‘The Walking Dead’ Team Are Suing US Network AMC For $1 Billion Dollars…
A few days ago we posted a story about ‘The Walking Dead’ creator, Robert Kirkman, signing an overall deal with Amazon to produce new shows. At the time we thought it was an interesting move, given all his current shows air on US network AMC. I think we’ve just discovered the reason why that relationship might have soured…
Kirkman along with fellow exec producers Gale Anne Hurd, Glen Mazzara, and David Alpert are suing AMC to the tune of $1 billion dollars alleging the network has failed to “pay fair market value” to them for the show.
The official statement reads “This case arises from a major entertainment conglomerate’s failure to honour 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 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.”
They are basically saying that AMC are keeping too large a piece of the profit pie, rather than sharing it back with the people that make the show. They say they are owed more, AMC disagrees. Their response was “These kinds of lawsuits are fairly common in entertainment and they all have one thing in common – they follow success… Virtually every studio that has had a successful show has been the target of litigation like this, and ‘The Walking Dead’ has been the #1 show on television for five years in a row, so this is no surprise. We have enormous respect and appreciation for these plaintiffs, and we will continue to work with them as partners, even as we vigorously defend against this baseless and predictably opportunistic lawsuit.”
And a chill filled the room… That’s going to make for some frosty meeting with the network moving forward. Calling out the creators of your number one rated show as “predictably opportunistic” money grabbers is an… interesting strategy! It puts AMC in a tricky situation. If the team behind ‘The Walking Dead’… walk… you no longer have a hugely profitable set of shows (this lawsuit also covers ‘Fear The Walking Dead’ and ‘Talking Dead’.) However, paying out the money makes the shows less profitable for the network, and therefore less valuable to them, so more likely to be cancelled. But if any of the shows are cancelled, that would presumably give Kirman the opportunity to move them on to his new home at Amazon, who I suspect would welcome them with open arms.
All this comes on top of the other Walking Dead lawsuit, which sees the show’s original creator, Frank Darabont, who was ousted after the first season, sue AMC for $200 million in damages.
We’ll have to see how it all turns out, but it looks like zombies aren’t the only thing Rick and the gang have to worry about moving forward!
‘The Walking Dead‘ Season 8 airs on Fox UK from 23rd October 2017.