The lawsuit between Harlan Ellison and CBS Paramount—in which the litigious and irascible writer accused the company of cheating him over a Star Trek episode—is over. Ellison filed in March 2009 against CBS Paramount, alleging failure to pay for merchandising, publishing and other exploitations of "The City on the Edge of Forever," an episode he wrote for the original Star Trek series, which first aired in April 1967.
"I am pleased with the outcome," Ellison said. Ellison, who filed the suit in March in federal court in Los Angeles, also sued the Writers Guild of America for its alleged failure to act on his behalf but sought only $1 in damages plus attorneys fees and court costs from the guild. CBS Paramount and the WGA had no comment.
The suit accused CBS Par and the WGA of breaching the collective bargaining agreement and also accused the guild of breaching its duty of fair representation. The episode, which centered on time travel and starred Joan Collins, first aired in April 1967 and won the WGA teleplay award and a Hugo award.
Ellison's suit accused CBS Paramount of failing to notify him about the "Crucible" trilogy of books based on the teleplay and merchandising that included a "talking" Christmas ornament. (Even though Star Trek aired on NBC, CBS Paramount owns the rights to the franchise.)
And, so long as Ellison's getting his piece of the pie, and with the holidays around the corner ... maybe it's time to go shopping and pick up one of those (now legit?) Guardian of Forever talking Christmas ornaments?