‘Pains’ exec producer sues WBTV Distribution

A former executive producer of the series “Growing Pains” has sued Warner Bros. Domestic Television Distribution Inc. and parent Warner Bros. Inc. for allegedly failing to properly exploit the series in syndication.

Michael Sullivan, in a complaint filed in Los Angeles Superior Court, also said he was denied his fair share of a profit participation in the show as a result of accounting irregularities.

Warner began distributing “Growing Pains” after its first year on the air before the sitcom became a hit, the suit said. The company also allegedly simply sold the show to local stations with which it had a relationship rather than seeking competitive prices.

Among the alleged accounting irregularities were charging the series with costs that should have been charged to other projects, overcharging for overhead and interest, failing to recognize income promptly (thereby increasing interest) and improperly charging the series with payments made to stars Alan Thicke and Kirk Cameron.

According to the suit, Sullivan brought the series idea by Neal Marlens to Warners in 1984.

The suit seeks unspecified actual and punitive damages.

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