Man Seeks Judgment Day Over Producer Credit On 'Terminator' Show

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Man Seeks Judgment Day Over Producer Credit On 'Terminator' Show

Tue Mar 04, 2008 @ 11:07AM PST

Posted by Eriq Gardner

Terminator_2 We never really got into "Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles" (something about a petite high school girl playing a soulless killing machine stretched credibility a bit much, even for a Fox drama). Then yesterday, the day of the show's season finale, a Los Angeles man sued Fox, Warner Bros, C2 Pictures and Cinergi Entertainment, claiming he was improperly denied a producer's role after helping the studios formulate the idea for the show.

David Leener has worked in marketing and product placement in the entertainment industry for several years. In 2005, he was spotlighted by the New York Times as a key player in product placement deals on such films as "Herbie Fully Loaded" and "National Treasure."

According to this complaint, after working on product placement services on 2003's "T3: Rise of the Machines," Leener learned that C2 was interested in developing a television series based on the popular film franchise. Lenner says he met with several of the defendants and was promised a role in producing the series. Later, he claims he met with the Sci-Fi Network to discuss a series.

The series developed into "The Sarah Connor Story," and Leener sent an outline containing his ideas and concepts for the series. Then the haggling over producer credits followed, and Leener soon found himself on the outside with no role as C2 pitched Warner Bros. on the series.

Leener holds no rights to the Terminator franchise and doesn't claim sole authorship of the underlying idea behind the program, but he argues that the defendants breached an implied contract and tortuously denied the existence of a contract. Represented by William Bossen of LA's Musick Peeler & Garrett, he is seeking unspecified damages.

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The Hollywood Reporter, Esq. blog focuses on how the entertainment and media industries are impacted and influenced by the law. It is edited by Matthew Belloni with contributions from veteran legal reporter Eriq Gardner and others. Before joining The Hollywood Reporter, Belloni was a lawyer at an entertainment litigation firm in Los Angeles. He writes a column for THR devoted to entertainment law. Gardner is a New York-based writer and legal journalist. Send tips or comments to Matthew.Belloni@thr.com

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