The breathlessly awaited release of additional “Mister Ed” episodes on DVD may have to wait. (“Mister Ed” was a TV show about a talking horse, that aired in the ’60s, in black and white.)
What’s gone wrong? The estate of the widow of the man who wrote the short story that inspired the TV show (got all that?) is suing MGM for DVD residuals. If MGM can’t get the writer’s money-grubbing heirs to drop the suit, it will probably put an end to “Mister Ed” on DVD.
(MGM has already released two best-of collections to poor sales. No surprise there: Mister Ed’s been off the air for years and is no “I Love Lucy” or “The Jeffersons.” Being forced to pay the Brooks residual fees would give MGM a pretty good excuse to stop releasing the DVDs.)
The Hollywood Reporter, Esq: A horse is a horse, of course of course. And no one can exploit a talking horse of course. That is, of course, unless the horse is owned by MGM.
In which case, of course, the horse becomes the famous “Mister Ed.” And a hit TV show needs a DVD release, of course of course. That is, of course, the original creator of the horse, demands some money for that old horse.
Then, of course, the estate of the widow (Dorothy Brooks) of the man (Walter Brooks) who wrote the short story of the talking horse (Ed) sues the exploiter of the horse (MGM).
Saying in its suit: Yes, in 1959, we agreed to exploit that horse, of course of course. But go right to the source and ask the horse. He’ll give you an answer you may not endorse. He’ll tell you, there was no concept yet of home video, of course. So defend yourself until your voice is hoarse. But you owe us at least $378,396, plus interest.
In the face of all of this ugly news, we feel the need to pay tribute to the best and most enduring part of “Mister Ed:” the theme song:
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