More than two months since original The Walking Dead showrunner Frank Darabont and CAA sued AMC, over unpaid fees and other claims, the cable station has finally replied. In a dry point-by-point 10-page retort filed today in the …
The mid-season premiere of AMC’s The Walking Dead is set to air Sunday night, but some Xbox users got a unscheduled sneak peek when Season 4′s ninth episode appeared for free on Xbox Video this morning. It has since …
‘Walking Dead’ Panel At TV Academy Reveals No “Protection” In Season 4 Return; Star Andrew Lincoln Too Sick To Attend
“This is the first time since Season 1 where they don’t have any protection,” The Walking Dead EP and director Greg Nicotero said tonight of the remainder of the show’s fourth season. “You get a sweeping sense of the world again, and our characters are thrust back in it,” he added without giving away any more than that.
Just days before the AMC series comes back from its midseason break, Nicotero was joined at the TV Academy by creator/executive producer Robert Kirkman, EP Gale Anne Hurd, EP and showrunner Scott Gimple, EP Dave Alpert, stars Norman Reedus, Danai Gurira, Steven Yeun and other members of WD’s main cast. Unlike a similar appearance at the TV Academy around this time last year — when recently exited EP Glen Mazzara was suddenly a no-show — there wasn’t any controversy, but there was another notable absence. Lead Andrew Lincoln, who plays Rick Grimes on the show, was scheduled to be there tonight but ended up missing the evening due to a cold. “I am so sorry I’m not to be able to attend this event, but I am currently the walking dead tonight,” the actor said in a note to the audience read by Gimple in a terrible British accent.
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.
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.
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.