Edward Gross has an extensive history of covering film and television as a member of the editorial staff of a wide variety of magazines. He discussed the true story behind the making of a pop culture phenomenon - Star Trek. The series debuted in 1966 and has spawned five TV series spin-offs and a dozen feature films, with a new movie from Paramount arriving later this summer. Gross thinks that the originators of the 1966 TV series "couldn’t imagine anyone in front of or behind the camera" who would have dreamed that the franchise would still be around after 50 years. He said that the show was originally supposed to be a starring vehicle for William Shatner, but that it quickly became evident that the three main characters (Kirk, Spock, and McCoy) were the "guys that really made Star Trek."
Gross also told the story of how Leonard Nimoy began to receive as much or more fan mail than Shatner a few episodes into the series, and that Shatner was quite upset about it. Among other things, Nimoy also began making demands for more money. The situation became so contentious that creator/ producer Gene Roddenberry wrote a memo to the three main stars saying that they were "destroying the show" with their infighting. Gross also recalled the inception of the Next Generation series in 1987 and how "no one was excited about it." After the show began to explore different themes than the original series, it found itself and went on to glory. Gross thinks that the JJ Abrams reboots of the last few years gave the Trek universe a "shot in the arm." There is a new series set to debut next year that Gross thinks will survive if it embraces the new modes of TV storytelling that have emerged in the last few years. In conclusion, Gross believes that the original series was so successful because it "presented a better version of us."
George started the second half by reporting that Art Bell was recently in the hospital for a lung ailment and asked the listeners to pray for his recovery. Many listeners such as Dean from Michigan called to say that Star Trek had played a big part in their lives. George asked for a roundup of listener stories about "people acting strangely." Amy said that she works in retail in a mall and has noticed the people acting weirdly in her store "seem to come in groups or waves." She said that this was happening more frequently than in the past and that just before the recent Florida shootings, there had been a lot of people who seemed to be wound up more than usual. David from Fairbanks called to tell about his "haunted" ventriloquist dummy and offered to send it to George to keep in the studio. He absolutely refused.
Harvey called from Orlando to tell the listeners about his method for seeing a "two -story Moon base." He told George that he used a 2400 mm lens and high-definition video equipment to locate an apparent structure. He stated that "NASA will not be able to deny this." Lee in Los Angeles reported that he was listening to Coast to Coast one night and suddenly heard the show go away and was replaced by an "Indian war chant," then the show came back, but it was "on all bands on every channel." Stacy called in to say that her radio was old and that she had problems listening to the program. George said that he would buy and send her a new radio.
News segment guests: Jeff Nelken, Peter Davenport