Preview Of Non-Fiction Star Trek Books For 2014/2015 – From Fun To Artwork To Scholarly Texts | TrekMovie.com
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Preview Of Non-Fiction Star Trek Books For 2014/2015 – From Fun To Artwork To Scholarly Texts July 11, 2014

by James Edward , Filed under: Books,History,Trek Franchise , trackback

nonfictionsum

Following up from our look forward to all the Star Trek fiction coming in the next year, today we take a look at the non-fiction, both scholarly and fun. See what is coming below.

2014/2015 STAR TREK NON-FICTION PREVIEW

On top of the regular in-universe stories (see previous report), there are also a few ‘non-fiction’ Star Trek releases (both licensed and not), either in the form of reference books, or more light-hearted takes on the Star Trek universe.

Fun with Kirk and Spock (July 2014)
by Robb Pearlman, with art by Gary Shipman
Hardcover: $14.95 [pre-order on Amazon for $9.45]
Publisher: Cider Mill Press

See the Enterprise. See the Enterprise go boldly. Go Go Go, Enterprise! Go Boldly! Join Kirk and Spock as they go boldly where no parody has gone before!

This Prime Directive primer steps through The Guardian of Forever to a simpler time of reading, writing, and red shirts. Fun with Kirk and Spock will help cadets of all ages master the art of reading as their favorite Starfleet officers, Klingons, Romulans, Andorians, and Gorn beam down into exciting adventures.

Ships of the Line (October 2014)
by Margaret Clark, Doug Drexler, and Michael Okuda. Art by the many contributors to the Ships of the Line calendars
Hardcover: $30.00 [pre-order on Amazon for $23.21]
Publisher: Pocket Books

They dared to risk it all in a skiff of reeds or leather, on a ship of wood or steel, knowing the only thing between them and certain death was their ship. To explore, to seek out what lay beyond the close and comfortable, every explorer had to embrace danger. And as they did so, what arose was a mystical bond, a passion for the ships that carried them. From the very first time humans dared to warp the fabric of space, escaping from the ashes of the third World War, they also created ships. These vessels have become the icons of mankind’s desire to rise above the everyday, to seek out and make the unknown known. And these ships that travel the stellar seas have stirred the same passions as the ones that floated in the oceans.

While every captain has wished that their starship could be outfitted in the same manner as the sailing ship H.M.S. Beagle—without weapons—that proved untenable. From the start, Starfleet realized that each vessel, due to the limited range of the early warp engines, must be able to stand alone against any attack. Thus arose the idea, taken from the days of wooden sailing ships, that every Starfleet vessel must stand as a ship of the line. Through the actions of their captains and crews, countless starships have taken on that role. Here we remember some of those ships and their heroic crews.

In celebration of one of science fiction’s most beloved franchises, this updated edition of the acclaimed Ships of the Line hardcover collection now includes more than 75 additional images brought together for the first time in book format—spectacular renderings featured in the highly successful Star Trek: Ships of the Line calendar series. With text by Star Trek’s own Michael Okuda, the story of each of these valiant starships now comes to life.


NOTE: Cover for previous version show – update cover not available

Star Trek Pop-Ups (November 2014)
by Paula M. Block and Terry J. Erdmann, with art by Courtney Watson McCarthy
Hardcover: $29.95 [pre-order on Amazon for $21.74]
Publisher: Thames & Hudson

A legendary sci-fi epic as you’ve never seen it before—including the Klingon Bird of Prey, the Bride of Chaotica, and the Enterprise herself, all literally bursting off the page.

Star Trek is one of the most enduring franchises in Hollywood entertainment history. Part of the public consciousness since 1966, it spans the worlds of television and the movies and counts millions of fans worldwide. Now Star Trek Pop-Ups delivers seven iconic Star Trek moments in a new way—popping off the page in three dimensions. From the original USS Enterprise in flight to the dreaded Borg cube from The Next Generation and beyond, here is an unforgettable series of alien encounters and thrilling action scenes, featuring memorable moments from Deep Space Nine, Voyager and Enterprise. Bursting with energy and ingenuity, Star Trek Pop-Ups will capture the imaginations of fans young and old. 7 pop-ups and 25 illustrations, all in color.

These are the Voyages: TOS – Season 3 (Fall 2014)
by Marc Cushman
Hardcover: $39.95 [pre-order not yet available]
Publisher: Jacobs Brown Press

The award-winning series on the making of the original Star Trek continues with a look at the third season. Blurb on series below

What makes these books unique?
These are the Voyages, TOS contains hundreds of previously unpublished insights and recollections from actors, directors, producers, and production crew, capturing what went on from every perspective, including memos dictated by Roddenberry while reading drafts to the series scripts. The book offers a unique look behind-the-scenes in the form of original staff memos, contracts, schedules, budgets, network correspondence, and the censor reports from NBC. These are the Voyages creates the opportunity for readers to transport themselves back in space and time to witness the true history of Star Trek®: TOS. Go behind the closed doors of NBC, Desilu/Paramount, the producers’ offices, the writers’ room, the sound stages and shooting locations, and learn the actual facts behind all the blood, sweat, tears, politics, and spellbinding creativity that brought Star Trek® into being…and changed the Sci Fi world.

What makes these books extremely interesting?
These are the Voyages, TOS, looks behind the scenes in the form of original staff memos — including Gene Roddenberry’s own memos, recorded while reading drafts of the series scripts — contracts, schedules, budgets, network correspondence, censor reports from NBC Standards and Practices, and other newly-uncovered documentation. Read about the making of each episode as the episodes are being made, straight from the typewriters of the people who were writing them.
The books bring forth new information such as the documented truth behind the writing of "The City on the Edge of Forever," Season One’s most acclaimed episode and winner of the Hugo and Writers Guild Awards. Rumors about who wrote what in this episode have been circulating for years. Now, what really happened and who deserves credit, is revealed at last. Notably, the actual Nielsen ratings, secret for 45 years, are made public for the very first time for every episode. (And guess what…they were a lot better than NBC ever admitted!)

Star Trek: The Next Generation – Warped, An Engaging Guide to the Never-Aired 8th Season (2015)
by Mike McMahan, with art by Joel Watson and Jason Ho
(No pricing or pre-order yet)

On Twitter, Star Trek: The Next Generation lives on for one more season in the form of @TNG_S8—a satirical eighth season that never aired! Each tweet to its more than 85,000 followers (and retweeted four times that amount) is a hilarious recap and spot-on exaggeration of one of the most beloved TV series ever aired. Now, @TNG_S8 creator Mike McMahan presents an officially licensed mockumentary-style book-length “episode guide” to Season 8. With colorful illustrations by Joel Watson of the HijiNKS ENSUE webcomic, and Jason Ho, longtime artist at Bongo Comics (publisher of the comic book versions of The Simpsons and Futurama), each “episode” contains plot descriptions, trivia, aliens new and old, set photos, and behind-the-scenes looks at the troubled production. This book will appeal to casual and obsessive fans alike, keeping the world of the show intact while hilariously exaggerating it.

No cover available

REVIEWS COMING SOON

Stay tuned for TrekMovie reviews of these non-fiction books, starting off with "Fun with Kirk and Spock" and a look back at the previous two "These are the Voyages" books along, both reviews will be out this month. Reviews of the other books will be out around their release dates.

James Edward, otherwise known as 8of5, maintains The Trek Collective, a site dedicated to Star Trek merchandise, with release schedules, guides, and news of novels, comics, toys, games, collectables, apparel, and more.

Comments»

1. Harry Ballz - July 11, 2014

Boy, they really milk the hell out of this franchise, don’t they?

