Re: DS9's growing popularity
I think it reflects audiences just getting bored with standard Trek storytelling. It works for fans, but I think the wider audience wants something new and exciting.
If that was the case, then DS9 should've seen an increase in ratings instead of sliding downward like the later two series.
"...the most elementary and valuable statement in science, the beginning of wisdom, is I do not know." - Lt. Commander Data, "Where Silence Has Lease"