Warner Bros Television and the creators of Smallville are not taking their multimillion-dollar legal battle to a jury after all. Lawyers for WBTV and co-creators/writers Miles Millar and Alfred Gough announced in a hearing today that they have reached a settlement in their breach of contract and conflict of interest dispute. No details of the settlement were made public. LA Superior Court Judge Michael Johnson told the parties today that they now have until August 30 to file a formal request for dismissal. Millar and Gough along with Tollin/Robbins Productions claimed in their initial $100 million vertical integration suit, first filed in March 2010, that WBTV signed low-balling licensing deals with the WB and later the CW that were nowhere near the requisite arms-length nor conducted with the good faith that they should have been. Tollin/Robbins came to a settlement with WBTV back in early January.
EXCLUSIVE: After a 10-season run as the super-hero-in-training Clark Kent in the CW series Smallville, Tom Welling is taking a break from TV and transitioning to features. He’s just landed a co-starring role in Parkland, the Exclusive Media feature that is being directed by Peter Landesman. He joins Paul Giamatti, Zac Efron, and Billy Bob Thornton in the ensemble drama about the hours following the assassination of JFK in Parkland Hospital. Tom Hanks and Gary Goetzman are producing with Bill Paxton. Open Road is in talks to distribute domestically in the fall, around the 50th anniversary of JFK’s assassination. Welling is repped by WME.
Turns out a jury won’t be deciding whether Warner Bros Television owes the producers of Smallville $100 million in damages after all. A WBTV spokesman today confirmed to Deadline that the suit filed by Tollin/Robbins Productions has “been resolved.” No details of the settlement today were made public. However, Tollin/Robbins did file court paperwork Wednesday to dismiss its own claims in the case. That doesn’t mean the suit is completely over. Smallville co-creators/writers Miles Millar and Alfred Gough are still pursuing their suit against WBTV with a trial date of June 10, 2013. In the initial suit, first filed in March 2010, Tollin/Robbins Productions along with Millar and Gough claimed WBTV signed low-balling licensing deals with the WB and later the CW that were nowhere near the requisite arms-length. They also alleged that the deals were not conducted with the good faith that they should have been. Because of these deals, the production company and producers claimed the show’s value was decreased and they were cheated out of millions in profits. In September, Judge Michael Johnson cited a number of “triable issues” in the conflict of interest case. Smallville debuted on the WB Network on October 16, 2001. It ran until May 13, 2011, ending on the CW, which debuted in 2006 after the merger of the WB and CBS’ …
A jury will decide whether Warner Bros Television owes the producers and creators of Smallville $100 million in damages. In a five-page ruling released Tuesday, Judge Michael Johnson cited a number of “triable issues” in the conflict of interest case. In doing so, he rejected WBTV and other WB defendants’ motion for summary judgment over the show about the young Superman. The case will now likely go to trial sometime in mid-2013.
The CW is finalizing a deal for a pilot order to Arrow, an hourlong superhero drama based on DC Comics’ Green Arrow. It is written and executive produced by The Green Lantern co-writers Greg Berlanti and Marc Guggenheim and Fringe and Vampire Diaries alum Andrew Kreisberg. I hear that David Nutter will likely direct the project, which takes the comic book character created by Mort Weisinger and George Papp and sets him in a new world with an original story that is not based on the comics, which are published by DC Entertainment. Arrow, produced by Warner Bros TV and Berlanti’s studio-based Berlanti Television, was developed by Berlanti and Guggenheim, who came up with the idea and wrote the storyline and then brought in Kreisberg to write the script. Kreisberg, who has comics experience having written DC Comics’ Green Arrow and Black Canary among other books, previously worked with Berlanti and Guggenheim on their ABC drama Eli Stone.
Our colleagues over at TVLine have nabbed exclusive video of Michael Rosenbaum reprising his juicy role as Clark Kent’s arch nemesis Lex Luthor on the CW’s Smallville, which airs the first of its final four episodes tonight at 8. The series is ending its 10-year run, and Rosenbaum’s re-emergence came together late and fast, with less than a week elapsing between his agreeing to return and the actual day of production. “I really didn’t want the day to end,” Rosenbaum said of his whirlwind, marathon shoot. “Once you’re there, you always want more. Like, ‘Oh c’mon, this is fun. Write something else!’ ”
Deadline/TVLine EXCLUSIVE: Fans’ prayers have been answered – Clark Kent and Lex Luthor will meet again on Smallville. After months of speculation, Michael Rosenbaum just closed a deal to return to the CW series for the May 13 finale, reprising his role as Lex Luthor. Rosenbaum, who left Smallville in 2008 to focus on his writing career, had been courted for awhile to return for the closer. Talks heated up over the past week, leading to the deal which was signed tonight.
“It feels like the stars are aligning, literally. We couldn’t be more excited about having Michael back,” Smallville executive producers/showrunners Kelly Souders and Brian Peterson said. “And as far as the way he returns … there’ll be no doubt about how Lex becomes the great rival in Clark Kent’s life. He is the villain of the story.”
Rosenbaum said he was “delighted” to return for the series finale. “I’m simply doing it for all of the fans out there who made Smallville the great success it is,” he said. “I appreciate all of their passion, their relentlessness and even their threats. Ha ha. I can’t wait to hug the old crew back in Vancouver one last time and see all of my old friends once again….. Oh, and for Lex to become the badass he’s destined to be.”
The CW Friday sci-fi dramas Smallville and Supernatural won’t return from a winter hiatus tomorrow night as scheduled. In a last-minute move, the network is delaying the shows’ midseason premiere to next Friday to give tonight’s winter debuts of The Vampire Diaries and Nikita extra sampling with encores on Friday as they will face Fox’s American Idol for the first time. Additionally, there are CW preemptions in several markets tonight.