×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Frank Darabont Sues AMC Again in ‘Walking Dead’ Pay Dispute

Frank Darabont doubled down Thursday on his claim that AMC cheated him out of millions of dollars in “Walking Dead” profits, filing a new lawsuit alleging that he is owed additional tens of millions of dollars.

Darabont has been warring with AMC for more than four years, as he and his agency CAA contend that AMC deprived them of $280 million by failing to engage in arm’s length transactions for distribution of the show.

In the new lawsuit, filed Thursday in New York Supreme Court, Darabont alleges that new information shows that he is entitled to tens of millions in additional compensation. Darabont’s attorneys contend that he is entitled to “most favored nation” treatment with respect to how his profit participation is calculated. But until recently, his lawyers were unaware that another producer on the show, Robert Kirkman, had a profit calculation based on AMC’s “actual” distribution fee, rather than an “imputed” fee used in Darabont’s case. Since Kirkman received a more generous agreement, Darabont alleges his contract is entitled to the same treatment.

This information came to light last fall, when Kirkman and other profit participants filed their own lawsuits against AMC, and attached Kirkman’s contract. Previously, Darabont’s attorneys alleged that AMC had withheld the relevant provision of that document.

Darabont and CAA are seeking at least $10 million in addition to the $280 million they are already claiming in the separate litigation.

Darabont created the hit show, which was based on Kirkman’s comic books, in 2010. He was fired as showrunner the following year. Though the conflict has broad implications for networks’ calculation profit participation, the dispute came to wider attention when Darabont’s rage-filled emails to his colleagues and crew were released last summer.

“Congratulations, you all accomplished what I thought was impossible,” he wrote in one representative missive. “You’ve turned me into a raging a–hole. Thanks a lot, you f—ers.”

Update: AMC’s attorney, Orin Snyder of Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher, issued the following statement:

“At the heart of this lawsuit — and all the litigation related to ‘The Walking Dead’ — is the greed of CAA. Their goal is every dollar for themselves, with total disregard for contracts, clients, fairness or even basic decency. AMC was the only network willing to take a risk on ‘The Walking Dead,’ after many others passed. AMC has been an honest steward of the series and has paid all of its creative partners handsomely and appropriately. This is just another opportunistic lawsuit orchestrated by the most powerful lawyers and Hollywood agents seeking an unjustified windfall and we are confident that it will be defeated in court.”

More TV

  • Martin Short

    Martin Short Joins Whitney Cummings, Lee Daniels Amazon Comedy Pilot 'Good People'

    The cast of the Amazon comedy pilot “Good People” continues to grow, with Martin Short becoming the latest big name star to sign on to the project. Short joins previously announced cast members Lisa Kudrow, Greg Kinnear, and Whitney Cummings. Cummings is also writing and executive producing the pilot with Lee Daniels. “Good People” centers [...]

  • 100 Most-Watched TV Shows of 2018-19:

    100 Most-Watched TV Shows of 2018-19: Winners and Losers

    As traditional ratings continue to decline, so do the networks’ reliance on those numbers as a benchmark. Nowhere was it more noticeable than at this month’s upfronts presentations in New York, where the “r” word on everyone’s tongues wasn’t “ratings” — it was “reach.” Sure, everyone still touted their No. 1 status when they could [...]

  • Sam Champion

    Sam Champion Returns to Disney's WABC

    Sam Champion, one of the nation’s best-known weather anchors, will return to the station where he rose to greater fame. Walt Disney’s WABC said Champion would join its staff he as a weather anchor on its weekday morning and noon newscasts. He will start Monday, June 3. He is expected to also contribute to ABC [...]

  • THE INBETWEEN -- "Pilot" Episode 101

    TV Review: NBC's 'The InBetween'

    There’s something to be said for a TV show that knows exactly what its lane is and fulfills its duties enough to hold together. NBC’s “The InBetween,” Moira Kirland’s new procedural billed as a “paranormal drama,” is a fan of just about every procedural cliche in the book, right down to the cheesy music following [...]

  • Contract Placeholder Business WGA ATA Agent

    Talent Agents Blast Verve Agreement With Writers Guild

    The lead negotiator for Hollywood’s talent agencies has again blasted the Writers Guild and its recent agreement with the Verve agency — and cautioned other agencies against following suit. Verve defected from the major agencies on May 16 when it became the first sizable Hollywood talent agency to sign the WGA’s Code of Conduct. That [...]

  • Stephen Colbert on Les Moonves allegations

    'Late Show With Stephen Colbert' Narrowly Tops Late-Night Ratings for 2018-2019 Season

    “The Late Show With Stephen Colbert” is officially number one. For the first time since he took over from David Letterman in 2015, Colbert and his CBS late-night show topped NBC’s “The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon” in the adults 18-49 demographic. Colbert is averaging a 0.52 rating in the key demo to Fallon’s 0.51, [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content