Arlo Looking Cloud Trial to Begin
By CARSON WALKER
SIOUX FALLS SD January 31, 2004 (AP) - When machine-gun-toting American Indian Movement militants took over Wounded Knee in 1973, the eyes of the world focused on the tiny Pine Ridge reservation village and the tense 71-day standoff with federal agents.
Three years later, the body of AIM activist Anna Mae Pictou-Aquash was found on the reservation, shot once in the head and left in a ravine.
Some speculated Aquash, who participated in the standoff, was killed by AIM members because she knew some were government spies. Others said she was killed because Aquash herself was an informant.
On Tuesday, more than a quarter-century after the slaying, a trial is set to begin for one of two former AIM members indicted last year on charges of first-degree murder in Aquash's kidnapping and death.
Arlo Looking Cloud, a homeless man who grew up on the reservation, will face jurors in Rapid City federal court. The other man, John Graham, pleaded innocent and remains free on bond in Canada. He told The Associated Press he will fight extradition.
Investigators have said the two men were instructed to kill Aquash, but AIM leaders have denied any involvement. Prosecutors and Looking Cloud's lawyer would not speak publicly about the case.
One of Aquash's daughters, Denise Maloney Pictou, said she hopes Looking Cloud's trial leads to some long-overdue answers.
"It may be the first step to closure," she said. "I'm not going to settle that these gentlemen get put in jail. We want explanations as to why her murder wasn't addressed."
Both defendants, who did low-level security at AIM events in the 1970s, would face mandatory life sentences if convicted.
AIM spokesman Vernon Bellecourt said he plans to attend the trial to determine whether the jury is unbiased and if there is enough evidence.
"No one knows who pulled the trigger, in that there is no forensic evidence other than hearsay, innuendo, conjecture and gossip," Bellecourt said in a telephone interview.
A member of Canada's Mi'kmaq Tribe, Aquash was killed at a time when tensions between AIM members and government-backed factions ended in numerous deaths on the reservation. Following the deaths of two FBI agents on the reservation in June 1975, the 30-year-old Aquash fled with several top AIM leaders. Six months later, she disappeared from a Denver home where she was staying. Her frozen body was found early the next year on the western South Dakota reservation.
In a 2000 interview with the Canadian Broadcasting Corp., Kamook Nichols, former wife of AIM co-founder Dennis Banks, said Aquash was not a government informant, though Banks and fellow AIM leader Leonard Peltier probably believed she was. That, according to Nichols, is likely why Aquash was allowed to flee with Nichols, Banks and Peltier after the two FBI agents were killed.
"I think that maybe they wanted to keep an eye on her," Nichols said.
Peltier later was found guilty of killing the agents and is serving back-to-back life sentences at Leavenworth, Kan. He has maintained his innocence but several appeals have failed to overturn the conviction. Banks did not reply to a request for an interview, though in the past he has denied any involvement in Aquash's death.
Paul DeMain, a Native American journalist who has researched Aquash's death, believes prosecutors will attempt to establish that Aquash had heard Peltier brag about killing the two agents - and might also have heard AIM leaders talk about the killing of black civil rights worker Ray Robinson, who was killed during the Wounded Knee standoff.
"Motives that could be established at trial were that (Aquash) knew Leonard Peltier had shot the agents he was convicted of killing, and that she was probably knowledgeable about the death of ... Robinson inside Wounded Knee in 1973 and the involvement of several AIM leadership people in that death," DeMain said.
Peltier has sued DeMain for libel, partly because of the accusation.
Retired FBI agent Don Wiley of Rapid City said the case went unsolved for so long in part because of resistance to the agency on the reservation.
"I think it was just that people were not cooperative with the bureau's investigation," Wiley said. "You can imagine. Put yourself in a law enforcement officer's shoes and you're going around asking questions about a case that happened on Pine Ridge."
Nez Perce Indians Fight to Preserve Lost Land From Development
By Andrew Kramer
Associated Press Writer
Joseph OR January 31, 2004 (AP) - In 1877, Chief Joseph and his band of Nez Perce Indians were forced to abandon their beloved Wallowa Valley in a trek that turned into a war with the U.S. Cavalry and ended with their surrender 1,500 miles away, near the Canadian border.