2. Kevin - July 11, 2014

@1 Harry Ballz

That’s all I think when I see these long posts of ads, just more and more money grabs from CBS.

3. Marja - July 11, 2014

Well, I will admit that “Adventures with Kirk and Spock” looks fun. I like the caricatures on the cover ;-)

As for “These Are the Voyages,” will we never read the behind-the-scenes stories of disputes between Shatner and Roddenberry, Shatner and Nimoy, &c? All I’ve seen of the “actors’ recollections” is puff n stuff like, “he was very nice. He showed me how to —.” Just curious, b/c I haven’t ordered the books yet. I’m not an aspiring television producer or writer, and I understand these books are great for those who aspire to such in Hollywood.

I’m curious about the actors and directors who brought wonderful characters to life, more about how they did that, the fatigue of long shoots, and so on. I did very much enjoy Whitfield/Roddenberry’s “The Making of Star Trek,” but wonder if there might be a little more to the story re: the acting and directing, and the actors themselves.

4. Marja - July 11, 2014

1, Harry, 2, Kevin, I’ve seen books about Star Trek that were clear “money grabs” or, I suspect, oriented more toward the obsessive collector of all things Trek. Ah, CBS, will it never end? What’s next, Star Trek underwear? Oh wait, they have that.

http://www.cafepress.com/+insigniacentered_womens_boy_brief,1046299167

and criminey, the cover of “Ships of the Line” looks a lot like the next-to-last episode of DS9 …!

5. John Carter - July 11, 2014

I wish Cushman and his books would just go away. He’s doing more harm than good now. He’s appearing anywhere there’s a Star Trek panel (this week in Glendale, CA then at Comic-Con), spreading the nonsense of his book. Even in that blurb it says, “Notably, the actual Nielsen ratings, secret for 45 years, are made public for the very first time for every episode. (And guess what…they were a lot better than NBC ever admitted!)” which is only because Cushman has misinterpreted all of the data. You can read a complete takedown that shows how Cushman is mistaken here: http://goo.gl/i8O8Wg

Beyond having his entire theory on the ratings being proven wrong, the first two books are littered with errors. Mistakes beyond typos (which are also plentiful) which if they go on unchecked will sadly be interpreted as factual. There was an incident in the first book where fan art was included and Cushman’s response to the accusation was confusing and he never admitted, when shown the facts, that it was fan art and an error.

He hides behind the “Jacobs Brown Press” imprint, the books are actually self-published. There is a bio for “Matthew Williams Brown II” (President and CEO of the company) who has a biography similar to Cushman’s. That there is no listing for this person on the IMDB, despite the bio saying he was a screenwriter, adds to the shadiness.

I love Star Trek, especially the original series, and wanted these books to be something special. Sadly, I feel ripped off having bought the season 1 book. Thankfully I didn’t buy the first edition that was quickly replaced once people started complaining about the mistakes and the lack of credits on the photographs, reportedly taken off of the web from various sites.

Shady, like I said.

The pop-up book looks cool though.

6. Trekbilly - July 11, 2014

*sigh* I just don’t understand why there are a few fans who want to tear down Marc Cushman’s excellent series of books on TOS. These are — by far — the best books written about the series — and the most detailed.

The pros of these books far outweigh the “mistakes”. Buying one and then trashing both is just silly. The main thing I love about these books is the attention to detail and that these don’t read like Paramount/CBS fluff books.

It’s like some people have an axe to grind against Mr. Cushman for daring to attempt the greatest volumes on the series ever. SMH

I have Volume 1 and 2 — and volume 3 can’t come soon enough. No, the books aren’t perfect, but they are as close to perfect as anything we’re ever going to get!

7. Vger23 - July 11, 2014

There are always people in fandom looking to tear stuff down. Jealousy, insecurity or just plain old-fashioned whackadoo…I pay them no mind.

8. Hat Rick - July 11, 2014

Star Trek’s Ships of Line calendars and books are always great fun to read, view, and admire. Art books for the science fiction fan, indeed.

9. Disinvited - July 11, 2014

#5. John Carter – July 11, 2014

First, I agree Cushman’s analysis should be subject to critical examination.

However your source for refutation is also merely one man and guilty of some of the same “crimes” that he accuses of Cushman. He arrives at the conclusion that Cushman is vanity published. Fine, but Michael Kmet is publishing his results via a blog which is nothing more than an electronic form of vanity publishing as well. One thing is clear to me and that is both of these blokes could have their works in much better stead if they had recourse to an experienced editors to give their works the once over.

Next, he tries to compare the first season of BONANZA to Trek’s, and because of his youth which leads to complete lack of historical context, he proceeds to attempt one of the worst apples and oranges comparisons imaginable.

Bonanza aired as television had just begun chipping away at the one Hollywood blacklist that most are familiar with (and ultimately leading to its end), but other blacklists were still in full force. To wit: an actor that signs a contract for television work can forget about being cast in any Hollywood film.

That’s one of the reasons Eastwood of TV’s Rawhide fame had to go to Italy to launch his film career. And that list’s wall didn’t fully come tumbling down until Universal decided to try to expand on its hot THE MAN FROM U.N.C.L.E. television property [where Nimoy and Shatner first worked together] by converting a few of its color episodes into full fledged spy movies for theatrical play through clever editing and adding spicier scenes than TV censors would allow. And it succeeded in generating additional revenue for them while competing against Hollywood’s fare.

Also, when BONANZA premiered its ratings were atrocious, far worse than Trek’s. Budgets were far smaller in 1959 too. This was the time of the competing different color television tech that various networks backed. RCA was desperate to have some programming to show off its RCA color system and Bonanza was in color. That’s the only reason NBC kept it on the air long enough to try a new time slot where the ratings soared out of its basement.

Kmet also makes the mistake of assuming, that while he himself points out Nielsen was in a highly competitive field, that its methods of calculating ratings were sound and satisfactory for its customers from the git-go and unchanged over time, i.e. not influenced by their many demands.

10. kmart - July 12, 2014

There’s plenty of reason to complain about and boycott this guy’s journalistic endeavours … mainly revolving around his distortion of evidence to fit his ratings theory, though a lot just indicates he isn’t anywhere near the detail-wise type that should have tackled this show. His errors on the music alone are pretty annoying. I decided to not buy any of the books just on the basis of the photo-stealing issue, but if I’d known of the terrible editing and journalism (not that Pocket hasn’t had its share of bad editing) I’d not have bitten either. This guy has clearly seen THE MAN WHO SHOT LIBERTY VALANCE and is intent on representing legends, new and old, as truth, and unfortunately, going by the raves he has gotten for essentially summarizing correspondence, he is going to prove that film’s notion that when the legend is more popular than the truth, to print (and believe) the legend.

Y’know, Pocket had a real chance to do definitive historical research books on TOS a quarter century ago when a lot more of the principals were still alive and aware. My THE ART OF STAR TREK proposal (NO relation to the disaster they wound up doing) , solicited by and then ignored by Kevin Ryan, was as much text as image driven, with the why of the designs covered through interviews with the designers. Shoot, my proposal had better illustrations in the mockup than the actual book did, and didn’t waste page after page on movie poster imagery or 7 pages on TMP/Abel boards of live-action.

I give Pocket props for doing something halfway decent with their phase 2 book, but even there the image captions are an utter disaster, where they identify a final VGER illustration as an early discarded version.

I know pocket swore off most making of stuff due to bad sales, but going by their standards, I’m amazed they didn’t bite on Cushman’s stuff.

