You Can Thank Dolly Parton for Buffy The Vampire Slayer

Kevin Winter/Getty Images
Kevin Winter/Getty Images

by Louisa Mellor

In 1997, the year Buffy the Vampire Slayer made its television debut, Dolly Parton was asked by Paper Magazine about the extent of her fortune. “With all my companies and all the businesses,” Parton answered, “I’m not quite sure how much I’m worth, but all told I guess it’s quite a bit.”

Parton guessed right. Savvy investments have amassed the singer/actress/entrepreneur a tidy sum. (Today, Parton is estimated to be worth an even tidier $500 million). One such investment was in Sandollar, a television and film production company Parton founded in 1986 with Sandy Gallin, her former manager, roommate, and business partner.

In the early 1990s, Sandollar president and CEO Gail Berman read Joss Whedon’s screenplay for the 1992 Buffy the Vampire Slayer movie when Sandollar became its distributor. She immediately saw its potential as a TV show and set about acquiring its television rights.


Because the film wasn't a hit, it took the success of 1995's Clueless, which Berman thought shared tonal similarities with Whedon’s original movie script, for her to start pursuing the idea of a Buffy TV show in earnest. Berman contacted Whedon, who was by then writing movies—including Toy Story and Alien: Resurrection—but agreed to come back to television to run the show. Seven seasons and one spinoff later, the rest was TV history.

Writing the checks all the while was Sandollar Television, the small-screen arm of Parton and Gallin’s production company. Sandollar co-produced Buffy the Vampire Slayer and its spinoff, Angel, with Whedon’s company, Mutant Enemy. Berman and Gallin were listed as executive producers on both shows, while Parton’s name stayed out of the credits.

Without Parton’s cash though, Buffy Summers may never have made it to television. For that, fans will always be grateful. Perhaps that gratitude also explains why the fictional vampire slayer shares a birthday—January 19—with the world-famous country singer?

The ChopBox Smart Cutting Board Has a Food Scale, Timer, and Knife Sharper Built Right Into It

ChopBox
ChopBox

When it comes to furnishing your kitchen with all of the appliances necessary to cook night in and night out, you’ll probably find yourself running out of counter space in a hurry. The ChopBox, which is available on Indiegogo and dubs itself “The World’s First Smart Cutting Board,” looks to fix that by cramming a bunch of kitchen necessities right into one cutting board.

In addition to giving you a knife-resistant bamboo surface to slice and dice on, the ChopBox features a built-in digital scale that weighs up to 6.6 pounds of food, a nine-hour kitchen timer, and two knife sharpeners. It also sports a groove on its surface to catch any liquid runoff that may be produced by the food and has a second pull-out cutting board that doubles as a serving tray.

There’s a 254nm UVC light featured on the board, which the company says “is guaranteed to kill 99.99% of germs and bacteria" after a minute of exposure. If you’re more of a traditionalist when it comes to cleanliness, the ChopBox is completely waterproof (but not dishwasher-safe) so you can wash and scrub to your heart’s content without worry. 

According to the company, a single one-hour charge will give you 30 days of battery life, and can be recharged through a Micro USB port.

The ChopBox reached its $10,000 crowdfunding goal just 10 minutes after launching its campaign, but you can still contribute at different tiers. Once it’s officially released, the ChopBox will retail for $200, but you can get one for $100 if you pledge now. You can purchase the ChopBox on Indiegogo here.

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Star Wars Fans Are Petitioning George Lucas to Release His Four-Hour Cut of Revenge of the Sith

Ian McDiarmid, Kenny Baker, Ewan McGregor, Colin Ware, and Hayden Christensen in Star Wars: Episode III - Revenge of the Sith (2005).
Ian McDiarmid, Kenny Baker, Ewan McGregor, Colin Ware, and Hayden Christensen in Star Wars: Episode III - Revenge of the Sith (2005).
Lucasfilm Ltd.

You've probably come across the hashtag #ReleaseTheSnyderCut. For the past several years, comic book movie fans have been begging Hollywood to release Zack Snyder's director's cut of Justice League (2017)—and they're finally getting their way. Earlier this month, it was announced that Snyder's personal cut of the superhero movie will finally get a release via HBO Max, likely some time in 2021. It was a long time coming, but the successful petitioning seems to have emboldened other fandoms.

Case in point: Star Wars devotees are desperate to catch a glimpse of George Lucas's extended version of Revenge of the Sith (2005). As reported by Yahoo!, Star Wars super fan Fraser Beitzel has started a Change.org petition aimed at getting Lucas to release his four-hour-long cut of his prequel trilogy film. The petition reads as follows:

"The original Star Wars: Revenge of The Sith (2005) cut was over four hours long, and we think that George Lucas should do the right thing and give the fans what we deserve and what is rightfully ours. We love democracy, and we hope he does too. By signing this you are letting your voices be heard. If this petition does go viral, then we will have unlimited power and if George does the right thing then he would be strong and wise and we would all be very proud of him. This whole operation is our idea and we need to ensure that it is done. We will proclaim ah, victory when we achieve our goal. May the force be with you all and have faith."

The petition has currently amassed more than 18,500 signatures, with a final goal of 25,000 names. You can check out the campaign—and sign the petition—here.

Evidently, the original version of the film features numerous scenes that were cut from the theatrical release, including a group of senators plotting against Emperor Palpatine and a sequence featuring Yoda’s arrival in exile on Dagobah. If Snyder's fans can do it, why not Lucas's?

[h/t Yahoo!]