Competing Corporate Lawsuits Put CBS/Viacom Merger And Star Trek Reunification In Doubt

The corporate fight between CBS and Shari Redstone’s National Amusements (NAI), which owns controlling shares in both CBS and Viacom, has escalated today with NAI countersuing CBS. Earlier this month, CBS sued NAI in an effort to block Redstone’s effort to merge CBS and Viacom, which would have reunited CBS, who owns the Star Trek brand and Trek on television, with Paramount Pictures, who owns and controls Star Trek feature films.

Also earlier this month, CBS voted to dilute Redstone’s shares to prevent her from replacing CBS board members and force a deal. According to multiple reports today, NAI’s countersuit calls these attempts by CBS “extraordinary, unjustified and unlawful actions.” The NAI suit also states that Redstone, who is vice chairman of both CBS and Viacom, decided to back off her push to merge the companies even before CBS filed suit on May 14th, noting NAI did not “intend to force a CBS/Viacom merger, whether by removing and replacing CBS directors or otherwise.”

Recode highlights one part of the complaint filed today as an indicator of Redstone’s end game: “Ms. Redstone discussed NAI’s long-term plans for CBS, focusing on a two-step process starting with a merger with Viacom that would strengthen both entities, and continuing thereafter with a sale or merger of the stronger combined entity, with NAI open to the possibility of relinquishing its voting control as part of that second transaction.”

According to Variety, NAI also claims that CEO and Chairman Leslie Moonves “expressed his support for a merger with Viacom that would pave the way for a possible larger transaction involving the combined companies.” However, and perhaps more ominously for Moonves, today’s suit also “challenges the legality of Moonves’ severance package.”

Hopes for Star Trek unity on hold

Earlier this year things looked hopeful that after over a decade, the Star Trek brand could again be united under one corporate umbrella, as it was before CBS and Viacom split up in 2006. A re-merger could have opened up many possibilities for future synergies for the brand. While Star Trek may not be one of the driving forces of the on again and off again re-merger talks, the franchise is still impacted. For example, Star Trek II writer/director Nicholas Meyer has recently stated, a three-part Star Trek mini-series he has written for CBS has been put on hold, pending an outcome of the merger.

While a future deal between CBS and Viacom, or possibly CBS, Viacom and one or more other parties, is still possible, nothing will happen until this boardroom power struggle is settled. And for now, that fight has moved to battling litigation in the Delaware courts.

TrekMovie will continue to keep track of this story and will provide updates when available.

newest oldest
Wes

Third party news outlets are saying that Trek is a major issue between CBS and Viacom from becoming one. The franchise is pretty much being held hostage thanks to Redstone and Moonves. It is everyone’s best interest (and the franchise’s too) to either merge or not. This is harming Discovery, and the two in development films. SETTLE IT NOW!

Curious Cadet

@Wes, while I can see it’s a negotiating point, I find it hard to believe it’s the sole issue. There’s a lot more at stake between those two companies than one property. Further, I can’t imagine what the issue would be — CBS grants the license for Paramount to make the movies in the first place, and threatened to rescind the license if Paramount didn’t get busy making new movies in 2007.

BorgKlingon

Actually the predominant issue is Moonvies thinks (and justifiably so) that Shari Redstone wants “her people” (i.e, the current Viacom CEO, who BTW is largely an incompetent oaf) to control the newly merged company, with Moonvies’ role diluted at best.

Ian

Is Bakish that bad? His predecessors were seemingly worse.

Phil

Can you throw a link to that? Everything I’ve seen suggests a corporate power play, and I doubt that Trek is that valuable an asset, in whole or in part.

ExistentiallyBored

For a second I thought that was the Nexus in that graphic or the Praxis shockwave. Someone should redo that graphic! (Too lazy)

Jonboc

I don’t understand why CBS can fully develop and do as they please with Discovery ( as long as they don’t step on the toes of the movies) but can’t proceed with Meyer’s project. This separation has existed forever, I can’t believe they would even commission a story or script that had the slightest possibility to infringe into the movie rights knowing the situation at hand. Sounds like something else is at work here, with Meyer. It just doesn’t add up. Too bad tho, Trek is certainly in s shambles at the moment.

