|NEWS OF NOTE
“Walking Dead” Creator and Producers Sue AMC
The creator and producers of mega-hit “The Walking Dead” have filed a potentially billion-dollar lawsuit against AMC, alleging that the series’ network has kept “the lion’s share” of profits for itself and not properly distributed them to its “creative people.” The news emerged one day after creator Robert Kirkman signed an overall deal with US streamer Amazon and a first-look agreement with his production company Skybound Entertainment.
The suit filed in Los Angeles involves recently extended spin-off show “Fear The Walking Dead” and after-show “The Talking Dead.” The involved parties include Kirkman and producers Gale Anne Hurd, Glen Mazzara and David Alpert.
“This case arises from a major entertainment conglomerate’s failure to honor its contractual obligations to the creative people — the ‘talent,’ in industry jargon — behind the wildly successful, and hugely profitable, long-running television series The Walking Dead,” the lawsuit reads.
“The defendant AMC Entities exploited their vertically integrated corporate structure to combine both the production and the exhibition of TWD, which allowed AMC to keep the lion’s share of the series’ enormous profits for itself and not share it with the Plaintiffs, as required by their contracts.”
The suit details that Kirkman is due 5 percent of profits from the show, with Hurd due 7.5 percent, Alpert 2.5 percent and former showrunner Mazzara 1.5 percent,
AMC is also currently embroiled in another lawsuit filed by The Walking Dead’s first showrunner Frank Darabont, which similarly questions how much the network is imputing from each episode.
Freeform to Air “Dirty Dancing” Marathon
Freeform will celebrate the 30th anniversary of theatrical “Dirty Dancing,” starring Patrick Swayze and Jennifer Gray, with an all-day marathon on Monday, August 21. It begins at 7 a.m. ET.. The film can also been viewed on the Freeform app and Freeform.com through the entire month of August.
The logline: In the summer of 1963, innocent 17-year-old Frances “Baby” Houseman (Jennifer Grey) vacations with her parents at a Catskills resort. One evening she is drawn to the staff quarters by stirring music. There she meets Johnny (Patrick Swayze), the hotel dance instructor, who is as experienced as Baby is naive. Baby soon becomes Johnny’s pupil in dance and love. “Dirty Dancing” also features Jerry Orbach, Cynthia Rhodes, Jack Weston and Jane Brucker.
Brooke Shields is joining the upcoming 19th season of NBC’s “Law & Order: SVU” in what is described as a major recurring role. Details on her character are being kept under wraps other than the tease that her role will shake up Benson’s (Mariska Hargitay) world. Philip Winchester, additionally, will join the “SVU” cast full-time in midseason, reprising his “Chicago Justice” role of lawyer Peter Stone.
Former “Nashville” star Connie Britton will appear in a multi-episode guest arc on the half-hour Showtime comedy series “SMILF,” starring writer, director and executive producer Frankie Shaw (“Mr. Robot”). Britton will play Ally, Bridgette’s (Shaw) unstable boss who struggles with boundaries and finds herself in constant pursuit of self-betterment. Her expectations for Bridgette’s role in her life go far beyond tutoring her kids. “SMILF” will premiere on Sunday, November 5 at 10 p.m. ET, following the 9 p.m. ET season premiere that night of “Shameless.”
The Daily Brief Podcast: 39 Days ‘Til Fall TV
PromaxBDA Editorial Director Paige Albiniak and Programming Insider Editor in Chief Marc Berman discuss what went down at TCA 2017. Included are the issues of diversity, reboots and the upcoming new network series that show the most promise. To listen, click here
TV Tuesday with Douglas Pucci
This week, Douglas Pucci of The Programming Insider reviews upcoming comedies “The Mayor” on ABC and “Ghosted” on Fox. To listen, click here
TV Comes Out About its Closeted Portrayals of LGBTQ: Click here
ABC to Focus on “American Idol” and “Roseanne” Reboots: Click here
Trump in Late Night: Too Much of an Absurd Thing: Click here
TruTV Keeps Pushing New Comedy Brand Forward: Click here
PBS Forges Ahead Despite Threat of Federal Funding Loss: Click here