Delivering one of the most heartbreaking surrender speeches in history, Chief Joseph said: "I am tired. My heart is sick and sad. From where the sun now stands I will fight no more forever."
Joseph's band was exiled to reservations in Oklahoma, Washington and Idaho. More than a century later, the Nez Perce are again engaged in a fight - this time a legal dispute over building 11 upscale homes on 62 acres on a grassy ridge near a Nez Perce cemetery that includes the grave of Chief Joseph's father, Old Chief Joseph.
The grave is on a 5-acre site that serves as the trailhead for a National Historic Trail that follows the route taken by Joseph's band of Nez Perce during their running battles with the Cavalry.
Because the subdivision is on a site closely tied to the tribe's history, fighting the development is a top priority for the Nez Perce, said tribal secretary Jake Whiteplume.
"Remembering what our ancestors went through will help keep us going," in the legal fight, he said. "That was our homeland. We have that teaching in us today. We still remember."
The Nez Perce and two other Northwest tribes have filed a legal challenge to the proposed housing development with the Wallowa County Board of Commissioners. The tribes argue the whole ridge is a site of cultural significance and a national historic treasure. The commissioners are scheduled to decide the issue at a hearing on Monday.
Developers of the proposed project reject Nez Perce assertions that some of their ancestors may be buried beneath the building site. The developers point out there is already a seven-acre buffer zone separating the privately held 62 acres and the cemetery. The developers also say the construction project would bring much-needed jobs to this corner of eastern Oregon, hard-hit by the demise of the timber industry.
"This is a simple land-use issue, and to compare this site to the war in 1877, and the atrocities that took place, is not fair to the owners," said Rahn Hostetter, an attorney for developer K&B Limited Family Partnership.
The land was appraised at $1.8 million if it can be subdivided; if not, it is worth about $1 million, Hostetter said.
The city of Joseph and Wallowa County are at odds over the housing development. In December, the county planning commission approved a tentative plan for the development. But the city has supported the tribes' appeal, arguing an archaeological study contracted out by the developers is insufficient. The subdivision and the Nez Perce cemetery are located on a ridge overlooking Wallowa Lake, in the shadow of the snow-draped Wallowa Mountains. Nez Perce bands caught sockeye salmon in the six-mile lake and hunted in the Wallowa Mountains. Young Chief Joseph was camped on the ridge in 1877 when his band of Nez Perce was expelled from the region.
The band had retained the Wallowa Valley as a reservation under an 1855 treaty signed by Old Chief Joseph but later renegotiated by the U.S. government and Nez Perce tribal leaders in Idaho without the consent of the Wallowa band of the tribe. The new treaty of 1863 ceded the entire valley to settlers.
On his deathbed in 1871, Old Chief Joseph reminded his son that he had not signed the revised treaty, according to Alvin M. Josephy's 1965 history of the Nez Perce war and exile, "The Nez Perce Indians and the Opening of the Northwest."
The old chief told his son, according to Josephy: "Never forget my dying words. This country holds your father's body."
But the band was forced to abandon the valley when U.S. General Oliver O. Howard threatened to attack. They fled through Idaho, Wyoming and Montana, fighting with Howard's troops along the way. Chief Joseph surrendered at Bear Paw, Mont., just 40 miles short of the Canadian border.
Over the past decade, retirees and tourists have been discovering the scenic Wallowa Valley. And the city of Joseph - named after the young Chief Joseph - has succeeded in reinventing itself as an artists' colony and retirement destination.
As Joseph has flourished, new homes and housing developments have begun popping up in and outside the city.
The fight over the grave site comes as the Nez Perce reassert their ties to the valley. For decades they were not welcome: around the turn of the century, local residents unsuccessfully petitioned the U.S. Congress to prohibit Nez Perce Indians from living in the valley after some returned to hunt and work in hay fields. Today only two Nez Perce live in the Wallowa Valley. One is Joe McCormack, a tall, strapping man sporting a black pony tail and cowboy boots.