Disinvited

Jonboc,

Re: I don’t understand

I assume it is because there’s a non main brand defining character common to both company’s production products that both companies developed? Khan?

But I’m mystified as to why the hold wouldn’t be mutual? I mean, I would expect Meyer’s 4k STAR TREK THE WRATH OF KHAN to be likewise on hold if that were so?

Curious Cadet

@Disinvited — The only issue with doing a Khan project without Paramount is likely the indigenous life form that killed much of Khan’s crew, and his wife. That’s pretty much entirely created by Paramount. Hard to tell that story without it. They might also have some stake in the cargo ships used as shelter, and of course the eventual demise of Seti Alpha 6. Otherwise, CBS clearly owns Khan entirely.

BorgKlingon

I suspect the Meyer’s proposed mini-series in his eventual treatment to CBS was received as kind of lame, and so the studio is not moving forward with it, but now Meyer is trying to save face by claiming this is caught up in the merger issue.

Disinvited

BorgKlingon,

Re: …Meyer is trying to save face…

“Maybe it’s just me, but when I see someone’s on-the-job professional integrity challenged with job-specific information, I like to see it done on the up and up with a valid source or with a person not afraid to identify themselves… not by some anonymous poster calling himself A [“Klingon” — Disinvited] Dog Named Boo or whatever.” — BorgKlingon May 29, 2018 12:46 am ‘Interview: Ron Jones On His “Suicide Mission” To Compose Emotion For STAR TREK: THE NEXT GENERATION’ comment chain

You just don’t like any observations from an industry professional that challenges your premature film preconceptions:

“… And at the moment CBS is at a war with Paramount/Viacom. Shari Redstone, who actually controls both companies, wants to re-merge them and they are in a power struggle, which turned really nasty this past week when CBS decided to sue Viacom.

So, I don’t think my project is going anywhere in a hurry. Because everything [“STAR TREK” — Disinvited] is being on hold, while they sort out this merger business. That’s my story, I’m sticking to it.” — Nicholas Meyer, UC Irvine School OF Humanities’ Shakespeare and Star Trek: A Conversation With Nicholas Meyer | May 15, 2018 | 4:00 PM-5:30 PM

BorgKlingon

LOL, the Maestro of the Misquote strikes again.

You deliberately ingored the first two words of that post of mine where I said, “I SUSPECT,” which clearly shows that I am using conjecture and opinion to postulate what I think may have really happened regarding Meyer. This is completely the opposite of that post by Spuwho, who’s anonymous post comes across like he is stating workplace facts like he has actual inside production workplace information:

“However, Ron has left out a very important component that led Rick Berman to release him. Did Rick like Ron’s music? No. Did the fans and Ron’s peers like his music? Yes. So Ron stayed. But Ron did something once too often that led to his exit. He was late. No, not late to work, he was late with his work. This cost the producers a large sum the first time and warning was given. But after some close calls it happened again. Rick runs a tight ship, and these issues from a composer he didnt like were too much to bear and so Ron was released and replaced.”

APPLES AND ORANGES. I realize you are chomping at the bit to score some points on me, but your continual misquoting and deliberate ignoring of what I actually say regarding your vain attempts to give my posts alternate meanings, just never works. Perhaps it’s time for a new approach using sound-minded reasoning? Next???

Disinvited

BorgKlingon,

Re: I SUSPECT

I suspect, that you are pulling our legs. If you had intended that phrase to modify the other compound elements you could have better punctuated it to indicate that.

However, I point out that you are being disingenuous as you never intended to communicate, “…so, I suspect, the studio is not moving forward with it…” as that is a FACT that you DO know because Meyer said so, i.e. it’s NOT your opinion that it isn’t going forward with the studio. It’s a fact which is why it was clear to me that you were indicating that “…now Meyer is trying to save face…” was likewise, a matter of fact that I called you on.

BorgKlingon

You obviously don’t understand the definition of “I SUSPECT.”

