×

Dana Brunetti Sues to Block Season 2 of ‘Manhunt’

Producer Dana Brunetti filed suit on Friday seeking to block the second season of the anthology series “Manhunt,” which is set to dramatize the bombing at the 1996 Atlanta Olympics.

Brunetti sued Lionsgate, the production company, as well as Discovery Communications and Charter Communications. Brunetti, the producer of “Fifty Shades of Grey” and many other films, was an executive producer on the first season of “Manhunt,” which dealt with the Unabomber case. The show ran on Discovery Channel in 2017.

In the suit, Brunetti said he pitched the show to John Goldwyn, then the executive producer of scripted content at Discovery, in 2015. He said he also hired Andrew Sodroski to write the series. Brunetti said he had pitched the show as an anthology, similar to “True Detective,” that would tell different stories with different characters in subsequent seasons.

After the first season aired, Brunetti alleges that Discovery turned around and sold the second season to Charter as a “Spectrum Original” — without informing Brunetti.

“It was not until Brunetti encountered an article in the press, on or about July 17, 2018, that he became aware of the possibility that Discovery had sold the Anthology Series,” the suit states.

According to the suit, Discovery took the position that Brunetti was only ever supposed to be involved on shows about the lead detective in the Unabomber case. Brunetti contends that that was not so, and that the Atlanta Olympics case was even mentioned as a potential follow-up season. Goldwyn and Sodroski remain involved as producers on the second season. Goldwyn was named as a defendant in the suit.

The suit says that Discovery has since claimed that it was internally considering a separate anthology series, and that that show is what became the second season of “Manhunt.”

“It now appears Discovery always had the secret intention of excluding Producers… after the first season of ‘Manhunt’ and misappropriating the Anthology Series disclosed in confidence by Producers,” the suit states.

The suit notes that the second season is now in production, and states that Brunetti will seek an injunction to block it from being broadcast until the breach of contract suit is resolved.

The suit cites 17 causes of action and contends that Brunetti has suffered at least $422,000 in damages.

Discovery and Lionsgate declined to comment.

Popular on Variety

More TV

  • Screen writer Beau WillimonMary Queen of

    Beau Willimon Re-Elected as President of Writers Guild of America East

    Beau Willimon, the playwright and showrunner who launched Netflix’s “House of Cards,” has been re-elected without opposition to a two-year term as president of the Writers Guild of America East. Willimon also ran unopposed in 2017 to succeed Michael Winship. Kathy McGee was elected to the vice president slot over Phil Pilato. Secretary-treasurer Bob Schneider [...]

  • Dickinson First Look Teaser

    TV News: Apple Drops New 'Dickinson' Trailer With Hailee Steinfeld (Watch)

    In today’s roundup, Apple’s “Dickinson” series released a new trailer and Netflix released the trailer for the fifth season of “Peaky Blinders.” DATES The “Cash Cab” revival will come to Bravo on Oct. 7. The game show takes place inside a New York cab, where unsuspecting passengers become contestants in a game of trivia for [...]

  • Jennie Snyder Urman, Katie Wech Team

    Jennie Snyder Urman, Katie Wech Team for Medical Drama in Development at CBS

    CBS is developing a medical drama that hails from writer Katie Wech, Variety has learned. Currently titled “Good Sam,” the series follows a talented yet stifled surgeon who embraces her leadership role after her renowned and pompous boss falls into a coma. When he awakens and wants to resume surgery, however, it falls to her to [...]

  • Jack Gilardi, Longtime ICM Partners Agent,

    Jack Gilardi, Longtime ICM Partners Agent, Dies at 88

    Jack Gilardi, a longtime ICM Partners agent who represented such stars as Burt Reynolds, Sylvester Stallone, Jerry Lewis, Charlton Heston and Shirley MacLaine, died Thursday at his home in Los Angeles. He was 88. Gilardi was known for his gentlemanly style, love of the Los Angeles Dodgers and his skill at representing top actors. He [...]

  • Will Gluck

    Will Gluck Sets TV Overall Deal at eOne (EXCLUSIVE)

    Will Gluck has signed a two-year overall television deal with Entertainment One (eOne), Variety has learned exclusively. Under the deal, Richard Schwartz will continue to oversee all television projects for Gluck’s Olive Bridge Entertainment, with eOne set to serve as studio on all projects under the partnership. “The choice for us was clear given their impeccable [...]

  • Katie Hockmeyer

    NBC Entertainment Names Katie Hockmeyer Exec VP of Late Night Programming

    Katie Hockmeyer has been named executive vice president of late night programming at NBC Entertainment She will report to NBC Entertainment co-chairmen George Cheeks and Paul Telegdy, where she will work on “The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon,” “Late Night with Seth Meyers,” “Saturday Night Live” and newly launched late-night addition, “A Little Late with [...]

  • Nexstar Completes Tribune Acquisition, Sean Compton

    Nexstar Completes Tribune Acquisition, Sean Compton to Head Programming

    Nexstar Media Group has become the nation’s largest owner of TV stations after completing its $4.1 billion acquisition of Tribune Media. The deal creates a broadcasting colossus with more than 200 stations serving more than 100 markets, although a number of stations will be divested to keep Nexstar in compliance with FCC ownership limits. Nexstar, [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content