McCormack moved to the valley six years ago to work in a native fish restoration effort and as president of the Wallowa Band Nez Perce Trail Interpretive Center Inc. One of his jobs is buying land with his nonprofit for the tribes' use. He has already purchased 320 acres near an abandoned Indian camp site. The tribes may bid for the proposed development, called Marr Ranch, to preserve it if legal efforts to block the subdivision fail, McCormack said.
"There have been other developments that built over grave sites," McCormack said. "I would rather not see it happen again here."
Indian Country Today - http://indiancountry.com
Wildlife Conservation Society Press Release
January 30, 2004 - Who's afraid of the big bad wolf? The survey says: it largely depends on who you are and what you do, according to a study by the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) and the University of Wisconsin.
Published in the December issue of the journal Conservation Biology, survey results among people who live with wolves in northern Wisconsin revealed that deeply rooted social identities and occupations are more powerful predictors of their attitudes toward wolves than individual encounters, or losses of pets and livestock.
Using a mail-back survey with a pool of 535 respondents, scientists found that bear hunters were the group with the least tolerance, with approximately 74 percent of the 124 hunters in the survey in favor of reducing or eliminating Wisconsin's wolf population. Attitudes among this group did not vary greatly between the perceived threat and an actual loss of hunting dogs, which sometimes fall prey to wolves.
By comparison, about 44 percent of livestock producers favored reducing or eliminating wolves, and only 28.5 percent of general residents supported the same. Overall, there is moderate support for wolf recovery statewide, with only 17.4 percent indicating that wolves should be eliminated.
"This survey can help us identify those key areas where wolf recovery may be compromised by local intolerance," said Dr. Adrian Treves, a conservationist with WCS's Living Landscapes program and a co-author of the paper. "Logically, the survey respondents with the most to lose from wolves--livestock producers and hunters with dogs--were less tolerant than regular residents, but overall tolerance did not vary greatly between those who suffered loses and those who didn't. This indicates that attitudes lie deeper."
Although eliminated from the state in the 1950s, wolves have re-colonized Wisconsin from Minnesota, with the state's current population numbering some 350 individuals. Since the survey was conducted, wolves have been federally down-listed from endangered to threatened, a change that has meant controlling wolves by lethal means when conflicts occur.
Another measure used in the survey found that education levels also influenced attitudes about wolves. Individuals with more education were found to be more tolerant of wolves and opposed to lethal control. However, Lisa Naughton, of the University of Wisconsin and WCS, the lead author on the team cautioned that, since ranchers and farmers rely less on academic training, this correlation may not reflect cause-and-effect results.
Attitudes about monetary compensation for pet and livestock loss were also measured, with the surprising results that payments did not improve individual tolerance towards wolves; further, bear hunters who had received compensation for the loss of a hunting dog were even more likely to approve of lethal control of wolves.
However, the authors of the study added that compensation should not be cut off, warning that increased hostility would result.
"While wildlife managers face some daunting challenges regarding carnivore conservation, this survey can help us find publicly acceptable methods of controlling wolf depredations while compensating individuals for their losses," added Treves.
"On the whole, 73 percent of Wisconsin's residents support maintaining or increasing wolf numbers, and from that base of support we can find solutions for those who actually live in wolf country."
Wildlife Conservation Society - http://www.wcs.org
By Rossella Lorenzi
Florence January 29, 2004 (Discovery News) — The Inca invented a powerful counting system that could be used to make complex calculations without the tiniest mistake, according to an Italian engineer who claims to have cracked the mathematics of this still mysterious ancient population.
Begun in the Andean highlands in about 1200, the Inca ruled the largest empire on Earth by the time their last emperor, Atahualpa, was garroted by Spanish conquistadors in 1533.
Long considered the only major Bronze Age civilization without a written language, they left mysterious objects that, according to the latest research, would have been used to store units of information.
Recent studies are investigating the hypothesis that elaborated knotted strings known as khipu contain a hidden written language stored following a seven-bit binary code. Nobody, however, had been able to explain the meaning of these geometrical tablets known as yupana.
Different in size and shape, the yupana had been often interpreted as a stylized fortress model. Some scholars also interpreted it as a counting board, but how the abacus would have worked remained a mystery.
"It took me about 40 minutes to solve the riddle. I am not an expert on pre-Columbian civilizations. I simply decoded a 16th century drawing from a book on mathematical enigmas I received as a Christmas present," engineer Nicolino De Pasquale said.
