i>STAR TREK VIDEO TO MAKE THEATRICAL DEBUT

The Nov. 20 high-definition release of Star Trek: The Original Series, featuring new, computer-generated special effects, will be preceded one week earlier by a special one-night theatrical screening of the one-hour episode The Menagerie in some 300 digitally equipped theaters, Paramount Home Entertainment and CBS Home Entertainment announced Wednesday. The Nov. 13 screening will also include a half-hour documentary, narrated by Star Trek creator Gene Roddenberry's son Rod, about how the episodes were remastered from the original 1966 negatives. The Menagerie was originally broadcast on Nov. 17, 1966 and Nov. 24, 1966 -- almost 41 years to the day of the new release. Nearly 20 years later the original Star Trek pilot was discovered and excerpts from it were used to create flashback scenes that were incorporated into the Menagerie episodes. Tickets for the Nov. 13 screening, priced at $12.50, are being sold online at www.FathomEvents.com.

MOVIE COLUMNIST FINKE URGES WRITERS TO PILE ON MEDIA "MORONS"

In an interview with Elle magazine, L.A. Weekly columnist Nikki Finke accuses the news media of pandering to Hollywood moguls, whom she refers to as morons. "All moguls are morons," Finke says in the interview. "Everyone in Hollywood is part of a very broken system. Feed it with praise and you'll never get the players to step back and say, 'What the hell are we doing even playing this rotten game?'" When the Elle interviewer observes that Finke's "incendiary" articles often free other reporters to follow her lead, Finke responds: "People will perpetuate the myths until someone like me pushes the envelope by telling the truth. Then other reporters can go to their editors and say, 'Look what she's reporting,' and they can do a tougher piece. It's always hard to be the first, and I've suffered a terrible price for that." In 2002, Finke was fired as a columnist for the New York Post after Disney complained about her reports that it had shredded documents related to its rights dispute with the owners of the Winnie the Pooh characters.

WGA MAY EXPAND STRIKE TO INCLUDE NEW MEDIA, ANIMATION

Toughening its stand against Hollywood movie and TV producers, the Writers Guild of America said Wednesday that if a strike is called next month, it will bar writers from performing any work for new media or for animation, even though those areas are not included under the current contract, Daily Variety reported today (Thursday). The WGA is also taking the position that any nonmembers who perform work for the producers during a strike will be barred from joining the guild afterwards. Steven Hulett, longtime business agent for the Animation Guild, told the trade publication, "Any union can discipline their members for violations of internal rules and policy. But I can't imagine our union attempting to prevent someone from joining and working for another union. So good luck to them."

NO CLEAR WINNER ON DVD SALES CHART

Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment and Disney's Buena Vista Home Video have each claimed the No. 1 spot on the DVD sales chart for the week ended Oct. 7. Nielsen VideoScan First Alert placed Walt Disney Studios' Platinum Edition of The Jungle Book at the top of its chart. Fox maintained that, in its debut, its Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer sold more copies than any other release since it was released in two formats -- a stand-alone and a two-pack in which it was packaged with the original Fantastic Four movie. Sales of the two releases combined put Surfer slightly ahead of Jungle Book. Meanwhile, Home Media magazine gave Surfer the top spot on its rental list with $9.5 million in revenue.

MOVIE GALLERY SHAREHOLDERS LIKELY TO TAKE A BEATING

If, as expected, Movie Gallery files for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection by the end of the month, shareholders will likely wind up with 5 percent of the company while bondholders will get the remaining 95 percent, Bloomberg News reported today (Thursday), citing two people with direct knowledge of the company's plans. Meanwhile, Michael Pachter, an analyst at Wedbush Morgan Securities, told the wire service that Movie Gallery officials were to blame for the company's collapse by incurring $1.1 billion in debt when they bought the Hollywood Video rental stores two years ago. "These guys had blinders on," Pachter told Bloomberg. "They really didn't think that Blockbuster and Netflix could grow this fast and take customers from them."

Brian B. at Movieweb
Brian B.