11. CmdrR - July 12, 2014

1 & 2 –
I don’t really mind the “milking” when it comes to ancillary products. But…

a) PLEASE get some toys out there to keep the new generations interested (and to give me more spaceships to play with) and…

b) GIVE US A GOOD ORIGINAL STORY in each movie!!!! Then you can sell us 1/18th replicas of Spock’s left shoe and a book on how to filet tribbles.

12. Trekbilly - July 12, 2014

Great post #10. I disagree with paragraph 1, but agree with you 100% the rest of the way.

Would’ve liked to have seen “your version” of The Art of Star Trek. TAOST should have been either a much more comprehensive book — or multiple volumes

13. Jed - July 12, 2014

Hey paramount, I’d really like the story boars and conceptual drawings released in book format for all the original cast trek movies, please

14. Son of jello - July 12, 2014

Fun with Kirk and Spock Yaaaaaaaaaaaay its the new star trek script. Its juvenile has Khan in it and we have seen it all before.

Did anyone pick up on the thought that writing posts in a forum is also a bit vain.

15. Son of jello - July 12, 2014

Cant wait for the pop up book to be released in 3D IMAX.

16. John Carter - July 12, 2014

9. Disinvited – July 11, 2014

How can you compare a self-published book being sold versus a blog that anyone can read for free? Cushman is a huckster. His facts are confused and his books are hardly authoritative. I think Kmet’s site shows a greater understanding of the ratings system than Cushman, which ruins Cushman’s theory about the ratings.

17. Picard, Jean-Luc - July 12, 2014

Why haven’t they given us an art of Into darkness book? There’s so many amazing pieces of artwork across the internet for this movie yet trying to find it all in one place is like trying to transport a human from a planet to a ship travelling at warp…

18. kmart - July 12, 2014

12)
My proposal was strictly TOS (series and films, along with TAS & PLANET OF THE TITANS and PHASE 2), with a citation for 24th century handled in another volume (also mentioned the idea of doing it on laserdisc, combining still imagery & music & film clips … that was obviously a little too ambitious, but I was thinking of how Mike Minor originally pitched the Enterprise departure from drydock for Phase 2 — the camera would be tracking back with the ship, keeping it steady while the background changed, while the Kaplau music from MUTINY ON THE BOUNTY played in background, with the ship finally rising out of frame as it overtakes the camera. would have been fun to illustrate that with storyboards.)

13) Your notion is kind of what Pocket intended to follow up on the STAR TREK SKETCHBOOK and Eaves’ MOVIE SKETCHBOOK. The other volumes would have covered TUC, TFF, so on until they wrapped with TMP (which would have been a mother!) Lousy nonfic sales scotched all of that stuff.

19. Disinvited - July 12, 2014

# 16. John Carter – July 12, 2014

” How can you compare a self-published book being sold versus a blog that anyone can read for free? ”

Because, I pay attention:

“If you enjoy reading this blog, I encourage you to use one of my affiliate links the next time you shop on Amazon.com. I’ll receive a small commission from anything purchased within twenty-four hours of clicking one of these links, whether it is the product you originally clicked on or something totally different.” — Micheal Kmet

And my father taught me, “There’s no such thing as a free lunch.”

“Everybody’s looking for something. Some of them want to use you.” — Annie Lennox (co-author)

And again, both authors are guilty of making glaring mistakes. However this is not in and of itself an excuse to ignore everything they have to say or advocating their censure. But rather the solution to finding the truth is through reading many more and often conflicting sources rather than believing there can only be just one. This is the mark of not only a well read, but illuminated mind.

20. Trekbilly - July 12, 2014

#18 — That would have been perfect! I’d have bought it.

21. Michael K - July 12, 2014

@ #19 Disinvited – July 12, 2014

You seem to miss the point. Although I’m pleased that a handful of readers have made purchases using one of my affiliate links (not nearly enough to reach Amazon’s disbursement threshold, I’m afraid), nobody has to pay anything to read my blog, and I didn’t have to pay anything to publish it. Thus, not a “vanity press” in any meaningful sense of the term.

@ #9 Disinvited – July 11, 2014

Critical examination is certainly important. One of the pleasures of blogging has been hearing from readers with different perspectives than my own, or information I didn’t previously know (or had forgotten), and adjusting my own views accordingly.

The point that television in 1959 was notably different than television in 1966 is a fair and accurate one. I’d counter, however, that the point of bringing in Bonanza as an example is not that the cast earned $1,000 in their first season, but that after seven annual raises (and, more importantly, their contracts had to be renegotiated) the cast was still “only” earning $12,000 an episode. Cushman seems to think that salary inflation among television actors happened because the ratings have become more public. But, as he admits, the top ten shows in the Nielsen ratings were no secret. Thus, his conclusion isn’t sensible. Bonanza isn’t the only program that could be used to prove this point, but the fact that detailed information about its ratings, salaries, and production budgets is widely available online made it an easy data point to draw from.

Also, to your point that “when BONANZA premiered its ratings were atrocious, far worse than Trek’s,” I’ll note that Trek’s average Nielsen ratings placed it as the #52 show on television during the 1966-67 season. During Bonanza’s inaugural year, it ranked #45.

To your point that “both authors are guilty of making glaring mistakes,” I’m not aware of any on my blog, but I’ve been wrong before, and happy to have them pointed out to me. I feel (and, I believe, you agree) that dialogue is as important as context when it comes to being a historian (to which, it must be said, Cushman and I are both amateurs).

22. TrekMadeMeFat - July 12, 2014

Fun with Kirk and Spock looks, well, fun.

23. Disinvited - July 12, 2014

# 21. Michael K – July 12, 2014

” I didn’t have to pay anything to publish it. Thus, not a “vanity press” in any meaningful sense of the term.” — Michael K

Well, I think it’s fair to point out that the scale of your publishing approach is far different than Cushman’s.

But if by “didn’t have to pay anything” you mean the cost of your printing press, i.e. computer, ink & paper, isp and web site, time, etc. is nil, I hope you can understand my skepticism.

And the fact that you claim your affiliation hasn’t paid off, yet, is meaningless. If that’s a valid reason for not being a vanity press then as long as Cushman hasn’t made back his out of pocket expenses on his book, neither is he.

It seems that in my circles I cast a much broader scope to the meanings encompassed by “vanity press” than you would prefer, to accommodate you in this I can clarify by saying that I regard Cushman and yourself to both be self-published.

As far as inflation goes, there’s probably more to the story than just salary inflation. I recall buying comic books in the last half of the 1950s for 10 cents, which quickly inflated to 12 cents, then 25 cents in the early 60s and it seems to me that by the time of Trek’s 3rd season it had hit 75 cents with some titles hitting $1. And yet the newspapers seems to report inflation was low.

My point being you would do well to accommodate that the buying power of a 1959 salary is different than that of one in 1966 due to inflation which definitely was present.

Something to chew on:

http://americanradiohistory.com/Archive-BC/BC-1969/1969-01-13-BC.pdf

on page 49, “Missing links in the TV chains.”,BROADCASTING, Jan 13, 1969

You’ll see that NBC didn’t have a problem getting BONANZA to air on 222 stations but during that same time period NBC could only get 181 stations to actually air STAR TREK.

24. Michael K - July 12, 2014

@ 23 Disinvited – July 12, 2014

“Self-published” seems perfectly accurate to me.

Your point about buying power is well taken (although, using an inflation calculator, Bonanza’s highest year one salary of $1,200 is a little less than $1,350 in 1966 dollars), but I think this is still talking past the key point. That point being that Shatner’s $5,000 an episode salary wasn’t chump change, as Cushman argues.

