C.E. Evans wrote:
By 1977, when Star Trek: Phase II was in early development, the Enterprise name had become a household one connected with Trek.
So had Kirk, Bones, Spock and Scotty. TNG ultimately took off just fine without any of them -- occasional sprinkling TOS cameos and guest appearances notwithstanding -- and was likely the better for it. I would basically put the name of the ship in the same category; it's another "familiar" name from the old show, no more necessary than any other.
Oh, I disagree with that. If anything, it was crucial for TNG to have a ship called Enterprise
to kick off that new era as it was its strongest link audiences had to TOS.