“suspect
verb
suspect verb (THINK LIKELY)

to think or believe something is likely:

Medical investigators suspect the outbreak was caused by bacteria in the water supply.”

Disinvited

BorgKlingon,

To acknowledge “believe something is likely”, and then try to use semantics to spin-doctor that such a belief is somehow NOT an opinion, only further exposes the hypocrisy in regards to your job-specific observations on Nicholas Meyer.

And no matter how you slice it, you know how absurd it is for you to suggest what you really meant was, “…and so, I believe, a fact that we all know to be true, is likely…”

BorgKlingon

I have no clue what you’re saying now. lol

Disinvited

You either intentionally or unintentionally applied a logical form, that evaluates the veracity of a statement, to the already true Meyer’s statement reported which you restated as “the studio is not moving forward with it” which is absurd. That Meyer’s project is suspended by the studio is a given, an axiom. It is true regardless of anything that you might suspect.

In your epistemology, it’s an awkward sentence construction that requires one to observe spin-doctors employ such to impart a feeling in their readers that the patina of the absolute truth of a project being suspended somehow applies likewise to a possibly true assertion such as someone “saving-face” regardless of how likely that may be.

BorgKlingon

Wow, I am frankly in awe of your ability to make an issue out of that. Who comes up with something that meaningless, yet disturbingly logical?

Your argumentative skills are like the internet debate version of “Seinfeld,” a show about nothing that nontheless was can’t miss entertainment every Thursday.

Disinvited

BorgKlingon,

You can’t deny that your clear intent was to cast doubt on Meyer’s veracity. You are just upset that I pointed out that in your eagerness to do so the resultant awkward ambiguity went too far and subsumed the one thing that was true no matter what.

You could have and should have been clearer about what exactly you where attacking and what you were not.

BorgKlingon

Yea, that’s been bothering me all week…lack of sleep, depression, the whole 9 yards.

Thank you for exposing me here openly on this — now I will get the first good night’s sleep that I have had in days.

Disinvited

BorgKlingon,

Re: Nothing

If your purpose was to challenge the veracity of everything Meyer’s said then your post, indeed, was about nothing.

BorgKlingon

The Khan thing sounded stupid from the minute I heard it. I could see the CBS brass, who were probably grateful Meyer stepped in 1.5 years ago during the Fuller mess (even though his involvement really didn’t pan out), didn’t really like his Khan treatment, and rather than tell him that directly, just threw up their hands and claimed it was the merger process uncertainty that is preventing this from going forward…everyone saves face!

This is my own conjecture — I have no way of proving this. But I definitely could see this as being likely.

Disinvited

BorgKlingon,

My point has merely been that, even now, Meyer is the only source for the information that the project has been stalled. In fact, I have pointed out that so far, he’s the ONLY source for any info on his trilogy project.

If you are saying he is lying about all of that, it’s pointless to speculate about what he handed in, or CBS told him, and why.

The only thing you left me with from that little exercise of yours is the question of how you arrived at the conclusion that an experienced Hollywood Movie and Television writer and director, such as Meyer, could be so easily snowed by the likes of Moonves or Kurtzman, as to the true status of his trilogy project?

Disinvited

BorgKlingon,

Oh, and Meyer NEVER said his trilogy was Khancentric. That’s just a Jeff Bond rumor that you’ve been chasing.

Disinvited

BorgKlingon,

Re: Jeff Bond

He cites 2 anonymous “inside” sources for Khan, and we all know your valuation of that in respect to challenging Meyer’s info.

BorgKlingon

.

Disinvited

BorgKlingon,

Finally, left you speechless. ;-)

Curious Cadet

I’m getting a real MJ vibe here …

BorgKlingon

Sorry, no weed for me tonight; but don’t let that stop you from taking a few tokes.

But you are right on schedule…it’s amazing how you two always show up at exactly the right time to prop up each other. Like clockwork!

Disinvited

BorgKlingon

Re: …right on schedule…

As are you with another erroneous assumption. While MJ was definitely a weed that flourished in these comment chains and those of TrekCore, one couldn’t possibly toke his smoke.