The drawing was found in a 1,179 page letter by the Peruvian Felipe Guaman Poma de Ayala to the King of Spain. A simple array of cells consisting of five rows and four columns, the drawing showed one circle in the right cell on the bottom row, two circles in the next cell, three circles in the other one and five circles in the last cell of the row. The same pattern applied to the above rows.
According to De Pasquale, the circles in the cells are nothing but the first numbers of the Fibonacci series, in which each number is a sum of two previous: 1, 2, 3, 5.
The abacus would then work on a base 40 numbering system.
"Instead, all scholars based their calculations according to a base 10 counting system. But calculations made to base 40 are quicker, and can be easily reconverted to base 10," Antonio Aimi, curator of the exhibition "Peru, 3,000 Years of Masterpieces" running in Florence, told Discovery News.
"Since we lack definitive archaeological evidence, we tested this claim on 16 yupana from museums across the world. De Pasquale's system works on all of them," Antonio Aimi, curator of the exhibition "Peru, 3,000 years of masterpieces" running in Florence, told Discovery News.
The Inca's calculating system does not take into consideration the number zero. Moreover, numbers do not exist as graphic representations.
According to Aimi, in most cases the Inca made their calculations by simply drawing rows and columns on the ground. The unusual counting way is described in an account by the Spanish priest José de Acosta, who lived among the Inca from 1571 to 1586.
"To see them use another kind of calculator, with maize kernels, is a perfect joy... . They place one kernel here, three somewhere else and eight, I do not know where.
"They move one kernel here and there and the fact is that they are able to complete their computation without making the smallest mistake," Acosta wrote in his book "Historia Natural Moral de las Indias."
The claim has sparked a dispute among scholars.
Gary Urton, professor of Precolumbian studies at Harvard University, an authority on khipu research, told Discovery News: "The fact that an explanation can be constructed for one or even several yupana that conforms to this theory of a base 40 numbering system amongst the Incas is of some modest interest.
"How would one explain the many statements in the Spanish chronicles, both those written by Spaniards and by literate Andeans, who stated quite straightforwardly that the Inca used a base 10 counting system? This system is also attested in a mountain of early colonial documents that describe how the Inca organized their administrative system according to a base 10 counting system."
As Aimi concedes, the claim has the limits of any interpretative system that isn't proven with definitive historical evidence.
"We would need to find a Rosetta yupana, something similar to the deciphering of Egyptian hieroglyphics from the Rosetta stone. Since we can't have it, I would consider a strong evidence the fact that the system works on all yupana examined," he said.
|Trek Rumors Grow - Borg Invade! |
Hollywood February 1, 2004 (eXoNews) - Sci Fi Wire reports that Cinescape Online reports that according to an anonymous source Paramount might replace Rick Berman after February sweeps.
Wow! Now that's big-time news reporting guys!
All this is probably based on the recent announcement that UPN is shifting Enterprise into the Wednesday 9PM slot vacated by the rightfully canceled Jake 2.0. The animated series Game Over will debut on UPN at 8PM Wednesdays in March.
The premature reporting of Berman's demise seems to overlook a much-ballyhooed contract Rick Berman signed with Paramount a while back. Berman has a development deal with Paramount. When the big studios do that, it usually means they like the guy.
If Berman leaves after all those years as Trek head honcho, you can bet your tricorder that it will be on his own terms.
I'd say the correct interpretation of the Star Trek: Enterprise move is more logical, Mr. Spock. UPN has finally figured out that Enterprise is no match for Smallville, but it might give Angel some trouble. Anyone who bothers to look at this season's ratings for all three shows would probably agree.
[And you can look at those numbers at our very own Angel Fan Poll site, of course - http://flatdisk.net/angel - Ed.]
Also of note: Vegas trekkers will be able to experience Borg Invasion 4D at the Las Vegas Hilton beginning March 18, 2004. If this group participation virtual trip is anywhere as good as the original Star Trek Experience, I'd say it will be worth the price of admission. Real fanatics may also want to attend the Grand Opening at $299 per person.
