Will & Grace producers sue NBC

MUMBAI: The executive producers of the popular television sitcom Will & Grace have have filed a suit against NBC and NBC Studios.

The producers allege that NBC has been conspiring to keep the popular sitcom's price down to reduce the producer's share of profits. The sitcom's creators allege that network has planned to sell the rights to the show at $ 10 million below fair value.



Trouble in Graceland?

According to media reports, the executive producers David Kohan and Jason Mutchnick filed a complaint on 11 December at the Los Angeles Superior Court alleging that the two companies breached their written contracts and fiduciary duties and acted in bad faith.

The lawsuit states that NBC Studios, a subsidiary of NBC and the producer of the show, sought to refrain from shopping the series to other networks to further its own financial interests and those of its parent, the General Electric company. NBC effectively sat on and controlled both sides of the bargaining table, states the suit.

Kohan and Mutchnick said the suit stems from the industry-wide trend of media conglomerates buying up independent production studios, inform the media reports.

Will & Grace, which centers on a New York City interior designer and her best friend, a gay lawyer, has won 12 Emmys since its creation in 1998. The show is currently being aired on Zee English.

According to the suit, despite its success, last year the network pressured NBC Studios not to increase the fee for licensing the rights to the show. During the show's first four seasons, the studio licensed the rights for financial terms that were insufficient even to cover a reasonable percentage of the series' production costs and which led to extraordinarily large production deficits.

While it is probably the first time that NBC has been embroiled in a suit, ABC and Fox have been caught in similar legal trouble early on. The producer and creator of Home Improvement , Matt Williams had filed suit against the Walt Disney Company in 1997, stating that Disney's production arm shaped a deal with the Disney-owned ABC to keep the show on the network, even though it may not have been the best licensing deal. The suit was settled out of court.

While Steven Bochco sued Fox in 1999, stating that he was essentially deprived of as much as $50 million on the sale of NYPD Blue, to the FX cable network. The distributor of the show, 20th Century Fox Television is, like FX, owned by Fox. That suit was eventually resolved.

The reports indicate that the mergers of networks and production companies in the 1990's have led to the "increasingly common case of negotiations between closely related or commonly owned parties. The result is that profit participants in hit television series, which can earn tens of millions of dollars, sometimes assert that negotiations are designed in large measure to benefit the parent company."

Latest Reads
&TV presents Laal Ishq - passionate love stories with a supernatural twist

We promised to be together forever. Nothing could take us apart - not even death. Even though my body has long gone, my spirit still lives on… my soul will always be with you. For true love, never dies. &TV’s latest offering Laal Ishq, a series of passionate love stories with a supernatural...

Television TV Channels GECs
Zee Anmol retains lead in GEC (U+R) in BARC's week 24 data

Zee Anmol retained its top spot in Broadcast Audience Research Council (BARC) data for week 24 in the Hindi GEC (U+R) market. While Star Utsav and Rishtey swapped their third and fourth positions in the rural market, Star Plus and Zee TV exchanged second and third positions in the urban segment.

Television TV Channels Viewership
BARC, Week 24: Rebublic TV dominates, Mirror Now enters top five

MUMBAI: Times Network’s English news channel, Mirror Now, replaced NDTV in the All India Broadcast Audience Research Council’s (BARC) week 24 rantings, as Arnab Goswami's Republic TV continued to dominate the English news market While Aaj Tak led the charts in two Hindi news markets, ABP News...

Television TV Channels Viewership
What next with Fox-Disney-Comcast ?

MUMBAI: Part poker, part chess. That's exactly how the Disney-Comcast bidding war for Rupert Murdoch's entertainment conglomerate - 21 Century Fox - is being played out. The intense, see-saw battle for the media empire, which includes Hollywood studios, cable networks and streaming businesses, isn...

Television Production House Post Production
Sky News gets 15-year commitment from Disney in takeover battle

MUMBAI: Disney has refrained from selling Sky News without the U.K government’s permission and offered British authorities a commitment to operate Sky News for 15 years. For its part, 21st Century Fox has offered new commitments in an attempt to get its $15 billion bid for Sky over the finish line...

Television TV Channels News Broadcasting
Discovery picks Park Avenue address for new global HQ

MUMBAI: Discovery Inc. has selected a Park Avenue address for its new global headquarters. The company is also expanding facilities and adding jobs in Virginia. The company has signed a long-term lease with TF Cornerstone to occupy the entire space of 230 Park Ave South. According to,...

Television TV Channels Viewership
NBCUniversal accuses BeoutQ of illegal streaming of FIFA World Cup in MENA

MUMBAI: NBCUniversal, an American multi-national media conglomerate owned by Comcast, has accused a pirated streaming service called BeoutQ in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) for illegally broadcasting the FIFA 2018 World Cup matches. NBC's Telemundo unit, which holds the Spanish-language...

Television TV Channels Sports
How Sony is bringing the FIFA World Cup 2018

MUMBAI: Sports broadcasting is no ordinary business. Just ask Star India and Sony Network Pictures (SPN) India – who often slug it out against each other for the rights of premium sporting properties. The two high rollers of Indian sports broadcasting play by one simple rule: high risks, high...

Television TV Channels Sports
Sports media rights to soar 22% in 2018 in Asia Pacific: MPA

The market value of sports media rights is set to reach US$5.0 billion in Asia Pacific ex-China this year, according to Asia Pacific Sports In The Age Of Streaming, a new report published by Media Partners Asia (MPA).

Television TV Channels Sports

Latest News

Load More

Sign up for our Newsletter

subscribe for latest stories