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Book author calls NBC's 'Saturday Night Live' special a 'rip-off'

UPI News Service, 11/13/2005 

Washington Post TV critic Tom Shales claims NBC's "'Saturday Night Live' in the 80s: Lost and Found" is a "rip-off" of his book.

Shales, who wrote "Live from New York: An Uncensored History of 'Saturday Night Live'" with James Miller, told the New York Post: "It just seems like such a rip-off. There is nothing in the show that was not in our book."

Shales said an invitation to participate in the special was merely "a sneaky way to diffuse me."

Calling NBC "cheap and chintzy," Shales accused the producers of buying his book for $24.95 instead of paying $50,000 for the broadcast rights.

"(NBC President) Jeff Zucker is not my new best friend," he said.

A network spokesman answered the charge, saying "no one is the author of history."

There could be some legal action down the line, the Post said.

"I guess this is crybaby stuff, but when you punch a baby in the mouth, it cries," Shales said.

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Copyright 2005 by United Press International

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