Hey! That includes hors d'oeuvres! (Gagh to you, Mr. Neelix!)
Borg Invasion Grand Opening tickets - http://www.startrekexp.com/borgbash.php
Star Trek Enterprise Official site - http://www.startrek.com/startrek/view/series/ENT/index.html
Beyoncé SuperJohnny Rumors
Hollywood February 1, 2004 (eXoNews) - In other rumors, Harry over at Ain't It Cool reports that the new Superman movie is casting Beyoncé Knowles as Lois Lane and Johnny Depp as Lex Luthor.
Harry decries both choices, but I dunno. Given that Beyoncé Knowles looks too glam for a Lois at big events, but tone down all that glitz and put her in a business suit et voilà! Who says Lois has to be pale anyway?
And Harry! How can you doubt Johnny Depp? Hasn't Depp taught us that he is never to be underestimated? He is the Brando of our time, Harry!
And you say you want Lex to be played by "somebody like a shaved headed version of Ralph Fiennes"!!
All I can say to that is, remember The Avengers?
Even Uma and Connery couldn't save us from the horror of Ralph Fiennes in that remake.
Anonymous Rex on Sci Fi
LOS ANGELES January 29, 2004 (Zap2it.com) - A long-in-development movie about well-adjusted dinosaurs living among modern-day humankind is headed to the Sci Fi Channel.
"Anonymous Rex," based on a series of novels by Eric Garcia, is scheduled to begin shooting in March. The project has been in the cable network's development hopper for more than three years.
"It feels like this is the time for this concept to come to fruition," Mark Stern, Sci Fi's head of original programming, tells The Hollywood Reporter. "I think the technology is really in the right place, and we can execute the dinosaurs and the fantasy elements in the right way."
The "Anonymous Rex" novels posit that dinosaurs never became extinct but instead evolved to become roughly the size of an average human being and assimilated into society by disguising themselves as humans. The main character is Vincent Rubio, a velociraptor/private eye.
Veteran science-fiction scribe Joe Menosky ("The Dead Zone," "Star Trek: Voyager") is writing the script for the movie, which could also serve as a series pilot. It will actually be based on Garcia's second "Rex" book, a prequel. Stern says telling the story that way will make the movie "cleaner and more understandable."
Julian Jarrold (the BBC's "Touching Evil" and "Great Expectations") has signed on to direct.
[If the premise sounds stupid, check out Joe Menosky's credits here. Menosky should make this a real trip! Can't wait! Ed.]
Have Spacesuit, Will Travel!
Hollywood January 30, 2004 (Sci Fi Wire) - Oscar-nominated writer David Reynolds (Finding Nemo) has closed a deal to adapt Robert A. Heinlein's SF classic Have Spacesuit, Will Travel for Warner Brothers, according to The Hollywood Reporter. David Heyman is producing the live-action film through his Heydey Productions company.
Originally published in 1958, Spacesuit tells the story of Kip, a high school senior who wins a real spacesuit in a contest, playfully calls out on the radio and unexpectedly contacts a passing spaceship. The adventure that follows finds the very fate of Earth in his hands, the trade paper reported.
[May be no big to you, but this was literally the first science fiction novel I ever read! I guess I liked it. Ed.]
Las Vegas is the American Dream?
By Nellie Andreeva
LOS ANGELES January 30, 2004 (Hollywood Reporter) - NBC has given an early pickup to dramas "Las Vegas" and "American Dreams" for next fall, giving both shows full-season, 22-episode orders.
In its first season, the James Caan-starring "Las Vegas" has averaged 12.3 million viewers and a 4.6 rating/11 share among adults 18-49, ranking as the highest-rated new drama this season in the key demographic.
Said executive producer Justin Falvey: "We feel like we're starting to hit our stride and finding what works (on the show), which is a combination of procedural elements and a little bit of fantastical and escape for the audience to come to Vegas for an hour"
Dennis Hopper is the latest big name tapped to guest star on the series following guest stints by Oscar nominee Alec Baldwin and Jean-Claude Van Damme.
In its second season, "American Dreams" has averaged 8.6 million viewers and a 3.2/8 in adults 18-49 in the Sunday 8 p.m. slot.
