News of Yore 1952: Don’t Tread On Me

$1,000,000 Damage Suit

(E&P, 8/23/52)

A $1,000,000 damage suit was filed in New York State Supreme Court this week against the Na­tional Broadcasting Co., the Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co., Young & Rubicam, Inc., Talent Associates, Ltd., Fred Coe and David Shaw by Jerry Siegel, who in 1935 ori­ginated the “Superman” comic strip but was unable to retain con­trol of the feature.

Mr. Siegel’s complaint charges that the plot of a television play called “The Lantern Copy” broad­cast May 25 closely parallels his own career to a point, but por­trays the cartoonist as “a person of immoral, vicious, disreputable and criminal character and na­ture.” Defendants are the net­work, sponsor, advertising agency, script agency, producer and au­thor, respectively.

Mr. Siegel’s complaint, inci­dentally, states that TV rights to “Superman” have been sold “for a sum reported to be in the neigh­borhood of thirty million dollars.” McClure Syndicate distributes the strip.

2 comments on “News of Yore 1952: Don’t Tread On Me

  1. Wndering what happened to THAT lawsuit (At least we DO know about the other one he have at the time)!!!!

    Except, he didn’t sold the rights to the “Adventures Of Superman” series-DC have the rights to the series (And, still own it to this day).

  2. Googled it and found that it was the first episode of The Goodyear Television Playhouse, a 60 minute live presentation that was aired on May 25, 1952.

    The director was Delbert Mann (the director of Marty, another Goodyear Television Playhouse presentation which he remade himself as a movie), who left his papers to the Vanderbilt library in Nashville. I for one would love to see if a script survives.

    Next time I am in LA I will have a look at the Museum of Broadcast to find more.

    Title: The Lantern Copy
    Date: 25 May 1952
    Director: Delbert Mann
    Producer: Fred Coe
    Writer: David Shaw
    Music: RCA Recordings
    Distribution: NBC Philco-Goodyear Television Playhouse
    Format: Live Television
    Principal Actors: Paul Langton, Neva Patterson, Royal Beal
    Supporting Actors: Georgianne Johnson, Mark Daniels
    Contents: Memoirs, Scrapbook
    Memoirs: Part I, pp. 91, 98D
    Scrapbook: Volume I, 1949-1953
    Location: Boxes 93, 102

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