The creative team that got “Smallville” off the ground for Warner Bros. TV has filed a breach of contract suit against the studio.
The complaint filed Friday asserts that the series’ original producers have been cheated out of millions in profit participation coin because Warner Bros. TV engaged in self-dealing in licensing the show to its affiliated WB Network and its successor, the CW, at below-market rates, among other issues cited.
Plaintiffs in the suit are Miles Millar and Alfred Gough, who were showrunners/exec producers on “Smallville” for its first seven seasons, and Tollin-Robbins Prods., which shepherded the development of the young Superman saga for Warner Bros. TV a decade ago.
A rep for Warner Bros. TV declined comment on the suit.
The “Smallville” suit marks the latest in a string of legal challenges from profit participants during the past dozen years accusing studios of failing to maximize the value of TV series and movies by agreeing to cut-rate licensing deals with affiliated entities rather than shopping a property to seek the highest bidder.
“Smallville” remains one of CW’s top-rated shows. It was renewed earlier this month for a 10th season in 2010-11.