Lassie The Movie: According to Variety, "Lassie", which first began as a weekly Sunday-evening series on CBS, and Classic Media, is planning to put the canine back into showbiz circulation. Classic Media is pitching a script to the major studios based on Eric Knight's 1940 novel that started the bandwagon, "Lassie Come Home." Script was adapted and will be directed by Charles Sturridge ("Shackleton," "Brideshead Revisited").

The goal is to shoot it, under the title "Lassie," on location this spring for distribution to the multiplexes in 2005. The script is now making the rounds of major studios, Friedman said.

Also in the works is "Lassie's Pet Vet," a nonfiction syndicated TV show hosted by celebrity veterinarian Dr. Jennifer Jellison. Friedman said the half-hour weekly "Pet Vet" will function like a magazine, with segments on subjects like celebrity pets, dog fashions, pet grooming and tips on how to treat a sick animal.

Brian B.