Take this report from SFcrowsnest.com with a 20 pound bag of salt: We’ve been tipped off that the legal and ownership issues which surround the Lord of the Rings have come under an intense round of negotiation as a significant unnamed party – said not to be Peter Jackson in this instance – work towards a new multi-million dollar per episode television series set in Tolkien’s Middle Earth. The working name of the project is TOME – Tales of Middle Earth – and the proposed timeline is the years following the events in The Hobbit, but prior to The Lord of the Rings trilogy. One of the main points that need resolution is whether Peter Jackson should get first dibs on a movie adaption of The Hobbit, or whether the TOME project should be allowed to develop the children’s book as a movie prior to the launch of any television series set in Middle Earth.