Television

HBO counter sues 'Soprano' lead Gandolfini for $100 mn

LOS ANGELES: The controversy between HBO and Soprano star James Gandolfini has just flared up. HBO is seeking to turn the tables on the star's recently filed lawsuit by launching a suit of their own to the tune of $100 million. At the same time they are continuing to negotiate with him.

A Reuters report indicates that Gandolfini is looking to double his $400,000 per episode payout. HBO has dismissed the suit filed by Gandolfini as being frivolous. The HBO suit contends that Gandolfini's representatives have been demanding increased compensation each year the contract was renewed. HBO has "given in" to such demands although the contract does not dictate so.

Last week Gandolfini sued the cable network and Sopranos Productions. He wanted his contract cancelled as the company failed to inform him that the series had been ordered for a fifth season.

Gandolfini's contention is that as per the terms of the contract the show's producers had a 10 day window to inform him after a deal was signed regarding his service requirement for the next season. He said that he learnt about the deal from the Wall Street Journal. HBO replied stating that the contract did not cover what was written in the WSJ.

HBO's suit states that Gandolfini signed a contract with six optional years with the production company in 1997,

The Sopranos cast is due back in the studio to begin shooting its new episodes on 24 March, the day after the Oscar awards ceremony.

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