The Walking Dead is about to get quite the twist as the show creator Frank Darabont breaks his silence and sues AMC in New York State. Frank is going to court Court claiming that AMC has screwed him out of 10's of millions of dollars in profit sharing.
His lawyers also claim that the reason Frank was fired before the start of Season 2 of The Walking Dead aired was to screw him out of his profits for creating the show.
Frank Darabont left The Walking Dead in 2011 [ he was fired right after he did comic-con promoting the show ] which shocked fans.
Although The Walking Dead has managed to find its footing in Season 3 the loss of Frank Darabont was a huge hit to the shows creative team. We all wondered why Frank Darabont left the show and now it seems we may know part of the reason as Mr Darabont takes his dispute with AMC to the NY courts.
Frank and his agents at CAA are sueing AMC for profit sharing they say they are owed. Frank was promised up to 12.5% of profit sharing on the hit TV show but there seems to be a glitch. According to AMC the show is not profitable running at a loss in the tens of millions.
How does a hit show that draws as many as 13million eyeballs per episode loose this kind of money? Franks lawyers blame this on AMC. AMC is not only the network airing The Walking Dead they have another arm that produces and makes the show.
So although the show is crazy popular and helping AMC Network no doubt make a ton of money Frank and his agents are reportedly getting screwed because the show was allegedly licensed for peanuts by AMCs production arm to the Network for a measly $1.45 million per episode.
So as Franks lawyers put it the parent company makes a boat load of cash and the show and its producers like Frank lose out. Its complicated but THR does a pretty good job at explaining it saying quote;
Darabont's lawsuit is the latest in a long line of so-called “vertical integration” cases in Hollywood that arise when the producer of a TV show also distributes it via an affiliated entity that pays a license fee to be shared with talent. License fees are supposed to be negotiated between producers and distributors to reflect the fair market value of a given series.When it was clear thatWalking Dead was a runaway hit, AMC then provided a proposal in February 2011 based on “an unconscionably low license fee formula” designed to ensure that the show would never be in profit, according to the suit.
I am not a lawyer and leave this to smarter minds then me but from what THR says this is not the first time and wont be the last time a deal like this happens. Frankly if we play devils advocate for a second if AMC worked out a contract where they produce and distriute a TV show and make a sh*R ton of money who's fault really is that?
I am as noted note a lawyer and yes this deal sounds kinda scummy from what is being reported but is it illegal or an issue for legal action? I have no idea.
Should be interesting to see how this one plays out in court.