In his lawsuit filed last year, Johnson claims that he never received a 50% share of the profits from the series even though his production company had an ownership stake in the copyright of the show, which ran from 1996-2001 on CBS and is still shown in syndication around the world.
Named in the suit were the show’s production company, Rysher Entertainment, as well as 2929 Entertainment and Qualia Capital. Johnson’s attorneys, led by Mark Holscher of Kirkland & Ellis, say in filings that Qualia and 2929 have taken in more than $80 million in syndication revenue in the past six years, and that the series earned more than $300 million in revenue overall. Rysher was a subsidiary of Mark Cuban and Todd Wagner’s 2929 from 2001 until 2006, when its library was purchased by Qualia.
Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Michael L. Stern said that the case should proceed, even as Rysher’s reps have challenged Johnson’s claims about the show’s substantial profits as well as the meaning of his contract’s copyright clause.
Johnson’s agreement called for him to gain co-ownership of the series’ copyright after the series completed 66 episodes. A total of 122 episodes were produced.