"It's tackling issues of family, race, class, sex and things that almost no other show on TV is dealing with," said Jeff Zucker, president of the NBC Entertainment, News and Cable Group.
The news Thursday was not as good for ABC's freshman drama "Karen Sisco," as the network decided to pull the plug on the critically praised drama. After an underwhelming ratings start, the show was put on hiatus in November.
Sources said the network was unhappy with the creative direction of the scripts and scrapped its plan to relaunch the show. A total of 10 episodes of have been produced with three still in the can.
[If you haven't seen madman Caan as Big Ed, you should really tune in. Las Vegas is fun, not to mention the cleavage! Ed.]
Las Vegas Official site - http://www.nbc.com/Las_Vegas
American Dreams Official site - http://www.nbc.com/American_Dreams
Hopalong Cassidy Trail
PALM DESERT January 30, 2004 (AP) - In honor of late longtime resident William Boyd, the city is naming its first trail after the actor known to generations of television viewers as Western star Hopalong Cassidy.
Hopalong Cassidy Trail will be dedicated Saturday.
Councilman Buford Crites, a longtime Hopalong Cassidy fan, encouraged the city to name the trail in honor of his childhood hero. Hikers, bicyclists and horse riders will use the trail.
"It's a bit of a tourist attraction, it's a bit of nostalgia, and a wonderful trail, all rolled together," he said. "Gene Autry is remembered in Palm Springs, appropriately, and here's a place for us to remember a local Western hero of our own."
Only a one-mile stretch will be open at first. Eventually, the trail will stretch like a backbone along the east side of the mountains for about seven miles, linking the Bump and Grind Trail in Rancho Mirage to the trail head of the Art Smith Trail.
Boyd moved to Palm Desert in the mid-1950s.
The city's trail system will soon have other trails named after prominent early Palm Desert residents. One will be named after George "Gabby" Hayes, another movie star who was perhaps best known as Roy Rogers sidekick.
[A bit insulting that the author of this item didn't identify Gabby Hayes as Hoppy's sidekick "Windy"! Yer durn tootin'! Ed.]
Official Hopalong Cassidy site - http://www.hopalong.com
New TV Pilots: Same Old, Same Old
BY MICHAEL SCHNEIDER
Hollywood January 29, 2004 (Variety) - CBS picked up three dramas, ABC landed two laffers and a drama while the WB added a sitcom as pilots took flight Thursday.
New ABC laffers include "We Are Family," about a man and his estranged father, both of whom have babies at the same time. Rob Long and Dan Staley ("Cheers") are exec producers and writers; Tim Fall ("Men, Women and Dogs") will also write and co-exec produce.
"We Are Family" comes from Touchstone TV.
Alphabet also picked up the Universal Network TV sitcom "Plan B," starring comedian-thesp Caroline Rhea ("Sabrina, the Teenage Witch").
Project features Rhea as a thirtysomething who finds herself struggling with career issues, weight gain and troubled romance. Scribes are Josh Sternin and Jeff Ventimilia.
[Can't wait to see Aunt Hilda get fat... uh, er! Ed.]
Then there's the untitled drama project from scribe Shonda Rhimes ("Introducing Dorothy Dandridge") that the net has unofficially dubbed "Sex and the Surgery."
Greenlit pilot follows the professional and personal lives of residents in surgical training at a San Francisco hospital. Rhimes, whose credits include the upcoming "Princess Diaries 2," will write and exec produce.
Mark Gordon (who also has the pilot "HUB" at NBC) will exec produce as well.
Meanwhile, CBS has ordered the pilot "Dr. Vegas," an hourlong drama that follows the exploits of an inhouse doctor at a Las Vegas casino.
[Look out Big Ed! How much you wanna bet CBS runs this opposite Las Vegas on NBC? Original thinking, guys! Ed.]
Helmer-scribe John Herzfeld ("15 Minutes") will exec produce, write and direct the pilot; Lawrence Bender ("Kill Bill Vol. 1"), Mark Sennett ("K Street") and Kevin Brown ("Roswell") will also exec produce. Eye had previously made a premium script commitment to the project, which comes from Warner Bros. TV, CBS Prods. and Bender-Brown.
