You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Johnson awarded $23.2 mil in ‘Nash’ suit

Production company ordered to pay actor

A production company was ordered by a Los Angeles jury today to pay actor Don Johnson $23.2 million for his work on the television series “Nash Bridges.”

Johnson had claimed he was owed as much as $100 million for his work on the series, but attorneys for Rysher Entertainment Inc. claimed the show actually had a multimillion-dollar deficit.

During closing arguments of the trial of Johnson’s breach-of-contract lawsuit, attorney mark Holscher argued that the actor only had to complete 66 episodes, representing three years of the CBS show, in order for his copyright ownership to vest.

The show ended up running for five years and 122 episodes, Holscher said.

Rysher lawyer Bart H. Williams countered that Johnson made about $40 million from the show, mostly from his acting and producing services. He said Johnson was not entitled to anything more until “Nash Bridges” gets out from under a deficit that accountants on both sides agreed at one point was about $75 million.

“This case is about cash in, cash out,” Williams told jurors during his closing argument. “Are there profits to split from `Nash Bridges?’ The answer is no.”

When Johnson and Rysher entered into the contract in 1995, Johnson was still a hot commodity based on his earlier fame from “Miami Vice,” Holscher said, while Rysher “was dying to get into prime-time TV.”

“Don was on top of the world, one of the biggest stars in the United States,” Holscher said.

Lawyers for 2929 Entertainment, co-founded by Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban, and Qualia Capital told jurors that neither company should be in the case because, contrary to Johnson’s assertions, neither has ever owned Rysher Entertainment.

Jurors began deliberating late Tuesday.

Johnson, now 60, starred in the 1984-89 NBC detective drama “Miami Vice” prior to “Nash Bridges,” which aired from March 1996 to May 2001.

The lawsuit Johnson filed in February 2009 alleged that because he was a co-owner of the copyright — producing with the Don Johnson Co. and Carlton Cuse Productions in association with Rysher Entertainment and later Paramount Television — he is entitled to half of the show’s profits.

The series that ran six seasons earned more than $300 million in revenues and more than $150 million from syndication, according to Johnson’s court papers.

More TV

  • How Mipcom is Adapting Through 'The

    How Mipcom is Adapting to Wider Content Offerings Through 'The Streaming Offensive'

    With the rise of streamers rapidly changing the television industry, it was inevitable that the biggest TV market would have to address the evolution. A year after exploring the so-called big shift in television, the theme of this year’s Mipcom conference is the Streaming Offensive, with sessions from speakers including Amazon Studios’ head of international [...]

  • Ronan Farrow Noah Oppenheim

    NBC News Rebukes Ronan Farrow: 'We Have No Secrets'

    The president of NBC News pushed back on some of the explosive claims made by journalist Ronan Farrow Monday, calling into question an allegation that the NBCUniversal news outlet knew about sexual misconduct by former “Today” anchor Matt Lauer before he was fired in 2017. “Farrow alleges there were employees who reported Lauer’s behavior prior [...]

  • Riviera and Das Boot Sky TV

    Inside Sky Studios' Plan to Be the 'Biggest European TV Producer'

    Comcast forked out $40 billion for Sky and is now backing its CEO Jeremy Darroch’s plan to turbo-charge its pipeline of originals. It has created Sky Studios and will double its programming outlay in a plan that insiders tell Variety will see it spend £1 billion ($1.2 billion) a year on original programming within five [...]

  • Jason Flemyng, Casting Director Lucinda Syson

    Jason Flemyng, Lucinda Syson Launch Film and TV Indie The Kernel Factory (EXCLUSIVE)

    Jason Flemyng, fellow actor Ben Starr, casting director Lucinda Syson, and finance expert Cristiano D’Urso are opening The Kernel Factory, a new U.K.-based film and TV indie. Flemyng has a long list of movie credits including “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button,” “The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen,” and Guy Ritchie’s “Lock, Stock and Two Smoking [...]

  • ITV Wins Pre-Sales for Mipcom Drama

    Pre-Sales for 'Noughts and Crosses' Lead Scripted Deals for ITV Studios at Mipcom

    ITV Studios Global Entertainment has racked up pre-sales for its leading Mipcom title “Noughts and Crosses”, and has unveiled a number of other deals on its drama slate. “Noughts and Crosses” has been acquired by M-Net in Africa, Russia’s More TV, TVNZ in New Zealand and on BBC First across Benelux prior to its launch [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content