In regards to the number of affiliates that chose to air Star Trek, you’ve provided an interesting data point. Some interesting facts to be gleaned there. CBS’ Friday Night Movie, on roughly the same number of affiliates as Star Trek (185 vs. 181), was earning a little more than twice Star Trek’s audience on a weekly basis (at least, during the 10-11pm portion of its timeslot). Judd, for the Defense, which was also carried by roughly the same number of affiliates (182 vs. 181) brought in about the same sized audience as Star Trek on a weekly basis.

Still, there isn’t enough data here to mount an argument yet. How many affiliates carried Star Trek in 1966-67 and 1967-68?

25. TrekReader - July 12, 2014

I completely agree that there is a lot of misinterpreted ratings data in Cushman’s books and that the resulting claims about Star Trek’s ratings success are vastly exaggerated. At the same time, it seems a great shame to lose sight of the wealth of new information about the writing process and the day-by-day filming details of the individual episodes. The books’ value at examining Star Trek’s place in the larger world is questionable, but their insight into the inner workings of the show is unique. We can certainly criticize certain aspects of these books, but I don’t see any real argument that they are not among the most important books ever written about the show. No book is definitive. Justman and Solow’s book, as much as it sets the standard, had internal contradictions, demonstrably untrue anecdotes and facts, glaring omissions, and most importantly, a total absence of any discussion of about 72 episodes–still a great book with a lot to offer serious fans and students of the show. I think Cushman’s books deserve the same reasoned consideration.

26. Disinvited - July 13, 2014

#21. Michael K – July 12, 2014

I tried to dig up some info on Shatner’s salary and here’s what the AP of August 1966 had to say:

http://news.google.com/newspapers?nid=897&dat=19660805&id=VapMAAAAIBAJ&pg=6872,4593771

The OCR on this is a little shaky but I’ll try to patch up what I spot :

”On another front — show categories — there is also semantic confusion. Press agents for a new NBC entry, “Star Trek,” recently issued a release proclaiming that it was not, definitely not, science fiction, but “real action-adventure in tomorrow’s space age.”

“It is good science fiction,” declared the star of the show, William Shatner as he sat, dressed in a modified “Batman” costume, explaining that he plays the captain of a military spaceship that “patrols the outer reaches of the galaxy.”

Shatner, last seen In television in a short-lived CBS disaster called “For The People,” is another In the growing group of actors Who, while still bowing reverently to Shakespeare, has made an adjustment to commercial television with its rewards and security. His “For The People” two seasons back was received well by the critics but as a midseason CBS entry it never managed to surface In the important Nielsen ratings.

Shatner, a Canadian, got his start in Ottawa’s National Repertory Theatre, moved on the Stratford, Ontario, Shakespeare Festival. He has played on Broadway and starred in live television drama. But now as Captain Kirk of the space ship in “Star Trek” he owns a piece of the action, which, if the show is a success, is like a lovely annuity. ” — Prescott Evening Courier – Aug 5, 1966, Cynthia Lowry (AP), ‘Here’s The Way I See It’

If I recall the contract negotiations for Jack Lord prior correctly, something has to be wrong about Shatner’s starting contract salary being “generous.” Networks and studios usually give a “piece of the action” in the case of the opposite of what you’ve surmised. It’s been reported his piece was 20% of the $5000 salary for each of the first 5 reruns and 20% profit participation.

I recall Lord got what he wanted for HAWAII 5-O and that included 50% so just how “generous” could Shatner’s deal have been in light of that?

I also think television contract negotiations in 1959 were quit a bit different then, than what they were by Shatner’s contracts time. In 1959 the television and film studios still had a political blacklist, i.e. the practice was still well known and Major studio heads made threats in other areas that most surmised were comprised of the keeping of other similar lists. Actors signing television contracts in 1959 had a reasonable expectation that a lot of major film studio work was being closed-off to them. My only point is such negotiations had to have been much different than Shatner’s.

27. Disinvited - July 13, 2014

#21. Michael K – July 12, 2014

Sources citing Nimoy’s I AM SPOCK and Terry Lee Rioux’s “From Sawdust To Stardust: The Biography of DeForest Kelley, Star Trek’s Dr. McCoy” as well as:

http://books.google.com/books?id=s_lxVMh_5xwC&pg=PT143&lpg=PT143#v=onepage&q&f=false

Clark’s STAR TREK FAQ says, Nimoy’s first season salary was $1,250 with no profit participation even though he had been earlier attached to Trek.

I haven’t had a lot of time to mull this over but at first blink it seems as if the difference between BONANZA’s first salaries and Shatner’s STAR TREK hinges on the mere difference that BONANZA was viewed as an ensemble show with no clear “star” whereas there was no mistaking Shatner got a “star’s” salary for Trek.

FWIW Clark also claims Lord only got one-third profit participation on HAWAII FIVE-O

28. Michael K - July 13, 2014

@26. Disinvited – July 13, 2014

It’s not clear to me where the word “generous” is coming from. If you were intending to quote me, I didn’t say that.

Your point that television contract negotiations would have been different in 1965 compared to 1959 is well-taken, but misses the fact that those 1959 contracts for Bonanza all expired in 1965 and had to be renegotiated that year (Pernell Roberts simply walked when his contract was done). 1965 was the same year Shatner’s contract was negotiated for Star Trek.

As for Lord, I’ve seen the fifty percent ownership figure bandied around online, but never seen a reputable source backing it up. In Up Till Now, one of Shatner’s memoirs, he says, “Supposedly Lord asked for 50 percent ownership of the show [Star Trek],” but this is the same page in which he writes, “Apparently Hunter’s wife began making all kinds of demands on Roddenberry, who finally fired him.” Shatner, of course, wasn’t present for either event (the latter of which, he’s definitely wrong about), which makes him a poor source.

@27. Disinvited – July 13, 2014

Those salary figures for Star Trek are correct, and come from paperwork in the Roddenberry files at UCLA.

29. Disinvited - July 13, 2014

# 28. Michael K – July 13, 2014

” It’s not clear to me where the word “generous” is coming from. If you were intending to quote me, I didn’t say that.” — Michael K

My understanding was that you were trying to discredit Cushman’s assertion that Shatner’s starting star salary was “low end” by comparing it to others such as BONANZA’s first year. $5,000 is “generous” in comparison to $1,000.

I’m not sure what point you are trying to make that their contracts ended in 1965? Also confusing is your blog saying that contract engendered 7 annual raises when it was only in effect for 6 years by your own account.

And you concede that a contract negotiated in 1959 is most likely a very different thing than one negotiated in 1965, so you lose me on the point you are trying to make? Are you possibly trying to say that long term contracts from a previous decade still being in effect up to 1965 some how tempers that year’s going rate?

30. Trekbilly - July 13, 2014

#17 — Great question! I rent to buy all the “Art of” books and I’d have grabbed up one for Into Darkness had there been one. Ditto for a complete musical score. Not sure why we don’t have one of those either…

31. Disinvited - July 13, 2014

Here’s what another blogger says:

http://betterlivingtv.blogspot.com/2009/05/restless-ballad-of-pernell-roberts-part.html

”Near the close of Bonanza’s 5th season, the network entered into negotiations with the cast for a contract renewal beyond season six. The four stars were then making $4,500 per episode, and three of them tasked their manager to seek a minimum of $6,500. The fourth, Pernell Roberts, had no intention of renewing for any price.

