2ND UPDATE 7:40 PM: The most colorful reaction to today’s lawsuit once again came from Sons Of Anarchy creator Kurt Sutter, who previously blasted AMC over the dismissal of Glen Mazzara, Frank Darabont‘s successor on The Walking Dead. Sutter wrote on Twitter, “go frank. fuck those ghoulish, dead-eyed scumbags in their green-gobbed asses. i ain’t talking about the zombies.”
PREVIOUS 11:25 AM: AMC‘s The Walking Dead is the biggest show on television but its developer Frank Darabont has yet to receive any money as a profit participant. Today, Darabont and his agency CAA filed a lawsuit (read it here) against AMC, accusing the network in “self dealing” by setting an unrealistically low license fee for the zombie series it also produces and employing questionable accounting practices thus depriving profit participants of compensation. The complaint also alleges Darabont was wrongfully terminated from the show, that he should continue to receive an executive producer credit and is entitled to proceeds from The Walking Dead offshoots Talking Dead and the upcoming spinoff from Robert Kirkman, on whose graphic novel The Walking Dead was based. UPDATE: AMC declined comment on the litigation. Darabont and CAA are asking for unspecified “monetary damages” to be determined by a jury trial.
Judging by the history of vertical integration lawsuits, the odds are small that the dispute would go to trial. There have been a slew of “self dealing” complaints since the 1995 relaxation of TV’s financial interest-syndication rules — all of them eventually settled. The list includes Home Improvement producers’ suit against Disney, NYPD Blue exec producer Steven Bochco’s, X-Files star David Duchovny’s and M*A*S*H star Alan Alda’s complaints against 20th Century Fox TV, and more recently Will & Grace creators Max Mutchnick and David Kohan’s case against NBC and Smallville creators Miles Millar and Alfred Gough’s against Warner Bros TV. They all accused a studio of not negotiating a fair (or “arms’ length”) deal when selling a series to a corporate sibling, or “self-dealing,” which had hurt profit participants’ financial returns. The difference is that Darabont was also fired from the show early into its run, a move Darabont and CAA are using in their case against AMC. The lawsuit, filed today with the New York Supreme Court, comes after sources say efforts by Darabont and CAA to resolve their issues were “fundamentally rebuffed” by AMC. The 73-page complaint was accompanied by a summons from the plaintiffs for AMC to reply by mid-January or risk default judgment.
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Kevin Zegers (Transamerica) is set to co-star in Fox‘s event series Gracepoint, a U.S. remake of the UK’s Broadchurch. The project, from Shine America and Kudos, centers on Detective Emmett Carver (David Tennant), the lead male investigator on … Read More »
In his new role as VP unscripted programming at AMC, Marco Bresaz will focus on identifying and developing unscripted programming for the network. He will report to Elliot Goldberg, SVP unscripted.
Bresaz comes to AMC from its sister network Sundance Channel where he served as VP of original programming and development. At Sundance Channel, Bresaz developed and oversaw the hit series Push Girls, and also guided development and production of the first seasons of Dream School and The Writers’ Room. Prior to joining the network in 2010, Bresaz held senior programming and development positions at TV Land, Spike TV and ABC Daytime, where he served as a production executive on both One Life To Live and All My Children.
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Netflix is credited with helping Breaking Bad become a hit on TV, and the AMC drama became one of the first signature titles on the streaming service, helping introduce binge viewing. The pair’s successful symbiotic relationship is now being extended with the upcoming Breaking Bad spinoff Better Call Saul. Netflix and Breaking Bad producer Sony Pictures Television have closed a deal for the spinoff series for all of the streaming service’s territories. In the U.S. and Canada, the complete first season of Saul will be available to Netflix members after its season finale on AMC Networks in 2014.
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EXCLUSIVE: AMC may have cancelled drama Low Winter Sun after one season, but it is staying in business with the series’ developer/executive producer/showrunner Chris Mundy. Mundy has signed an overall deal with the network to develop new series projects. … Read More »
The drama is not being renewed, making official its cancellation after one low-rated season. Low Winter Sun, which wrapped its 10-episode run in September, marks just the second AMC scripted drama not to receive a season-season order, following 2010′s … Read More »
Here’s the first trailer for AMC‘s upcoming Revolutionary War series Turn. Written by Craig Silverstein, based on the book Washington’s Spies and directed by Rupert Wyatt, Turn is set in the summer of 1778 and tells the story of New York farmer Abe Woodhull (Jamie Bell), who bands … Read More »
AMC has given pilot orders to dramas Knifeman and Galyntine. Both will be produced by AMC Studios next year for consideration for series for 2015. The scripts for Knifeman and Galyntine, along with White City, had been heating up for a pickup at AMC over the past month, with Knifeman and Galyntine now joining AMC pilot Line Of Sight.
Inspired by the biography of John Hunter by Wendy Moore, “The Knife Man: Blood, Body Snatching And The Birth of Modern Surgery,” Knifeman is set in 18th Century London. It tells the story of a charming, arrogant, decorum-breaking genius who challenges societal norms to transform his visions into cutting-edge discoveries. A surgeon or “barber” in a time when blood-letting and praying was the norm, John Tattersal is a hard drinking, hard living man not afraid to push the boundaries of modern medicine, even if it takes digging up a few graves to do it. While he makes his living running an unlicensed operating theatre out of his residence, he picks up extra cash harvesting organs for his brother Julian, favorite son and prized physician of the St. Stephen’s teaching hospital. Read More »
Being sent to Saturday nights doesn’t necessarily mean a death sentence. AMC drama Hell On Wheels proved it with its recent third season and is now being picked up for a fourth, … Read More »
No surprise that after shattering cable records with its Season 4 debut this month, the top-rated zombie apocalypse is coming back. AMC today announced there will be a fifth season of The Walking Dead. “We are … Read More »
After smashing through cable records with new highs in its Season 4 premiere last week, The Walking Dead settled down a bit last night – though not much. Up against the competition of the ratings powerhouse … Read More »
King Of Arms takes a look inside the raw and highly-competitive world of American arm wrestling. AMC has ordered 10 one-hour episodes of the series set to premiere in the first quarter of next year and … Read More »
Western Canada could soon become a dead zone for The Walking Dead. In fact, as a complaint filed in U.S. federal court last week by Canadian telecom Telus reveals, all of AMC could be going dark for the company’s nearly 800,000 subscribers. Telus claims that AMC is playing rough to get better terms for its shows and that in the midst of carriage negotiations, the cable powerplayer breached the companies’ long-established deal by trying to pull the plug with a termination letter dated September 27. The lawsuit says AMC took it up a notch during talks by pledging to run a crawl during Sunday’s record-breaking Season 4 debut of Walking Dead warning Canadian viewers that they wouldn’t be able to see the conclusion of the series unless Telus agreed to a new deal by October 11. While the crawl never happened, this lawsuit in the Southern District of New York has. Although different in the details, this could end up being similar in consequences to the dispute AMC had with Dish Network last year that saw the satcaster boot the broadcaster off its systems for more than four months before a deal was reached.
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Two new faces are coming aboard in familiar roles for Season 4 of AMC‘s The Walking Dead. Southland‘s Michael Cudlitz has been cast in the role of … Read More »