Lucille Ball Suffered Life-Changing Sacrifices For Star Trek

Marc Cushman was only briefly directly involved with “Star Trek,” having written a short story that would eventually be extrapolated into the teleplay for the “Star Trek: The Next Generation” episode “Sarek.” Cushman also authored or co-authored several notable sourcebooks related to Trek, including 2013’s “These Are the Voyages: TOS Season One,” and “These Are the Voyages: Gene Roddenberry and Star Trek in the 1970s, Volume 1 (1970-75).” In addition to “Star Trek,” Cushman also wrote for other high-profile shows like “Fact or Fiction: Beyond Belief” and “Diagnosis Murder.” Perhaps most impressive was Cushman’s main career — under the nom de plume Cash Markman — as a writer of erotic films. As Markman, he wrote multiple “Sex Trek” movies, including “Charly XXX,” “Sex Trek: The Man Eater,” “XXX Trek: The Final Orgasm,” and “Sex Trek V: Deep Space Sex.” His 1994 film “Anal Planet” doesn’t seem to be Trek-related.

Cushman, being learned in the world of “Star Trek” knew all about Lucille Ball’s struggles with Desilu in the mid-1960s. It seems that people around Ball advised her not to invest in “Star Trek,” but she defied them and did it anyway. Cushman told the following story: 

“Lucille Ball lost her studio because of ‘Star Trek.’ She had gambled on the show, and you can read the memos where her board of directors is saying, ‘Don’t do this show, it’s going to kill us.’ But she believed in it. She moved forward with it, and during the second season, she had to sell Desilu to Paramount Pictures. Lucille Ball gave up the studio that she and her husband built, it’s all she had left of her marriage, and she sacrificed that for ‘Star Trek.’

It’s worth noting that Paramount has owned “Star Trek” ever since. 

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