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OUTTAKES THE SEQUEL

THEIR 'WORLD'?

September 06, 1987|Rick Sherwood

It's still up and down for Linda Ellerbee.

First came ABC's cancellation of "Our World," the historical news show co-anchored by the acerbic Ellerbee. Then, she and Columbia Pics rammed heads over a planned film adaptation of her autobiography, "And So It Goes," and it almost became history.

Ellerbee flew to L.A. last month and ironed out differences with the cola conglomerate (the studio had wanted to take license with certain nonfiction elements) and all is said to be well on the Bernie Brillstein-produced project.

All is not well, however, with the ABC/"Our World" situation.

In July, Ellerbee announced she'd take her "World" over to public TV via her own Lucky Duck Prods. ABC insists that it has rights to the name, if not the show itself.

Now comes word from the Ellerbee camp that a widely publicized "verbal" buy-out agreement of her two-year contract failed to make its way to paper. An ABC News rep confirmed that Ellerbee is "still under contract" and said both parties still are "negotiating the final terms."

Depending on who you listen to, the mess resulted from either (a) ABC's desire to find a show to follow "Nightline" that might/might not involve Ellerbee or, more likely, (b) the tough manner in which Ellerbee announced the "Our World" move.

End result: Because of the buy-out delays, "World" (or whatever!) won't make it to public TV before spring--if it gets there at all. Still needed: an estimated $5 million to produce the first 13 installments.

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