Disinvited

Curious Cadet,

Re: MJ vibe

It would certainly explain how a newb, who hates to research the site, could violate all the guidelines as most newbs do, and yet, unlike every other newb, when chastised by the moderators doesn’t question their right to chastise but, instead, identifies them as “Moderators” in reply.

And his posting style closely matches that of “THX1138:The Fandom Menace” who I’ve had fleeting vibe thoughts in regards to MJ. But I just think MJ could not possibly sublimate his supreme hatred of Shatner for growing old, for that long.

BorgKlingon

Not familiar with this MJ or THX; I just started posting here this year.

However, since you were quick to analyze and make unsubstantiated charges regarding me, let’s please address the elephant in the room:

Any objective person could easily hypothesize you are both either the same person, or friends in the “real world” who deliberately cordinate on posts here to prop each other up when people dare to challenge you here.

Time and time again, what an objective person would see here is that anytime one of you gets challenged, the other one then shows up to either add support or provide distraction. It’s like clock-work and comes across as staged.

Just saying…

Disinvited

BorgKlingon,

Re:Any objective person could easily hypothesize

Only if they didn’t believe in doing actual bare minimal research on this site prior to deciding to contribute such comments inappropriately here.

“If we are alerted to something we deem inappropriate in any way (this includes but it not limited to: harassing other commenters, trying to post as two different names in the same comment chain, and/or repeated uses of inappropriate language), we may delete it at our discretion.” —

https://trekmovie.com/about/privacy-statement/

Sockpuppeting is what you are describing and the most egregious offender of that rule against it here was MJ, who got himself permabanned for it. And two of his favorite targets were the two that you see fit to accuse of that despicable act, now. MJ was ferreted out with forensic tools the moderators have at their disposal.

Also, if you honestly believe your “easy” hypotheses have truly worthy merits then the appropriate forum in which to air them is here:

https://trekmovie.com/about/feedback-2/

BorgKlingon

I clearly was suggesting that, hypothetically, an “objective person” could easily have that view. I am not making that specific challenge myself (this is in contrast to the two of you, who are directly accusing me of being both this former MJ and this THX character).

However, I reserve the right to humorously note when when the two of you continuually show up to reinforce each other, which uncannily seems to happen when many of us here dare to challenge your “self-perceived hegemony” on this site. I find it funny – it’s like you each need “a helper” to show up and bail the other out when the heat gets too much from people calling you out on all of your opinions.

Seriously, can’t each of your points stand on their own without needing a “lifeline” from the other? It’s kind of embarrassing, as it seems to highlight a lack of self-confidence in your own information and opinions?

Disinvited

BorgKlingon,

You totally ignored my closing statement on MJ’s proclivity which you do not share which is why I do not believe you are him or one of his 7+ clones.

And I wasn’t accusing you of anything, I was giving CC feedback on factors that support his supposition. It’s my observation that MJ couldn’t suppress a bald, old or girth jab at Shatner to save his life. And he certainly wouldn’t be posting about going to see him in Thousand Oaks with the possible exception of claiming that he was going to tell Shatner those jabs.

Re: Seriously, can’t each of your points stand on their own without needing a “lifeline” from the other?

You already have your two letter answer.

And I object to your assertion that there’s somehow something wrong with friends supporting each other.

And while I object to your duet’s erroneous CC conclusions, I certainly didn’t object to yours and Isabella’s collaborations or agreeing with each other.

If you have not already enlightened yourself, shenanigans that result in the following are frowned upon:

“Brian Drew

Disinvited is NOT Alec Peters.

January 10, 2017 9:49 am” — Brain Drew, moderator in comment chain of ‘Judge Denies Axanar Its Fair Use Defense” by Carlos Pedraza | TrekMovie.com | January 4, 2017

Disinvited

Errata:

In:

https://trekmovie.com/2018/05/29/competing-corporate-lawsuits-put-cbs-viacom-merger-and-star-trek-reunification-in-doubt/#comment-5401635

“Brain” should be “Brian”

And since this thing is going to moderation anyway, I may as well post a direct link to that comment chain:

https://trekmovie.com/2017/01/04/judge-denies-axanar-its-fair-use-defense/#comment-5332488

BorgKlingon

Fair enough, and I know you are not Alec Peters, as you haven’t tried to get me to buy anything. :-)

PS: Is Brian “The Brain” Drew related to former wrestler, Bobby “The Brain” Henon? :-)

Boborci

This is partly why I walked away from anything Trek. It seemed like a no brainer to me to unify the brand and and use each to help the other. I presented a plan to do jus that. Various interests did not agree. Sad.

