Greg Cox wrote:
There's a Trek-as-TV reference in The Rings of Time, when Zoe speculates about "sexy green girls."
Well, in-universe that could be a reference to other science fiction, since ST never had a monopoly on green alien women. After all, it's a natural extension of the "little green men" trope that's been around since the early 20th century. There was a green alien temptress who appeared in two Lost in Space
episodes, for example.
Not mention various Skrull females in The Fantastic Four, Gamora from the old ADAM WARLOCK comics, the Impossible Woman, etc.
Certainly, I was making a Trek in-joke there, but I thought that concept of sexy green-skinned alien babes was generic enough that I wasn't explicitly saying that Trek existed as TV show in that universe.
Well who's to say that it has to not exist?
Come and follow the bouncing ball...
There is a pulp sci fi writer named Benny Russel. Benny writes a couple of stories set in an optimistic future before he kind of up and disappears. A young pilot later police officer named Gene Roddenberry read those stories and quietly borrowed a few concepts to create a tv series pitch which he named Star Trek.
Trek lasts roughly a season before being cancelled and forgotten about.
Meanwhile a rival show on another network Lost In Space goes on to become a major cultural phenomenon, lasting several seasons and then a mere decade after it goes off the air returns in the first of six major motion pictures. To everyone's surprise and delight lightning is caught in a jar again when Lost In Space: The Next Generation debuts in '87 in first run syndication.
Later there are two more spin off sequel series, a small number of LIS:TNG movies, and even eventually a prequel and a reboot. Around the same time as the reboot movie earth's society grows increasingly dark and grim. A coincidence? I think not.
Anyway, bottom line thanks to the connection between the past thanks to Benny and the future thanks to Sisko there could have been Star Trek and anyone in the future who remembers it probably would not remember much and would just shrug off any similarities as mere coincidence.