Fans’ demand prompts revival of sci-fi classic

WNET, dastardly villain in a two-decade scheme to deprive science-fiction buffs of the coolest public TV program of all time, this summer will redeem its reputation among fans. “The Lathe of Heaven,” digitally remastered and repackaged with additional material, will be distributed to public TV stations for broadcast in June [2000]. A home video and DVD will be released in the fall. Originally broadcast on PBS in 1980, the drama inspired a cult following that never forgot the show, and never let WNET forget it, either. Fans of the program came together in an “extensive Internet community” to rage against the producing station’s “ruthless warehousing” of their favorite public TV show, and one site accused WNET of “corporate amnesia,” recalls Joseph Basile, director of program rights and clearances.