A producer’s $ 2 million suit against MCA over the hit CBS series “Northern Exposure” has been allowed to go forward, with a trial date set for Jan. 24.
Last month, Superior Court Judge David A. Workman denied the studio’s motion to dismiss the suit, filed a year ago by producer Sandy Veith, who maintains the show is based on a pilot he developed while under an overall deal at Universal from 1981-87.
According to the suit, that pilot, titled “Coletta,” dealt with a medical student who must spend five years working in a rural wilderness to pay off his school financing, mirroring the setup for “Northern Exposure.” The project was allegedly optioned by both NBC and ABC but didn’t get picked up.
Veith, currently an independent writer and producer, also named Creative Artists Agency as a defendant in the original suit but has since dropped the agency from the action. “Northern Exposure” premiered on CBS in July 1990.