Quebec producer settles on ‘Love’

Lepage claimed JWTwo had not respected contract

MONTREAL — Quebec producer, actor and host Guy A. Lepage has settled out of court with JWTwo Entertainment in their dispute over the sitcom “Love Bites.”

Lepage, one of French Canada’s best-known TV personalities, claimed JWTwo, a subsid of ad agency J. Walter Thompson, had not respected the contract it signed regarding production of the laffer.

“Love Bites” is an adaptation of Lepage’s long-running hit French-language Canuck sitcom “Un gars, une fille,” about a thirtysomething couple.

Lepage alleged the contract stipulated the American producers give him some creative control over the show. In documents filed in Quebec court, Lepage maintained “Love Bites” is little more than a promotional vehicle for Sunsilk hair products.

He succeeded in gaining an injunction to force “Love Bites,” which airs in daily 2½-minute episodes, off of TBS, which was airing it in the U.S.

Lepage, Quebec producer of “Un gars, une fille” Avanti Cine Video and JWTwo announced they have reached an amicable solution to the dispute. Given the two sides’ difference of opinion on how the show was made, Avanti has agreed to take back the original rights to “Un gars, une fille,” which will continue to be distributed worldwide by Montreal-based sales agent Distraction Formats.

Under the agreement, JWTwo can continue to air “Love Bites” in the U.S., and Distraction will try to sell the “Un gars, une fille” format in the U.S.

All ties are cut between “Love Bites” and the Quebec show.

“We’re relieved by the settlement,” said Lepage’s manager, Jacques Primeau. “Now we can sell it to someone else in the U.S. The two shows are different enough that the two can co-exist together. It was really just a series of misunderstandings and no one acted in bad faith.”

“Un gars, une fille” has been sold around the world by Distraction and has been adapted by local producers in more than 20 countries. Lepage also hosts the Radio-Canada Television hit “Tout le monde en parle,” the most popular talkshow in French Canada.

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