Star Trek: The Next Generation (TNG and ST:TNG) was an American science fiction television series in the Star Trek franchise created by Gene Roddenberry that ran from 1987 to 1994. It follows the adventures of the starship USS Enterprise-D and its crew set in the Alpha Quadrant (nearby regions of the Milky Way galaxy). Star Trek: The Next Generation was the first live action Star Trek television series since the original Star Trek: The Original Series went off the air in 1969. The first episode takes place in the year 2364, 99 years after the start of the five-year mission described in the original series, which began in 2265.
TNG featured a new crew that starred (for the majority of its seven-year broadcast run) Patrick Stewart as Captain Jean-Luc Picard, Jonathan Frakes as Commander William Riker, Brent Spiner as Lt Commander Data, Michael Dorn as Lieutenant Worf, LeVar Burton as Lt Commander Geordi La Forge, Marina Sirtis as counselor Deanna Troi, Gates McFadden as Dr. Beverly Crusher, and a new Enterprise. An introductory statement featured at the beginning of each episode's title sequence stated the ship's purpose in language similar to the opening statement of the original Star Trek series, but was updated to reflect an ongoing mission and to be gender-neutral:
Space: the final frontier. These are the voyages of the starship Enterprise. Its continuing mission: to explore strange new worlds, to seek out new life and new civilizations, to boldly go where no one has gone before.
Roddenberry, Maurice Hurley, Rick Berman, Michael Piller, and Jeri Taylor served as executive producers at various times throughout its production. The show was very popular, reaching almost 12 million viewers in its 5th season, with the series finale in 1994 being watched by over 30 million viewers.
TNG premiered the week of September 28, 1987, drawing 27 million viewers, with the two-hour pilot "Encounter at Farpoint". In total, 176 episodes were made (including several two-parters), ending with the two-hour finale "All Good Things..." the week of May 23, 1994. The series was broadcast in first-run syndication with dates and times varying among individual television stations. Several Star Trek series followed The Next Generation: Star Trek: Deep Space Nine (1993–99), Star Trek: Voyager (1995–2001), Star Trek: Enterprise (2001–2005), and Star Trek: Discovery (2017–present). The series formed the basis for the seventh through the tenth of the Star Trek films, and is also the setting of numerous novels, comic books, and video games. In its seventh season, Star Trek: The Next Generation became the first and only syndicated television series to be nominated for a Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Drama Series. The series received a number of accolades, including 19 Emmy Awards, two Hugo Awards, five Saturn Awards, and "The Big Goodbye" (S1E12) won a Peabody Award. Some of the highest rated episodes (by Nielsen ratings) were the pilot ("Encounter at Farpoint"), the finale ("All Good Things..."), the two-part "Unification", "Aquiel", "A Matter of Time", and "Relics". Four episodes ("Encounter at Farpoint", "Sarek", "Unification", and "Relics") featured actors Leonard Nimoy, Mark Lenard, James Doohan, and DeForest Kelley from the original Star Trek reprising their original roles.