When negotiations were over, the manager returned with a surprise: not only had he secured $10,500 per episode for each of the three returnees, he also got them a 100% residual for the first rerun. For the 33 episodes of the 1965-66 season, each man would make a minimum of $693,000. When the contract ended in 1970, between salaries and investments, the three were comfortably in the multi-millionaire class.” — Michael J. Hayde’s BETTER LIVING THROUGH TELEVISION

32. Kevin K - July 13, 2014

Disinvited, I can understand your skepticism about relying on one source completely for information. But I’m not sure why you believe that Michael Kmet is the only person disputing Marc Cushman’s incorrect statements about Star Trek in his books. There are multiple bloggers and writers who have done so. And we should keep in mind that Cushman has made multiple untrue statements in his books. In some places, he scrambles the chronology of what happened. In other places, he conflates one set of information with another.

To be fair to Cushman, I have read both editions of his first volume, and the current edition of the second volume. There is no question that his use of the publicly available free materials at UCLA has helped provide the best timeline we’ve been given about when the script drafts were completed and when the actual production occurred on each episode of the original series. The memos Cushman was able to read at the UCLA archive are crucial, and his book works best when he’s citing them. I personally wish that he would have made the memos themselves available as an appendix to the Kindle editions of his volumes, as I’d rather hear from Bob Justman and Gene Coon directly in their own words. As it is, the books include what quotes Cushman is willing to provide from them, and then Cushman’s opinions about what they mean.

Some sections of the books are quite interesting and helpful. The transition of Dorothy Fontana from assistant to staff writer is covered well, partly due to generous quotes from the memos about her work from Justman and the others, and partly due to Cushman’s interviews with her. The account of the writing of “Charlie X” is particularly interesting, especially the bit about Stan Robertson trying to give her notes directly rather than going through Roddenberry. I believe Fontana’s statements about this – that Roddenberry immediately called Robertson back and “ripped him a new one”.

That said, Cushman gets himself into serious trouble when he makes assumptions about things like Star Trek’s ratings and then prints those assumptions as facts. He gets into trouble when he creates a narrative about NBC’s execs and others somehow using their dislike of Roddenberry to downplay Star Trek’s original success just so they could justify cancelling the series. His statements in these areas frankly indicate that he doesn’t know what he’s talking about.

I’ll be clear about where I’m coming from here. I’ve been working as an assistant director in television production for just about 20 years. I worked as a DGA trainee on Star Trek Voyager during its first season. My father worked as an assistant director and UPM on multiple TV series and movies for approximately 30 years before me, including two projects with Bob Justman, who was a family friend.

Cushman’s assumption that Star Trek had great ratings is based on a complete misunderstanding of the multiple ratings services that were and are used by the television industry. Michael Kmet’s blog is helpful in showing exactly how Cushman is getting this wrong. In short, Kmet shows that Cushman has confused what the various services were measuring. For example, Cushman assumes that a higher score from one service meant a higher gross audience amount rather than a higher level of enthusiasm and dedication from a smaller audience amount. That’s a critical mistake. Cushman also fails to understand why the ratings numbers from Nielsen were different from the earlier episodes to the later ones. Kmet helpfully notes that the Tammy Grimes program was originally scheduled opposite Star Trek and died immediately. As soon as it was pulled out of there, Star Trek’s ratings dropped. Kmet also is able to show the ratings in 15 minute increments for those early episodes, establishing that the show’s numbers were dropping off quickly even then. Essentially, Star Trek got a great sample when it started its first episode, but shedded viewers every 15 minutes over the course of the broadcast as they changed the channel to other shows.

But let’s not just rely on Kmet, as you correctly note. Let’s instead turn to Herb Solow and Bob Justman, who state unequivocally that Star Trek’s ratings dropped off considerably over the course of its original run, and that Star Trek was fortunate to have been picked up for the two additional seasons. I particularly believe Solow’s statements that Star Trek’s wild use of color may have been a big help in motivating at least one of the pickups.

The fact is, if Star Trek had been the ratings hit Cushman thinks it was, NBC would not have treated it the way it did (moving it around the schedule, usually into lesser timeslots), and it would not have cancelled it when it did. Television networks regularly deal with “difficult” producers on their hit programs. It’s simply a part of doing business. If a network has a show that’s a hit but is having problems with the producer, there are multiple places where the network has kept the show and dumped the producer. Just ask Donald Bellisario on “Magnum PI” and “NCIS”. Ask Aaron Sorkin about “The West Wing”. They don’t just cancel the series and pretend the ratings were bad. There’s too much money at stake to act in that fashion.

A further point of contention is that if the ratings were somehow so good, Roddenberry would have been citing that in the letter campaign to save the show during the 2nd season. He did not do so. A campaign talking about how good the ratings were and how successful the show really was would have been a very different affair from what actually happened with the fans at that time.

Cushman appears to have started with an assumption that the ratings were somehow better than people thought, and then looked for any materials he could find to back that up. In so doing, he conflated the numbers and sources he was citing. Michael Kmet has thus done a service in pointing out the fallacies of Cushman’s arguments here.

33. Michael K - July 13, 2014

@ 32. Kevin K – July 13, 2014

Thanks, Kevin. Your first-hand knowledge of the television industry is immensely valuable.

@ 29. Disinvited – July 13, 2014

Let me back up and clarify some things.

Cushman states that Shatner was a “top-dollar star in 1966.” I pointed out that Shatner’s only previous television series, For The People, was a ratings failure that was cancelled after 13 episodes. He was a respected, working actor, but he was hardly a “top-dollar star.”

Cushman argues that, “if an actor…knew exactly how popular his show was, he would be all the more difficult to deal with. Time has proven this thinking correct.” To this, I pointed out that the cast of Bonanza knew exactly how popular their show was when it came time to renegotiate their contracts, but in the final analysis, although they earned more than Shatner did each week, their salaries weren’t astronomically higher than Shatner’s.

“I’m not sure what point you are trying to make that their contracts ended in 1965? Also confusing is your blog saying that contract engendered 7 annual raises when it was only in effect for 6 years by your own account.”

I think you might have sorted this out in your follow-up, but let me clarify. The cast of Bonanza signed a six-year contract in 1959. Like the contracts for most television actors, this deal guaranteed a raise of a certain amount each year (assuming the studio renewed its option with the actor; if the studio wanted, it could cut any of the cast loose at option time each year and not have to pay them further, beyond whatever residuals they were entitled to). At the end of the 1964-65 season, the cast had fulfilled the terms of their contracts, and their agents went to renegotiate them (actually, as you point out, their agents were already renegotiating the year before — since Bonanza was the #1 show on television, renewal beyond the initial six year deal was seen as pretty likely).

34. Trekbilly - July 13, 2014

Who cares????? I like Cushman AND his book!! Don’t like it? Don’t buy it!! Lol!! I won’t be buying the popup book but I’m not ready to crucify the publisher over it…lol!! I haven’t read a Star Trek book yet that was 100% accurate! You people obsess over the most ridiculous things!

35. pafan - July 13, 2014

I did look at volume 2 with a more critical eye when the ratings were talked about. I do not see the rosy picture the author was painting. I also did not buy that a network would treat a “hit” show the way they did Star Trek. It’s all about money.
I think over the years TOS probably did get a bad rap as having horrible ratings all the time. That was not true and, as others have said, the ratings are open to interpretation.
In the end, ST was a show with marginal-to-low ratings over its 3 season run. Considering everything, the show was lucky to get that much. (The Friday timeslots didn’t appear to help either)

36. Trekbilly - July 13, 2014

#35 — That’s a reasonable approach to the book. :-) But, the proof is in the pudding — Marc won a Saturn award for his books. I think that says it all. :-)

37. kmart - July 13, 2014

36,
Titanic won an ungodly number of oscars and BABE beat APOLLO 13 for the VFX oscar, so what is your point? That there’s no accounting for taste?

