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March 28, 2010

'Smallville' producers sue WarnerBros, CW

Notice the producers filed this lawsuit after "Smallville" was renewed for a tenth season.

"Smallville" producers have accused studio WarnerBros. and the network it co-owns that airs their show, The CW, of "self-dealing" the series at a below-market cost -- thus short-changing executive producers with a stake in the show's profits. Reads the suit: 

"Warner Bros.' practices of unfair self-dealing include licensing the series for broadcast on its own affiliated WB and CW networks for unreasonably low, below-market license fees, resulting in lower gross revenues for the series and less compensation for plaintiffs, and failing to renegotiate the series' license fee to cover its production cost... depriving [plaintiffs] of compensation to which they are entitled ... by failing to maximize profits from the series, all to the benefit of the vertically-integrated conglomerate Time Warner."

The idea is that WarnerBros. sold the show at a bargain rate to its own network. Then, for the international market, lumped "Smallville" together with other less successful shows as a package deal -- diluting its individual value.

But really. Nine seasons and Superman still can't fly? If anything, fans should sue the producers for breach of creative contract.

More details on this story here.


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