A Los Angeles Superior Court judge has ruled in favor of CBS and the family of “Hawaii Five-O” creator Leonard Freeman in a dispute over the rights to the network’s reboot of the crime drama.
George Litto, a producer and agent who represented Freeman in the 1960s, claimed that he held rights to the series revival under the terms of an agreement he and Freeman’s widow, Rose Freeman, made in 1997 to exploit future projects based on the original show.
But Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Elizabeth Allen White, in a proposed ruling issued on Wednesday, said that the 1997 agreement included certain “reserved rights,” but not the rights to the CBS series. Rather, she noted, evidence shows that the purpose of the 1997 agreement was to set up an LLC to make a “Hawaii Five-O” movie. Litto’s production company had sought 50% of the revenues from the current episodes, according to White proposed ruling.
Freeman and CBS entered their own agreement in 2010 for the revival of the series.
Leonard Freeman died in 1974, and his widow then managed his interest in the show. She died in 2012.
The Freeman family was represented by Michael Plonsker of Plonsker Law, and Litto was represented by Henry Gradstein of Gradstein & Marzano.