34) Amateurish errors and a decided lack of zeal in representing facts accurately (plus the whole unethical use of images that they were not entitled to use, which needs a whole separate thread) are matters that NEED to be publicized, even if YOU don’t care about them. Journalistic standards are shaky enough all over without passively endorsing more of the same.

38. Trekbilly - July 13, 2014

Dude…a Saturn award. Case closed.

39. kmart - July 13, 2014

You need a reading comprehension course. SERIOUSLY.

(Oh, and I left out the most hysterical misawarding … TNG winning a Peabody … FIRST SEASON TNG at that.)

You can sit on that case or stand on it, but you ain’t gonna get it to close.

40. Trekbilly - July 14, 2014

It’s as closed as your mind….which is to say, very! :-)

41. MC1 Doug - July 14, 2014

Ships of the Line will also be available at Barnes & Noble and at bn.com

bn.com price: $23.21
NOOK book: $14.99

42. Disinvited - July 15, 2014

#32. Kevin K – July 13, 2014, 32. Kevin K – July 13, 2014

First, I definitely enjoy the dialogue we are having in regards to this. And I thank you both for it.

I’m not defending Cushman’s sloppiness with regards to Nielsen ratings so much as questioning what Shatner’s salary being the going rate or not has to say about it. One thing about that that is clear is that both he and Lord were considered equivalent on paper. Lord went on to HAWAII FIVE-O and got a better deal than was offered Shatner on STAR TREK. Now whether or not in lieu of that Cushman is right about Shatner being low-balled seems meaningless in regards to our Nielsen concerns is all I’m saying.

Look, I’m an old man now and I definitely don’t have some of the superpowers that youth offers in regards to this discussion. But for what it’s worth, I was an AV geek back then (mid to late 1960s) in my youth when all this was new. I was avidly scouring the periodicals such as BROADCASTING and FILM QUARTERLY trying to make heads or tails of the Hollywood mindset with regards to numbers that they would chose to make public. And one pattern emerged: They don’t like to print hard numbers. They prefer numbers than can be futzed with to impress when there is in fact nothing impressive going on. This is why even though the motion picture studios most definitely keep track of how many tickets are sold they instead only release the gross. Why? Because if you see a bad trend where fewer people are going to the movies, it is easy to compensate by inflating ticket prices to show ever increasing grosses. I used that example because what I perceived as going on with the Nielsens was much more subtler but essentially the same mindset.

The Nielsens are important because that’s what the industry uses to get paid. But that doesn’t mean it became this monopoly because of the superiority of its methods but rather the superiority of its methods of marketing to its highest paying clients which gave it the economic clout to prevail.

Now things may be different than when I arrived at these conclusions in the distant past so I am counting on you to update me where these no longer apply but what I recall as Nielsens’ problems were:

1. The Nielsens are not a random sample. Claims that 1 Nielsen “family” definitely represents X number of viewers in the greater U.S, population are suspect; even though I am aware that somehow they were able to use the 1960 census data to represent to their advertising clients of that era that their methods were superior to their competitors.)

2. The observed know they are being observed and worse, are the ones recording their observations in diaries.

3. Nielsen’s reports are not uniform but tailored to the various clients. For example, advertisers, who also pay much more on average, get a much different report than the networks.

4. Nielsen doesn’t publish it’s numbers because it is in the business of being paid for them so it’s not peer-reviewed science or math. It allows its clients to release some of them but it has always been unclear to me what the restrictions were on that and sometimes the public feuds over what one network would say it means versus theirs competitors’ claims were not only another reason for great skepticism but amusement.

5. While the essential Nielsen method of data collection has changed little, they have adopted changes over time to keep their client appeal which makes it extremely difficult to know that a number in one era (or even close years) means exactly the same thing in another.

It was somewhere around in there that I became aware of a saying popularized by Twain, “There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies, and statistics.”

One thing that I also clearly recall is that not all shows with the same good rating are created equal. Network suits much rather have two low production cost half-hour comedies occupy an hour of air time than a much more expensive hour long show. It is simple ROI. And in service of that, the suits will do things like use ratings that differ insignificantly by fractions of a Nielsen point as an excuse to shuttle an hour show into the Friday death slot.

Now, I haven’t had time to research whether that exact tactic was used in Trek’s case, but I seem to recall its Thursday time slot was occupied by two such comedies?

My apologies for not having the time to research the answer to the above, but life has its demands and it’ll probably more fun to see what the group mind recalls, anyway.

I also came across an article, but lost track of it, where the author pointed out that it has never been about the numbers of viewers a show has anyway. It’s the ratings of the individual commercials that air during a show that matter. A show can have the greatest number of viewers in commercial network history, but if no eyeballs are viewing its ads, it will not last.

43. Anthony Thompson - July 16, 2014

The cushman books are THE most outstanding books on the history of TOS. period.Critical commenters like ‘John Carter’ and others (they won’t use their real names) have a hidden agenda. Fact is, those books are extraordinary and a real gift to the fans. Can’t wait for the Season Three book!

44. Trekbilly - July 16, 2014

#43 — Word!!

45. Anthony Thompson - July 16, 2014

37. kmart

Your moniker represents the quality of your thinking very well. You mention the tired and unproven accusation that the author “unethically used images which they were not entitled to use”. Prove it. Which images? And who do those images belong to? Paramount? The original photogragher? Lincoln Enterprises? Or perhaps a website which did not have the right to use them, either? Are they copyrighted images? Please be specific, kmart, or STFU.

46. Trekbilly - July 16, 2014

Even if the photos are from some online source, those sources don’t “own” the images. That’s Paramount/CBS…

47. Dave in RI - July 16, 2014

I also am enjoying the Cushman books immensely and to me, the ratings parts of the book are the least interesting. Reading how each and every episode were made from first draft to air-date is the reason I bought the books.

Regarding the photographs: If the images were used illegally in any way, don’t you think the copyright holders would have swooped down to stop their usage since a profit is being made with these books?

48. Anthony Thompson - July 16, 2014

47. Dave

Yes, kmart and the other trolls won’t be specific and won’t explain why, if those photos weren’t properly used and sourced, there hasn’t been a lawsuit against the publisher. They’d rather spread their lies and innuendos like all trolls love to do.

49. kmart - July 16, 2014

I haven’t been specific here because I (and others better informed than I) have covered this at length in various trekbbs threads, all of which have been heavily trolled by some Cushman minion. Hell, some of this has turned up in the amazon comments thread, though I seem to remember that a number of those posts got eliminated after a certain passage of time.

Reading about how the eps were made is why I was so excited about these books, and it pains me to not get to read them, but I will not support the work when there are so many dubious aspects.

I’m a journalist, have been for nearly a quarter-century, and because I’m NOT about writing PR fluff, it means I’m trying to reach some level of truth in reporting. I have gone on here and elsewhere about how much trekfolk seem eager to ‘print the legend’ rather than actually look for some truth in reporting (all the bullshit about klingon blood color relating to MPAA rating concerns comes to mind once more), and here we have Cushman, with tremendous access to original documents, putting spin on it instead of simply reproducing the data,which would be the preferred method of dissemination (remember how much fun those memos in TMOST were?)

If anybody thinks the imagery cleaned up by a third party for non-profit is something that is fair game for use by for-profit enterprises, then you’re entitled to your viewpoint, I just find it ethically corrupt.

