The Press Release printed in its entirety:
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Harlan Ellison, multiple award-winning writer of the famed teleplay for the original Star Trek episode, City on the Edge of Forever, sued Paramount on March 13, 2009 for failing to account to, or pay, Mr. Ellison for the merchandising, publishing, or any other exploitations, of the famous teleplay, from inception to date. The suit also names the Writers Guild of America and alleges the WGA failed to act on Ellison’s behalf after numerous requests.
Ellison’s City on the Edge of Forever (the memorable episode starring Joan Collins as salvation sister Edith Keeler, the woman Kirk loved and watched die; remember?) continues, 35 years after its original NBC airing, to receive critical accolades, and has become legendary as one of the all-time money-making commercial favorites: it won the coveted Writers Guild award for year’s best teleplay; it won the “Hugo” award of the World Science Fiction Convention; it was ranked as one of the “100 Greatest Television Episodes of All Time” by TV Guide in 1997 as part of its 50 year survey; it was “One of the 100 Most Memorable Moments in Television History” in the 29 June 1996 nationwide survey; and as recently as its 20-26 April 2002 issue, TV Guide celebrated Star Trek’s 35th anniversary featuring, of the hundreds of episodes since its debut, its 35 Greatest Moments!
Harlan Ellison’s City on the Edge of Forever was #2.
Mr. Ellison’s attorney, John H. Carmichael, points out that the 1960 collective bargaining agreement between the WGA and the Producers, as amended in 1966, assures to the writers of individual teleplays “a piece of the pie.” Specifically, Mr. Carmichael states, “Writers under that WGA agreement are supposed to get 25% of the revenue from the licensing of publication rights. From Dollar One. Here, Paramount licensed its sister-corporation Simon & Schuster, through its Pocket Books division, the right to publish a knock-off trilogy of paperbacks – the ‘Crucible’ series – novels based on City, using Ellison’s unique elements: plot, specific non-Trek characters, prominently including The Guardian of Forever, singular conceptual uses of time travel, the sense of tragedy that propels the story, the mood and venue of the story in the 1930s Great Depression, and at the stories’ heart, pivotally, whether Edith Keeler lives or dies. Not merely minor points or window dressing or name-changes. No, they are the body, heart, and guts of Mr. Ellison’s original creation – the best story Star Trek ever told.