Also from Warner Bros. TV comes the Eye drama pilot "Sudbury," exec produced by Sandra Bullock, Denise Di Novi and scribe Becky Hartman-Edwards ("American Dreams").
Hourlong drama will revolve around two sisters who struggle with the blessing and curse of harboring magical abilities.
[Don't get me wrong, I think Sandra is one smart wicca but hasn't she ever seen Charmed? We all been there, invoked that. Ed.]
Eye also ordered the hour drama "Wanted," a suspense thriller set in the fugitive department of the Los Angeles Police Dept.
Warner Bros. TV, CBS Prods. and Sarah Timberman's 25C Prods. are behind the show, which will be written and exec produced by feature scribe Cynthia Cidre.
Timberman and Carl Beverly will also exec produce, along with Thomas Carter ("Save the Last Dance"). Script is based on an idea by Robert Crais.
Timberman and 25C also have the pilot "The Webster Report" at CBS. Eye had made a three-for-one pilot production commitment with 25C last fall.
All three CBS drama pilot pickups are cast contingent.
Over at the WB, Frog net has officially ordered "Survivor" exec producer Mark Burnett's sitcom based on his past life as a military commando-turned-nanny.
Untitled project, formerly known as "Commando Nanny," had already been given a put pilot commitment. Warner Bros. TV is producing the sitcom, which will be written and exec produced by Dave Flebotte. Burnett is an executive producer as well, while Conrad Riggs is co-exec producer.
[You're kidding, right? How about calling it Sargeant Mom? Ed.]
Another Sitcom and Buffy's Marti Noxon Returns
LOS ANGELES January 27, 2004 (Zap2it.com) - Sticking with established behind-the-scenes names, CBS has inked a pilot deal with "Spin City" veterans Jay Scherick and David Ronn, while Marti Noxon of "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" is working on a pilot for FOX.
Scherick and Ronn, who also collaborated on the feature scripts for "National Security" and "Serving Sara" are developing "The Amazing Westerbergs," a comedy for Sony Pictures Television. The series focuses on two 20-something brothers coming to terms with their own personal limitations in Manhattan.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, the deal stems from a hefty deal that the duo signed with SPT back in the summer.
Noxon's FOX drama is described as "Peyton Place" meets "The Omen." A mysterious girl washes up in a beachfront community and, based on the show's description, it seems likely that her presence will turn things upside down.
John McLaughlin, who adapted A&E's recent take on "The Great Gatsby," wrote the pilot and will executive produce the series along with Noxon. Neal Moritz, Marty Adelstein and Dawn Parouse of 20th Century Fox TV-based Original TV will also executive produce.
Noxon is currently working on "Still Life," a drama that has yet to find a home in FOX's midseason schedule.
The Black Forest Online Radio Promo Debuts
Image Comics Press Release
ORANGE CA January 23, 2004 - As part of the ongoing promotion for the horror/adventure graphic novel THE BLACK FOREST, creators Todd Livingston, Robert Tinnell and Neil Vokes will be releasing an original, online radio show. The show, which will run between seven and ten minutes in length and involve characters and situations from the book, will premier at www.theblackforest.net the week prior to the book’s March 31st release.
"We recognize that fans have a lot of options when it comes to spending their money and we want to make them as familiar as possible with just what the book is, and to earn their loyalty," said co-creator Robert Tinnell.
"What’s more, we want to demonstrate to retailers our commitment to continue promoting and supporting the book. And beyond that, to be perfectly honest, it’s just plain fun, something all three of us have always wanted to do."
The show, entitled THE BLACK FOREST – EPISODE ONE: MYSTERY IN THE TRENCHES dramatizes events that occur just prior to those in the book.
Thus, listeners will get a unique, stand-alone story that will enhance their enjoyment of the GN itself.
Co-writer Todd Livingston is handling the production duties for the episode in Los Angeles.
"The really exciting thing," said Livingston, "in addition to the thrill of hearing your characters come to life, is the tremendous luck we’ve had in assembling a cast."