As for the lawsuit issue … Perhaps somebody can explain how James Horner can use the same music, practically the same arrangments, over & over again for different studios without lawsuits … and most of those melodies are steals from other BETTER composers. Yet are there ever any lawsuits over film scores? I’d guess that there isn’t enough profit in a lawsuit, plus (more likely) that the nonprofit parties being ripped off here wouldn’t be able to afford the heavyweight lawyers (I know that’s why I didn’t proceed against Pocket 20 years ago, even though I had a paper trail that might have held up in court.)

Kevin H. Martin (kmart is how I used to sign my name when my hand cramped, something I’ve explained previously.)

I invite ‘anthony thompson’ to do some homework, perhaps speak with the parties who seem to have been wronged, and THEN start drawing conclusions, instead of running his mouth about things and people he doesn’t know seem to know shit about it. He clearly doesn’t know or understand me (and given what I’ve read here, he probably still won’t. Are you by any chance diehardChristian & Republican? Just wonderin’)
kmart

50. Michael K - July 16, 2014

@ 42. Disinvited – July 15, 2014

I think our conversation has gotten a bit side-tracked about whether Shatner’s salary was low or not. I’ll just say one more thing about my argument — and Cushman’s.

Cushman takes Shatner’s salary, adjusts for inflation, and says he was being lowballed because the inflation adjusted number doesn’t match what leading television actors make today. He then claims that the studio was able to lowball Shatner because he didn’t have access to the ratings, which were only available to the three networks. If he had, Cushman argues, Shatner would have earned as much (adjusted for inflation) as modern stars.

My counter-argument to his thinking is in several parts. (a) television salaries haven’t risen with inflation — they’ve outpaced it. (b) the Nielsen ratings were more widely available than to just the three networks. (c) adjusted for inflation, even the stars of Bonanza, who had just renegotiated their contracts based on the known ratings dominance of that show, didn’t earn nearly as much as top-tier television actors today. (d) Shatner wasn’t a proven, top-tier star in 1965, when he made his deal for Star Trek.

In short, Cushman’s argument here just isn’t all that well thought-out. I’m willing to entertain the notion that my conclusion — that Shatner wasn’t earning a bad salary for an unproven TV lead — might be wrong, but I find my reasoning at this point to be a hell of a lot more sensible than Cushman’s. It would be interesting to compare what Shatner was earning to a number of other television actors of the time. That kind of study would need a lot of archival sources — not all of which are publicly available — but it might be possible to pull off, given enough time. Something I’ll be thinking about in the future.

You make a lot of interesting points about the Nielsens, but I’ll need more time to address those in a way that isn’t haphazard, so I hope you’ll forgive me if I take a few more days to prepare my thoughts (and deal with real life) before I get into them.

51. Trekbilly - July 17, 2014

“I invite ‘anthony thompson’ to do some homework, perhaps speak with the parties who seem to have been wronged, and THEN start drawing conclusions, instead of running his mouth about things and people he doesn’t know seem to know shit about it. He clearly doesn’t know or understand me (and given what I’ve read here, he probably still won’t. Are you by any chance diehardChristian & Republican? Just wonderin’)”

::rolls eyes::

What difference does it make if he’s a Christian or Republican?? WTF does THAT have to do with Cushman’s book??? Are you by chance an atheist and a socialist??

52. Anthony Thompson - July 17, 2014

51. kmart

“Any chance you’re a diehard Christian and Republican”? I can see that you know me well as you do the facts about the Cushman books. LOL! Try ‘diehard athiest and Marxist’. What a fool.

BTW, how do you ‘know’ that cushman put a spin on the making of the TOS if you haven’t even cracked the book open? I have detected no bias whatsoever. He tellls it like it is, good or bad. Many of the TOS stars, including Nimoy, have attested to that fact.

53. Kevin K - July 17, 2014

Disinvited, I agree that this is an interesting discussion and I’m glad for that.

You’re correct that the Nielsen system is far from perfect. My understanding of it is that there are many households where they have a Nielsen box that records whatever channel the television is on at any given time and then sends that information back electronically. I remember hearing about Nielsen family members trying to prank the system by putting the TV on the channel for a different show one night to see if the ratings would go up.

You’re also correct that Nielsen tends to be secretive about exactly how they conduct their business, and they’re careful about what information they give out to the public. I strongly recommend you take a look at a website called tvbythenumbers to get a really current picture of how the sausage is being made, in terms of both the overall numbers and the demographic breakdowns. What we do know is that the studios and the producers do receive overnight numbers for their programming, which are then revised and finalized a few hours later – and these numbers are crucial toward determining whether a television program is being watched. I understand that the Nielsen viewers are indeed considered representative of the larger population.

Nielsen also has information on what I believe are three levels of measurement. There’s the Live numbers, meaning who was watching the shows when they were initially broadcast over the country, from east to west coast. (And these numbers can be drastically affected by a big playoff game on the east coast…) There’s the Live +3 numbers, which add in the numbers of people registering that they were watching programs on DVR or On Demand within a couple of days of the broadcast. And there’s the Live +7 numbers, which go up to a week after the broadcast.

If you want to have fun, you can watch how networks will crow about their Live +7 numbers on a show that is losing its timeslot. In other words, you may read about, say, the newest Law & Order spinoff having come in third or fourth in its slot in the overnights. A week or two later, NBC will come back with the +7 numbers, crowing about how much larger the audience for that show is now. Except that ALL the shows’ ratings go up in the +7 measurements. (This is the same mistake that many people have made when talking about Star Trek’s demographics – they correctly note that Star Trek was reaching a good number of young viewers the advertisers wanted. But they leave out that Gomer Pyle was reaching a LOT MORE of those younger viewers. Which is another reason for NBC to have tried to hang on to the series but not prioritize it.)

As I understand it, Nielsen provides its information to the advertisers, the networks, the studios and the producers, who all pay to subscribe to the service. I don’t know the pricing of this material, but I do know that everyone tends to be extremely secretive about the +3 numbers. The overnights are immediately publicized and spun by the networks as fast as they can do it. The +7 numbers are publicized by the networks with the shows in the weakest positions. My understanding is that the +3 numbers are considered pretty valuable, as they probably represent the most valuable quotient of information at this time – showing a combination of who was watching the shows right away as “appointment TV” and who was watching them almost right afterwards. The regular comment you hear at work on the day after, say, a new HBO show, is “Did you see that?” and either the person has watched it that night, possibly later in the evening on DVR, or they’ll say that they’ll watch it the next night. It’s during that time that the episode is still water-cooler material. By a week later, the episode is old news because a newer episode is available.

We should also remember that we’re in a new world of TV consumption – the age of the binge watchers, where people will spend a weekend or week catching up on an entire season of a show in one swell foop. My mother’s been doing this for decades, where she’ll tape the shows she likes (she still uses VHS!) but only watch a few of them at the time. The rest will get caught up on during the hiatuses or during the summer. Most people I know who watched Breaking Bad at the end weren’t watching it at the beginning – they caught up on the show much later on. House of Cards and the whole Netflix model are built on the notion of just posting the entire season of their shows at one time and letting the viewer decide when they want to see them. I know people who wait the extra year to just watch the DVDs or Blu-rays of various shows, so they can blow through the season without a break. For myself, I recall watching 24 on DVD back in 2002, having never watched the show live. It was real easy to get sucked into that thing with the cliffhangers every hour, and before you knew it, EIGHT HOURS had gone by…

But that’s not the world that existed in the time of Star Trek’s original airings. At that time, you only had the big three networks for reliable prime time entertainment. No cable. No HBO. No DVRs, No VCRs, No Internet, No On Demand. And I’m not saying this to Disinvited – I’m saying this to anyone casually reading here who may have been born later on. For myself, I grew up between the 70s and the 80s, so I watched the situation change from where you had to watch on the night to where you could tape and watch the show later.

