to admit that he conceived Star Trek as a cross between Buck Rogers and Flash Gordon. It was the cultural impact of Star Trek, however, that ushered sci-fi into the mainstream and created a space for generations of science fiction writers to create quality television.

When Roddenberry first sold his Star Trek concept as "Wagontrain to the Stars" in 1964, he had no idea what potential the franchise would have. Though the initial series only ran for three years, Star Trek has existed off and on in different iterations for almost fifty years. Even when the franchise went missing from TV for over a decade, Star Trek never left the popular consciousness.

The show looms large over the sci-fi landscape to this day. When a science-fiction show is created, whether it's with the serious dramatic tone of Battlestar Galactica or the genre-bending humor of Firefly, the show is always measured against Star Trek.