The first to sign on was the gracious Yvonne Monlaur, beloved by genre fans for her work opposite Peter Cushing in the Hammer Film classic, BRIDES OF DRACULA. More talent followed suit, including veteran actor Dan Roebuck (RIVER’S EDGE, THE FUGITIVE, the AGENT CODY BANKS movies) and Xenia Seeberg, well-known among genre fans for her work on the Sci-Fi series LEXX, as well as a starring role in Livingston’s film SO, YOU’VE DOWNLOADED A DEMON. And Livingston and Tinnell say there are more surprises to come.
Artist Vokes, who completed the artwork for the book ahead of schedule, is excited about the show but disappointed he isn’t more involved.
"I would love to do one of the characters. On my home answering machine I’m always doing crazy voices. The fan in me can’t wait to listen to it."
A couple of other notes of interest regarding THE BLACK FOREST: Vokes was unhappy at the thought of compromising the storyline and thus sought clearance from Image to increase the page count. Therefore, although solicited at 96 pages, the book will actually be 104 pages – with no increase in cover price.
The documentary chronicling the "making of" the graphic novel has completed post-production and will be making the festival rounds in the late spring and throughout the summer in support of the book.
THE BLACK FOREST is available for order now in the December issue of Previews and will go on sale March 31.
Image Comics is a comics and graphic novels publisher formed in 1992 by a collective of best-selling artists. Since that time, Image has gone on to become the third largest comics publisher in the United States.
There are currently four partners in Image Comics (Erik Larsen, Todd McFarlane, Marc Silvestri and Jim Valentino), and Image is currently divided into three major houses (Todd McFarlane Productions, Top Cow Productions and Image Central, which is the home of THE BLACK FOREST).
Image comics and graphic novels cover nearly every genre, sub-genre and style imaginable, offering science fiction, romance, horror, crime fiction, historical fiction, humor and more by the finest artists and writers working in the medium today.
[Thanks to Robert Tinnell, co-author of The Black Forest graphic novel, for forwarding eXoNews this press release and the pix. Good luck with this, Robert! We'll be listening! Ed.]
Official Black Forest site - http://www.theblackforest.net
Image Comic site - http://www.imagecomics.com
Disney's Grateful to Dali for 'Destino' Idea
By Sheigh Crabtree
LOS ANGELES January 27, 2004 (Hollywood Reporter) - Combine rare Salvador Dali paintings with a healthy dose of Walt Disney movie magic and you've got one of the most interesting offerings in the 2003 animated short film Oscar race.
Executive produced by Roy E. Disney, the former vice chairman of the board of the Walt Disney Co., and directed by Dominique Monfrey, who had been based at Disney's now-shuttered Paris studio, the short film "Destino" began with the unlikeliest of partnerships, one which dates back to 1945.
That's when Walt Disney, the studio's founder, first proposed a collaboration with Salvador Dali, the celebrated Spanish surrealist.
That original teaming was abandoned in the following year because of the studio's financial setbacks after World War II. But the project was revived again 54 years later by Roy E. Disney, Walt Disney's nephew, when he came across Dali's original artwork and story sketches while he was overseeing the re-release of "Fantasia."
Almost overnight -- if you set aside that 54-year hiatus -- the project was revived and became a six-minute short film that has since gone on to become the toast of the animated film festival circuit.
"The story sketches had to be reinterpreted by an animator of today," Disney said Tuesday. "It was a labor of love. You get into these things and you begin to realize it's something special and you want to do right by what was clearly an amazing idea. Surrealism in 1945 was a modern art movement that not a lot of people understood."
Disney recounted the story about Dali who said, when he came to Hollywood in the 1940s, he had met the two great American surrealists: Alfred Hitchcock and Walt Disney.
"I've thought about that since and if you look at a lot of the film that was made in those days, in the 1940s, there's a tremendous amount of surrealism in it: dreamscapes and weird pink elephants on parade in 'Dumbo,' for instance," he said.
Attempting to explain his creative process, Dali often said that he simply woke up from dreams, realizing that he'd just come up with a great idea.
Disney cited that explanation Tuesday and added that when he himself awoke on this particular morning, he was delighted to learn of the Oscar nomination for "Destino."
"But my dream was a little bit more concrete," he said. "Recognition of all that hard work by your peers is thrilling."
He said he planned to drink champagne and celebrate the combined work of Disney's animators and the great surrealist.