Steve Davidson Counters NBC’s Announcement of Amazing Stories TV Revival

Amazing Stories’ Steve Davidson answered media announcements about the revival of a TV series by that name (like the Los Angeles Times’ story “Steven Spielberg will revive ’80s NBC series ‘Amazing Stories’ for Apple”) in a statement for File 770 —

Officially:

No, NBC does not have a signed agreement to use the name Amazing Stories.

The last I and my attorney heard from them was an email, stating that they were sorry for the delay in getting back to us, but they were consulting with numerous people.

That was about two-three weeks before the Apple announcement.

I now view that email as an attempt to delay us pending the Apple deal (suggesting that NBC may have misrepresented what they had to Apple).

Or it could mean they were advised that there was little chance I’d sue them for trademark infringement. (Let’s see, what is a juicier potential lawsuit, one vs NBC or one vs NBC and Apple Inc…?)

My attorney is in the process of contacting Apple Inc’s legal machine to inform them of reality. My attorney is also now officially “fed up” with this stuff.

I am in the process of tweeting and yelling far and wide over this.

I currently have absolutely no plans whatsoever to license NBC to use the name. They’ve tried to threaten, intimidate, cajole and misrepresent their way to obtaining those rights and I have absolutely no confidence that they won’t try more of the same in the future.

Anyone who knows anything about NBC, Spielberg, Apple & etc., who is willing to help, please contact me.

I will probably need to do crowdfunding for legal action and expect that something along those lines will be the next major announcement in this story.

I will be more than happy to provide relevant paperwork and contact info for my attorney where it is appropriate.

A month ago Davidson detailed the history of negotiations explaining “Why Amazing Stories Isn’t Back on NBC”. Today, in an Amazing Stories editorial, “More NBC Bullshit”, he said this is his current position —

Why I allowed myself to be convinced that we could work things out, in the face of everything that had gone before…well…shit happens, I guess.  But you know, there’s that old expression about fooling me twice….

It’s not gonna happen.  I want nothing to do with NBC and I want them to have nothing to do with Amazing Stories.

23 thoughts on “Steve Davidson Counters NBC’s Announcement of Amazing Stories TV Revival

  1. I figured this was the case when I heard about this news story. Glad to get confirmation, and I’ll see what I can do to make sure the word gets out that this show isn’t legit.

  2. When I read the article that “The Hollywood Reporter” posted yesterday, I noticed that they said that NBCUniversal “owned the rights to the anthology series”, not that they “own” the rights. THR is usually very careful in the language they publish.

    That is a subtle, but important, difference in terminology, with several interpretations. It can be argued that they do not currently own the rights this deal is predicated on,

  3. Stuart C. Hellinger notes

    When I read the article that “The Hollywood Reporter” posted yesterday, I noticed that they said that NBCUniversal “owned the rights to the anthology series”, not that they “own” the rights. THR is usually very careful in the language they publish.

    That is a subtle, but important, difference in terminology, with several interpretations. It can be argued that they do not currently own the rights this deal is predicated on,

    not knowing what was in the legal papers that NBC had with whoever owned the rights to the video production using the Amazing Stories name, it’s impossible to say why Hollywood Reporter phrased it in that manner. If HR is correct, it can be argued that indeed NBC has the rights to sell the video rights to Apple.

    To quote Zevon, ‘Send lawyers, guns and money, the shit has hit the fan.’

  4. I wonder if it’s a coincidence NBC stuck a deal with Apple only a few weeks after he served them notice of breach of contract and posted about it.

  5. @Lis:

    Okay, wow. They’re convinced that being bigger means they can do anything they want.

    And that makes them unique how?

  6. If you do not sue, they will ignore you. They figure you cannot afford to take thrm on in court.

  7. Chip says of Apple And that makes them unique how?.

    It doesn’t, but it neither automatically makes them right or wrong. The series will go forward unless someone files for and is granted an injunction. And I’m never sure on how a Court will rule on such matters.

  8. A good way to raise the signal on would be to get the Apple sites and bloggers to pick it up. If people like John Gruber ( daringfireball.net @gruber ) start tweeting about this it is going to generate a whole lot of heat rather quickly.

  9. Folks, I am officially “in discussions for a resolution” with NBC.

    This was a DIRECT result of the tweeting and commenting that took place all of yesterday:

    Specifically, NBC’s attorney requested that my attorney ask me to “stop tweeting” because certain people and certain giant corporations were “very upset”.

    I had my doubts that my yelling about a toe stepped on would bring results, but in fact it took less than 12 hours for the story to get picked up and, while I have complied with the request (seeing as how we are talking again), the ripples are still going, so people on the west coast are going to continue to experience upset for a bit longer.

    We’re very close to an agreement…very close..but not quite there yet.

    I’m hoping we will finalize things today – 10-12.

    I’m sure that an association with “Spielberg” and “Apple Inc” gave this story traction, but it would not have gone anywhere if fans didn’t pick it up and run with it. I think we can count this as a minor example of the “Star Trek” effect.

  10. steve davidson, I recognize that you can’t say anything substantive now, but do please give us updates when your lawyer says you can. I’m glad to hear that you’re in talks again; sometimes (not often, but sometimes) an internet pile-on is actually a Good Thing.

  11. I’ve promised to fill everyone in on anything I can say after we finalize things.

    That’s still waiting to happen…might (hopefully) be today.

    IF things are concluded successfully, I can say that it means that we’ll have two streams of revenue from the deal – advertising and licensing – and that this will allow me to begin purchasing fiction on a regular basis. (We’re going to start slow…probably one new story per week).

    However, since the show will be seasonal to some degree or another (how can you have a “season” for streaming stuff?) and my fees are tied to the actual release of episodes, I’l have to be careful to make sure that whether we get a lump sum fee for all ten episodes, or payment as each episode is released…we’re talking ten weeks here maybe…that the fees are budgeted to support a full year.
    If the advertising agreement extends beyond the release of the show (is annual instead of seasonal), that will mitigate this to some degree.
    But everyone should know that no matter what, we are not talking “millions” here, nor even hundreds of thousands.
    I view this as having to prove our worth based on what we produce. If I can get it to grow, well then, we’ll be where we’ve wanted to be all along.

  12. (how can you have a “season” for streaming stuff?)

    Seasons are about production schedules, not air dates and release schedules. Depending on the complexity of the show it can take months of pre-production and planning before filming and months in post to do editing and effects. This timeline has gotten longer for certain kinds of shows rather than shorter. (I’ve got friends who work production for different kinds of shows–one worked on Castle, and the other works on game shows, soap operas, and a wide variety of things, and for the soap operas and game shows the turnaround time is quick, but for the higher-end scripted stuff the planning and post phases are incredibly long and very labour-intensive.)

  13. August on October 12, 2017 at 8:18 am said:
    The TV studio across the street from where I live basically operates from August through March. (They do some TV movies, also, which are a little less seasonal.) Their best-known product was “24”.

  14. @Chip Hitchcock–

    And that makes them unique how?

    It doesn’t make them unique at all, sadly. Yet one always hopes, even if one does not expect, that they’ll care whether or not they really own stuff, rather than just assuming they can get away with claiming they do, based on the assumption the other party won’t be able to sue.

  15. I’ve forwarded this to a colleague in Apple Legal, and am told it has been brought to the attention of the appropriate people.

  16. steve davidson: Specifically, NBC’s attorney requested that my attorney ask me to “stop tweeting” because certain people and certain giant corporations were “very upset”.

    As well they should be, given NBC’s heinous behavior. It is wonderful to see that social media does reach the “important people”, and that it can have a big positive effect for a change.

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