54. Kevin K - July 17, 2014

Now, getting back into Marc Cushman’s writing, we should acknowledge again that he has provided some great material – when he makes use of the public documents he culled from the UCLA archives. (I note it in this way because Cushman initially tried to play it as if he had some kind of exclusive access – he did not. Anyone can go to UCLA, make an appointment and take a look for yourself. These are not top-secret ledgers.)

Among other things, Cushman does show how much the cast were being paid for their appearances, which includes some interesting material on what kind of deals were made with the supporting cast. (There’s stuff on how much Nichelle Nichols would get per appearance, for example, and how those numbers would be affected by the number of days she was needed, if I’m recalling correctly.) There’s some material of Bob Justman asking for characters like Scotty or Uhura to be dropped from scripts so that they would stay within their minimum guarantees and not need to be paid more. (Justman would note that Scotty was, say, in one scene in the transporter room, and would ask that he be replaced by a day-player actor who’d be cheaper. Roddenberry, to his credit, would say thank you and then keep Scotty in the script so as to keep the family of characters alive.)

Cushman preserves a fair amount of information about the creation of “Balance of Terror”, in that you can see Bob Justman frantically trying to warn the other producers how much money this episode is going to cost and repeatedly being overridden. It becomes clear that everyone, including NBC, wants that episode, and Justman finally has to switch into the mode of “Okay, how can we not kill ourselves on this one…” And you see Justman having them put helmets on the Romulans, as this would be cheaper than individually applying the pointy ears to all of them.

So I’m not trying to slag Cushman’s work completely. He’s performed a nice service in compiling all the documents and the prior accounts into one place. The problem with his work is that he’s constructed his own narratives in some areas, and he’s badly conflated some of the information. He’s made critical mistakes in some areas. And there’s the issue of all the typos and copyediting mistakes, which is a sign of a self-published book without an editor.

What seems to have really pushed many fans over the edge is his use of photos throughout the first book without attribution. These are photos that other fans had acquired and spent time digitally cleaning before posting on their own websites, such as Star Trek History. The complaint I’ve heard was about those digitally cleaned files being the ones used in the books without any nod being given to the people who did that work. (And I understand that the people at those websites would have been happy to provide better quality copies of those files, had Cushman simply asked them.) I’m not an expert on this area. I wouldn’t know who had touched up or cleaned what – but I understand that the people who did this work have pointed out specific qualities of the photos that show their work was being duplicated in Cushman’s books.

Regarding the false narratives, we have many issues in the books. The biggest one is Cushman’s “bombshell” about the ratings. And he’s simply wrong about it. He thought he had a great scoop that would sell books and give him a calling card at the various conventions. The only problem is that we would also have to believe that NBC, Desilu Herb Solow, Bob Justman and even Gene Roddenberry had been lying about the ratings over the past five decades. And that’s demonstrably untrue. As I said, if Star Trek had been the hit Cushman wants to think it was, NBC would have spotlit it and played that up for all it was worth. Networks don’t kill smash hit television series just because they’re annoyed with the show’s producers. That’s Television 101 and Cushman simply doesn’t know it.

Cushman also tries to present a narrative in the second book about Bob Justman being disenchanted with the series, due to being passed over by John Meredyth Lucas. He uses an interview he did with Gene Coon’s former secretary Ande to buttress this opinion. Except that he has conflated the timeline. Bob Justman openly acknowledged having had enough of Star Trek in his own book with Herb Solow – in the THIRD season, when he’d been passed over again in favor of Fred Freiberger. Ande’s comments would seem to apply to when Justman wanted to leave the show and did so a year after the time Cushman is discussing.

I’ll be curious to take a look at the third season volume, which I expect will be a bit shorter than the others. Coon and Solow were already gone. Roddenberry was mostly absent. Justman left about halfway through the season to work with Solow at MGM. Fontana got fed up fairly quickly and wasn’t involved much with what Freiberger was doing. So I would expect that the number of memos will drop off dramatically. I would hope that the volume will include things like what happened to Ralph Senensky on “The Tholian Web” and perhaps cover how Fontana’s script for “The Way to Eden” wound up as mangled as it did.

And I cheerfully acknowledge that pretty much every book written about the production of Star Trek has had its own errors. Bob Justman completely blocked out the return of Alexander Courage in his account of the series, saying that Courage left, never to return, after Roddenberry screwed him with the lyrics on the main theme. Except that Courage did return both for library cues in the 2nd season (including some NEW ones that they used) and for two new scores in the 3rd season. All I can think of there is that Justman blocked a lot of the 3rd season out of his mind afterwards, given that it was really not a good time for him. We can only imagine the unpleasantness if he was willing to walk away from the show in the middle of the season.

The difference with Cushman’s books is that he’s trying to pass himself off as an expert here – to sell his books to the fans and to sell himself for appearances at the conventions, etc.. Justman and Solow actually made the show – their mistakes stem from faulty memories here and there, or from their own biases here and there. The various cast memoirs are each from the point of view of each person, who has their own narrative about how they felt. Had Cushman simply presented each person’s story, as shown in the documents, and not editorialized his own opinions about them, he’d have been in a much stronger position. Which is why I continue to wish he’d simply attach copies of the various memos as an appendix to one of his Kindle editions. Because it’s more interesting to read what Bob Justman or Gene Coon was thinking about an episode at the time it was made than it is to read Cushman’s opinion about it.

55. kmart - July 17, 2014

52,
I wanted to see if you’d ignore the content of my post in favor of jumping on the jibe I made. I guessed right, you took the easy way out. That tells me even more about your character, or lack thereof. I’ll just consider you ‘false data’ from now on, the way the smart bomb in DARK STAR dismisses input from the moronic Pinback.

56. Disinvited - July 18, 2014

FWIW, I first interacted with kmart on this site’s very comment chains a while back and I know from interacting with him over the years that he knows his stuff.

I also was pleasantly surprised to discover in our discussions that he was often published in a magazine that I regularly picked up at my local newsstand from its first issue through the first 3 decades of its existence before my life went in other directions:

http://www.cinefex.com/backissues/issue48.htm

I consider it an honor to be able to rise to the defense of his bona fides as his modesty will only allow him to do so in a limited extent.

You don’t have to agree with him, but it is the height of foolishness not to pay attention to what he has to say. And if you want to refute him, it is going to take a lot more than unwarranted jeers.

57. Disinvited - July 18, 2014

#49. kmart – July 16, 2014

I haven’t really been following the photo controversy so I’m not sure I have anything worthwhile to contribute to it. However, when it comes to Horner and music, I think I could shed some light on that, but whoboy does that often open up a can of worms that I’d rather avoid introducing here as it involves the Public Domain and copyright which often ignites polarizing contributions – which may be some of what you are experiencing in your photo topic.

I’m going to think about it and see if I can avoid some of the obvious pitfalls in such a discussion but somehow I doubt it.

58. kmart - July 18, 2014

I’ve chalked the Horner thing up to being another of life’s mysteries, so don’t knock yourself out. For years I tried to find out why shooting miniatures motion control on a stage costs so much as to make it cost-prohibitive, but even 15 years out from that quest, I still haven’t ever gotten any hard&fast numbers, so there are a lot of these concerns, I just try not to worry on them too often.

Regards,

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