Way way back in the far flung year of 2017, The Walking Dead co-creator and Executive Producer Robert Kirkman, Executive Producer Glen Mazzara, Executive Producer David Alpert, and Executive Producer Gale Anne Hurd filed a lawsuit against network AMC for breach of contract, tortious interference, and unfair or fraudulent business acts under California business code.
The lawsuit saw the beginning of a non-jury trial last week. If a settlement isn’t reached, the case, which was rumored to have potential damages reaching $1 billion, could go to a jury trial summer 2021.
Since AMC developed The Walking Dead in house and then sold it to themselves, Kirkman and company claim the sale was undervalued, meaning they should’ve gotten a bigger payday.
Hurd took to the stand last Friday stating that then-AMC boss Charlie Collier told her in 2010 of expected profit-participation payouts for the network’s first in-house production:
“The representation to me was we would be treated the same as if it was made by Lionsgate or Sony who made Mad Men and Breaking Bad.”
One of Kirkman and company’s lawyers told the court that despite an ever expanding brand of The Walking Dead shows, the network claims the show isn’t profitable and thus profit-participation payouts aren’t happening.
“By using an artificially low imputed license fee formula, the show is falling further and further into deficit with zero payments to participants at least the last two years.”
Kirkman briefly took the stand for about 20 minutes saying it was a group decision to file the lawsuit.
AMC’s representation claims that the Executive Producers are simply experiencing buyer’s remorse.
Former AMC boss Collier is expected to take the stand next week.