Kohan, Mutchnick want fair license fee

Closing arguments began Wednesday in the dispute between “Will & Grace’s” creators and NBC.

“Will & Grace” exec producers David Kohan and Max Mutchnick (and their agent, Scott Schwartz) filed suit against the Peacock in 2003, claiming that series producer NBC Studios failed to negotiate a fair license fee from its sibling network buyer — costing the scribes tens of millions of dollars.

At the time, NBC countersued, alleging that Kohan and Mutchnick breached their contract by failing to take part in negotiations at the net to renew “Will & Grace.”

Network insiders said NBC had been expecting, and preparing, for litigation during the 2002 “Will & Grace” renewal, hiring an outside consultant and taking copious notes that could be used in such proceedings. That’s why, the insiders said, NBC was willing to take the complaint all the way to trial.

Case is significant because most vertical integration complaints brought on through the years by series profit participants — such as Steven Bochco’s beef with 20th Century Fox TV and “Home Improvement” producer Wind Dancer’s complaint against Disney — have been settled out of court.

The “Will & Grace” trial, heard in Los Angeles Superior Court, began in February. Closing arguments are expected to conclude on Monday, followed by jury deliberation.

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