That is a good point, that just because Kes is more liked among the hardcore Trekkies who would watch the show anyway doesn't mean she was more interesting to the casual fans who might tune in or might not depending on the promo for that week.
For a show to really be a hit, it needs that broader demographic. Fans and casual viewers because many times, a casual viewer can become the next generation of fan. Too keep a franchises going is to appeal to the younger audience. Wasn't that the idea in mind when they launched TNG?
But for a stretch in season three she seemed to have more stories revolved around her than anyone but Janeway or EMH. She just got less screen time because she was least likely to be put in a scene that had nothing to do with her because she was not Starfleet.
In retrospect, isn't it interesting how they did build her up just enough at the right time to give some emotional impact to her departure? Harry's death at the hands of the 8472 virus wouldn't of had that. There would be no teary eyes and no setting the message boards of fire with chat.
Buzzing about Voyager is free promotion.
I think B'elana became far less interesting after about season two. I liked the way she was in Dreadnought but later seasons tended to focus a little more on her romance with Paris and a lot less on her technical genius or her anger issues.
It's not a bad mood if you're always in it.
It's a personality.
(Thank you, Chris Rock for pointing out that one.)
I don't think B'Elanna was a tech genius but rather, she knew how to think outside the box.
Most of the what made her good was her ability to think on her feet in tight situations.
She didn't create much new but rather developed ways to get around problems, like how she figured out how to stop Dreadnaut was to out think it.
Watch "Timeless", she doesn't understand the slipsteam drive. Harry's fully in charge of that and the Delta Flyer project.
Even when it was rebuilt, Harry & Seven were again in charge of it as implied in "Drive".
Chakotay was considered a sex symbol?!
Seska wanted him
Janeway wanted him(..or at least that what the J/C'ers wanted)
B'Elanna has erotic dreams about him (remember?)
Seven used him as the best choice of the prefect mate
(Hint, hint) Yeah, they were pushing him as a sex symbol.