Over fifty years since The Original Series‘ premiere, Star Trek has relentlessly continued to explore its legacy both on the small and the silver screen. Its TV series have proven to be particularly successful with fans and casual viewers alike, a fact that has led the franchise to produce nine more distinct series since the 1960s— with many more in the works.
As of 2021, Star Trek‘s TV shows have been recognized with a 172 Emmy nominations in total— 36 of which they have won— mostly in categories pertaining to their special effects, prosthetics, and makeup. The currently ongoing animated comedy Lower Decks and the more traditional drama Discovery earned one and four nominations, respectively, in the upcoming 2021 Primetime Emmys.
10 Star Trek Meets Comedy & Self-Awareness In Lower Decks (1 Nomination)
As the second animated show in the Star Trek universe, Lower Decks subverts all the other series’ standards by focusing on the low-ranking Starfleet officers— the “low-deckers”— of the starship Cerritos and taking a more comedic, self-aware approach than its predecessors. Two seasons of ten episodes each have premiered so far, with a third season in development.
Lower Decks has received a singular 2021 Emmy nomination in Outstanding Sound Editing For A Comedy Or Drama Series, an accolade it shares with shows like Cobra Kai and Mythic Quest.
9 Short Treks Was An Experimental Success (1 Nomination)
A companion anthology series to Discovery, Short Treks is made up of several short live-action and animated episodes involving Star Trek characters like Harry Mudd, Silvia Tilly, and Michael Burnham. The first episode of the second season, “Q&A,” also served as a teaser for the upcoming Strange New Worlds series, which will follow Captain Pike, his first officer Number One, and science officer Spock on their adventures to go where no man has gone before.
During its short run, Short Treks was nominated for Outstanding Short Form Comedy Or Drama Series in the 2020 Primetime Emmys alongside shows like The Good Place: The Selection and Reno-911!. Unfortunately, the award went to the Better Call Saul spin-off Employee Training.
8 Love It Or Hate It, The Animated Series Was The First Star Trek Show To Win An Emmy (1 Nomination)
After Star Trek was officially canceled in 1969, Gene Roddenberry decided to continue the Enterprise’s adventures in The Animated Series, a 22-episode animated show with most of the original cast returning to voice their characters. The series is known for its inconsistencies with previous canon while still providing new information to Star Trek‘s lore.
In 1975, The Animated Series brought the franchise its first Emmy win in the form of a Daytime Emmy award for Best Children’s Series. The win was received with mixed feelings from the writers of the show, who felt that its categorization as a children’s show undermined their efforts to tell stories akin to those of The Original Series.
7 There’s A Lot More Picard In The Horizon (5 Nominations)
Sir Patrick Stewart returns as one of his most beloved and well-known characters in the eponymous Picard. The 2020 series follows former Admiral Jean-Luc Picard as he deals with the death of Data and the destruction of Romulus, an event that was central to the 2009 Star Trek film. While only one season has premiered, two others are currently in development with a 2022 release date.
So far, Picard has received three Primetime Emmy nominations for its makeup and hairstyling, and two for its sound mixing and editing. The series won one of them, the Emmy for Outstanding Prosthetic Makeup For A Series for its fourth episode “Absolute Candor.”
6 Discovery Is Slowly Leaving Its Mark On TV (10 Nominations)
Serving as a prequel to The Original Series, Discovery tells the story of science officer Michael Burnham as she battles Starfleet’s enemies alongside her crewmates aboard the starship Discovery. The show explored the now-famous Federation-Klingon war in its first season, a mysterious entity called the Red Angel in its second, and time travel in its third.
Discovery was the first Star Trek television series since Enterprise and was been nominated for six Primetime Emmys between 2018 and 2020, winning the award for Outstanding Prosthetic Makeup For A Series for the 2019 episode “If Memory Serves.” In 2021, Discovery received four more Emmy nominations for its sound editing, visual effects, and makeup.
5 The Original Series Is A Cult Classic & It Deserved Better (13 Nominations)
The one that started it all. The Original Series recounts the voyages of the starship Enterprise as it travels across deep space during its five-year exploration mission. With Captain James T. Kirk, first officer Spock, and chief medical officer McCoy on board, the Enterprise encounters new worlds and new civilizations wherever it goes.
The Original Series is a cult classic, inspiring the first modern fandom and starting an entire franchise that has expanded over fifty-five years. The show received thirteen Emmy nominations including Outstanding Dramatic Series in 1967 and Outstanding Performance By An Actor In A Supporting Role for Leonard Nimoy in 1968, none of which it won.
4 Enterprise Recounts Humanity’s First Deep Space Travels (17 Nominations)
Despite being the sixth series in the franchise, Enterprise is set before the events of both Discovery and The Original Series, making it the first chronologically. It follows Captain Archer and the crew of the Enterprise, the first warp-five-capable Starfleet starship, as humanity deals with its new alien allies and enemies.
During its four-season run, Enterprise received seventeen Creative Arts Emmy nominations. It took home four awards, including Outstanding Visual Effects For A Series— winning twice, in 2002 and 2004— and accolades for its makeup and score. The series was cancelled in 2005 and thirteen years would go by before another Star Trek TV series, Paramount’s Discovery, would premiere.
3 Deep Space 9 Brought Something Different To Star Trek (32 Nominations)
Unlike the rest of the Star Trek shows, Deep Space 9 is primarily set on the space station of the same name rather than the customary starship, though one, the Defiant, is introduced in a later season. Under the leadership of Commander Benjamin Sisko, a crew of Starfleet officers must oversee the management of the station while constantly dealing with the Bajorans, an alien race introduced in The Next Generation.
Praised for its innovative take on the franchise, Deep Space 9 received a whopping 32 Emmy nominations over its seven years on the air. The show went on to win four; three of them, including an award for its theme music, won during its first year and a fourth for its makeup won in 1995 during its third season.
2 The Cast Of Voyager Truly Went Where No Man Has Gone Before (34 Nominations)
Devised as a sister show to Deep Space 9, Voyager follows Captain Kathryn Janeway and the crew of the starship Voyager as they navigate the previously unexplored Delta quadrant. Voyager introduced several new alien races such as the Vidiians and the Kazon and incorporated the Next Generation species, the Borg, as main antagonists in a later season.
Voyager introduced the first female captain and the first black Vulcan characters as series regulars, which made it stand out amongst the other Star Trek productions. It received 34 Emmy nominations in makeup, special effects, and costume and sound design. The show won seven Emmys in total, including three Outstanding Special Visual Effects For A Series awards.
1 The Next Generation’s Popularity Revived The Franchise (58 Nominations)
Perhaps the most popular series in the entire franchise, The Next Generation officially marked Star Trek‘s return to live-action. The critically acclaimed series features Captain Jean-Luc Picard and the crew of the Enterprise-D, a hundred years after the events of The Original Series. Its success kickstarted two spin-offs, Voyager and Deep Space 9, and it remains the best-received Star Trek show to date.
Premiering in 1987, The Next Generation has received a massive 58 Emmy nominations, including a notable nomination for Outstanding Drama Series in the 1994 Primetime Emmys. It won 18 Creative Arts Emmy awards for its costuming, sound design, makeup, and special effects.