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Game Show Host Sues

According to a June 21, 2001 report in the Los Angeles Times, Ben Stein, host of the Comedy Central TV game show "Win Ben Stein's Money" has sued for breach of contract. In the suit, filed in Los Angeles County Superior Court, Stein claims he is owed $212,250 for his work in helping to develop an online quiz show. In exchange for the use of his name, voice and likeness, Stein reportedly was to receive 75,000 shares of Shockwave stock valued at 50 cents a share, with an option to sell back the stock at nearly $3 per share. The show has yet to launch on the Web. The lawsuit claims, now AtomShockwave after their recent merger with Atom Films, used stalling tactics to avoid making good on the buyback. As originally reported on AWN [ Ben Stein Wins With Shockwave], Stein originally signed the deal in April of 2000. The deal called for the development of an on-line game, a series of e-greeting cards and a daily poll for Shockwave visitors. At the time, Stein joined SOUTH PARK's Trey Parker and Matt Stone, TWIN PEAKS' creator David Lynch, comic book master Stan Lee and gothic filmmaker Tim Burton in signing online development deals with In early September 2000, AWN reported on Shockwave.coms decision to change its focus from big celebrity toon deals to interactive games. At that time, the company laid off 20 people, but pledged it would continue work on productions already in development. Steins suit comes on the heels of a massive layoff at the company. In early June, AtomShockwave announced that it had laid-off 2/3s of its staff, leaving approximately 150 people without jobs. In addition, the online entertainment said it would be shutting down its Los Angeles and New York offices.