NBC sues Dick Wolf

No money damages sought in suit

NBC sued Dick Wolf, one its biggest program suppliers on Friday, asking the court for an interpretation of a contract provision that gives Wolf executive producer fees if and when any of the three “Law and Order” series are cancelled.

The suit, which was filed in L.A. Superior Court by Scott Edelman of Gibson Dunn & Crutcher, seeks declaratory relief or reformation of the contract. No money damages are sought.

According to the complaint, a 2004 agreement between the parties contained a 48-episode guarantee. NBC contends that the guarantee is like a “pay or play deal,” providing Wolf with one additional year of executive producer fees for shows not actually produced after the last one-season order by NBC. Alternatively, if the last order by NBC is a two-season order, NBC would not have to pay Wolf for any episodes not actually produced.

In May, Wolf notified NBC that he had a different interpretation of the contract. Wolf contends it is like a “kill fee,” under which he is entitled to a two-year severance package once a “Law & Order” show is not renewed. NBC claims that interpretation of the contract would provide Wolf with an unintended windfall of millions of dollars. The parties have been in negotiations since September, but have been unable to resolve their differences without litigation.

In a statement, an NBC spokesperson said, “NBC and Universal Media Studios value their relationship with Dick Wolf. This dispute relates solely to a disagreement concerning specific terms of the contract between them. NBC and Universal Media Studios have filed this case to seek a determination from the court concerning the disputed contractual provisions.”

“NBC Universal is trying to rewrite an existing contract,” said a spokesman for Wolf.

(Josef Adalian contributed to this report.)

Want to read more articles like this one? SUBSCRIBE TO VARIETY TODAY.
Post A Comment 0

Leave a Reply

No Comments

Comments are moderated. They may be edited for clarity and reprinting in whole or in part in Variety publications.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

More TV News from Variety

Loading