GQMF

Nice to see you back Bob!

BorgKlingon

Sounds like there was a mutual parting of the ways…just saying.

GQMF

They didn’t end up using his script for the third movie but it doesn’t mean he couldn’t have done something else with them. Alex Kurtzman worked on 2009 and STID went onto work on Discovery.

Phil

That’s (apparently) reading something into his previous comment that’s not apparent. That would have been a business plan, addressing creative control and (presumably) a fair and equitable split of profits. Among other legalities I’m not qualified to comment on. Rejecting that was short sighted on their part, and still impedes broader development of the franchise. Creative considerations would not have been a concern in deciding to move forward with a solid business plan, or at a minimum, negotiating it further.

It’s just my opinion, though, and I’ll defer to those who were there.

GQMF

It seems like I misread his comment as a slight when this was not intended.

Boborci

Yup.

VoR

Sidebar: do you think we will ever be able to read your version of Trek 3?

Boborci

Aren’t there any good hackers among us who can leak itt?

Disinvited

Boborci,

“It is wise to be very careful for what one wishes.” – STAR TREK fortune cookie

BorgKlingon

Have you ever thought about turning it into a Star Trek novel?

Phil

Ask the Russians….

Disinvited

Boborci,

Thanks for making it clear that there was and are no simple solutions allowed for Paramount STAR TREK projects and that many opportunities abound to derail them in a process fraught with pitfalls.

Jam

Walked away….

Well when do we get to this script??

jako

yeah because this the real orci…lol

BorgKlingon

Oh no, how is Paramount going to fund international releases now? Going forward, I would suspect that they will run out of cash and that all of their big budget releases will have U.S.-only releases, and that they are going to have to stop production on all of their big movies in the pipeline for the next year. Say goodbye to Trek 4! How do I know this? Because I personally extrapolated this after reading an opinion piece in Variety!

(sarcasm) ;-)

Just Another Salt Vampire

When Sumner Redstone dies and his family loses their grip on CBS and Paramount, they are going to become prime acquisitions for one of the larger media companies like Apple, Google, or Netflix. Hopefully whoever ends up with them will treat Star Trek well and reassemble its film and television components back together.

BorgKlingon

Amazon just picked up The Expanse, BTW. A different trend, but somewhat related

Ian

Such a dumb decision to split them up, and to assume the new smaller Viacom’s assets were more promising than a steady CBS. Add in how Viacom turned down their chance to buy Marvel, and they lost their chance to remain a big player.

Michael Hall

No disrespect intended, but I’m not sure why such a ‘reunification’ would be of benefit to Discovery, or any future movie projects. Why would it matter?

Mirror Galt

And yet, merging could be disastrous for Star Trek if someone like Alex Kurtzman were in charge of the expanded universe synergy jimmerjam. Dear Mr. Moonves, please admit you messed up and give control back to one of the boring old choices like Ronald D. Moore. If he said publicly he’s not interested, he’s lying. Of course he would rather do Trek than Scottish bodice rippers. Criminy, is there a “More Moore” draft Ronald campaign? There really should be. Someone get on that. Though, you will have to put a savvy exec above Moore, just to avoid any of that late-run Galactica stuff like people humming “All Along the Watchtower” for half a season. Anyway, let’s get going on this, if I have to read any more tweets by the likes of Ted Sullivan or Aaron Harberts, I am going to hegh’bat. No joke, I am seriously going to hegh’bat, and it will leave a mess.

Chingatchkook

Auuurgh……I just want to smack both CBS and Viacom with a rolled up newspaper. C’mon you guys, get it together!